External Hard Drive question: MacFUSE's NTFS-3G Read/Write Driver recommended?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by pbergen, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. pbergen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #1
    mac newbie (and longtime windows user) here...please bear with me, i have a windows-to-mac issue and need some advice!

    i have a 200 gb maxtor external hard drive that's in ntfs format, meaning that when i plug it into my macbook (running os x 10.5 leopard), the files are read-only (about 40 gb worth of documents, spreadsheets, itunes, photos, etc). i've been looking into solutions for this issue, and initially considered partitioning the external hard drive, then reformatting the empty partition into fat 32 format so that i could read/write/save files onto the hd while using the mac os.

    but recently i found about about macfuse - specifically, its ntfs-3g read/write driver:

    http://www.lifehack.org/articles/li...write-ntfs-windows-partition-on-mac-os-x.html

    "[This is] a free open source program that enables Mac OS X to run file systems that OS X doesn't normally support. This includes Microsoft's NTFS, the standard file system for Windows XP and Windows Vista. Mac OS X can read NTFS-formatted drives, but cannot write to them. With MacFuse and NTFS-3G, a read/write NTFS driver, Macs gain full NTFS access."


    my questions:
    1) has anyone here actually tried this? does it work? can i trust this, i.e. were there any problems with data accidentally getting erased off of the external hard drive? i currently don't have a backup for all the info on my external hd and don't want to try this if it's risky.

    2) even if it does work like a charm, i should probably back up my external hd, right? pretty much everything is on there (the hd was the backup for my previous computer's internal hd). what would be the best way to back up all the data - should i just get a new external hd for that purpose? or is there a better solution - online data storage? cds?

    if getting a new external hd is the way to go, are any specific models of external hard drives especially recommended? i've heard seagate and hitachi are pretty good...anything else? should i be worried about my maxtor hd failing on me at some point soon (it's two years old)? a friend mentioned to me that he doesn't like maxtor's hard drives. and another friend's western digital external hd just failed on her, although she's not sure of the source of the problem (could be just a power issue).

    3) if macfuse is not recommended for my issue, should i go ahead and partition the external hard drive, then reformat the empty partition to fat 32 (or some other format)? is there a free way of partitioning external hard drives (seems that boot camp doesn't work, while iPartition appears to be payware)?

    thanks for taking the time to read this, and looking forward to your help, guys!
     
  2. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    #2
    There is a program called paragon that lets you read/write to NTFS partitions
    from within OS X or if you bootcamp theres a windows program called macdrive 7 which allows windows to read/write to hfs+ partitions. Oh and having more than one drive for backup is always a good idea i use WD drives.There are programs out there that let you re-format a drive without
    loosing data i think partition magic is one of them but again this is a windows prog
     
  3. pbergen thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #3
    would you recommend paragon over the macfuse program i mentioned in the original post? is this freeware? (seems not, based on the internet searching i've been doing.)

    i've been thinking about getting a second external hd anyway, just as a backup and for additional storage. probably will get one in hfs+ format now that i primarily use the mac os. but again, i'd like to be able to read/write/save to this hd in either mac or windows...is macdrive 7 available for free anywhere? i'm not against paying for a good product but of course if it's available as freeware i'd like to know.:)

    thanks again.
     
  4. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    #4
    To be honest ive no experience with macfuse and have
    not tried it

    Paragon is a not stable at present and is a bit hit & miss
    but i thought id include as a option

    macdrive 7 is a excellent product and this would be my
    choice

    You pay your money and take your choice both paragon &
    macdrive 7 are not available as freeware as far as i know

    http://www.paragon-software.com/home.htm

    http://www.mediafour.com/
     
  5. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    If this disc needs to be read by Windows and Mac then I think the safest way to go is reformatting the disk as FAT. I've used MacFUSE on OS X and MacDrive on Windows. MacFUSE was buggy in my experience, and while I agree MacDrive is a good product I wouldn't recommend it unless you had a lot of money to burn.

    Keep in mind that FAT32 only supports file sizes up to 4gb and you'll have to format the drive under OS X since Windows has an artificial limit of 32gb for that type of partition.
     
  6. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
  7. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    It might be old, but its well supported and relatively stable.
     

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