Convert NTFS disk, worth the risk

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by kerpow, May 4, 2005.

  1. kerpow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #1
    I have recently switched and didn't realise that my 160gb Netdisk can't be written to by OS X as it was formatted in NTFS. My PB12" is only 60gb and not big enough to store everything. If I'd known that I would have shelled out the extra for a Super Drive :(

    Would you risk converting it to FAT32 using a program like Partition Magic?

    I suppose I could leave it attached to my wife's laptop and share over the network but it would be infuriatingly slow over her 802.11b card.
     
  2. baummer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Southern California
    #2
    I was in the same situation. So, I thought, why not turn my PC into a server and leave the external drive (which was NTFS formatted as I used it on Windows for months) plugged in? All I did was share the drive as a network share and using SMB on the mac, I am able to read and WRITE. So, while it is not possible to write to an NTFS drive if it is DIRECTLY CONNECTED to a mac, it is possible to do so in my setup. I can provide detailed steps if you like.
     
  3. taeclee99 macrumors 6502a

    taeclee99

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Location:
    Anywhere but here
    #3
    the biggest disadvantage to having fat32 volumes is that they will not allow individual files larger than 4 gigs on them. this is why i use ntfs volumes to store my large media files.
     
  4. jcarm24 macrumors regular

    jcarm24

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    C-Ville, VA
    #4
    Partition Magic is a great program. I used it all the time when I had windows and linux on my pc. I resized and converted partitions about 40 times or so and I only had one failure. Make sure you make the recovery floppies though. It would be worth the risk for me.
     
  5. estherau macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    australia
    #5
    ntfs network disk

    Yes i have a mac and pc connected via ethernet cable and am running os 10.3.9. the pc drives are ntsf
    when i copy data from mac to pc its slow and sometimes eventually fails with 20gig folders
    any suggestions,
    love esther
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    Yeah, I really want a NAS, and this is a real issue that many of them do not support >4GB files, since I'd like to be able to put big things like rips of DVDs on there.... :(
     
  7. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #7
    I thought I read somewhere that even NTFS can't handle 4+ GB files quite as well as Apple's HFS Plus does.

    If I was in your situation, I'd either:
    1. If I didn't need to work with files 4 GB or larger, I'd reformat the drive as FAT32 then move it back and forth between the Mac and the Windows PC as needed.
    2. Otherwise, I'd buy software like MacDrive for my Windows PC, use my Mac to format the drive as HFS Plus, then swap the drive back and forth as needed.
     
  8. deltrotter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    #8
    Hi

    Interesting thread this. I am currently bidding on a Lacie 80gb Firewire drive on ebay. If I win it, can I format it for the Mac (I'd only use it for my iBook) even though it may previously have been formatted for the PC.

    Also, will my Mac recognise it immediately and ask if I want it formatted, and if it does, what formatting format do I select?

    Many thanks for your help.

    Cheers

    Del
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    Deltrotter, most FW drives, and definitely Lacies, can be formatted in the Mac native format, which is called HFS+. And this is what you should do -- if you will only use this drive on a Mac, reformat it in this format. It should be very easy -- I think you can use Disk Utility to do it.

    The problem comes in when you either wish to use the same FW/USB drive on a Mac and a PC, or you want a network attached storage (NAS) drive, to which your Mac can connect with no PC as a host. Then, the problem comes in that Windows wants you to use NTFS, and Mac wants you to use HFS+, for various benefits including large files. You can only have one of the two at a time, and, at least without additional software, Windows cannot even read HFS+ and Macs can read, but cannot write NTFS (I think there is third-party software that lets Windows at least read, and possibly write, to HFS+).

    Beyond that, NAS cannot be formatted in system specific formats (because they still essentially have a server-on-a-chip inside them, and this server can only handle its own native format, and usually this is some kind of FAT32 variant, because the documentation says that it cannot handle >4GB files). :(

    But FW/USB drives that only live on one kind of computer (Mac or Windows), and/or users who only need files <4GB and don't need to write to the disk using demanding tools such as Final Cut Pro or Protools -- not such a big issue then.

    BTW, if I'm wrong about this, and there's a NAS that lets you write long Mac file names and use big Mac files (>4GB), please someone let me know! I lust after such a thing! :(
     
  10. kerpow thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #10

    This seems to be the most appealing idea so far as it is me who will be using the external drive the most so it makes sense to have it optimised for Mac OS rather than Windows. My wife does use my old PC laptop but really only uses it for internet access :rolleyes:

    Infact its a NetDisk, the idea is that I'll plug it into one of my router's ethernet ports and access it wirelessly. Has anyone used one of these with a Mac? I assume that if it supports Mac OS it will support Mac OS file systems.

    Either way, the original problem of getting the data off the drive before formatting it is still there. I'm thinking that I'll have to borrow another external drive from work and copy data on to it temporarily whilst I HFS my disk. 100gb over USB2 will take a while though.

    However, I've just installed Tiger (it took 20 mins) so I'll probably be busy fiddling around with that for days before I get round to data management :D
     
  11. deltrotter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    #11
    Thanks MKrishnan. Appreciate that response.

    Just looking through the thread, is FAT32 an option (if I was working on large video files and did, want to plug it into a PC every once in a while).

    Sorry to confuse things!

    Cheers

    Del
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #12
    Deltrotter, FAT32 and large video files is pretty much exactly what you want to *avoid*. :(

    Kerpow, that Ximeta Netdisk does seem to support multiple filesystems (unlike other NAS'es such as the Buffalo Linkstation). Thanks! That is exactly what I was looking for.
     

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