Hard Disks & Switching

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by tray, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. tray macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    #1
    Hi all, having read several/many switching guides on the net and asking some of my friends, I found that i still have an unanswered question.

    While i understand that there any application that is necessary can be found on the Mac, and much better apps are only found on the Mac; i am not sure my hard disks will work with my new Mac.

    Currently, i have 3 external SATA HDD connected to my Windows computer. They are all in NTFS. If i'm not wrong, Mac does not read NTFS, but HTFS right? So how do i convert all my data in this NTFS format to a Mac-friendly format?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. Silentwave macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Gainesville, FL
    #2
    Macs can read, but not write NTFS.

    Copy your data off the drive, reformat it for HFS+ (Mac OS X Extended Journaled) with Disk Utility then put the data back on the drive. Rinse and Repeat.
     
  3. hardhatmac macrumors regular

    hardhatmac

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    Utah
    #3
    is there a way to format a drive so both windows and OS X can read/write to it driectly (not through a network...)??
     
  4. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Location:
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    #4
    So, a Mac cannot copy a file to an NTFS share?
     
  5. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #5
    A Mac can copy to an NTFS share, because the Windows system the share is attached to is doing the read/write to the disk. A Mac can not write to a directly-attached NTFS volume.
     
  6. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #6
    2 options I can think of

    1) Format the drive to FAT32, but some limitations on maximum 2GB file size and maximum partition size
    2) Get a copy of a utility for the Windows system that will read/write the Mac filesystem - it's called MacDrive
     
  7. hardhatmac macrumors regular

    hardhatmac

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    Utah
    #7
    tried that but for some reason it didn't give me the option of FAT32...just NTFS....I'll look into option 2
     
  8. tray thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
  9. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #9
    Yes, you could convert, but not with good results very likely.
    http://faq.arstechnica.com/link.php?i=1820

    The best thing to do is to simply buy more hard drives if you need them for both PCs and Macs. They are cheap enough on ebay. The best solution for the original poster is to backup all important data and reformat in HFS+ and buy something else for the PCs or vice versa.
     
  10. tray thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    #10
    Thanks for the replies. Yeah, i read the article so i figure the only way to go is the standard/old way. Is there a clear advantage of HFS+ over FAT32, because i would also like to share the content on my ext. HDD with windows users, without MacDrive
     
  11. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #11
    For using with a Mac, yes. For using with both Mac and PC, you have no other free choice but to use FAT32. If you must share, then use FAT32 (or buy MacDrive). It will cost you hard drive space, but if the drive is big enough, it is not a huge deal.

    For more details, check this exchange out:

    http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies-archive.cfm/624485.html
     
  12. tray thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    #12
    Thanks for the link. It was pretty deep, about NAS and ext3.

    'Cost you hard drive space' - referring to FAT32/MacDrive?
     
  13. MikeTheC Guest

    MikeTheC

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    Gallifrey -- Capitol City, Prydonian Sector
    #13
    Ok, a few answers here to clear some of this up.

    FAT32 does support large partitions. However, Win2K/WinXP do NOT support *creating* FAT32 partitions larger than 32GB. Bear in mind I said *creating*, not *using*.

    The answer to your quandary is to back up the data and do the nuke job on your Mac using Disk Utility.

    The good/bad/ugly of using any of Microsoft's filesystems is there are greater limitations on the characters you can have in a file name.

    I would recommend against trying to go the route of any F/OSS file system (i.e. EXT2/EXT3, JFS, ReiserFS, etc.) because there are compatibility issues, you need to install drivers on your Mac and Windows boxes for support, etc. And frankly for what you're trying to accomplish, nothing would be gained in going down that road.

    Good luck!
     
  14. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #14
    Yes, because it will store all your tiny files in 32K chunks (but this drive may be filled with photos/movies/etc none of which would be less than 32K anyway.)
     

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