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orvn

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 11, 2011
260
0
Toronto, Canada
So I've been a Mac user for a while now and have formatted all my drives in to HFS.

When I switched a little under two years ago, I discovered that my NTFS and FAT external drives were read-only when USB'd in to my OSX machine.

Can OSX not write to these filesystems? Is there a workaround?

Can FAT/NTFS Windows and EXT/UFS *nix read/write to HFS drives? (I've never really checked).

I ask because I'm curious about it, I don't have a pressing ongoing issue of any sort.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,465
833
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 $36).
  • Some have had good results with Paragon (approx $20)
  • 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
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 or SuperDuper! 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.
  • 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
 
Comment

ChumBuckets

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2011
1
0
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 $36).
  • Some have had good results with Paragon (approx $20)
  • 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
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 or SuperDuper! 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.
  • 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


GGJstudios YOU RULE!
I was searching for all this info, driving me mad, and here you have it all nice and short!
Two thumbs up!
 
Comment

Dipenptl

macrumors newbie
Aug 17, 2011
4
0
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 $36).
  • Some have had good results with Paragon (approx $20)
  • 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
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 or SuperDuper! 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.
  • 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

Quick question which one is better? I recently formatted my all drives to HFS but before i backup old data to them i would like to know that Apple File system is better then Windows or its other way?
 
Comment

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,465
833
Quick question which one is better? I recently formatted my all drives to HFS but before i backup old data to them i would like to know that Apple File system is better then Windows or its other way?
It depends on how you use your drives. If you only use your drives with Macs, the HFS+ is the best choice, and the only choice if you're using the drive for backups of your system. If you routinely share a drive with Windows PCs, NTFS or exFAT are better choices, depending on which version of Mac OS X you run. FAT32 is too limited and is more commonly found on flash drives.
 
Comment

BergerFan

macrumors 68020
Mar 6, 2008
2,167
62
Mos Eisley
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 $36).
  • Some have had good results with Paragon (approx $20)
  • 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
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 or SuperDuper! 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.
  • 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
I should've known MacRumors would be the place where I'd find a concise and cohesive answer.
I got my new Retina MacBook Pro yesterday. It's my first Mac, after being a Windows user since 1994(iOS veteran since 2007).
My dual, 3TB Seagate GoFlex drives were NTFS, and I assumed that OS X was fully compatible out of the box. I got a shock when I couldn't save files to them.
Other sites were inconclusive or contradictory in their answers.

Many thanks! :D
 
Comment

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,465
833
I should've known MacRumors would be the place where I'd find a concise and cohesive answer.
I got my new Retina MacBook Pro yesterday. It's my first Mac, after being a Windows user since 1994(iOS veteran since 2007).
My dual, 3TB Seagate GoFlex drives were NTFS, and I assumed that OS X was fully compatible out of the box. I got a shock when I couldn't save files to them.
Other sites were inconclusive or contradictory in their answers.

Many thanks! :D
Actually, that post is a bit dated, so here's a more current version:

Format A Hard Drive Using Disk Utility (which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder)

Choose the appropriate format:

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 ($19.95) (Best Choice for Lion and Mountain Lion)
    • For Mac OS X 10.5 and later, including Lion, FUSE for OS X
    • 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 later versions, 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.
 
Comment

rpg51

macrumors 6502
Jul 4, 2012
268
2
Not sure about this but

I think the read write limits may not apply if the drive is accessed via a network connection as opposed to direct computer usb port connection.
 
Comment

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,465
833
I think the read write limits may not apply if the drive is accessed via a network connection as opposed to direct computer usb port connection.
While network drives aren't being discussed in this thread, that's correct that the formatting limitations don't apply to network drives.
 
Comment

SteveGoonex077

macrumors newbie
Jul 14, 2013
1
0
To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install Macdriver

Can be used not only that. I bought the Paragon HFS+ for Windows 9in last year. And I do not regret having paid - now my Windows a calm works with HFS+. Macdriver was very difficult for me.
ohh!By the way I now looked at their website already has a new version!
 
Comment
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