View Full Version : Usb Thumb Drives

8th August 2005, 10:08 PM
Hey just wondering if its possible to transfer word documents from a mac to a pc using one of those usb thumb stick things, i'm not to sure about them or whether you have to buy different ones for mac. at the moment i just email things back n forth but its beginning to be a pain.

8th August 2005, 10:11 PM
yes. the file system they use is compatible with both mac and pc.

8th August 2005, 10:14 PM
It should be 100% fine.

If the memory stick is formated FAT32 (most are by default) and you leave all the "secret hidden lockie" things off (usually requires software which is windows only).

When plugged into the Mac they will just show up on the desktop (sometimes called untitled), on the PC side of things they will just use the next available drive letter.

They are a great little tool... much cheaper these days as well :thumbup:


9th August 2005, 10:48 AM
If your thumb drive is formatted as a FAT drive (most are straight out of the box) when you copy files from the Mac you will see the resource fork and the data fork show up as two separate files on the PC (._Untitled.doc and Untitled.doc). The first file (the resource fork) is unreadable on the PC and has even cause confusion amongst PC users. A good way to get around this is to copy files from the Mac to your thumb drive using the freeware program CopyMac (http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/10987).

9th August 2005, 12:36 PM
I've got a Lexar Jumpdrive and it was well worth the money. I can jump between computers with small files, and I also take in on holidays in case I need something.

To be on the safe side, I recommend making sure that the MacOS and Windows icons are on the box. But again, they pretty much all work properly out of the box.


9th August 2005, 04:29 PM
I use a thumb drive every day for this. No problems at all here.

9th August 2005, 05:18 PM
It doesn't matter in the least which thumb drive you use, so long as it doesn't have some sort of software encryption which can't be turned off (never seen this).

Since the Mac can read NTFS, FAT32 (those are PC filesystems), and read its own (HFS, HFS+), it can read anything.

If you can't write files to it (OS X doesn't have full NTFS support, for some strange reason), you should format it to something both PCs and Macs can read (FAT32 is best), though chances are, it'll come with a FAT32 FS already.

To format it to a FAT FS from a Mac, open Disk Utility with your thumb drive plugged in (in your Utilities folder in Applications), click the thumb drive in the side-panel and click "Erase", choose "MS-DOS" as the file system and away you go.

MS-DOS implies FAT16, though, so I always format on a PC (right-click on the device in My Computer, choose Format)