NTFS is giving me the run-around, GAH!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Thalin, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. Thalin macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2010
    I have 2 external hard drives which are formatted to NTFS because I use them on Mac and Windows. On my previous Macbook I used NTFS-3G and Macfuse and it was fine, but now i'm having problems on my new machine running Mavericks. It seems now that you don't need these drivers any more on Mavericks and the drive picks up on it's own, however I only have read permissions. I've researched it and tried installing the two drivers mentioned above that I used before but it gives mount errors every time. I'm finding the only way to solve it is to install yet another driver, called OSX Fuse, and another small file, basically following the procedure here - http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/solving-the-read-only-external-hard-drive-problem-on-your-mac/ (scrolls down to just before the conclusion)

    This is a long winded solution that solves the problems but creates yet another problem - slow shut down times where the system just seems to hang before turning off. I've found the problem and it's when the NTFS 3G driver and OSX Fuse are installed together. As soon as I remove one or the other the shutdown hang problem goes away but the mounting problems come back, it's driving me mad. I know for a fact that all these things need to be installed.

    I've had bad experience using the Paragon software before and am not going to pay for something just to solve this problem. I've heard though that formatting them as exFAT solves the problem and works on Mac and Windows but there's less chance of recovery if something goes wrong. That, and on one of the drives i'll be running Steam games off it so speed is a big factor.
    Any ideas?
  2. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    exFAT will work, but like anything with data make sure you're making backups.

    As for me I use a NAS.
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    OSX has supported NTFS read-only for a long time, it is not specific to Mavericks.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    This may help:

    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 (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion and later)
      • 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 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
    • 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.
  5. Thalin thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2010
    Yeah i've read that many times, thanks. Was just wondering if anyone knew about whether there was a considerable difference in speeds, as running games off it will really benefit from that.
  6. Thalin thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2010
    Yeah I think i've decided on exFAT.

    I had heard that as long as they are USB 3.0 you will not notice slower load times or lower FPS running games from external drives, but I just couldn't accept this. Surely it just cannot match the speed of going off an internal SSD? So I tested it on both drivers. On one I noticed stuttering, so I counted that one out for gaming straight away. Then I tested the other. FPS seemed the same as running it from the Macbook itself, so I got everything ready on that drive. Then I did one final test the next day just in case, and there was indeed stuttering on that drive too, and load times were definately a bit longer. And running it from the system itself? No problems at all.

    So that pretty much solved that case. It means that i'll have to extend the Windows partition to make room for game installs which i'd rather not do, but it shouldn't be a problem. So yeah, exFAT I think for me, I just don't want to have all these things installed just to pick them up if they're NTFS, and it shouldn't matter too much if there is a speed difference between the two formats as it'll just be films and my photos on the drives. Only thing that does put me off is what I read about there being less chance of recovery going that route instead of NTFS, but I trust it.
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    FPS has nothing to do with hard drive speed. Loading times will, but not FPS, that's all GPU.
  8. Thalin thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2010
    That's what I thought, but when I played from the external I did notice my FPS drop in places that running it from the Macbook didn't. It wasn't just coincidence either, I restarted the game many times running with and without the external drive and it only ever happened running from the drive. This was a long test where I restarted the game over and over for an hour! I did notice the stuttering kicking in at around the same time as the FPS dropping though, so I think it was all connected. As soon as I got a big stutter the drop, the FPS dropped before picking back up again, if I was just playing the game smoothly without any real stuttering, then yes I couldn't really tell a difference where the game was running from.

    So yeah overall the stuttering was just becoming a pain!

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