External Hard Drive question: MacFUSE's NTFS-3G Read/Write Driver recommended?
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."
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!
1) Tried it. Works. No problems. A bit slow that's all.
2) You can never backup enough.
3) You can either partition the drive, or get yourself Paragon NTFS for mac. It's a new release, a few bugs here and there, but it works. However, it comes at a price of $30.
4) You can never tell when a hard drive is going to go kaput. All brands fail, and all brands have been known to last for years together.
I'm going to agree with Goobimama: You can never back up enough.
And I'm also a fan f Paragon NTFS. There is a trial version that you can use to see if it will meet your needs, too.
The best thing to do with backups is to buy multiple drives and duplicate from one to the other. Always be prepared for a failure. It's the only way you'll survive it ;-)
hey, thanks a lot for the feedback. so if i'm understanding you correctly, paragon ntfs pretty much does the same thing as macfuse's ntfs-3g driver? which do you like better?
because i'll primarily be using leopard on my macbook rather than vista, i'm thinking about getting an hfs+ formatted external hd, mainly as backup but eventually for extra storage. is there a reliable freeware (or something not prohibitively expensive) that enables hfs+ formatted drives to be read in windows ntfs?
With Regard for Brilliant Programmers
When comparing NTFS-3G and the Paragon product, you may wish to note that all open source development of NTFS-3G ceased in October 2007 due to a conflict of professional interest for it's developer.
November 2007, was not only the month for the last underground release of NTFS-3G (V1.328) but was also the month in which Paragon announced in a press release
the release of it's NTFS for MacOSX product.
Thus to compare NTFS-3G with the Paragon product is perhaps simply to compare the skills and creativity of an individual programmer versus the enhanced performance and reliability that comes from the resources and QA practices of a commercial enterprise.
I am simply suggesting that whilst Paragon's NTFS for Mac OSX may be a reliable and performing product, it most likely owes it's roots to the ingenuity and skils of the sole programmer that created NTFS-3G.
It is therefore perhaps, in recognising the utilisation of their employer's resources to create NTFS-3G that this programmer realised that with this personal development endeavour also arose a conflict of interest.
And perhaps, as a consequence, the developer of NTFS-3G demonstrated integrity and professionalism in recognising the use of their employer's resources in the creation of their product.
These words are no more than the educated guess-work of an ex-(Cisco/Sun/.Com x 4/pre-web) Internet hack with an appreciation for that so very rare breed that is the brilliant programmer who goes commercial with the right people for the right reasons.
NTFS-3G was a personal passion, Paragon's NTFS for MacOSX is passion made reality.
With the greatest of regards,
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