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When we run in to trouble in life, we have a couple options. We can change direction so we do not have to deal with trouble. We can deal with trouble head on and beat it or it beat us. We can find an option that solves the trouble at hand, in a manner that we do not have to fight.


Majority of us in the world today use a Windows based computer system. As time goes on, we are seeing more and more Mac/Apple computers. We are seeing more turn to the open source Linux operating systems as well. For us in the IT field, this could cause us an issue in dealing with the many different formats that each one uses.

We have the Windows NTFS, Apple HFS/HFS+, and Linux Ext2,3,4 formats. For these operating systems, they have no issue reading the Fat file system. It is when Windows tries to read the HFS or Ext file format, that we have an issue. We can turn to paid programs to overcome this issue. That is a viable option if you are made of money. What about the rest of us, living on shoe string budgets? There is an option that came to light in the new Mac world of Intel.

Most may not know this but it is very easy now to run Windows side by side on a Mac/Apple computer. How do we know, we do it. Windows on our Mac has no issue reading the Mac hard drive. Why is that? Microsoft and Apple came together in an agreement and developed ways to run both side by side. When they did this they had to devise a way for Windows to read Mac format HFS/HFS+. This method has been released to all.

First thing you need to do is download the zip file here HFS on Windows.

Second thing we have to do is determine the type of operating system we have. Is it Windows 32 Bit or Windows 64 Bit? Go to “Start” → “Computer” → “Right Click Computer” → Select “Properties” at the bottom of the pop up window.

System Type
Third thing we do is go to the directory where you saved the downloaded zip file. Right click and select to extract all or what ever tool you use to extract compressed files. A folder ladled “Apple_HFS_for_NT6x”


In that directory you will find these files here…


1. Directory “x86”

2. Directory “x86_64”

3. File “Add_AppleHFS”

4. File “Remove_AppleHFS”

5. File “Instructions”

The file “Instructions” is just that, but in a short version of what we are doing here.

If you have either of these two programs installed, you will need to uninstall them before going any further “MacDrive or Paragon

So we have downloaded the needed files and determined our System File Type to be 32 Bit or 64 Bit. So now open the correct directory in the “Apple_HFS_for_NT6x” directory. Remember “x86” directory is for the 32 BIT Systems and “x85_64” is for 64 BIT Systems.

Once you open the right directory high light both files that are in there by holding “Ctrl” and clicking “A”. Both files just got high lighted. Now hold down “Ctrl” and click “C”. This copies the high lighted files. We need to open the directory here ******C:\Windows\System32\drivers\*******

Right Click and “Paste” the files or hold the “Ctrl” key and click “V”, this will copy the two files in to that directory (Files: AppleHFS.sys & AppleMNT.sys).



You will have a window pop up asking for permission like so… Just click “Continue”.


Go back to your folder named “Apple_HFS_for_NT6x” and right click on file “Add_AppleHFS”, you will see a pop up like so…


You want to select MERGE, NOTHING ELSE! Like so…. When you do this, a window will pop up asking if you want to allow regedit to do this, click “Yes”.


When all is complete, reboot the system. When it comes back up, you will then be able to read only HFS+ formats. Hope this helps someone out here, who is looking for a way to read HFS+ on a Windows based system. We hope this helps save someone a little money in their budgets for the next important job. In the end, when the chips are down you can always find a solution to your troubles. Just take a deep breath, relax and think the problem through. Concentrate on your solution and your troubles will melt away.

Thanks for stopping by and as usual we look forward to hearing back from you. Your feedback helps us make these articles better each time.



Author - Emory Mullis has been in Law Enforcement for roughly 19 years including military and civilian law enforcement. He started learning about computers back when Gateway 266 MHz was the top of the line and cost about $2000.00.Right out the box, I was compelled to take my new found 266 apart. Why I have no idea other than pure curiosity. Once I had the computer out the box and on the floor in pieces, my wife walked in. Trust me people; this was not a good thing! Either way I got a good understanding at this point on how a computer is put together and / or the components inside. This was my starting point with computers and I still hear my wife in the back ground “It better work when you put it back together!” That was my humble beginnings as a Cyber Investigator. Now with many Cyber cases under my belt, I have learned that you must question, challenge and test almost daily to keep up with all the new tools, software, computers and cell phone formats to be able to forensically acquire evidence and it is a real challenge. I enjoy the challenge and look forward to learning more every day!