Formatting for multiple OS - NTFS(3g) vs FAT

Discussion in 'macOS' started by neut, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. neut macrumors 68000

    neut

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    #1
    Anyone use NTFS-3g?

    I'm about to test it out as an alternative to FAT for multi-OS usage. Primarily external drive use for back-ups and transfer drives. I'll post a usage review. As if now I've had issues with FAT corrupting files or files playing the disappearing act when written by one OS and (not) read by the other.

    Open Source (NTFS-3g):
    http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/24481/ntfs-3g
     
  2. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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  3. aarond12 macrumors 65816

    aarond12

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    #3
    I use NTFS-3G and there are no issues that I know of. I only use it on a removable hard drive with large virtual machine files (>4GB) that FAT32 cannot handle, but still must be read on a PC.

    If you don't want to use NTFS-3G and you have a NAS or media streamer box (such as the Western Digital TV HD Live), you can mount a USB hard drive using that box and let it do the conversion between SMB (Windows networking protocol) and NTFS. No drivers required!
     
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #4
    First off, FAT is a file system. NTFS-3G is a file system driver; the file system is NTFS. It is the difference between the Rolls and James.

    With that out of the way, there is little reason for anyone to use FAT now. NTFS is acknowledged almost universally to be superior to FAT. Virtually every PC in use today can read NTFS. If you have the authority to install NTFS-3G on your Mac, then you may swap NTFS volumes between your Mac and PCs. Can you name an advantage of FAT over NTFS? I can't.
     
  5. neut thread starter macrumors 68000

    neut

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    #5
    Performance

    Other than the potential performance hit I may have found a new friend in NTFS. Thanks for the input guys. I'll be trying this out over the next few and see if it's usable… this will be very nice for video transfer with our production house if the performance hit isn't noticeable. FATs 4GB limit kills me when I have to deal with our PC brethren.

    There's an optional optimization for USB so I may just make the PC guys happy and make some usable drives out of the format war that these external drives around here see.

    +1 Open Source
     
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #6
    Your link has nothing to do with FAT. Tuxera produces both the freeware NTFS-3G and the commercial Tuxera NTFS drivers. The commercial driver has substantially better performance than the free driver. The third filesystem measured, ext3, is a journaled filesystem for Linux systems.

    The question remains: Can you name an advantage of FAT over NTFS?
     
  7. darkplanets, Dec 9, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

    darkplanets macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Depending on your device and usage, you can also use exFAT, which is supported in both OS.

    You can also go Ext, but you'd need a driver for both systems, unless you already have a linux box. Paragon's Ext drive is decent.

    Paragon makes good drivers, I'd recommend them, even for NTFS. Their R/W speeds blast NTFS-3G/Tuxera (free and commercial) out of the water.

    There's also MacDrive for reading HFS+ under Windows.

    There's lots of options.
     
  8. GGJstudios, Dec 9, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #8
    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    • Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    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: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backups of Mac internal hard drive.
    • To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
    • To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
    • Maximum file size: 8EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • exFAT partitions created with OS X 10.6.5 are inaccessible from Windows 7
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
     
  9. darkplanets macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 6, 2009
    #9
    A couple of notes, however...

    -ExFAT can be used on anything running 10.6.5+
    -Ext3 is also an excellent choice for a FS, Paragon offers Ext1-3 support for OSX
    -Paragon NTFS > Tuxera > NTFS-3G > SL disabled driver
    -Never use SL's NTFS driver. Ever. NTFS-3G is horrendously slow, but is far more stable than SL's driver.
    -FAT has too many limitations, don't use this either.
    -MacDrive works well under Windows for reading/writing to HFS+
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #10
    I updated my post to correct and clarify some points.
    ext3 has a number of disadvantages which prevent me from recommending it.
     
  11. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #11
    Hopefully, it does register with you that there are currently zero (0) computers in the MacOS X installed based that run anything higher than MacOS X 10.6.5? I deliberately ignore the developers running pre-release versions of MacOS X 10.6.6 and higher.
     
  12. GGJstudios, Dec 9, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #12
    That's 10.6.5 or higher. exFAT support was introduced with 10.6.5 (some models had it in 10.6.4).
     
  13. darkplanets macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 6, 2009
    #13
    Sorry if my syntax was confusing...
    GGJ got it right, its 10.6.5 (and higher = +) :D

    GGJ, while I do I agree there's limitations for ext3, those listed barely come into play with most people's usage (save for the fragmentation). Of course I'd really rather just have ZFS... but we know that's not going to happen.
     
  14. neut thread starter macrumors 68000

    neut

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    #14
    Holy geeks Batman!

    THX for all the info guys. My speed reference was to using a natively supported file format VS an open source extension. MisterMe can continue to feel awesome. :)

    I've been to bust to install this but hopefully will be doing so tomorrow. Cleaning up a video production machine and need the external room to juggle a couple terabytes on cross-platform shared (external) drives.
    _

    ..V, (^_^)
     

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