I have a very new MacBook Pro. I have an old Windows laptop that died. However I suspect the hard disk is fine. I also have an external HDD that I had used as a backup for that machine (although I hadn't been diligent in actually making backups). I wasn't using special software to make the backups, just dragging and dropping in Explorer.

The external HDD is USB2. For the laptop's internal HDD, I have one of these (a Unitek hard drive dock).

How can I access the files I backed up? It's mostly MP3s and I'd like to keep them on the hard drive without buying a second hard drive to transfer them to, or reformatting. If nothing else, I at least want to view them so I know what I'm losing if I reformat.

  • Please add the backup application and the backup method (you used in Windows) to your question.
    – klanomath
    Nov 12, 2014 at 16:02
  • It was just drag and drop. I added it in the first paragraph Nov 12, 2014 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


All newer Mac OS X systems are capable of reading all common Windows file systems (FAT/FAT32/NTFS) right out of the box. So it shouldn't be a problem to access the contents of the internal HDD connected to your drive dock, given that the Unitek is working with your Mac.

Since you didn't use any special backup software (generating unaccessible file formats) the same should be valid for your external HDD.

  • I haven't tried plugging the Unitek into the Mac yet but I'll try it today and see what happens Nov 12, 2014 at 16:11
  • HDD is dead after all but it worked fine with a USB drive, although it won't let me write anything Nov 15, 2014 at 15:07
  • @ssdecontrol you have to get 3rd-party tools like ntfs-3g link or Paragon NTFS for Mac to write to NTFS volumes.
    – klanomath
    Nov 15, 2014 at 15:13
  • will gparted work? I've never used any of those but that's always the one I hear talked about Nov 15, 2014 at 15:14
  • Ideally id like to make a partition that will act as a boot drive, so I can do a clean Yosemite install without buying a USB stick (none of mine are large enough) Nov 15, 2014 at 15:15

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