Years ago, I used an external USB hard drive with my PC (most likely Windows XP at the time). I've been trying to recover some files off of the old drive, but I no longer have a Windows machine and the drive is not being read by my Mac. The drive powers on, but nothing happens. No icon on my desktop, no sign of the drive in Disk Utility, no sign in Finder.

I've downloaded FUSE for OS X as well as Paragon's NTSF for Mac OS X, but still nothing. I'm not concerned with writing to the drive, but I'd like to get some old files off of there. Is there anything else that I can try?

  • 1
    What format is it in? With any FAT (16, 32, exFAT), Mac OS X can read and write. However OS X can only read NTFS. If you plan on just copying from the drive, then you don't need any other programs. How long did you wait when you first plugged it in for it to show on the desktop? Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 4:50
  • Did you tried "$ ls /Volumes/" in the Terminal ?
    – StrawHara
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 7:12
  • @IronCraftMan: I'm not 100% sure if the drive is FAT or NTFS, but either way, it doesn't seem to show up even after giving 5-10 minutes.
    – Ryan
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 2:32
  • @MrMojoRisin Thanks for the idea - I ran that command, but no luck. Just Macintosh HD.
    – Ryan
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 2:33

1 Answer 1


You need to copy those documents to a windows machine. After that you need to format a USB stick MS-DOS (FAT32). Formatting USB drive as MS-DOS (FAT32) will alow you to use the USB on Windows and OS ! Will not alow you to write files bigger then 4 GB i think or 2.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .