External HDD format to NTFS - How?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by i-sidd, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. i-sidd macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    I got a new LG tv, and I tried playing a 1080p file via DNLA and it is very jumpy and not smooth at all.

    So i found out that if I plug the external HDD direclty to the TV the problem is eliminated.
    Bit my external HDD is osx journaled format. How can I format it to NTFS.

    I am on a 2008 macbook 10.6.8 if that matters.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Do you have access to Windows in any way?
    If not, you have to do it via Disk Utility, but then don't forget to set it to Master Boot Record under Disk Utility > Partitions > Options like shown in the following guide, though GUID is used there:


    Links to guides on how to use Disk Utility, the application Mac OS X provides for managing internal and external HDD/SSDs and its formats.


    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:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    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.

    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.

    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.

    But know, that formatting will erase all content.
  3. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    Thanks for the reply. I guess since I am on SL and 10.6 I guess this is the one that I need to use.

    "For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)"

    Can I delete the content that is already there on my HDD and format it to NTFS.
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    NTFS-3G will work with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, not with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.
    And yes, after installing that software/driver, you can format the external HDD with NTFS as format. No need for deleting any files before that, as formatting takes care of it.

    But if you would have access to a Windows computer or VM, Windows would be better to use for formatting, as the TV might have its problems with HDDs formatted not by Windows.
  5. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    I do have a windows PC, if i format it through that, will I still be able to use the HDD on mac to read/write having the ntfs 3g installed?

    I want it to be able to play on the TV which is why I want the NTFS in the first place but I also want it to be able to put files on it through my macbook.
  6. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    What you format it on doesn’t affect what the drive can be used with as far as mac / PC is concerned. If you select a format the mac can read, NTFX-3G for instance, it will work.

    The only reason to do it on a PC over the mac is that a lot of TV’s are picky when it comes to mac stuff so it might be best to format on what the TV will best recognize which is windows.
  7. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    Well I formatted on the MAC and it works fine with the TV, but now a new problem.

    If I try to get a larger file more that 1.5 gb through Transmission, Transmission stops working and freezes. I have to force quit it every-time.

    Any ideas why this is happening. Do I need to do anything in the global options or volume options under system preference.
  8. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Is you downloads folder for torrents on the NTFS formatted volume?
    If so, can you use a HFS+ formatted volume instead?
  9. SpetsnaZ99 macrumors member

    Apr 27, 2012
    As far as I'm aware hard drives used with TV's are better formatted as Fat32. That's what i use and i have no problems at all, in fact it works better than my AppleTV
  10. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    yes the downloads is on the NTFS formatted volume?

    So I should download it to a HFS+ formatted volume and then copy and paste it to the NTFS volume so I can watch it on my tv.

    I was afraid that it would require more steps.
  11. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    I formatted the HDD connected to my Samsung TV as NTFS using this:


    I been using it for about a year now and it hasn't let me down once. It is a one time cost. You can both read and write and format hard drives as NTFS using OSX 10.7.x or 10.6.x.
  12. dakwar macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2010
    Or use exFAT (extendedFAT) if your TV supports it. The last time I used NTFS-3G (about two years ago), the write-to-drive speed off the mac HD was very slow.

Share This Page