Is it possible to mount the various disk image formats that Mac OS uses on other platforms?

I suppose one problem would be that the file system in that image is usually HFS+.

I am specifically interested in creating (AES) encrypted sparse bundles, so that I can securely store them for backup purposes. Being able to mount those on a non-Mac machine would be convenient.

4 Answers 4


For mounting .dmg files in Windows, and making it readable, you can always use MacDrive.

However, no solution currently exists for mounting encrypted Mac sparse bundles.


It appears that HFSExplorer gained support for sparsebundles in 0.22 (including encrypted ones). It can only browse/extract, though, not actually mount into the native filesystem interface.

So your question may not have had a good answer in 2009, but it does now for anyone else who finds this in while searching :-)

  • thanks puetzk for your answer. I'll try it and hopefully report back. Nov 8, 2015 at 16:17
  • Incredible. Thanks for saving me lots of time.
    – sequence
    Sep 16, 2019 at 10:37
  • HFSExplorer works great with Encrypted sparse bundles on windows. Love it.
    – Marcus
    Feb 28, 2021 at 8:40

I have actually solved the need for cross-platform accessible encrypted backup by using TrueCrypt and NTFS-3G drivers for Mac. I created a blank (without filesystem) images with TrueCrypt, and then formatted them with NTFS. I found that so formatted image could be accessed from Windows correctly, by mounting in via Windows version of TrueCrypt.

However, this solution is quite brittle. For instance, if you forget to dismount the image properly, the NTFS metadata may be corrupted and next time you'll be able to mount them in read only mode. This is fixable by mounting it in Windows again and running chkdsk on it, but as it happened fairly often, it was rather inconvenient.

For this reason I went back to Mac sparsebundle, which comes free my home directory on a Carbon Copy Cloner-made backup. This has the advantage that my backup drive can also serve as bootable backup -- it's HFS+ at the root. In the catastrophic event I lose all my Macs and need to access the backup from another O/S, I'll probably boot into a "Hackintosh VM" or something.


Let me explain how I solved this mean issue:

My MacBook is currently in for repair and my only other device is a Windows 10 PC. On my Mac I very actively use encrypted DMG and Sparsebundle files.

In order to continue to seamlessly use said files (which are stored on a NAS) on my PC I struggled for days untill I found this solution throug which I will guide you step by step:

  • Install a MacOS instance inside VirtualBox on my PC.
  • When done, in this MacOS instance I can perfectly access all my DMG/Sparsebundle files just like on my actual Macbook, but I want to use them on my PC, not in a virtual machine.
  • So I enabled incoming SSH connections in the virtual MacOS instance.
  • As such, I could SSH into the virtual MacOS from my PC, including browse the mounted DMG/Sparsebundle files
  • To top it off, I installed MountainDuck (I am sure there are other programs that do just the same !) on my Windows 10 PC, which allows me to allow map SSH location (aka the folders in /Volumes on the virtual MacOS) as a network drive in Windows.

Conclusion: by doing the above I can mount (in read/write mode) the DMG and SparseBundle files in Windows just like on my actual Mac ! So problem solved, and on top of this I have a Virtualized MacOS running on my Windows PC which sure can come handy for other things to.

GL to all !

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