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Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Faux Carnival, Jul 16, 2011.
Don't USB sticks formatted as NTFS work with Macs?
Mac OS X can only read NTFS. It cannot write to it. However, ntfs-3g can be installed, and that will enable read/write functionality. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS-3G
Thanks 42. So, how does Mac OS handle files larger than 4GB without any 3rd party software?
Macs use HFS+ for large disks. With HFS+ they can be read and write without any problems. But Windows cannot see a HFS+ disk without special drivers.
So, when you are on Windows via Boot Camp, can you read/write files on NTFS without any 3rd party programs?
Yes, of course.
Also, to exchange files between Windows and Mac OS X via a USB stick, you can use the ExFAT filesystem. It supports large files and can be read and written by both operating systems (Snow Leopard or later for Mac OS).
x2 for formatting your USB drives in ExFAT. Microsoft designed this file format specifically for flash storage, and Apple started supporting it in Snow Leopard. It's the closest we have to a universal file system for Macs and Windows PCs. Unfortunately, neither OS X nor Windows will boot from an ExFAT partition. It's essentially FAT64.
From Windows (Boot Camp), can I access mac files?
Yes, but only if you do not encrypt your Mac partition using File Vault. Boot Camp installs a driver that lets Windows 7 read HFS+ partitions.
So, if I can access the Mac partition under Boot Camp, I can just copy the file onto my Boot Camp partition and then write to an NTFS drive from Windows directly. Right?
For clarification, here's a rundown of various formats:
FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
[*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
Maximum volume size: 2TB
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 $36).
Some have had good results with Paragon (approx $20)
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
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 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
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
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