Reading and writing into ntfs external drive from OSX

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Neopangea, May 7, 2011.

  1. Neopangea macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    #1
    Hi there,

    im decided to switch to mac and one of several doubts i had was, how can i continue to use, read and write on my external ntfs drives.

    In an apple store today a guy told me that if im running windows via bootcamp i wouldnt have any troubles writing into ntfs drives... is that true?

    Anyway i wanted to know if there is a good alternative to read and write into ntfs drives while being inside OSX.

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    Mac OS X can read NTFS formatted volumes natively.
     
  3. Neopangea thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    #3
    Sorry if this is a very common question. I heard that OS X can read on ntfs, but i need it to be able to read and write, so to able to do that i would have to install comercial software? or what other walkarounds are out there that are fast and stable? It seems the free solution in the info given is not very fast.
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #4
    There is also Paragon NTFS.
     
  5. MacAndMic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    #5
    You have not mentioned your actual needs so giving advice is difficult.

    Is this just a simple question on how to migrate to a Mac? or do you have drives that need to be used as a liaison from work/school to home?

    Just because you have existing drives formatted with NTFS does not mean you have to write to NTFS.

    This is most likely an easy answer but without knowing your needs we could go on and on and on.
     
  6. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #6
    OP, thank you for starting this useful thread for everyone who's deciding to convert or not

    How about this? I have 1 TB external half full with movies and I add ones every day. Now I can read existing movies but what about the new ones? Can I just continue writing files to the drive?
     
  7. simsaladimbamba

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    Location:
    located
    #7
    Yes, you can.
    Post #2 tells you how.
     
  8. JeepGuy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Barrie
    #8
    Option 1
    Really your best option is to buy a 2nd drive, format it to HFS+, then copy all your movies over to the new drive, then format the old drive to HFS+

    Option 2
    If you really want to keep it NTFS, then install Parallels and run it in coherence mode with windows 7 installed.

    Unless there is a really good reason to keep it as NTFS, I would pick option 1, even thou OSX can read NTFS, there is no reliable way to write it.
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #9
    To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)

    This free solution works just fine, as has been reported in hundreds of posts in this forum. It should serve your needs quite well. Enabling native NTFS in Snow Leopard is problematic and unstable, and quite a few have reported problems with Tuxera, as well.
     
  10. sl1200mk2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #10
    It was mentioned in a previous reply, but I would recommend Paragon NTFS -- it's a $20 purchase and well worth it. Very easy to install and simply adds a section to your system preferences to turn it on or off.

    As far as stability, I've been reading/writing to numerous ext. USB devices (both HD and memory stick) and Firewire drives for 3 years now on my MacBook Pro and have never encountered issues. I transfer tens of gigs worth of video on occasion. Sometimes to the internal drive, sometimes between other external devices. In fact, it's been so seamless I've forgotten it's there until I go to use another MAC that doesn't have it and I'm forced to recall how mine works. It's just part of the OS and experience (completely unobtrusive).

    Good luck -
     
  11. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #11
    Thank you. The new drive sounds like the best plan. I can read the old one anyway. I'll keep my old PC just to write to that drive.
     
  12. And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #12
    Paragon NTFS works great, but if you have a bootcamp partition, it'll remove the windows startup option under "Start Up" in preferences + the hd icon on desktop, which in my opinion is quite annoying. I've researched that you can overcome the issue, but it just wasn't worth my time.

    OP, may I consider sticking to FAT32 if you just want to write into external hdds (unless the files are bigger than 4.7gig)
     
  13. Neopangea thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    #13
    Thanks to all for posting your opinions and views about this topic, im totally new in the mac world, basically im preparing since i'll be buying an imac from the new line in a couple weeks, and i have several external hard drives full of content that i still want to be able to share with pc users, thats why the take your files away reformat to hfs+ and put them in the hard drive again option wouldnt work for me.
    Also i often connect external drives to my TV since it plays h.264 videos, etc, but i seriously doubt it will support hfs+.

    Im planning to have windows 7 via bootcamp also to play some games, and i know now i could read and write to ntfs from there right? But i want to be able to work with the files in the drive with OS X apps not only from windows.

    Some of you name paragon as a nice option but how is that thing that it will remove the windows startup option thing?

    Thanks!
     
  14. And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #14
    In your external drives, is some of the content larger than 4.7gig? If you don't have any over 4.7gb, consider reformatting those drives to FAT32. That'll resolve many compatibility issues.

    From my experiences, Paragon removes the "Windows" from Startup Disk under Preferences. This is a known issue and it can be resolved (just google Paragon). Not really a big problem since you can always restart and hold the option button to boot into windows, but that's a bit bothersome?
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #15
    FAT32 supports volume sizes up to 2TB. Read the format info in the 2nd post of this thread.
     
  16. And1ss, May 8, 2011
    Last edited: May 8, 2011

    And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #16
    I'm not talking about volume size; I'm talking about file sizes of his content in his external hdds. If he doesn't bluray rips or whatever, then FAT32 would be a better route.

    Quoted from you: Maximum file size: 4GB.
     
  17. sl1200mk2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #17
    I'm not doubting the comment, but I can't recall this happening myself. Personally, I prefer to hide my bootcamp partition from OS X and just use external drives when needed. I don't believe my preference to start has changed at all, but it really doesn't matter even if it does. I simply hold the 'option' key while starting or rebooting and you select which volume you wish to boot in. For me, that's quicker than going into preferences, making a selecting then rebooting.
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #18
    Gotcha. Missed that you were talking file size and not volume size. The 4.7 number you were using was throwing me.
     
  19. And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #19
    Correct me if I am wrong, but if you do the option manner, boot into windows, turn off, boot again, it'll default to OSX. The preference way assumes to always start up in windows the next time (if needed).

    Again, this is from my experience and I may be wrong.
     
  20. And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #20
    Ahh I see. I know it is always 4 + something haha. I just use 4.7 since I'm accustomed to it. Thanks for the clarification on the FAT32 file size limitation.
     
  21. sl1200mk2 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 17, 2006
    #21
    You could be right? I don't know. It's a Mac, so for me I want it to default to booting into OS X. Isn't that the point? ;)

    If I'm rebooting in Windows and need to boot back in I hold the option key again. For me, it's not that big of a deal (couple seconds) and certainly not a deal breaker as the pro's for Paragon (again for me) certainly far outweigh any of that.

    Everyone is different, so YMMV.
     
  22. And1ss macrumors 6502a

    And1ss

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #22
    Haha yeah, but sometimes I like to use the Windows side for some of my basic work needs like Office (that's just the way I am sometimes). Plus I use MacDrive so I work off of and store my data on the mac partition.

    Or if I am on a starcraft 2 binge, i'd like to turn on the computer and not press anything =).

    But your right, everyone is different.
     
  23. Neopangea thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    #23
    Yeah in my case a lot of the content is bigger than 4gb, so fat32 is not really an option. A lot of this content i would like be able to work with it inside OS X and using mac apps but i also wanted the drive to be able to be read by pc users and my TV... i guess paragon is then the better choice?

    Is it stable enough to transfer big files?
    How often you could get a corrupt file here and there?
    Is the transfer speed lower compared to windows transfering to ntfs?
     

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