How to format my external HDD to NTFS

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by compute, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. compute macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2013
    Hi people,

    I have an external HDD (Lacie) but every time i want to drag a file bigger than 4GB to my external HDD i get a message saying an error occurred and it won't let me transfer all other files smaller than 4GB are no problem.

    I would like to format my external HDD to NTFS only problem is i have absolutely no idea on how to do this on a mac i'm still running OSX leopard 10.6.8

    Could someone please explain in the most easy way on how to format my external drive please, i'm a real noob when it comes to this stuff. All help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You can format drives using Disk Utility, after enabling writing to NTFS as follows. Mac OS X can only read NTFS drives natively, but writing is possible via several methods. 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)
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36), which is an enhanced version of NTFS-3G with faster performance.
      • 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.
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    You will need to add a product like Paragon to enable writing the NTFS drives on your Mac. A better and free solution would be to format the external drive to ExFAT. You can do this with Disk Utility in OS X. That will allow read/write on both Mac and Windows machines.

    What you are seeing is the 4GB file size limitation of a FAT32 formatted drive. ExFAT does not have this limitation and should do the trick for you.
  4. compute thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2013

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