The Cave Music Services

NTFS Read/Write With Mac OSX

I have a couple of Macs at my home studio, and I also use a couple of PCs at my University office: one with Windoze, and one with Linux. So I have a bunch of files I need to access in two locations, and in three different operating systems. I got a small Seagate 120 GB USB drive to hold my stuff, and I carry it back and forth.

The catch: accessing these files from both Winduhs and Mac OSX. Winduhs doesn't have a clue what to do with a Mac-formatted drive. OSX will read and write with a FAT32-formatted volume, but that's limited by Winduhs to 32 GB in size, and that's not much use. In order to use a larger drive you need to format the drive as NTFS on a Windows machine. However, OSX will only read an NTFS file system - it won't write! Doh!

Solution: Macfuse and ntfs3g!

Step 1:
On the Windoze box, format the USB drive as NTFS.

Step 2:
Download and install macfuse from macfuse (on the Mac of course). This requires at least 10.4 (Tiger).

With my Macbook Pro, it seemed that macfuse was already installed (OSX 10.5 - Leopard).

Step 3:
Download and install ntfs3g from ntfs-3g (on the Mac).

That was easier than I figured. So far, it works fine.