Copy from NTFS to Mac

heswa

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2007
11
0
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...
 

mrk177

macrumors newbie
Aug 21, 2007
8
0
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.
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,045
6
The Kop
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.
Wrong.

You CAN copy from NTFS.

I do it quite regulary from my bootcamp partition.
 

whiteyanderson

macrumors 6502
Aug 12, 2007
378
0
Hollywood, California
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.

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.
 

mrk177

macrumors newbie
Aug 21, 2007
8
0
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.
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.
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,045
6
The Kop
Yeah it might work with a bootcamp partition. But OS X can not copy from NTFS.
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.

Users running Mac OS X with Bootcamp Windows may struggle to modify or update your documents and files in the Windows partition - usually it is in NTFS File System format which you can read the drive natively in Mac OS X but not write onto it.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
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.
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.
 

plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,969
3
But OS X can not copy from NTFS.
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.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,248
1,319
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.
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,045
6
The Kop
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.
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.
 

ayito

macrumors newbie
Aug 21, 2007
1
0
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.
 

hanschien

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2006
337
13
Houston, TX
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
 

mrk177

macrumors newbie
Aug 21, 2007
8
0
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.
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.
 

hanschien

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2006
337
13
Houston, TX
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
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
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,248
1,319
I just want to do the one-way copy of the files from the external NTFS drive to my new Mac.
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 ?
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.
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,045
6
The Kop
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.
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.
 

mrk177

macrumors newbie
Aug 21, 2007
8
0
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:
 

mrk177

macrumors newbie
Aug 21, 2007
8
0
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.



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.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,248
1,319
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:
Any chance you were accidentally trying to MOVE then instead of COPY them? :confused:
 

mrk177

macrumors newbie
Aug 21, 2007
8
0
Any chance you were accidentally trying to MOVE then instead of COPY them? :confused:
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.