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My Maxtor 500GB drive "should" be formatted for Mac but I'm not 100% sure as I moved from Windows a year ago and this drive is rarely connected. When I plug it in via USB to the Mac it does not show up at all, I have tried using data recovery software like Stellar and it still doesn't appear. When I plug it into my windows laptop it does show up in disk management but it wont assign a drive letter. I tried to use a data recovery program but it needs to know the format of the drive and it doesn't have an option for HFS+ format... any ideas about a recovery program that runs in windows to recover Mac formated drives? Preferably with a free preview option as I don't want to buy any more until I know they will work.

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What do you see in the disk manager? – David Schwartz Mar 26 '12 at 22:38
If you have used in successfully in the past on a Windows system. It is probably not formatted as HFS+. It is probably either Fat32 or NTFS. Windows does not natively understand HFS+, and normally ignores HFS+ formatted drives, or claims that they are unformatted... – Benjamin Schollnick Mar 30 '12 at 15:00

You didn't mention Disk Utility; if you haven't tried that, you should. You'll see drives there that you can't see in Finder because Finder only shows mounted volumes. Your Mac is likely not mounting the volume because it was not unmounted cleanly. Disk Utility is the standard way to repair volumes that won't mount. Click on the volume in the left column, then on "First Aid" and "Repair Disk".

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There are, as illustrated above, several reasons this might happen. We saw numerous internal drives in MacBooks fail, where they were not visible even to Disk Utility, but from which we were able to recover some data using an external USB adapter. If, as Kyle suggests, it is not visible in Disk Utility, I'd plan on saving what data I could and replacing the drive. If a repair helps, run with it. If it's mission critical data, you may need to explore other recovery options. Good luck!

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