spotlight not indexing NTFS external drives?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by asbefore, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. asbefore macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    #1
    hi guys (& gals),

    A few months ago, I bought two Seagate 5tb External USB3 drives. They're formatted in NTFS -- and though I'm able to see, browse, transfer files to and from the drive, I'm not able to search the drives via Spotlight or via the Finder -- only via a free app called Easyfind. I've installed the Paragon NTFS driver that came with Seagate drives. But still no search.

    Is it official that Spotlight and Finder only index OS-X Journaled drives?

    Thanks!
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #2
    You should be able to add your NTFS volume to Spotlight.
    Try the terminal tip in this thread
     
  3. asbefore thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    #3
    Thanks, but that doesn't work for me - I do the first command suggested and it says "Error: Unknown Indexing State". I've googled a bunch but haven't found any answers on how to fix that. Apple's official stance is that NTFS drives can't be indexed by Spotlight..
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #4
    Apple officially doesn't support NTFS format. You can always read files on an NTFS format drive. The problem comes when you want to write to the drive, or make changes to a file that is on an NTFS volume. The Spotlight indexing means that the computer has to write the hidden indexing file to the drive. And, you would have to agree that Apple doesn't support the use of NTFS, except read-only. So, officially, OS X can't write the index file to an NTFS drive, resulting in no indexing.
    No surprise there... And, Apple does not (so far) provide an NTFS driver. You have to get that from a third-party solution.

    One difference may be that the free NTFS driver is known to be lower performance (slower writes), and perhaps the free driver does not fully support the write level needed by the spotlight indexing. I don't know if that is true or not. But, you may need to purchase the faster NTFS driver.
    An easier/cheaper solution is to use what you know already works - Easyfind.
     
  5. asbefore thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    #5
    got it - yes, Easyfind works but is painfully slow, especially on drives of larger volume (e.g. 2tb+), it takes 15+ minutes to get a result. OK - I'll re-copy all contents to a spare drive and reformat as OSX-Journaled. Thanks!
     

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