PC and Mac CDROM differences

A friend gave me a CD with a bunch of pictures he burned on his Mac. Neither my nor Mrs. Futile’s PC’s will recognize this as anything but a blank CD.

I’ve used mixed-brand CDs before - how does one burn the disc so it can be used between both platforms?


There are multiple file formats you can burn a CD with (Joliet, RockRidge, ISO, etc). Provided the CD was closed by the creator of said CD, it sounds like they may have used a variant of HFS, which (to my knowledge), is not readable by Microsoft OSs.

What these tables do is provide information regarding the files on the CD. ISO is meant to be a basic standard, but provides support only for super-short filenames. Joliet is the Windows extension of ISO to provide long filenames, RockRidge is another ISO extention allowing for longer filenames and permission information on *nix OSs, and HFS allows for whatever oddities Apple needs.

You can include more than one type of file system on your burned CDs, creating a ‘Hybrid’ CD that reads slightly differently depending on the OS reading it. If it was created on a Mac, try including the Joliet file system too; I bet your PC could read it then.

Some random info on a website sure to disappear before the end of the week.

Here’s an article on Apple’s website that you should point your friend to.

Assuming your friend’s Mac is using OSX.