Filesystem for Time Capsule external hard drive (no backup)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ShadowPuppet, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. ShadowPuppet macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2007
    I've been searching and reading tons of threads and websites, and I'm still a bit confused/unsure, so I figured I'd ask.

    Can the Time Capsule read/write an external disk formatted as NTFS? I do not want to do Time Machine or any other backups to this disk; it's only for shared files (documents, movies, music, pictures) between my Macbook Air and my Windows 7 desktop. It would be convenient if I didn't have to move all my files off the external and reformat it, so I would like to keep it NTFS if I could.

    Is the "Airport Extreme and Time Capsule do not support NTFS" (from below) just a soft limitation so we can't use an NTFS drive to try to Time Machine, or is it an absolute "YOU CAN NEVER USE AN NTFS DRIVE ATTACHED TO A TIME CAPSULE!"?

    I'm fine with configuring my computer so that I can read/write HFS+ in Windows, just really trying to avoid having to move stuff & reformat a 2TB hard drive! :D

  2. blueroom, Apr 25, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013

    blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    If you haven't bought a Time Capsule yet then consider getting a Synology NAS instead.

    A TC or NAS isn't designed to have drives plugged into it and shared on a temporary basis. BUT once a drive is setup and formatted for use by the NAS it can be shared to any OS (it's taken care of by Samba on most NAS's)

    Lastly TM or AEBS don't support NTFS. It does support Fat32
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I never got Time Machine to work on a format other then HFS+ on external drives, though with NAS they can be a different format provided it has the ability to store the metadata, i.e., ext4.

    I agree with blueroom, get a NAS, it offers more flexibility and performance.

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