Writing to NTFS via bootcamp or Parallels/VMware

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by gloryunited, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. gloryunited macrumors 6502

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    Oct 29, 2010
    #1
    I am considering getting my first mac (MBA) but I have an external hdd with NTFS format. I've read that OSX can read files from NTFS but cannot write to it.

    What if I run Parallels/VMware using the bootcamp partition? Can I then write files to the external hdd?

    I am confused. :confused:

    thanks
     
  2. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #2
    You will be able to write to the drive if you choose the option to connect it directly to the virtual machine (VM) from within the VM software, or using Boot Camp. Alternatively, you can install MacFUSE + NTFS-3G (free) or buy one of the commercial NTFS solutions out there in order to write to NTFS volumes from OS X.
     
  3. gloryunited thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Thanks for the super quick reply, Bill. :p

    Is it better(or more reliable) to write to the NTFS drive under Windows (using bootcamp or VM) than using those software solutions under OS X?

    But one more thing, say I have a file on my OS X, how can I move it across to the VM Windows side before writing it to my external hdd?
    I mean can I see and access the file, which is originally in OS X and obviously in the HFS+ partition, from within the VM software?
     
  4. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #4
    NTFS-3G has matured to the point where there's no greater risk using it versus writing to a drive from Windows. The only downside is that it's somewhat slower than Windows at reading and writing to NTFS volumes which is why Tuxera, the makers of NTFS-3G, also offer a commercial driver with improved performance for ~$35 USD.

    You can add shared folders to the VM so you can read (and write if enabled) to whatever folder(s) you want from the VM. You can also drag-and-drop files from OS X to the VM.
     
  5. gloryunited thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    So if I want to write a file to an NTFS volume from OS X, I can either

    OR


    However, there is still one thing that confuses me. If we can drag and drop files from OS X to the VM and the VM can be on a bootcamp thus NTFS partition itself, then by the action of drag-and-drop we are already writing files to an NTFS volume with OS X. :confused:
     
  6. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #6
    Correct, although NTFS-3G may still be faster than dragging and dropping a file onto a VM. I haven't benchmarked it either way. NTFS-3G is still fast, just not as fast as Windows's native support and Tuxera's commercial driver.

    Sort-of. You still have the VM acting as the middle man, so you'll need to boot Windows as a VM before you can perform any file copy operations. If you install NTFS-3G and do it natively from OS X, Windows can be shut down; in fact, you can't copy a file to the Boot Camp partition using NTFS-3G if you have Windows booted from that volume as a VM. The partition will be unmounted by the VM software when you first power-on the VM.
     
  7. gloryunited thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 29, 2010
    #7
    Would the NTFS-3G speed become a non-issue when transferring files to an external hdd through USB2.0? I am thinking that USB2.0 might be a bottleneck itself.

    If so, I will not bother formatting my external hdd to a HFS+/NTFS split dual-partition drive because this procedure seems challenging...

    thanks a lot! :D
     
  8. gloryunited thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 29, 2010
    #9
    Thanks for the link.

    Looking at the speed difference, I think I should put in some effort and try to create 2 partitions on my external hdd. One with HFS+ and one with NTFS.

    The problem then becomes how to effectively backup the files on the 1TB external hdd (with a desktop PC), format it to the 2 partitions, and then transfer part or most of the files back to the newly formatted hdd. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #10
    I'm not sure that I can help you with your new issue, but have you considered formatting the external HDD as exFAT instead of NTFS & HFS+? OS X can read and write from exFAT volumes as of 10.6.5, and Windows XP and newer have exFAT support through either patches or built-in with the latest versions of Windows.
     
  10. gloryunited thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Haven't heard about exFAT before!

    just read about it on Wikipedia, that seems to be able to solve the cross-platform problem, as long as one uses new version of Windows and Mac OS. :eek:
     
  11. Arto65 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 21, 2010
    #12
    FAT formats are outdated, and snow leopard has now unbuilt NTFS writing support.
    In one word, you can write on NTFS partitions with no extra software.
    The only thing is: the functionality is locked by default. So you can either use a software like ntfsmount to allow the functionality for one specific drive, or look for a script to unlock the functionality permanently.
    On my Mac I ran the script once, and that's it! I can write on NTFS just as if I were using a PC.
     
  12. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #13
    Post back when you've corrupted your data. :) There's a reason that functionality is disabled.
     
  13. Arto65, Nov 22, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010

    Arto65 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 21, 2010
    #14
    What do you mean ?
    I read they didn't enabled the NTFS functionality so they wouldn't have to pay a license for a functionality that would ease the transition between OSX and windows.

    What's wrong with the ntfs drivers?

    For the information, I have been using a NTFS external drive for 1 month on a daily basis with no other problem than permission problems. The data was fine, but some files were inaccessible under OSX. I finally formatted it in HFS+.
     
  14. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #15
    Read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS#Interoperability

    Microsoft doesn't license NTFS. Period. All implementations for other OSes are reverse engineered and thus sketchy.

    B
     
  15. Arto65 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 21, 2010
    #16
    Thanks @Bill_Gates and @balamw for the info, I really didn't know about exfat nor ntfs unstability on mac.

    BTW, do you plan to use exFAT?
     
  16. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #17
    I've been staring off an on all day at a 2 TB drive I want to deploy and have been thinking about using exFAT on it, but I might try it on a smaller scale first. I have a 250 GB drive I might play with first.

    B
     
  17. MacBH928 macrumors 68020

    MacBH928

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    May 17, 2008
    #18
    So what is the final answer?
    If I launch my Win7 bootcamp partition(NTFS) from parallels, will i be able to transfer my files from the Mac to the Windows or not?

    2) When to use exFAT? is it for drivers that will be used between both Mac and PC?
     

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