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I have this USB drive that I use with my Windows pc. Since the pc is down, I'd like to use it on the Mac to retrieve and save files. Before attempting this, I want to know if there is possibility that this might affect readability of the drive on the windows pc later on.

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No. Just connecting the drive to the different system should not cause any problems. If the system does not recognize the drive, it may prompt to format or scan or repair (I'm not sure what Mac does in this case) and anything it does THEN may cause the drive to be erase or not readable in a Windows computer.

But just plugging the drive in and allowing the system to access the files should not in any way compromise the ability of that drive to be read in a Windows computer.

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Is it the same for a My Passport drive? Thanks. –  user823527 Apr 18 '12 at 16:47
    
It should be. Using a drive on a different system does not automatically change the structure of the drive in such a way that it would be unreadable on a different system. Unless it's a system designed to do something like that, which Macs and PCs aren't. –  music2myear Apr 18 '12 at 17:23
    
OK. What if I update the files already on the drive or add new ones? –  user823527 Apr 18 '12 at 18:24
    
So long as the system does not mess with the structure of the disk (the format, the way information is supposed to be written to and read from the disk) any files written by any compatible OS will be viewable by any other compatible OS without issue. While its not the most efficient format, most USB drives use the FAT file system because every single OS can read and write to it without trouble. –  music2myear Apr 27 '12 at 13:44
    
OK. Thanks for the information. –  user823527 Apr 27 '12 at 17:08

I'm pretty sure Macs will recognize the FAT32 or NTFS file system that you most likely used on the USB drive. A word of caution though since I have heard of this happening (aka, I don't have personal experience) - if you take out the USB drive from the Mac computer before you safely remove it, it prevents readability on another other machine until it has been reconnected to the Mac computer and safely removed. Someone will have to back up that one though since I have only heard about that occurring.

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Thanks for telling me. I haven't been too careful about removing USB drives safely. –  user823527 Apr 18 '12 at 18:24

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