moving 500gb NTFS drive between Mac and PC

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by padmasana, May 17, 2007.

  1. padmasana macrumors member

    padmasana

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    #1
    Hi.
    I'm being offered the chance to fill two 500gb hard drives with Grateful Dead concerts. Most files will be about 1gb.
    My benefactor is using Windows machines and from what I have read I need to format them beforehand as NTFS disks.
    Do I need to partition the drives in any manner? Or am I good to go if I just reformat the drives to NTFS and mail 'em off.
    When I get them back, I will probably transfer the files to new disks formatted with HFS+. My computer is a Macbook Pro.
    If there are any other red flags I should know about before sending them off, your advice would be most appreciated.
    Thanks!
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    Formatting them as NTFS will mean you can't write to them with your Mac. As long as all the files are under 4GB in size, format the drives as FAT32 and both systems should be able to work with them easily enough. Unfortunately FAT32 won't work with files over 4GB. :)
     
  3. fairnymph macrumors 6502

    fairnymph

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    #3
    Not true. You can use ntfs-g and macfuse to write to NTFS formatted drives. I took a NTFS drive out of windows machine (full of data) and I use it as an external hard drive with my powerbook. I installed the programs (does require a teensy bit of command line work) and the drive works fully - read, write, delete. It is of course a bit slower than accessing a mac native drive.

    First download and install macfuse:
    http://code.google.com/p/macfuse/

    Then download and install ntfs-3g:
    http://www.ntfs-3g.org/

    Make sure to install macfuse before you install ntfs-3g.

    Then follow the instructions here in chucker's long post (starting post installation -- 'If you got this far...'):
    http://forums.applenova.com/showthread.php?t=21842

    If you have problems, let me know. I had to refresh disk arbitration for it to work for me.
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    Erm cool. We're all impressed by your über hacx0ring skillz, but using FAT32 kinda looks safer, easier to set up, easier to use and faster.
     
  5. fairnymph macrumors 6502

    fairnymph

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    #5
    It's not really hacking; pretty simple actually.

    I'm no Windows expert, but wouldn't ntfs be the more ideal solution for someone who will only use the drives in Windows? If so, a little time/trouble on the part of the OP could be worth it for the benefactor.
     
  6. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #6
    Windows can nondestructively convert FAT32 to NTFS, so once the Windows user gets it, he can convert it.
     
  7. fairnymph macrumors 6502

    fairnymph

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    #7
    Nevermind then! FAT32 sounds like the simplest solution in that case.
     
  8. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #8

    Fair enough. From my understanding the drive will be used with a Mac as well as a PC. FAT32 is the more universal format and despite it's drawbacks and limitations, I still think it'd suit the task better. Assuming a Mac is used to do the formatting, the only drawback is if one or more of the files is larger than 4GB. The benefit is that these drives can then be used with almost any computer, safely and easily. I'm more than happy to agree to disagree though.

    Having said that, I've just re-read my earlier post and am sorry if it came across as pretty malicious. I just wanted to use the word über, so no harm meant. :eek:
     

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