Copy from NTFS to Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by heswa, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    #1
    I'm a PC user and have decided to switch to Mac when Leopard arrives in October (I didn't think it makes sense to learn Tiger from scratch and then have to learn Leopard).

    I've been exploring how to transfer my files to my new Mac when I get it. I thought the easiest way would be to just connect my external hard to Mac and copy the files over (my external drive has a copy of all my local PC files).

    But I haven't been able to find a definitive answer as to whether Mac OS X can copy files from a NTFS drive to the Mac. I've found lots of places that say that OS X can _read_ files on an NTFS drive, but I'm not sure if that means it can _copy_ the files (sorry, may be just my ignorance of what the terminology means).

    I know OS X can't write to or change any files on the NTFS, and I don't care. I just want to do the one-way copy of the files from the external NTFS drive to my new Mac. If anyone can confirm whether that is or is not possible, I'd appreciate it.

    -heswa

    P.S. By the way, I'm pretty much decided on a 24" iMac...
     
  2. Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #2
    Yes it can copy the files from NTFS
     
  3. macrumors regular

    sbluetruck

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    Wisconsin der hey
    #3
    good luck with your 24" iMac, it's a great computer!
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #4
    Mac & NTFS

    So when your talking about different file formats Apple does an excellent job of reading most formats out there. But to answer your question you will NOT be able to copy the data that is currently on your external hard drive over to your Mac. A Mac will read NTFS but you can't copy them over. you have a couple opitions.

    1) You can reformat your external hard drive using Disk utility on your iMac. The file format you want to use is MS-DOS this is FAT32 format which you will be able to read and write both on a mac and a windows PC. Although if you reformat your external hard drive you will lose all data that is currently on your external. So if you decide to go down this route first back up all your data on your PC reformat your external and move all your data from your PC back on to your external then move the data from your external over to your mac.

    2) your second opition is to use a windows program called Partion Magic with Partion Magic you can reformat the hard drive to FAT32 without losing any data. After doing this task you will be able to move your data from your external over to your Mac.
     
  5. Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #5
    Wrong.

    You CAN copy from NTFS.

    I do it quite regulary from my bootcamp partition.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Location:
    Hollywood, California
    #6

    that doesn't make sense. when i got my mac i simply plugged my new mac into my router, enabled windows sharing and grabbed all my mp3's, pics, etc from my xp pc (NTFS) and it worked like a charm.using an external should be even easier.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #7
    Yeah it might work with a bootcamp partition. But OS X can not copy from NTFS.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #8
    Did you read the question asked ?

    He is trying to copy files from a External hard drive over to his mac not setup a network and copy over files. Two different things.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #9
  10. Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #10
    But my Bootcamp partition is NTFS, ergo it can copy from NTFS

    To copy files you only need to be able to read them, and from the link you gave it clearly can.

     
  11. macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
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    #11
    That's an entirely different thing. The Mac was NOT reading a NTFS formatted drive, it was reading a SMB: network file system. The Windows machine was acting as a fileserver.

    Its like listening to simultaneous translation at a conference: A Japanese speaker is on the podium and you hear the English translation in your earphones. Doesn't mean you can understand Japanese directly.
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #12
    Do you have any personal experience of this not working? I'm not going to definitively say you're wrong since I don't have an NTFS formatted drive to try it on, but if OS X can read from NTFS drives there's absolutely no reason it can't create a new copy of what it's just read on a HFS+ drive.
     
  13. macrumors demi-god

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #13
    Your new iMac should have no problems copying files from a NTFS drive. I did it last night with my new 24" iMac.

    As others have pointed out (including the article that mrk177 linked to), OS X can read NTFS drives without any problems (or additional programs needed).

    OS X can't WRITE to NTFS drives (without an additional program), but since you're copying data FROM NTFS, there's no writing NTFS involved.
     
  14. Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #14
    I will definitely say it. They are wrong.

    Mac OS X CAN copy from NTFS. Not only do i do it regularly from my bootcamp partition (NTFS) I have just tried it out again from my parents NTFS external drive and guess what it worked perfectly.

    The OP doesn't want to write to NTFS only wants to copy this thread was answered in the first response.
     
  15. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #15
    definetly wrong.

    I have 2 pcs and one imac at home. You can copy from NTFS drives with no problem. What you can't do is modifiy those drives, you can't delete files or modify them. YES you can copy them.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    hanschien

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #16
    1. Mount external NTFS drive
    2. Use Disk Utility to create a Disk Image of the NTFS partition
    3. Use Boot Camp Assistant to partition your Mac disk
    4. Use Disk Utility to format new partition as FAT32
    5. Use Disk Utility to restore the Disk Image you created from Step #2 into the new FAT32 partition
    6. You may need to edit the boot.ini file
    7. Restart (restart holding option/alt) into the Boot Camp partition
    8. Convert FAT32 partition to NTFS *optional
    9. Install the Boot Camp drivers
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #17
    Yes I do have personal experince in this matter I work at a computer shop that does repairs for both Macs and PC's. To clarify to everyone on this BLOG I am answering the question which is: whether its possible to move data from an a external hard drive that is formatted NTFS over to a iMac ? Answer NO. There are driver and software to make this possible but with out these tools it can't happen. I am NOT talking about moving files over a network of using bootcamp. I am talking about moving files from an external hard drive that is formatted NTFS to a mac system. NTFS is read only on a mac. I recently had to do this for my girlfriend on Monday she has a Lacie 250GB external hard drive that was formatted NTFS I used partition Magic to format the hard drive to FAT32 moved all her information over to her new MacBook and the job was done. When the hard drive was formatted in NTFS it would not copy over.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    hanschien

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #18
    Update: If your Mac only has one drive with a Macintosh HD and Windows partiton, you can modify your boot.ini to look like this:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
     
  19. macrumors demi-god

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    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #19
    The question was about COPYING data from NTFS to a Mac, which a Mac most definitely can do without any 3rd-party application. :confused:

    A Mac can't do the computer equiv. of "MOVING" data (ie copy the files over and then delete the originals) because it can't write to NTFS, which is required to delete the original files.

    But if you just want to copy them over (i.e. leave the originals on the NTFS when done), unless you're having a one-off problem, it most definitely works.
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    hanschien

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    Houston, TX
    #20
    LOL ;)
     
  21. Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #21
    Utter rubbish. Please stop posting miss information. You must be paid by the hour for jobs you do at your computer repair shop. All you have to do is plug the bloody thing in and you can copy from it.

    For a start it doesnt matter if it is being copied from a bootcamp partition or from an external the drive is still formatted NTFS.

    My parents external drive is NTFS and it can copy from there.
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #22
    I was Wrong ?

    I just spoke with my boss about this issue he agrees with most members on this blog. He tells me that since NTFS is readable on a mac that the files can copy over to a Mac. i still disagree due to the fact I was unable to perform this action on Monday but maybe I was doing something wrong. So I will sit back and read what others have to say on this subject:confused:
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #23
    I am paid by the hour for my work its a local computer shop and it really doesn't matter whether I am paid hourly, salary, or commision. Bottom line if i am wrong then its not a big deal i was asked about my experince so I shared my experience either way its not a big deal.



     
  24. macrumors demi-god

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    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #24
    Any chance you were accidentally trying to MOVE then instead of COPY them? :confused:
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #25
    Maybe I am not sure it was really late and didn't feel like troubleshooting at that point I found it easier to change file systems. Sorry again to everyone on this blog for my misinformation.
     

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