NTFS vs exFAT

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by qwerty0033, May 10, 2011.

  1. qwerty0033 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    #1
    I have an old 120GB external HDD that currently runs on NTFS. But, as we all know, NTFS isnt native to macs. So, do you think i should format it to exFAT?

    I'll also be purchasing a 1TB HD soon too, so i would need to know which is better and more convenient for storage using macs and PC's. Generally, I store music files, videos and games, mostly pretty large files.

    I understand that most ppl advise an NTFS external HDD and use something like NTFS 3g with MACFuse but i've tried using the program. Just doesnt work!

    So, which file format is more convenient for an external HDD? NTFS or exFAT? I use it with both macs and PC's.

    Thanks for your responses :)
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    There is absolutely no need to install MacFUSE. It is built into NTFS-3G. It sounds like the two versions of MacFUSE are conflicting with each other.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    Correction: Native Mac OS X will read NTFS; it just can't write to it.
    It works fine if it's installed correctly.

    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.
    • 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 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)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
     
  4. dyn macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #4
    NTFS-3g inherits code from Tuxera. The NTFS-3g is slower than the payware Tuxera version. Since these use MacFUSE it will be a problem with people running the 64 bit kernel (Mac Pro 2010, MBP 2011) since MacFUSE does not support the 64 bit kernel.

    The usb stick I formatted to ExFAT with Disk Utility works fine in my Windows 7 vm and various other Windows 7 computers so this is definitely not true. It is more likely that something is wrong on your side for some strange reason.
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    Many have reported problems using Tuxera.
    Were you running 10.6.5 when you formatted it?
     
  6. qwerty0033 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    #6
    So, who is telling the truth? :confused: Btw, I'm using an external HDD, does it count as a removable device like a usb stick?
    And, I'm running SL 10.6.7.


    I have a MBP2011 15" 64-bit. Maybe that's why it didn't work? But then again, I also had MACFuse installed BEFORE i installed NTFS-3g, so there may be a conflict there. Dont have time to try this right now, perhaps tomorrow. But, which NTFS-3g should i download if i try this method? The 2010.10.2 version? I'll keep you posted

    Cheers :)
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    My statement is true. dyn was using a version of Mac OS X other than 10.6.5, if the formatted drive works with Windows 7.
    Then you don't have to worry about the 10.6.5 limitation.
    Boot in 32-bit mode and it will work.
     
  8. dyn macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #8
    Yes you said that already but since NTFS-3g uses code from Tuxera you have the risk of running into similar problems. I've seen complaints from NTFS-3g users about things not working properly as well.

    Yep. First thing I did after I installed it, wanted to check if it worked fine or not. Never reformatted the drive as far as I know.

    @qwerty0033: if you need MacFUSE boot with the 32 bit kernel, this is how: Mac OS X v10.6: Starting up with the 32-bit or 64-bit kernel.

    Regarding the external drive, it is actually the other way around: the usb stick looks like an external disk to the OS.

    Normally if you install something that is already on the system it will either do nothing or reinstall it. That shouldn't lead to any problems. However, there are some cases where it will install the software again in a different location so you'll have two versions side by side. That can cause problems. I don't know what happens when you install NTFS-3g after MacFUSE. I only used it at the time when you needed to install MacFUSE first.
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #9
    Actually, it's the other way around. NTFS-3G was introduced in July, 2006. Tuxera didn't come along and further develop the code until 2 years later.
     
  10. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #10
  11. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #11
    Someone else had reported that Time Machine won't back up exFAT, so if you want to back it up with Time Machine, it's a bad choice.
     
  12. qwerty0033 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    #12
    Now, I downloaded the "Just give me something to install!" file, unzipped it, installed the first .pkg that comes out. what next then? It's still not working, did i miss something? Nothing came up on system prefs, either
     
  13. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #13
    I just installed MacFuse and NTFS-3G two days ago because I bought a Samsung TV and the install instructions for NTFS-3G said to first install Macfuse. It's working fine for me as I was able to format a drive as NTFS using disk utility and copy some handbrake movies to it so my Samsung TV can run them.

    I did try exFAT first but the Samsung TV (2011 model) did not recognize the disk. FAT32 and NTFS do work. It doesn't see movies in the m4v format but it does see mkv, avi, mp4.
     
  14. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #14
    Despite the fact that it seems to work, it is a bad idea to do a standalone installation of MacFUSE and an installation of NTFS-3G. NTFS-3G includes MacFUSE. MacFUSE has purposes other than enabling NTFS-3G. It is perfectly fine to install it without NTFS-3G.

    As for exFAT, this is a relatively new file system. Mac support was added only with MacOS X 10.6.7. This means that the vast majority of the installed base of Macs cannot handle it. I don't quite get your Samsung TV setup. However, your TV clearly does not support exFAT. This is to be expected. Most manufacturers use FAT32 for cross-platform compatibility. However, virtually every Windows PC in use can read and write NTFS. With NTFS-3G or another NTFS driver installed, virtually every Mac can read and write NTFS.

    It is easy to conceive of a situation where you will not have access to mission-critical files on an exFAT drive. Why take that risk?
     
  15. qwerty0033 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    #15
    Can anyone please give a step-by-step of how to get NTFS-3g to work properly on my 2011 MBP? ie. which specific file versions to download and which to install, macfuse or ntfs-3g or both, and links would be appreciated :)


    Would it be considered a risk to use exFAT if i have only one Mac running OSX 10.6.7 and the rest are Windows XP/7 PC's? All of them accessing one external 1TB HDD (which i will soon buy).


    One more thing: aside from compatibility issues with older Mac OS'es, why does NTFS, so to speak, have an edge over exFAT even when this external HDD is to be used on a mac? Or does it?
     
  16. qwerty0033 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    #16
    Okay, got NTFS-3G working alas. But this also prevents my Windows boot disk from showing in my Bootcamp preference pane. Though, I can see my Windows boot disk when i hold down option key during boot. Is there a way to fix this? I use the restart from bootcamp prefpane feature a lot.

    Cheers.
     
  17. dfine1966 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2011
    #17


    The only downside to using exFat is that you cannot use Time Machine or other Mac backup options(unless they say exFat is included) to back up you Mac automatically. Windows XP (SP2 and SP3) through Windows 7 supports exFat. Microsoft added exFat compatibily to XP with SP2 and SP3. Vista also has the support. For the Mac, I think they tried to implement it with either 10.6.5 or 10.6.6. For those versions, they could read and write to an exFat drive that was created by Windows, but if you created the exFat drive from the Mac, you couldn't read or write from Windows. Apple fixed that problem with the latest update, 10.6.7.

    I am getting a new BTO iMac when it comes in another 4 weeks. My wife has a 24 in iMac. I formatted my Western Digital My World Home Edition to exFat (tried formatting on the iMac( latest update, no problems reading and writing both ways from Windows to Mac). I also use Windows 7 to format to exFat, also with no problems writing and reading. If you are doing manual updates, exFat is the way to go. No extra drivers to worry about, and no extra programs to use to read or write. I haven't had any downside to it. I do have another external drive that I use for just Time Machine, but for quick transfer back and forth, exFat works fine.
     

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