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Old Jun 29, 2011, 12:35 AM   #1
macrumors regular
Join Date: Apr 2010
Any problems using a NTFS external HD?

I just purchased a 3TB external drive that came formatted with NTFS. I had previously installed NTFS-3G, so it worked right out of the box.

It will also allow me to use it with my Linux machine, which would be a big help to back it up over USB instead of over a LAN. I think there is a little more support for 3TB NTFS drives in Linux than 3TB HFS+ ones.

However, before I move a few TB of HDTV shows, and my photos onto this drive, I want to make sure it will be the right choice.

I have found that the NTFS format is not journaled, and I think searching it with just a few files on the drive takes a long time. Will this be any better with HFS+?

I will be using this drive with my mac 99% of the time. I guess it would be nice to have the flexibility of mounting it in Windows and Linux, but I'm wondering if there are any other downsides to using NTFS on a Mac?

Is file transfer over USB2 impacted? What if any speed gains would I get by using HFS+ in Mac OS X instead of NTFS-3G? Will anything impact the file transfer speed if I purchase a USB3 expresscard? (I would have to find a USB3 SSD to try the SSD to SSD transfer test...)

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Old Jun 29, 2011, 12:39 AM   #2
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macrumors regular
Join Date: Apr 2010
One small thing is that it doesn't appear that deleting files off of it goes to the trash, they are immediately deleted.
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 11:59 PM   #3
macrumors Westmere
Join Date: May 2008
NTFS (Windows NT File System)
  • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
  • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
  • To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
  • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
  • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, but is not advisable, due to instability.
  • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
  • Maximum file size: 16 TB
  • Maximum volume size: 256TB
HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
  • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
  • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backups of Mac internal hard drive.
  • To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
  • To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
  • Maximum file size: 8EiB
  • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
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