If you’ve been itching to know how to access ALL mainstream/default Windows and Mac formatted hard disks on both platforms, you sir have come to the right place. I’ve done my research and have been using this solution for a few months now on my external hard disk, which is a Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus 500gb.
This tech tip is pretty much noob-proof because it doesn’t involve any system hacking – it just involves installing a few apps.
This tip has been fully tested to work under Mac OS X 10.5, however it should work fine in older Mac OS X’s. You just have to install the appropriate app version.
First, let’s look at how you can take FULL control on NTFS partitions from your Mac.
This is actually very simple. Install the following apps in order.
1) MacFUSE – http://code.google.com/p/macfuse/
look for MacFUSE-Core-10.5-1.3.1.dmg if you’re using Leopard, and MacFUSE-Core-10.4-1.3.0.dmg if you’re using Tiger.
2) NTFS-3G – http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/
the latest blog post should provide you the latest version with download link, i.e. the latest version is 1.2129 at time of writing
The installation for both of these apps should be plain simple and straightforward.
Whoa-la! After installing both these apps you should be able to Read and Write data onto your NTFS partition!
Pictured here is a NTFS partition (duh!)
Notable Limitation of the NTFS-3G partition: deleting stuff will not move them to the Trash, you will be prompted to permanently delete them.
Now on to Read/Write support for Mac volumes on Windows.
As of date, there is no free alternative for such capability, one software that I have fully tested for the past few months is MacDrive by Mediafour (http://www.mediafour.com/products/macdrive/). However, it doesn’t come cheap. Retailing at $49.95 USD, you might wanna think twice before deciding wether you want your hard drive to be in NTFS or HFS. I think you already know the answer.
Notable Limitations of this software: You HAVE to soft eject your HFS+ Journaled volume before you try to mount it with MacDrive. Else, you will have trouble mounting it. Also, if you got Daemon Tools installed, make sure it’s updated to the latest version because older versions seems to have conflict with this software, that can prevent your volume from mounting.
Pictured here is a HFS+ Journaled volume mounted in Windows XP (it should also work in Vista according to MediaFour).
Any questions? Feel free to post in comments and I’ll try to help.
Also, if anyone finds a better/free alternative for the MacDrive solution feel free to post in comments as well.
P/S: If you’re wondering why my hard drive is so empty. It’s because I was playing with the diskutil command in Terminal, trying to split my partitions into two. The command did the job well, so well that it wiped my data ;(