How to Read OS X Files on Windows XP

by Contributor

Some files can be read by various computer platforms without any trouble. Other files require special software to be read between operating systems. Windows computers cannot read Mac OS X files directly, and they cannot run the files without the use of an emulator. Because Apple and PCs both use Intel chips, it is possible to set up a dual-boot set up on a machine, but this is a much more complicated process than using emulator software.


Download or buy a copy of Mac OS X emulator software, such as SoftMac. Install the program and follow its instructions. PearPC is an open source Macintosh operating system Emulator that also allows a PC to run Mac software (see Resources).


Transfer the Macintosh files to your PC. This can be done via any file transfer medium or over a computer network, provided you have access to the files on the host PC.


Start the emulator software. Most emulators require the package to be "wrapped" in a way that Windows can understand. You cannot read Macintosh system files directly from a PC, as they are in different formats. (Text files, word processing documents and other files are fairly standard and do not require the intervention of an emulator.)


Select the program you want to work with and "wrap" the file. How this is done depends on the emulator software, consult the documentation that came with the program. When the file has been wrapped to run under the computer's native operating system, you should be able to start it.


Run the program by double-clicking its icon. If there are no compatibility problems, a program will run by an emulator will be slightly slower than it would run under its native operating system.


Exit the Mac program when you are done using it. Close the emulator software, as the emulator takes up a great deal of system resources. Remove the medium the contains the Macintosh OS X files from your PC.

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