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PC Format your Mac iPod

If you are a Macintosh user, you can re-format your iPod to be an MS-DOS drive. Having it formatted this way will allow you copy and take home anyone's iTunes Library and add all their music and videos to your own iTunes Library. Here's how you do it:

Connect your iPod to your Mac, launch iTunes. The iTunes desktop will look something like this shot.

Un-check the "Open iTunes when this iPod is connected" box and then click the "Apply" button in the bottom right corner. This will allow the iPod to be connected to the system without launching iTunes and allow us to re-format the drive. The problem we are trying to get around is with iTunes running the drive will only be allowed to format as a Mac iPod. It will now look like this.

Click the eject button to dismount the drive. The eject button is the white dot with the upward arrow and underscore on it. It looks like this.

The iPod will un-mount from the Mac and re-mount again again. Quit out of iTunes.

Go to the Application window and scroll down to the Utilities menu, click he right pointer and the contents of the Utilities foldered will descend, like you see here.

Double click on the Disk Utility and it will bring up a screen that looks like this.

Click on the external drive icon in the disk utility list. (Here it is orange because it's connected via Firewire.) Then click on erase in the top tabs. It will now look like this.

Now pull down the Volume Format selection to "MS-DOS file System" and un-check the "install Mac OS 9 Disk driver" check box. (No one uses OS 9 anymore and it doesn't work with iTunes.) It will now look like winformat10.

Click the "erase" button.

The drive will be partitioned and formatted with the MS-DOS FAT32 file system. You will know this is true when you click the lower subordinate drive icon and read the format in the bottom left corner. It will look like this


Now launch iTunes again, it will open and sync all your songs automatically. Under devices in the left column, click on your iPod and notice it is now formatted to work with windows as seen here.


Now you have a windows formatted ipod, that can be used on a Windows *and* Mac computer.

Now go on to read the article here How to copy my friend's iTunes Library and take it home with you for free and add all those songs and movies to your iTunes Library.

Call 707-544-4400


email me at with questions or to set up a repair.


Monday through Friday from 10am to 7pm, and Saturday & Sunday noon to 6pm.

I'm in Sonoma County... Northern California wine country,

    Frank Walburg
    2145 Service Court
    Santa Rosa, Ca 95403-3139

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