Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1


    Member Since
    Dec 09, 2011
    Posts
    2
    Slightly Different PC --> Mac External Hard Drive Question(s)
    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

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    48,001
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Welcome to the Mac Forums.

    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.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Dec 09, 2011
    Posts
    2
    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.

  4. #4

    Dysfunction's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2008
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    6,866
    Specs:
    Way... way too many specs to list.
    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)
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  5. #5

    Aqua's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 05, 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    452
    Specs:
    Macbook Pro, 2.4GHz Core2 Duo 10.6.8, MacMini
    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.

    NTFS on your Mac two ways | TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog
    invincible ignorance is an example of ignorance that can not be removed by any amount of evidence. It's now a widespread form of pollution. (Revised quote) An apple a day, keeps the psychiatrist away.. If you play a Windows install CD backwards it has satanic verses

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Mar 13, 2011
    Posts
    224
    Specs:
    2011 MacBook Air, i5 27" IMac, 2010 21.5" IMac, 2010 Mini, 2011 13" MBP, IPhone 4, Airport Extreme
    You will be able to do whatever you want with the files that are copied to the new drive

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Dec 04, 2011
    Posts
    10
    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.

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Feb 27, 2011
    Posts
    186
    Specs:
    '11 15.4, 2.2, 8gb MBP - '11 15.4, 2.0, 8gb MBP, 2x4gb Gen1 Nano, 8gb Gen3 Nano,
    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.
    Craig Lamson - Craig Lamson Photo

    www.craiglamson.com

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. External hard drive question (from PC to Mac)
    By horacexgrant in forum Other Hardware and Peripherals
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-11-2014, 03:08 AM
  2. Mac Will Not Find My External Hard Drive - Time Machine Question
    By robotboy175 in forum Switcher Hangout
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-28-2010, 01:52 PM
  3. Serial ATA hard drive from PC as external hard drive for Mac???
    By Hammerhead84 in forum Switcher Hangout
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-05-2008, 11:54 AM
  4. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-13-2008, 10:08 PM
  5. External Hard drive question
    By Ninjab3ar in forum Other Hardware and Peripherals
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-17-2007, 01:10 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •