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hajime

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
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Hi, last year I installed the software Mac Drive on my MacBook Pro 2010 but it did not work out. I could not access Windows files using it.

What is the best way to access files from Windows PC on Mac?
 

jchap

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2009
586
1,061
Hi, last year I installed the software Mac Drive on my MacBook Pro 2010 but it did not work out. I could not access Windows files using it.

What is the best way to access files from Windows PC on Mac?
Are you trying to access your Windows files on the Boot Camp partition that's on the same Mac? It sounds like you are, based on your comments about installing MacDrive.

As you probably know, MacDrive is a Windows app that's used to access files on a drive that's formatted for use with macOS. However, it has some limitations. It's also a dated app that hasn't been updated in around three years, and the developer may have abandoned it.

Since you're using a MacBook Pro 2010 model, you don't have the T2 security chip installed, so there should be fewer limitations on accessing files across partitions. The problem is that your macOS partition (preinstalled on your Mac) is likely encrypted, if you are running a modern version of macOS (the latest version your model can run is likely macOS 10.13 High Sierra, which supports disk encryption). If that's the case, you need to install an app on your Windows Boot Camp partition that lets you work across partitions and override the disk encryption. MacDrive will not do that for you. (As I read on their website, the software will let you access HFS/HFS+ and possibly APFS drives, but I think they do not support encrypted drives, and also I think they gave up on APFS four or five years ago, since they didn't mention anything about it on their latest blog post dated September 2017.)

You can work the other way, by installing Paragon Software's Microsoft NTFS for Mac app on your macOS partition, and that would give you access to Windows files from macOS.

The main point to accessing data on a macOS partition from Windows is that you must make the macOS partition accessible from Windows (meaning opening up access and read/write permissions to macOS and then defeating the encryption in order to access the necessary files—this carries its own security risks as well). If you are trying to access a macOS partition over the network, the same applies.

A better solution is just to use an external hard disk formatted as exFAT, which you can use to share files between macOS and Windows. Cloud storage or a NAS drive on your network are also options.

There may be other people on this forum or on other forums (StackExchange, Reddit, Apple Support) who have more experience about accessing macOS partition files from Windows in Boot Camp. I have tried it, but as I was not successful after mucking about for a while and researching the matter, I gave up and decided to use the options above. Hope you have better luck.
 
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jchap

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2009
586
1,061
This advice might work if the user wanted to connect to a Windows PC over a network. However, based on their comments that they have attempted to use MacDrive (which is a Windows app for accessing partitions and media formatted for macOS), it sounds more like they want to access macOS on the same computer from within Windows in Boot Camp.
 

hajime

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
7,855
1,290
Are you trying to access your Windows files on the Boot Camp partition that's on the same Mac? It sounds like you are, based on your comments about installing MacDrive.

As you probably know, MacDrive is a Windows app that's used to access files on a drive that's formatted for use with macOS. However, it has some limitations. It's also a dated app that hasn't been updated in around three years, and the developer may have abandoned it.

Since you're using a MacBook Pro 2010 model, you don't have the T2 security chip installed, so there should be fewer limitations on accessing files across partitions. The problem is that your macOS partition (preinstalled on your Mac) is likely encrypted, if you are running a modern version of macOS (the latest version your model can run is likely macOS 10.13 High Sierra, which supports disk encryption). If that's the case, you need to install an app on your Windows Boot Camp partition that lets you work across partitions and override the disk encryption. MacDrive will not do that for you. (As I read on their website, the software will let you access HFS/HFS+ and possibly APFS drives, but I think they do not support encrypted drives, and also I think they gave up on APFS four or five years ago, since they didn't mention anything about it on their latest blog post dated September 2017.)

You can work the other way, by installing Paragon Software's Microsoft NTFS for Mac app on your macOS partition, and that would give you access to Windows files from macOS.

The main point to accessing data on a macOS partition from Windows is that you must make the macOS partition accessible from Windows (meaning opening up access and read/write permissions to macOS and then defeating the encryption in order to access the necessary files—this carries its own security risks as well). If you are trying to access a macOS partition over the network, the same applies.

A better solution is just to use an external hard disk formatted as exFAT, which you can use to share files between macOS and Windows. Cloud storage or a NAS drive on your network are also options.

There may be other people on this forum or on other forums (StackExchange, Reddit, Apple Support) who have more experience about accessing macOS partition files from Windows in Boot Camp. I have tried it, but as I was not successful after mucking about for a while and researching the matter, I gave up and decided to use the options above. Hope you have better luck.

Yes, I was trying to access Windows files on the Bootcamp partition from the Mac partition of my MacBook Pro 2010. The failure probably has something to do with compatibility between old MacOS and MacDrive. Anyway, I am retiring that old Mac.

For new Silicon Mac, I don't find Parallels suitable for my needs. So I will buy a new Mac to compliment my PC.
Since I mainly use Windows software for work, I have to find a good way to copy some of the files from Windows to Mac. In this case, is Paragon Software's MS NTFS for Mac on Mac OS a good choice?

Speaking of allowing access to MacOS, I wonder if installing additional security software such as those from Norton or Bitdefender could compromise the security of MacOS as I probably need to give permissions to those programs to access the drive.
 
