My MacBook is broken, but the hard drive still works, and has Mac OS X installed. Is it possible to boot from this hard drive on my Windows laptop?

I have a USB SATA adapter, which I plugged the hard drive into. I tried accessing the boot menu on my laptop (Samsung NP740U5M-X01US with Windows 10, if that helps), but the Mac hard drive doesn't show up.

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    No, not possible. OS X can only run in Apple hardware - there are 'hacks' but that it's a different story - and in any case it wouldn't boot from external devices. – GabrielaGarcia Oct 18 '18 at 15:39
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    @GabrielaGarcia - agree in principle, but actually it's the 'windows' hardware that isn't keen on booting from an external drive without some coaxing. Macs have no trouble with that. – Tetsujin Oct 18 '18 at 15:41

You ask this…

Is it possible to boot from this hard drive on my Windows laptop?

The answer is simply stated as this…

No, you cannot boot a macOS system on a non-Apple laptop.

First, macOS will not support non-Apple hardware. Second, Windows is not as easy to boot off of a USB drive than macOS or Linux is. No matter how you cut this, you can’t do what you describe at all.

The best you can do is connect the drive to your Windows laptop and perhaps access your files on the Windows 10 laptop. But this depends on how the macOS hard drive was formatted and if it was even encrypted.

I am not an expert on doing such a thing—mounting a macOS hard drive on a Windows system—but if you cannot read the contents directly I am going to assume there is some tool (possibly FUSE related, HFS+ for Windows or hfsexplorer) that can mount the drive in at least read only mode. This is your best bet to get files off of that hard drive.

The next option is—of course—connecting the drive to a system running macOS. But assuming you didn’t mention that it doesn’t seem like a viable option for you at this point. But just mentioning the obvious just in case.


It is indeed possible to run macOS on non-Apple hardware, but it is difficult and against Apple's terms of use. In fact, there are many safeguards in the OS to prevent this (see DSMOS). A computer which is not manufactured by Apple but runs macOS is usually referred to as a "Hackintosh".

Your specific case does not very much apply here. AFAIK, all you need is to be able to read your boot disk on a Windows machine. Starting with macOS High Sierra, the system no longer uses HFS+ but APFS, which would be very difficult to read on a Windows computer. I'm not sure which your hard drive uses, as you did not provide the version of the OS installed on the HDD.

You may have better luck looking for utilities such as APFS for Windows or HFS+ for Windows. Good luck.

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