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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist Fleeters's Avatar
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    NTFS and MAC OS X

    I have an external drive that i use for backing up my mac and pc.. i have the drive formatted as fat32 right now.. but it slows the shi*t out of my mac.. does anyone know if i can use NTFS with Mac OSX and will it run better with my mac?? or does anyone know if it is possible to split the drive one HFS+ and one NTFS or FAT

    thanks..
    Aaron Smith
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  2. #2
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Mac OS X 10.3.7 has support for NTFS.

    I think it has had basic (read-only) support for NTFS since the first release of 10.3 though I think a Mac expert will have to clarify this.

    However, FAT32 shouldn't be slowing down the disk for you - all else being equal FAT32 should be the same performance if not a bit faster than NTFS.
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  3. #3
    Non-Member john.stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmj
    However, FAT32 shouldn't be slowing down the disk for you.
    I agree with that 100%.

    It just might just be the mac not handling data transfers well... If the cpu is a g4 under 1ghz, then it could be just taking all of cycles to move the data... Granted data transference isn't the most cpu demanding operation, but it might be enough to slow the system down... Another possibility is that it's a mac notebook and might have a slower RPM hard drive... Which will slow down the system as well if it's working on moving large amounts of data...

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    SitePoint Wizard ChrisRoss's Avatar
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    Fat32 has its problems... its not as stable as the newer file systems. It can't handle as large as filenames and files as the rest. It also doesn't handle large capacity drives, I forget what the exact size is.

    You could format it HFS+ and use a third party utility
    http://gamma.nic.fi/~lpesonen/HFVExp...lorerHelp.html

    Or
    http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive/

    As for two partitions i'm pretty sure disk utility doesn't let you have two file systems on one drive.
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    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwinweekly.com
    Fat32 has its problems... its not as stable as the newer file systems. It can't handle as large as filenames and files as the rest. It also doesn't handle large capacity drives, I forget what the exact size is.
    The maximum size of a single FAT32 partition is 8 terabytes, although Windows XP by default will refuse to format a partition as FAT32 if it is over 32 gigabytes. There's tons of easy ways round this, for example you can format it from your Mac. Windows XP will successfully read from and write to FAT32 partitions up to 8 terabytes.

    The maximum filename for files on FAT32 is the same as NTFS - 255 characters.

    FAT32 is quite stable on Windows and on other operating systems. It is faster than NTFS, due to the extra overhead on NTFS required for journaling. Recovery from a crash or power loss is less destructive in NTFS than FAT32, which is NTFS' major benefit.

    I find that FAT32 is a good choice when compatibility between different operating systems is required, as NTFS support on operating systems other than Windows XP/2000 is usually not as stable if it is possible at all. This doesn't apply to USB memory keys.
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    SitePoint Evangelist Fleeters's Avatar
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    FAT32 gives me problems when say i connect the drive.. it takes so long for the mac to mount it just because it has to read the FAT table on it.... then for some reason it seams like my mac is always interacting with the drive even when im not doing anything on the computer.. or say if i open up a finder window.. its slow because it seems to be interacting with the external.. not sure what the deal is..

    o yeah wone other thing that is annoying is the fact that HFS+ will allow certain characters in file names and longer ones but FAT is limited.. so if im doing daily backups, if there is a file in there that is too long or has one bad char in it.. it screws up the whole backup...
    Aaron Smith
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard ChrisRoss's Avatar
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    Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought the only way Windows was able to get 255 char with FAT was using a short filename internally (in Windows) and presenting the long filename. It was my understanding that this longer string will get lost when the file is transported to another file system or accessed by any non-Windows OS, Unix, Mac OS, etc.

    I could be wrong... I just remember this problem back in the day with FAT32 and transferring files. Maybe it was on OS thing but I thought it was a format thing.
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    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwinweekly.com
    Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought the only way Windows was able to get 255 char with FAT was using a short filename internally (in Windows) and presenting the long filename. It was my understanding that this longer string will get lost when the file is transported to another file system or accessed by any non-Windows OS, Unix, Mac OS, etc.
    All modern operating systems use long filenames on FAT32 and they work across operating systems. I can verify this between Windows and Linux, and between Windows and Mac.

    I believe that FAT32 includes the ability to have both long and short filenames. Long filenames on Windows pre-date FAT32, so they've always been available with FAT32. All modern operating systems can read and write the long filenames.
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  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist Fleeters's Avatar
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    yeah i admit.. you got me there... about the long filenames.. but i know ive had characters HFS+ can use and FAT cant.. ive had it happen with files where for some reason it wont copy to the external but if i rename it getting rid of special characters it works just fine... usually i dont put special whacky characters in but sometimes DL's have wierd chars in them..
    Aaron Smith
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    SitePoint Evangelist Fleeters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwinweekly.com
    Fat32 has its problems... its not as stable as the newer file systems. It can't handle as large as filenames and files as the rest. It also doesn't handle large capacity drives, I forget what the exact size is.

    You could format it HFS+ and use a third party utility
    http://gamma.nic.fi/~lpesonen/HFVExp...lorerHelp.html

    Or
    http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive/

    As for two partitions i'm pretty sure disk utility doesn't let you have two file systems on one drive.

    hey i checked out that first link.. the hfve explorer... so say i had my external HFS+ formatted... that software will just mount the drive.. and i can use it normally??? i thought i would just ask you quick instead of me reading a bunch...

    thanks
    Aaron Smith
    smithaaronlee.net

  11. #11
    My precious!!! astericks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmj
    Mac OS X 10.3.7 has support for NTFS.

    I think it has had basic (read-only) support for NTFS since the first release of 10.3
    It can write too.

    I read/write all the time over my home network. [os X 10.3.7 /win xp]

  12. #12
    Mlle. Ledoyen silver trophy seanf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astericks
    I read/write all the time over my home network. [os X 10.3.7 /win xp]
    Your Mac is not directly accessing and reading from/writing to the hardrive of your Windows XP computer. Your Mac will communicate with your Windows XP computer using the Network File System (NFS) protocol and create a Virtual File System (VFS). Basically, the Mac will tell the XP computer what it wants or what it wants to do and the XP computer will perform the actual operations with the filesytem

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