Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Read and Write NTFS Windows Partition on Mac OS X

Updated: from MacFuse 0.1.0 Beta 6 to 0.1.7

Users running Mac OS X with Bootcamp Windows may struggle to modify or update your documents and files in the Windows partition - usually it is in NTFS File System format which you can read the drive natively in Mac OS X but not write onto it.

Recently Amit Singh, a Google employee, releases a implementation called MacFUSE which makes it possible to use any FUSE (File-system in USErspace) file systems in Mac. And the most useful FUSE is the NTFS-3G Read/Write Driver, which ables system to load NTFS with read and write capability. This is truly the greatest news for dual booting Mac OS X and Windows XP or Vista.

Without going into great deal of technical details and compilation of the source code, I found out users around Internet already came up with binary version (in DMG) of MacFUSE and ntfs-3g, ready to install (credit to ShadowOfGed at AppleNova). Here are the instructions on how to use MacFUSE and NTFS-3G. It does require a little of administration skills as it involves running commands in the Terminal.

MacFUSE/NTFS-3G works for me, but as this is an experimental software, so back up your data, and try it at your own risk.

MacFUSE Installer

  • Download and Install NTFS-3G 20070116 DMG
  • Open the Disk Utility (In Finder -> Application -> Utility folder) and press Umount button on the NTFS volume

NTFS Mac Umount

  • Now, right click on the volume and select “Information”, search for “Disk Identifier” (i.e. disk0s2). Note it.


  • Start Terminal and run the the following commands in italic:
  • Create symlink for mount_fusefs: sudo ln -s /System/Library/Filesystems/fusefs.fs/mount_fusefs /usr/bin/mount_fusefs
  • Create a new directory: mkdir /Volumes/Windows
  • Mount the NTFS volume: sudo /usr/local/bin/ntfs-3g /dev/disk0s2 /Volumes/”Windows” -o ping_diskarb,volname=”Windows”

After this step, you should see the Windows volume is mounted and should show on your desktop. Now try to read and write files in the NTFS volume. Have fun and hope you find it useful.

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