Writing to NTFS volumes from OS X has become increasingly difficult, especially with Lion. Beginning with snow leopard (OS X 10.6.8 is the version I have), writing to NTFS natively stopped working. Luckily, there is a fairly easy workaround (good!) and it’s available at a price of zero (better!). For details click here (FYI the url is http://blog.nolar.info/ntfs-3g-in-mac-os-x-lion-10-7-with-read-write-support/ ).
NTFS is the most recent of Windows disk formatting schemes. Preceded by FAT-32, NTFS was designed to handle large volumes (> 1 tb) and be faster and more efficient. As far as I can tell the speed and accuracy of NTFS is almost the same as the Mac’s HFS+ system. Our friends at ArsTechnica have a succinct description of the various formatting options available for Mac disks. (Note that the “MS-DOS” file system discussed here is FAT-32, not NTFS.)
- “Mac OS Extended or HFS+ is an improved version of Apple’s Hierarchical File System from the mid-1980s.
- Mac OS Extended (Case Sensitive) is the same file system, but in this case, it treats file names that are the same but have different case as different. So the file text.txt is different from the file Text.txt and both can exist side by side. This matches the behavior of UNIX.
- Mac OS Extended (Journaled) is also HFS+, but it has an extra mechanism that avoids corruption of the file system when something bad happens, such as loss of power during a write operation.
- Mac OS Extended (Case Sensitive, Journaled) is HFS+ with a combination of case sensitivity and journaling.
- MS-DOS File System is the older FAT filesystem used with MS-DOS and Windows. Note that you can’t have files of 4GB or bigger on a FAT volume.
- UNIX File System (UFS) is exactly what the name suggests. Don’t use it unless you know you need to.”
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Thanks to Sergey Nolar Vasilyev and his blog at http://blog.nolar.info/ for this valuable information. I’ve tested his procedure under both snow leopard and lion. On our two Macs, it works great.