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Member Since: Dec 07, 2007
Posts: 6
pbergen is on a distinguished road

pbergen is offline
mac newbie (and longtime windows user) here...please bear with me, i have a windows-to-mac issue and need some advice!

i have a 200 gb maxtor external hard drive that's in ntfs format, meaning that when i plug it into my macbook (running os x 10.5 leopard), the files are read-only (about 40 gb worth of documents, spreadsheets, itunes, photos, etc). i've been looking into solutions for this issue, and initially considered partitioning the external hard drive, then reformatting the empty partition into fat 32 format so that i could read/write/save files onto the hd while using the mac os.

but recently i found about about macfuse - specifically, its ntfs-3g read/write driver:

"[This is] a free open source program that enables Mac OS X to run file systems that OS X doesn't normally support. This includes Microsoft's NTFS, the standard file system for Windows XP and Windows Vista. Mac OS X can read NTFS-formatted drives, but cannot write to them. With MacFuse and NTFS-3G, a read/write NTFS driver, Macs gain full NTFS access."

my questions:
1) has anyone here actually tried this? does it work? can i trust this, i.e. were there any problems with data accidentally getting erased off of the external hard drive? i currently don't have a backup for all the info on my external hd and don't want to try this if it's risky.

2) even if it does work like a charm, i should probably back up my external hd, right? pretty much everything is on there (the hd was the backup for my previous computer's internal hd). what would be the best way to back up all the data - should i just get a new external hd for that purpose? or is there a better solution - online data storage? cds?

if getting a new external hd is the way to go, are any specific models of external hard drives especially recommended? i've heard seagate and hitachi are pretty good...anything else? should i be worried about my maxtor hd failing on me at some point soon (it's two years old)? a friend mentioned to me that he doesn't like maxtor's hard drives. and another friend's western digital external hd just failed on her, although she's not sure of the source of the problem (could be just a power issue).

3) if macfuse is not recommended for my issue, should i go ahead and partition the external hard drive, then reformat the empty partition to fat 32 (or some other format)? is there a free way of partitioning external hard drives (seems that boot camp doesn't work, while iPartition appears to be payware)?

thanks for taking the time to read this, and looking forward to your help, guys!
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