Mac OS(Lion) compatible with PC format NTFS?

Discussion in 'OS X' started by Griffith9, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    #1
    What I want to do is transfer all 2TB of data from PC (NTFS) to a Hitachi external HD (NTFS) and use the Hitachi external with my 2011 Macbook Air. (?)

    I will be using Hitachi as extra storage space for Mac and
    won't be using PC anymore once I'm done with the transfer.


    So.. would I have to do any reformatting before I start dumping data on Hitachi?

    any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    exFAT might be better suited:

    ____________________________________________________________

    Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
    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, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, 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
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! 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
    • You can use this format if you only use the drive with Mac OS X, or use it for backups of your Mac OS X internal drive, or if you only share it with one Windows PC (with MacDrive installed on the PC)
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.
    ____________________________________________________________
     
  3. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #3
    If you're not going back, you might be better off formatting the drive as HFS+ so that it is in a native Mac format.

    This might involve partitioning the drive in two initially (HFS+/exFAT) or moving the files over initially via the network or some other means.

    Personally I have removed the drive from a PC to be converted, put it in an external enclosure and transferred files over to the new under OS X.

    EDIT: another alternative would be to use a NAS so that it doesn't matter what the underlying format is. This gives you the benefit of wireless access to the stuff on the drive from your MBA at the expense of some speed.

    B
     
  4. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    This is especially true if you intend to use the drive for backups of your internal drive.
     
  5. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    True. Also, IIRC iPhoto also won't create a library on anything but HFS+ and there may be other apps like that.

    Griffith9, can you expand on where/how the data is stored now, and what your plans are for that machine after the migration?

    B
     
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    #6
    Thank you

    Well, hey you guys, first of all thank you so~ much for the kind responses.
    It's pretty rare for me to see this many helpful replies in a short period of time.

    Last year, I've purchased Macbook Air intending to switch to Mac completely.
    But I've about 2 TB worth of data (mostly music,pdfs, instructional videos & documentaries) on PC and am still very much dependent on my PC.
    -
    Today (a couple hours ago)..
    I've bought Hitachi 3TB Touro (external HD) and Airport Extreme (wi-fi & connecting Hitachi) to finally move on to Mac ecosystem.

    And YES, I plan on selling the PC and probably not going back to PC (Windows)

    *on Hitachi, the default format is NTFS and I can only reformat to exFAT if wanted. (no other formats available)

    I don't think I can format it to HFS. (?)

    Can I get away with NTFS format if I'm strictly using Hitachi with a Mac and not swapping data between different Operating Systems? (Win->Mac, Mac->Win)

    "Griffith9, can you expand on where/how the data is stored now, and what your plans are for that machine after the migration?"
    about 2TB of data is spread across 3 different internal HDs on my PC and
    once the transfer's done I plan on getting rid of the PC.

    My question is..
    ('cause I don't have the option to go HFS)
    I've already started transfering data onto NTFS Hitachi, can I continue on with this and be fine using it with a Mac? Or do you say, stop now and reformat it to exFAT?


    I'm a heavy downloader so I'll likely download stuff on MBA and then store bigger files on Hitachi.
    I think that will be my primary use for Hitachi, storing files in it and accessing them via airport extreme whenever necessary.
    Does that make sense..??

    Thank you for reading.
     
  7. GGJstudios, Jan 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012

    macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    The format that's on a drive when you buy it is irrelevant. You can always format a drive any way you like. You can format it to HFS+ if you plug it into the Mac. Of course, then you'd have to get your data off your PC. There are several approaches (WiFi or wired network, for example). Formatting it as exFAT eliminates the problem of getting the data from the PC and to the Mac, but exFAT won't support backups or iPhoto, as balamw mentioned.

    My recommendation is to install the 5-day free trial of MacDrive, which will enable your PC to read/write to HFS+. Plug the drive into your Mac and format the drive as HFS+. Then unplug from the Mac and plug into the PC. Transfer the data from the PC onto the HFS+ external drive. Now it's fully compatible with Mac OS X, and you haven't had to pay for MacDrive, as long as you finish within 5 days.
     
  8. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    I would suggest that you:

    • Connect Hitachi to Mac
    • Format HFS+ (Mac OS Extended - Journaled)
    • Connect to Airport Extreme
    • Share with both Mac and Windows
    • Migrate files from Windows to Airport Extreme
    • Enjoy!

    This is what I was referring to with the NAS mention above. Windows doesn't care that the drive is HFS+ as long as it is connected to the Airport Extreme.

    B
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    #9
    Airport extreme

    Hi? First of all thank you Balam & GGJ for extra suggestions,

    I'll stop my data transfer and do as you suggested but I've got a couple more questions.

    "install the 5-day free trial of MacDrive, which will enable your PC to read/write to HFS+"
    -> so PC naturally doesn't support HFS and won't let you read/write to it and you'll need a special software, is that correct?


    "Connect Hitachi to Mac
    Format HFS+ (Mac OS Extended - Journaled)
    Connect to Airport Extreme
    Share with both Mac and Windows
    Migrate files from Windows to Airport Extreme"

    I'm a little confused. so what I need to do is *wirelessly transfer file from PC to Mac (no physical cable from PC to mac, or external HD to PC/Mac) through airport extreme? And that's possible?

    I just got this 'airport extreme' (never bought a router before) so I'm kind of clueless.

    I'll figure it out though
    Thank you very much for time.
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    chrf097

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    #10
    Format your Drive to exFAT. Both Mac and Windows can access this type of storage natively.
     
  11. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #11
    NOTE: Plese try to use vBulletin's quote or multi-quote functions.

    ;)

    Yes no wires required, though it would be faster if you cabled the PC to the Airport Extreme during your transfer.

    The Airport Extreme is a router, but can also share a connected hard drive or printer to both Macs and Windows PCs. http://www.apple.com/airportextreme/features/harddrivesharing.html


    ----------

    As previously discussed, Time Machine, iPhoto and other things won't work with exFAT.

    B
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    chrf097

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    #12
    Ahh OK, I see now. Sorry.
     
  13. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #13
    Yes. Review the information posted by simsaladimbamba in the 2nd post in this thread, for details about reading/writing to each format from Mac/PC.
     

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