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jchap

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2009
586
1,061
Since I mainly use Windows software for work, I have to find a good way to copy some of the files from Windows to Mac. In this case, is Paragon Software's MS NTFS for Mac on Mac OS a good choice?
Yes, it's been pretty stable for me. I understand your use case. Keep in mind that Microsoft NTFS for Mac basically gives you access from the macOS partition to the Windows Boot Camp partition. I can't remember whether it will let you access macOS from Windows—I'd have to go check my own installation, or you can check their website and download the trial version.

As for allowing access to macOS, you mean installing anti-virus of anti-malware software on your macOS partition? Obviously, you do have to give that kind of software permissions... one would think that it would increase the security of your system and not open security holes in the process... You will get different answers from different members on this forum regarding such software, ranging from those who never install security software and claim to never have any problems, to those who strongly advocate installing some kind of anti-virus and malware solution. I suggest you do your research and find what works best for you.
 

hajime

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
7,855
1,290
If that kind of anti-virus or anti-malware software have a vulnerability, by giving them permissions, one actually opens the door for such vulnerability to get in. It is hard to decide.

Maybe better to install security software on Windows PC first?
 

jchap

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2009
586
1,061
If that kind of anti-virus or anti-malware software have a vulnerability, by giving them permissions, one actually opens the door for such vulnerability to get in. It is hard to decide.

Maybe better to install security software on Windows PC first?
I would definitely install anti-virus/malware software on any Windows installation. As for myself and my use case, I also use Intego security products on my Macs, although I'm sure some other readers may be quick to criticize.

I should note that Windows Defender (the out-of-the-box security option for Windows) has apparently gotten better than it was several years ago, though.

Security (and any kind of software) is all about trust, really. You need to do your research, read unbiased reviews, explore the functionality, check out the trial versions and make your own decisions as to whether to use them, and which ones to use. Anything in the world of technology is vulnerable and fallible—it's just a question of how much and when. For people that have to work with technology every day, at some point in time we have to hand over our trust and just accept this fact. It's a part of life.
 

hajime

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
7,855
1,290
Which software do you use for your Windows installation?
 

jchap

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2009
586
1,061
Which software do you use for your Windows installation?
I've used various things. Recently, I used MalwareBytes on my Windows PC, which seemed to run smoothly. Actually, now I am trying Intego Antivirus for Windows on one of my PCs. That software is a bit of a fledgling product, since I think it's Intego's first foray into this kind of Windows software. It has received good reviews so far, since its Mac product has been solid for many years now.

I'm a rather low-risk user anyway for the most part (or so I think!), as I tend to visit most of the same sites for reference in my work, including MacRumors (which I really should not use every day, ha), Wikipedia, YouTube and a few news-related and miscellaneous sites. Still, I personally feel it's better to have anti-virus/malware software installed rather than not, since I do get files from Windows users. I have very occasionally found viruses in the files I received in the past several years, which would have gone undetected otherwise and possibly caused harm to my system.

Still, we never can tell about this kind of thing. Security software is evolving, but so are cyber-threats.
 

jchap

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2009
586
1,061
Poor performance
You did mention that you're running a MacBook Pro 2010. You've likely got a Core 2 Duo processor, which means that virtualization will not work smoothly on that machine. Parallels Desktop runs quite well on later Macs that have more performance cores, and it doesn't hurt to have the RAM to dedicate as well. Parallels also runs smoothly on M1 MacBook Air models, which of course use Apple silicon and require the ARM version of Windows to run.

So, it makes sense that you're dissatisfied with running Parallels in that environment. Two cores is not enough to virtualize Windows effectively.

I think you might be quite surprised at the performance of modern Macs nowadays with virtualization solutions like VMWare and Parallels. Are you thinking of upgrading your hardware someday, or do you prefer to stick with your 2010 model for a while longer?
 

hajime

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
7,855
1,290
You did mention that you're running a MacBook Pro 2010. You've likely got a Core 2 Duo processor, which means that virtualization will not work smoothly on that machine. Parallels Desktop runs quite well on later Macs that have more performance cores, and it doesn't hurt to have the RAM to dedicate as well. Parallels also runs smoothly on M1 MacBook Air models, which of course use Apple silicon and require the ARM version of Windows to run.

So, it makes sense that you're dissatisfied with running Parallels in that environment. Two cores is not enough to virtualize Windows effectively.

I think you might be quite surprised at the performance of modern Macs nowadays with virtualization solutions like VMWare and Parallels. Are you thinking of upgrading your hardware someday, or do you prefer to stick with your 2010 model for a while longer?


I tried Parallels on M2 Pro MacBook Pro 16" 2023 and I don't find the performance satisfactory.
 

jchap

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2009
586
1,061
I tried Parallels on M2 Pro MacBook Pro 16" 2023 and I don't find the performance satisfactory.
I see. Are there any specific Windows apps you wanted to use? For games or video editing or certain design apps, or other apps that might require serious computational power, I can see why you would not be happy.

Using Windows or any OS in a virtualized environment will likely never be the same as using Windows on a PC (non-virtualized). There are pluses and minuses to virtualization. You probably know about that.

Oh, BTW, you might mean MacBook Pro 16" 2021, since they haven't released an update to that MBP since then, AFAIK.
 
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