Reading Windows-disks on a Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by lifeform, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. lifeform macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2009

    Is it possible in any way to read a Windows disk on a Mac...?

    And vica-versa...? Any file system that works on both OS...?

    I am able to access my PC-external drives via Parallell desktop and Windows XP on my Mac, but if possible I wouldnt like to open the XP at all at my Mac.

  2. sine-nomine macrumors regular

    Jul 25, 2007
    Finer stores everywhere.
    If your external is FAT32, you should be able to read from it and write to it in OS X without having to take any special steps.

    If your external is formatted NTFS, any version of OS X past 10.4 (Tiger) should be able to read from the disk by default, but if you want to write to an NTFS disk, you will have to install special software or possibly go through some fairly complicated steps to enable write support in Snow Leopard. Be careful, though - I've heard of a few bad experiences with writing to an NTFS disk in anything other than Windows.

    FMI, try here, here, and here.

    So in summary, you should be able to read a Windows disk just fine and by default with any version of OS X from 10.4 (Tiger) all the way up through the current 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
  3. GGJstudios, Nov 17, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    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.
    • 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

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