Can't write on NTFS??

Philberttheduck

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 15, 2006
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HB, CA
I just purchased an external HD. I formated the baby to NTFS, hoping that it would read with the mac. Unforunately, it didn't. I looked it up and saw that Mac users can't WRITE/MODIFY on NTFS, just read the data.

My question is, I was searching online for a NTFS-Mac-modify thing, but im not sure if such a thing exists. Is it possible for mac users to write on an NTFS harddrive?
 

yippy

macrumors 68020
Mar 14, 2004
2,087
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Chicago, IL
Pretty much. The downside is that you can't have a single file that is larger than 4Gb. Unless you have some very large movies this shouldn't be a problem.

And Macs can't write to NTFS due to Microsoft not licensing it out.
 

SC68Cal

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2006
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I'd be interested to see if the whole Boot Camp program will eventually pan out into a method for OS X to read AND write to NTFS volumes, instead of just being able to read currently.
 

MIDI_EVIL

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2006
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UK
Hang on,

So what format is mine?

I was once limited to only 3.99 GB file transfers, then i bought a FW800 drive, and reformatted the other and now i just transferred over 50 GB.

What format am i using if i used to be using Fat32?

Rich.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
fatsoforgotso said:
I was once limited to only 3.99 GB file transfers, then i bought a FW800 drive, and reformatted the other and now i just transferred over 50 GB.
Wait, wait, wait... Just so we're clear... 4GB in *ONE* file. Not total transfer. You can transfer 50 GB back and forth between a FAT32 volume without any problems.

But is this a PC/Mac compatible drive? If you format it in HFS+, you won't have the 4GB limitation, but you won't be able to read it on a PC without special software. HFS+ is the native OS X format.
 

MIDI_EVIL

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2006
1,320
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UK
mkrishnan said:
Wait, wait, wait... Just so we're clear... 4GB in *ONE* file. Not total transfer. You can transfer 50 GB back and forth between a FAT32 volume without any problems.

But is this a PC/Mac compatible drive? If you format it in HFS+, you won't have the 4GB limitation, but you won't be able to read it on a PC without special software. HFS+ is the native OS X format.
HFS+

That's it, that's what i have formatted mine to.

It is ok as i don't use a PC so i can afford to go OS X native.

I needed to transfer certain files, a Capture folder for Final Cut Pro. So that's why i had to reformat.

Rich.
 

Philberttheduck

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 15, 2006
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HB, CA
how can i reformat the harddrive to fat32 via mac? do i have to go to my pc and reformat it (if so how do i do it?)
 

yippy

macrumors 68020
Mar 14, 2004
2,087
3
Chicago, IL
A Mac can format it to Fat32.

Open Disk Utility in /Applications/Utilities.

Select the disk to format on the left. Choose the erase tab and the volume format should be MSDOS I believe. It might say FAT but it definitely says something about DOS. There is only one option like that so it should be obvious.
 

SC68Cal

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2006
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Couldn't you also partition the HD, with one being an NTFS partition and another a FAT32 or HFS+ so you can use the drive for both computers without having to compromise with FAT32's <4gig single file limit?

I know it's a bit of a heavy handed fix, but I'm saying in theory is that possible?
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
SC68Cal said:
Couldn't you also partition the HD, with one being an NTFS partition and another a FAT32 or HFS+ so you can use the drive for both computers without having to compromise with FAT32's <4gig single file limit?

I know it's a bit of a heavy handed fix, but I'm saying in theory is that possible?
It is, but the whole reason people use FAT32 is cross-platform read/write compatibility. So any files not in your FAT32 partition will have trouble...

A better solution would probably be to get MacDrive on the Windows computer, and use HFS+ (since there's no good NTFS read/write solution on MacOS, surprisingly).
 

SC68Cal

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2006
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mkrishnan said:
It is, but the whole reason people use FAT32 is cross-platform read/write compatibility.
I totally understand that, I'm just saying for the sake of poops and giggles.
 

skubish

macrumors 68030
Feb 2, 2005
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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Philberttheduck said:
what are the downsides of fat32? my uncle told me i can't transfer past 3.99GB of a file/single apps.
There is also a limit to hard drive size with FAT32. I believe windows will only see a maximum of 137GB on a FAT32 drive. I am not sure about OSX.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Philberttheduck said:
i have macdrive installed. how do i keep it in "HTFS"? (so many Mac OS X versions to choose from):eek:
I'm so lost... First of all, disks don't suddenly change format. So once you format the disk, it'll stay in that filesystem unless you go and change it. And it isn't like a button click, so you're not going to do it accidentally very easily... ;)

Second, what is HTFS? Do you mean HFS+? The latter is the format that MacOS prefers.

I believe that what you want to do is format it HFS+ via disk utility on a Mac. Then, once it is formatted, you can mount it on the Windows computer using MacDrive. And doing so won't have any effect on the filesystem type it uses.
 

bordenkecher

macrumors member
Mar 24, 2006
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i had the same situation you are now having and i went with Mac OS Extended b/c i didnt need it to be used as a boot and i wasnt going to use it to journal my mac, although if your expecting something to go horribly wrong and your mac to crash in flames, them maybe a journaled format should be considered, but a lot of people just go with Mac OS Extended.
 

Philberttheduck

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 15, 2006
518
1
HB, CA
bordenkecher said:
i had the same situation you are now having and i went with Mac OS Extended b/c i didnt need it to be used as a boot and i wasnt going to use it to journal my mac, although if your expecting something to go horribly wrong and your mac to crash in flames, them maybe a journaled format should be considered, but a lot of people just go with Mac OS Extended.
that's what i meant to ask.. thanks bordenkecher

I have MacDrive installed into my iMac's XP. So it should be able to read/write the HFS+ in XP, should I need it to. Thanks much