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Is it possible to hook up a Mac to a PC via USB, and have direct access to the hard drive?

Is there any software that could do this?

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Kind of, it will use Firewire instead of USB and doesn't work with the latest models of some Apple products as they do not have a Firewire port. Assuming you have a Firewire capable Mac and a PC with Firewire, you need to do two things:

1) Boot the Mac into target disk mode. This is done by holding "T" while the Mac is booting. This will present the Mac as a Firewire drive to whatever it is plugged in to.

2) Install Macdrive. This is an HFS+ (Mac filesystem) driver for Windows. Windows cannot natively read an HFS+ Volume. (There may be free alternatives, but I am not aware of them, I will continue to look and update accordingly.)

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thanks, I'll have to get the right firewire cable to do this :) –  Daniel May 29 '10 at 4:02

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