Categories Mac OS X, Ubuntu, Windows 7, Windows Vista

HFSExplorer, MacOS HFS partition drive on Windows/Linux


HFSExplorer is a cross-platform application (Windows, MacOS, Linux) capable of reading HFS partitions, a format specific to MacOS. This file explorer is particularly essential for Windows users via Boot Camp, which will allow them to extract content from their Mac system.

Natively, installing Windows via the Boot Camp wizard does not allow you to copy files or folders from a Mac partition. Exploration is even limited to certain files, including Applications. But how to easily share documents and other large files?

Presentation

HFSExplorer is the solution to this problem. Download it without further delay via the link below and proceed to its installation. The version proposed here is Windows compatible. For Linux and MacOS users, visit the official website Catacombae. This is an English version but it shouldn't stop you.

HFSExplorer (1.5) MiB, 9,828 downloads)

Also note the support of DMG files, disk images on MacOS.

Extraction from HFS partition on Windows 7

Once the software is installed, launch it and click on File then on Load file system from device...

Capture d'écran - HFSExporer, menu File
Screenshot of screen — HFSExporer, File menu

A dialog prompts you to choose a partition table. Choose the one starting with Customer, selected by default.

Capture d'écran - HFSExplorer, choix de la table de partitions
Screenshot of screen — HFSExplorer, choice of partition table

The second step is to determine the device. Here, this is simply the partition dedicated to MacOS. It is automatically detected by the software.

Capture d'écran - HFSExplorer, exploration du système de fichiers HFS
Screenshot — HFSExplorer, HFS File System Exploration

From there, simply locate the content to be extracted — for information, your user account is located in the folder Users\Username. Then select the folder and click on the button Extract.

Now indicate where the files will be extracted.

Capture d'écran - HFSExplorer, choix du répertoire d'extraction
Screenshot of screen — HFSExplorer, directory selection d' extraction

A dialog box then asks you if you want to keep a symbolic link to the source. For non-English speakers, here is a translation of the message:

Would you like to follow the symbolic links during the extraction?

Following symbolic links means that the final hierarchy will be closer to the source, but will increase the weight of the extracted content, the extraction time and generate identical files at different locations in your final folder.

Personally, I almost never activate this option. Make No and observe the final result. If it matches the original, forget this feature. If not, do not Yes.

Capture d'écran - HFSExplorer, liens symboliques
Screenshot of screen — HFSExplorer, symbolic links

Wait a few minutes, the time of extraction varies depending on the weight of the original content.

Capture d'écran - HFSExplorer, extraction en cours
Screenshot — HFSExplorer, extraction in progress

Once the process is complete, go to the extraction folder. Your files from the MacOS partition are now copied to Windows.

HFSExplorer is definitely unavoidable from the moment one alternates — “switch” will say the insiders, regularly between the two operating systems. Windows 7 and Snow Leopard, the winning combination?

7 comments

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  • Thanks your tutorial, it’s not easy to use this program but I'll try. My problem is that I want to recover video plans from a hard drive that is in HFS because before I was riding on Mac with Final Cut, but I no longer have Mac and I can't see my videos on PC anymore. Do you think the quality of the videos will be the same? I ask you this because of this sentence: Do you want to follow the symbolic links during the extraction?
    Following symbolic links means that the final hierarchy will be closer to the source, but will increase the weight of the extracted content, the extraction time and generate identical files at different locations in your final folder. Thank you in advance if you could answer me and cordially to you. Philippe