MacDrive 7 with Windows 7

12 May 2009

UPDATE: MacDrive 8 has been released, which has support for Windows 7, so the work-around explained in this post is no longer necessary. Also, people have been experiencing issues with it, so my advice is to upgrade.

If you’re running Windows on a Mac, and you’re shuffling files between Mac OS and Windows, MacDrive is the best tool for mounting your HFS (Mac OS’s default file-system format) partitions in Windows. MacDrive costs $49.95, but is well worth it. However, MacDrive does not release versions for pre-release operating systems, and there are a couple speed bumps when trying to use MacDrive on Windows 7. There are various version of this solution posted in a bunch of forums, but no definitive guide. Here’s exactly how I solved it:

  1. MacDrive’s installer will only run on Windows XP and Vista.

    To have it run on Windows 7, you must run as Administrator, run in “Windows Vista” compatibility mode.

  2. Also remove the operating system version checks the installer makes with Orca. MacDrive’s installer is an self-extracting exe, so you must extract it first; using 7-zip or any other unzipping tool will do the trick. Once extracted launch Orca and open MacDrive/x86.en-US/MacDrive7.x86.en-US.msi (or the x64 version if that applies to you). Once open, look for the “LaunchCondition” table and delete all rows from it.
  3. If you run the main setup.exe from the extracted location it will install fine, but upon reboot you will not see your Mac OS drive. This is because MacDrive simply doesn’t assign the drive a letter. To do so, download Ext2Fsd, unzip, and run Ext2Mgr.exe. Find your HFSJ-formatted partition, right-click and select “Change Drive Letter”. Assign it a letter, exit the application.


  4. Open up your “Computer” screen and you should see your Mac OS drive now:


Please post in the comments if this doesn’t work for you, and I’ll update the steps. Enjoy!

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