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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Slightly Different PC --> Mac External Hard Drive Question(s)


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prh002

 
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Gan daginn everyone,

As mentioned in the thread title, I have what I feel is a slightly different take on the external hard drive question. Over the last few months, I've scoured the Internet and have spoken with sales associates and have yet to find a clear answer. I've learned a lot about FAT/NTFS and the limitations of each and have enjoyed searching through all the posts and similar questions on here.

I have a PC running Vista and am going to be making the switch to a Mac. I have close to a TB of documents and music on my NTFS external hard drive that I'd like to back up onto a larger external when I get the Mac, using the newer drive (see below) as my main external. I'm aware that I could try setting up a network to transfer the files but this route is not my first choice.

I will be purchasing an HFS+ external to use with the Mac and would like to leave my current NTFS external as a further back-up of the state of my files at this moment; I'm not interested in reformatting my current external to FAT so that the Mac can read/write files onto it.

My question is (more like questions are): Can I plug NTFS --> Mac --> HFS+ and transfer the files this way? Will the Mac be able to read/write the files on the HFS+ that were transferred from the NTFS drive without any problems? If it helps, I'm talking about music, photos and Word/Excel documents (with or without the help of extra software to read/write the latter).

I hope I was able to formulate my questions clearly as I've been thinking about this forever! I appreciate any advice or help that could be given and thanks for the time you've taken to read this. Please let me know if I can clarify anything if you have questions
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chscag

 
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Welcome to the Mac Forums.

Quote:
My question is (more like questions are): Can I plug NTFS --> Mac --> HFS+ and transfer the files this way? Will the Mac be able to read/write the files on the HFS+ that were transferred from the NTFS drive without any problems? If it helps, I'm talking about music, photos and Word/Excel documents (with or without the help of extra software to read/write the latter).
By default, Mac OS X can read NTFS formatted disks but not write to them. You would need third party software in order to do that. The best third party utility in my opinion is Paragon NTFS, currently $19.95.

Transferring 1TB of files from NTFS to HFS is a tedious slow task and invites errors. I would leave the files stored in NTFS format and transfer only those that were actually needed. Otherwise, setting up a network to do the transferring would be the best way.
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prh002

 
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Thanks for your response - much appreciated.

I think I should further clarify myself - if I connect an NTFS drive to a Mac and just transfer the files straight through to the HFS+ drive, will the Mac see the files in the HFS+ drive as having originated in an NTFS and therefore view it as a read-only file (i.e. if I want to open a Word document and add text to it - is this possible)? Or will it view the file as being on an HFS+ drive and not have any difficulties modifying it?

I hope that's not too confusing.
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Files do not carry file systems with them. So, you'd be able to read and write on the hfs+ drive (unless there are file permissions issues, but that's easily corrected)

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Aqua

 
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I think for clarity, the only thing you can do with an ntfs drive on a mac is take a copy of the file itself (so you will always have the original). You will be able to do whatever you like with it once it's on the mac except write a copy of it onto the ntfs drive. That being said, you could write it back to (I think) using virtualization such as Parallels, VMFusion or VBox(? - freeware).

Given Vbox is free you could try it and see.

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You will be able to do whatever you want with the files that are copied to the new drive
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dcairns

 
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I had a similar situation and did a network copy from my 1.5 TB NTFS drive to a new 2TB Mac drive. Just left it running overnight. I have not run across any messed up photos yet.
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infocusinc

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
Welcome to the Mac Forums.



By default, Mac OS X can read NTFS formatted disks but not write to them. You would need third party software in order to do that. The best third party utility in my opinion is Paragon NTFS, currently $19.95.

Transferring 1TB of files from NTFS to HFS is a tedious slow task and invites errors. I would leave the files stored in NTFS format and transfer only those that were actually needed. Otherwise, setting up a network to do the transferring would be the best way.

+1 Paragon

I have it on my MBP's and on my mac that can't be named here, which also has 4 windows drives and it works very well.

I also have MacDrive on the windows boot drive so I can also go the the other way.

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