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utowana
2009-01-11, 04:58
I'm hoping a kind soul will help out a Mac know-nothing. I'm a PC guy, and have an NTFS formatted external USB HD that contains about 250 GB of mp3's. I want to make a copy of this HD and allow a sister to access it from her Mac. Can someone help me as to compatibility issues? I understand that FAT32 is the only format that both a PC and Mac can read/write to, correct? I read conflicting reports about problems accessing large files on a FAT32 drive, but no single mp3 is over the size limit. Are there other considerations? I also am vaguely aware of third party software products that might help with the conversion...for example, is there software for the Mac that would allow it to see an NTFS drive?

I'm a long time SlimDevices devotee and appreciate the help!

utowana
2009-01-11, 05:29
A follow up for clarity. Perhaps this would simplify my question:

I have a Seagate FreeAgent External HD that says it is compatible for PC and Mac. I have plugged it into my PC, but not installed any software it offers. Properties of the HD says it is formatted NTFS. Question: can I write files to this HD, unplug, and replug into a Mac?

socistep
2009-01-11, 05:48
A follow up for clarity. Perhaps this would simplify my question:

I have a Seagate FreeAgent External HD that says it is compatible for PC and Mac. I have plugged it into my PC, but not installed any software it offers. Properties of the HD says it is formatted NTFS. Question: can I write files to this HD, unplug, and replug into a Mac?

I can't comment for macs but when I moved from a pc to Linux then there was tools to use ntfs external drive

esbrewer
2009-01-11, 07:43
I think this may point you in the right direction. I was able to install a utility on my Mac running OS 10.5 where it can read and write PC formatted volumes (including NTFS I think). I am now able to take a PC formatted external USB disk that already had my music library on it and read and write to it on both my Mac and PC.

Google NTFS, sshfs and Mac OS and you should find the same stuff I did. Many people here are more expert than me in such matters, but I believe this software uses some of the UNIX core of Mac OS - so the install isn't as straightforward as I'm used to with the Mac. But with a little reading and experimentation I was able to figure it out, and it works flawlessly.

badbob
2009-01-11, 07:50
Or if you don't want to install a NTFS driver for your MAC, format the USB HD as FAT32. Mac's will read FAT32. Or buy a NAS, if you want a shared storage over your LAN with no need for a host PC and worries with partition support.

danco
2009-01-11, 09:28
Macs will read and write FAT32 drives.

Out of the box they will IIRC read NTFS formatted drives but not write to them.

There are at least two third-party solutions that enable them to write to NTFS drives also.

MacFuse and NTFS-3G together provide an open-source free solution.

Paragon Software (who do well-regarded PC software for various things about drives) have their own solution. I think they charge, but for me it came free on a cover disk, just had to pay the price of the magazine.

Tubebox
2009-01-13, 11:53
FAT32 on external HDs is not the same as on internal drives and is much more stable than the last one.
So every modern mac will read it. No need to reformat to NTFS (what might cause problems on macs) or format in Mac OS. The only thing that might cause problems on Mac OS platforms is aliases problem that get confused with multiple drives.