Paragon MacBrowser Public Beta Testing (HFS for Windows)

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Anatoly, Oct 30, 2008.

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  1. Anatoly Guest

    Sep 7, 2007
    Dear Forum Visitors,

    For the past year Paragon has been working on new software - Paragon MacBrowser. Paragon MacBrowser is a driver allowing to access HFS (HFS+) file systems under Windows.

    The product is almost ready for market release and we want to offer you the Public Beta version. This is the first time that we've offered beta testing for this driver. We do it because we want to make Paragon MacBrowser a useful tool for every dual-boot user -- that is why we need your opinion about it.

    What we expect from you:
    1. Bug reports (though we hope that there won't be many). If you find a bug, describe with details how it can be reproduced by our developers. We need every detail, every step (even if it seems minor).

    2. Usability issues. We want to make the product as easy to use as possible. Write us with your suggestions on what you think we can improve upon or what should be changed. Make your suggestions both detailed and reasonable so we can understand what your concerns are as well as determine if possible to implement.

    To download the public beta version, please fill out a short web form here.

    Meantime you can look at our short Product Description. There is not much text.

    Know Issues:
    1. You can not "drag'n'drop" files from HFS partitions. To copy a file/folder you have to use the "copy and paste" function;
    2. Apple Partition Map is not supported.

    Our commitment to you: We will read your feedback in this thread very carefully. Please excuse (in advance) any perceived lack of replies to your posts. We won't be able to reply to all of them, but we will do "summary" replies once or twice a week in this thread.

    PS. We value this forum's community members very much. That's why we selected you for our Public beta testing. In exchange for your help, we will be glad to provide the most active beta testers with Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X along with MacBrowser free of charge.

    Thank you in advance and best regards,
  2. Neil321 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    Hi Anatoly

    Good to hear you guys are still thinking about us, signed up & are now waiting for my download link to arrive.

    Many thanks

  3. ajpl macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
  4. nospamboz macrumors regular

    Oct 3, 2006
    From the description it looks OK. I've been using HFSExplorer when I'm bootcamped, but that's read only. The ability to create a new file on HFS when bootcamped is a good first step.

    Hey, that makes me cheap because I already have Paragon NTFS from the last beta program. :)

    Thanks, Anatoly. I'll be signing up.
  5. Anatoly thread starter Guest

    Sep 7, 2007
    Dear Forum Visitors,

    We should inform that we found a serious problem that will be fixed soon. The problem appears when copying data (files or folders) greater than ~3GB in zise to a HFS partition. I hope to upload a fixed version on Wednesday.

    Thank you in advance.

    Best regards,
  6. Anatoly thread starter Guest

    Sep 7, 2007
    Dear Forum Visitors,

    The issue is fixed. Now you can download MacBrowser and test it as you wish.


    The current beta version does not support 64bit Windows but we are going to add this functionality soon.

    Looking forward to hearing your feedback soon.
    Thank you in advance.
  7. nospamboz macrumors regular

    Oct 3, 2006
  8. Sp0ng3B0b macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2008
    Regarding MacOS Drive icon

    I would like to suggest that the icon is something other than an iMac
    -because it's a disk
    -non iMac user might find it less associative

    I also still can't do right click (doesn't show any context menu), also when I drag a file into MacOS Drive, the cursor changed (telling me that I'm about to copy the dragged file), but nothing happened afterwards

    I filled a flashdisk formatted with HFS, and then fill it with a file, when I plugged the flashdisk, no file showed up, and when I move the cursor to the MacOS drive browser (the space where file supposed to show up, where you drag and drop file) the cursor turned into busy (when I drag outside that area the cursor returned to normal)

    Sorry for bad english, I can send you screenshot if necessary

    Edit: Windows Vista Ultimate (32bit), P4 HT 2.8GHz, RAM 1GB, HDD 40GB
  9. Sp0ng3B0b macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2008
    Another thing

    I also can’t help but comparing it with competitor (let’s call it McD)

    With McD on Explorer you got a disk which virtually acts and looks like an ordinary windows disk (with a little apple icon to differentiate it from ‘real’ windows drive)

    While with MacBrowser you got a non functional disk (when you click, windows will ask you to format the disk)

    So if you choose not to select McD’s approach can you at least somehow hide the ‘non-functional’ disk away from user’s eyes so user will only faced with ’normal disks’ and ‘MacOS Drive’
  10. Anatoly thread starter Guest

    Sep 7, 2007
    Dear ajpl and nospamboz,

    We are planning to add this feature. I will let you know when it is added. Thanks.

    Dear Sp0ng3B0b,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    We will try to think something over.

    Unfortunately we can't reproduce this issue. Can you right-click on other disks to show the context menu? Please note, the context menu of our driver just shows "Open", "Explorer" and "Create Shortcut" options.

    We have the following know issue: You can not "drag'n'drop" files from HFS to HFS partitions. But you should "drag'n'drop" from FAT/NTFS to HFS or vise versa. Please provide us with more info regarding this issue.

    Please clarify this issue. Do you refresh the MacBrowser’s windows when plugging the flashdisk?

    >I can send you screenshot if necessary
    Yes, please send the screenshot. See the private messages.

    Please clarify this point. Do you mean that all HFS partitions are mounted without an assigned drive-letter or something else?

    From where to hide? From the MyComputer window?

    Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
    Thank you in advance.
  11. Sp0ng3B0b macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2008
    "Unfortunately we can't reproduce this issue...."

    I have just replaced my computer from HP Compaq dx6100 to HP Compaq dc7800 Ultra-slim, the same thing happened, I guess I have to check my flashdisk, reformat it or find another idle disk

    "Yes, please send the screenshot. See the private messages"

    The 'non functional' disk, you see when I click G drive, windows will ask me to format it, instead of showing files

    Suggestion 1

    Suggestion 2
  12. Sp0ng3B0b macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2008
    I have tried other flashdisk (PQI, previously it was a Kingston), formatted with Mac OS X Extended (Journaled)

    Windows still doesn't recognized the drive (ask me to format it), and Macbrowser couldn't read it (no files displayed)

    Maybe macbrowser is not compatible with flashdisk yet? Currently I don't have spare external harddrive to play with
  13. Sp0ng3B0b macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2008
    We have the following know issue: You can not "drag'n'drop" files from HFS to HFS partitions. But you should "drag'n'drop" from FAT/NTFS to HFS or vise versa. Please provide us with more info regarding this issue.

    I still don't have access to the content of the disk when using MacBrowser, so trying to do drag-and-drop from/to HFS formatted disk(s) is not currently possible


    The previous PC was Windows Vista Gold, while the new PC had been updated to SP1 prior installing MacBrowser

    Oh, and you need to tell users that they need to change the UAC setting prior installing MacBrowser (which I did)
  14. starless macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2008
    Rome, Italy
    Not working on USB drives?

    Hi, I just registered for this beta testing, and then downloaded the latest MacBrowser beta.

    First of all, a question: is this software only meant to be used by Bootcamp users, i.e. to read the Mac partition from Windows on a dual-boot machine?
    Judging from its description it seemed to me a more general software for reading Mac-formatted drives on Windows, and this is why I offered for beta testing, as I do not use Bootcamp.
    But I confirm what other users reported here: it does not work on USB pendrives.

    I installed MacBrowser on a WinXP SP2 machine (a virtual machine, running on VMWare Fusion). I then formatted a 16GB USB pendrive on OSX, choosing the journaled extended MacOS filesystem. Copied some files on it using the Finder, then unmounted it.
    I then mounted the pendrive on the WinXP machine. Windows assigned it a drive letter but of course could not read it directly. I opened the "MacOS Drives" special folder in My Computer but its window appears empty, no files show up.

    So, is MacBrowser meant to also work on HFS+ USB drives, which means there's a bug here, or is this an expected behaviour?

    While I cannot fully test the software yet, here are some suggestions, supposing the software is meant to work on USB drives:

    - can you prevent Windows from assigning a letter to the drive? As seen from other posts here, this can be very confusing for some users, who try to access the drive the usual way and get a format request. The ideal way would be of course to mount the drive the usual way, assigning it a letter, and make it readable, but maybe this is not possible.

    - do you plan to create a standalone version of MacBrowser? I mean a software which could be run on a Windows machine without the need to install it. Even if it had limited features with respect to the full installed version, it would be very useful for people traveling around with HFS+ drives which they could need to access from other people's Windows machines.

    Thank you and good work. And... any more infos on the free NTFS for MacOSX? :) Time for me to become a loyal Paragon user on Mac, too, after being a very satisfied user of Paragon Partition Manager before switching.
  15. Sp0ng3B0b macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2008
    @starless: wow, you just said what I've been struggling to say for weeks, many thanks for clarifying/summarizing the points :)

    @developer: will there be a control panel applet or some way to temporarily disable macbrowser should in rare circumstances it doesn't play nice with other 3rd party softwares?
  16. Sp0ng3B0b macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2008
    It's been 18 days since last reply from developer

    Care to share any details/progress?
  17. duxDuck macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2008
    Issue during istallation

    While attempting to install MacBrowser 1.0 beta on my Windows Vista SP1 32bit I get an error. You can see it on the attached PNG.
    I've just launched the installer and followed the installation wizard. As a result, I see a new generic drive in "Computer" which is supposed to be the MacBrowser one but I can't access it! Does anyone experienced the same?
    Note I'm working on a fresh Windows Vista Ultimate installation.

    Attached Files:

  18. Sp0ng3B0b macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2008
  19. duxDuck macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2008
    No chances

    As Sp0ng3b0b suggested, I tried to download the MSI once again. Running the program get the unistall asking for removing the previous version (?): there's no way to performe the operation as the error still occured (see the attached screenshot). Any suggestion?
    As I say before, I'm workig on a fresh Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 32bit installation. Thanks.

    Attached Files:

  20. Sp0ng3B0b macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2008
  21. duxDuck macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2008
    Got news

    Unfortunately, there was no file called "Program" in C:\

    Goggleing for "Installshield error 1722" I've found a way to "workaround" the problem: running the installer double-clicking on its icon is supposed to have it working with restricted permissions; so I launched the command prompt as Administrator and I got the installer to pull out a detailed log file.

    The command performed is:
    msiexec.exe /i C:\Path\Your.msi /L*vx C:\Your.log
    The first operation was to remove the older installation and it worked as expected. After the reboot, I performed a new installation and everything was ok. I've attached the two logs produced by the InstallShield installer, hoping for someone to investingate on them.

    At this point, even if a "MacOS Drives" icon appears on My Computer, when I double-click on it I just get a blank window (see the attached PNG). The same result is achieved running (as Admin) a command on regsvr32: it just installs the icon on MyComputer.

    So, what's next? :mad:

    Attached Files:

  22. computerfreak macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2008
    volumeextension.dll error in XP

    I tried MacBrowser today for the first time today and have a problem with Windows Explorer crashing with the following error:

    Event Type: Error
    Event Source: Application Error
    Event Category: None
    Event ID: 1000
    Date: 12/13/2008
    Time: 8:34:04 PM
    User: N/A
    Computer: PVR
    Faulting application explorer.exe, version 6.0.2900.5512, faulting module volumeextension.dll, version, fault address 0x00009f54.

    I am running XP Professional SP3 (fully updated) and tried this on two different PC's (2.4GHz Celeron Shuttle SS51G and a 1.5GHz AMD Athlon home-built) with the same result. Also tried different HFS+ disks, one firewire, one mixed HFS+/NTFS IDE, and one IDE disk with just one HFS+ partition formatted under GPT. Mac OSX 10.5.5 was used to create all HFS+ partitions.

    In all cases, the System Folder "MacOS Drives" shows up in Explorer and clicking on MacOS Drives shows the partitions on each HFS drive in dual pane mode. But the moment I click on any of the partitions to open files and folders, the above error message pops up. Have not been able to get beyond this.

    On a side note: For the single partition HFS drive, two partitions are shown in the MacOS drives: "Boot OSX" plus the name of the formatted partition. I assume that Boot OSX refers to the initial 200Mb Apple EFI partition.

    Windows prepared an Appcompatibility report for their crash report which I could submit if interested.
  23. Pickoff macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2008
    This is great that you are letting this great community beta test this.

    I have a serious problem right from the get-go. I fill out all fields on the registration and check the boxes and I get a "Registration Failed." In both IE and Minefield (Firefox).

    I have double & triple checked that everything I inputted was correct.

  24. duxDuck macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2008
    Did you tick the two checkboxes under the agreement?

    Attached Files:

  25. duxDuck macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2008
    I got it!

    Finally, I got it!
    Thanks to a post of Anatoly on Mac-Forums the issue seems to be solved. I has to do with the UAC (User Account Control). For everyone experiencing the same, just go to your user account settings on the Control Panel and disable the UAC. After a reboot, you'll see all of your HSF partitions.

    Now that I can have my hands on it, as Sp0ng3b0b suggested, any other icon different from the iMac would be appreciated: maybe the more generic Mac desktop icon (use the leopard one, please). David Lanham makes beautiful icons, take a look at his work.

    Next, when the driver populates the drives list, try to address the generic drive icon instead of the one with the Windows watermark. (see attached PNG)

    A settings panel would offer the ability to:
    • show/hide (Mac) system files and folders;
    • load/unload (activate/deactivate) MacBrowser;
    • prevent unwanted overwrites by making the whole disk "Read-only".

    The options/buttons bar (I'm not sure about its original name, that's a translation from the Italian way of calling it) I mean the one you left blank (or water-green :)) may show all the available options on files and folders (i.e. Rename, Copy, Delete, Properties, Options...).

    Great work guys!

    PS: don't forget to let the driver working on restricted user spaces (I mean let us do the job with the UAC enebled!) ;)

    Using MacBrowser I've noticed a bug: while it's well known that you can't work on files directly from the MacOS disk, when I move a file on it to overwrite the older one it shows freaky file sizes on the dialog window (see the usual attached PNG for explanations). Despite from the unit conversion error, the operation works as expected!

    Attached Files:

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