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Moloy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Hello everybody !

 

I do understand that there are already A LOT of topics and solutions about how to deal with external drive with NTFS file system from Mac. But nevertheless, I still  DO NOT want to use 3d party programs and apps for a pretty simple reason :  data located on my NTFS external drive is EXTREMELY important for me and there is no way I can lose or corrupt it (for example there are my childhood photos, passwords, bank info etc).  That is why I am only interested in SAFE ways to transfer data.

 

Therefore I found pretty unusual way to achieve my goal:

 

 

  I backup my HFS files to external drive via bootcamp Win7. Since I am able to view all Mac files while in bootcamped WIndows, I just copy/paste everything to my external Western DIgital NTFS drive.

 

 

HERE IS THE QUESTION.

Is it 100% safe to transfer a file from HFS+ to NTFS, then back, and then again to NTFS (etc)  this way ? Or is there any chance that once upon a time a file may become corrupted because of often transfers between two different file systems?

 

 

Thank you in advance !


MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.7.1)
  • 1. Re: Transfering files NTFS->HFS ->NTFS
    mende1 Level 10 Level 10 (89,570 points)

    I transferred a lot of files from NTFS to HFS disks and I didn't have any problem, but OS X needs third-party programs to write in NTFS disks. If you don't want to use an application, the only solution is to format the external disk in FAT or exFAT. exFAT is a filesystem supported on Windows and OS X created by Microsoft, and it was specially designed for external disks

  • 2. Re: Transfering files NTFS->HFS ->NTFS
    markwmsn Level 5 Level 5 (4,120 points)

    A side comment, if I may:

     

    Since nothing is 100% safe, including leaving files in one place, I trust you have the extremely important data on this external disk backed up in at least two other locations, preferrable one remote.

  • 3. Re: Transfering files NTFS->HFS ->NTFS
    Moloy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hey guys, thank you for your time and for the answeres

     

    "mende1" about "but OS X needs third-party programs to write in NTFS disks" As I have already said, I have found my own solution to escape 3d party programs - this is bootcamp Win (well, WIndows 7 is a 3d party program lol so . . .). I do not understand by any means the way a file is transcoded (or whatever is it called ) from one file system to another, but it looks like this way (via bootcamp) is the closest one to be a native native solution. I am glad to hear that you have transfered a lot of files, and I am sure there are TONS of people, that had no problems with paragon or whatever program they chose. I am worried only about that 0,001 % of people who corrupted the disc, using these programs.

     

    About "the only solution is to format the external disk in FAT or exFAT" FAT is no way, coz I do have some files larger then 4gb. I have tried exFAT in hope that it might be a perfect solution, but the read/write speed is significantly slower then with NTFS or HFS+, also I faced a lot of warnings from people agains exFAT, including http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExFAT

     

    "markwmsn" that is a great idia and I am already on my way to find some external desktop drives! But there are so many of them, and I have so little experience on this topic - it will take some time to decide)   They are much more expensive then portable drives, that is why I would like to escape some stupid mistake.

    Lacie looks nice and fits apple stile well. But I have never come across them, instead I do trust Western Digital. On the other hand I've heard a lot of negative reviews about reliability of WD drives.

     

  • 4. Re: Transfering files NTFS->HFS ->NTFS
    markwmsn Level 5 Level 5 (4,120 points)

    Actually, the portable drives tend to be more expensive if you compare drives of similar capacity and capabilities, but the desktop drives are usually faster and come in larger sizes, so the price tops out higher.

     

    You also have to be sure that you are comparing drives with the same connection type. Thunderbolt drives are very dear just now. USB3 drives have been more expensive than USB2, but I think they are getting closer. FireWire drives are getting rarer.

     

    As for drive makers, there are only a few manufacturing them and getting fewer. Seagate and Western Digital are about it these days as far as major players, though they may have kept some of the brands they bought out alive as a marketing device. LaCie is only an assembler; they buy raw drives from manufacturers and put them in cases, and you can't tell what drive is inside the case until after you have bought it. Some people swear by them, some at them.

     

    The same is true about any manufacturer, like Western Digital. This is particularly true in support forums like this one. You hear more from people with problems than people who are happy, just because it is human nature to complain more than to praise.

  • 5. Re: Transfering files NTFS->HFS ->NTFS
    Csound1 Level 8 Level 8 (35,445 points)

    Moloy wrote:

     

    Hey guys, thank you for your time and for the answeres

     

    snip

     

    "markwmsn" that is a great idia and I am already on my way to find some external desktop drives! But there are so many of them, and I have so little experience on this topic - it will take some time to decide)   They are much more expensive then portable drives, that is why I would like to escape some stupid mistake.

    Lacie looks nice and fits apple stile well. But I have never come across them, instead I do trust Western Digital. On the other hand I've heard a lot of negative reviews about reliability of WD drives.

     

    Be aware that every minute you operate without backup could be the one when the disk fails, or the operator makes an error. Get a disk now, use it, preferably get 2 and use 2 different methods (1 clone, 1 Time Machine).

    Trust OWC for recommendations as to choice of drive.

  • 6. Re: Transfering files NTFS->HFS ->NTFS
    Moloy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    markwmsn, "Thunderbolt drives are very dear just now. USB3 drives have been more expensive than USB2, but I think they are getting closer."

    Since I am going to use HDD external drive (coz I would like at least 1TB, 2TB would be awesome) I dont realy think that I do need this Thunderbolt connection, because in this case the data transfer speeds will be higher then HDD read/write speed (my calculations may be false though lol, but I'm pretty sure). So this is just a waste of money. Therefore I think that USB 3.0 is just fine. The info you gave about WD Seagate and LaCie is pretty handy for me, thank you!  And about the "more expensive external drives" I mean externale storage devices, sory for confuse. Like . . . small home server (I guess it is called RAID system). This is the only storage device that wont fail all at once.

     

    Csound1  "1 clone, 1 Time Machine" Time Machine is no solution for me, because I have important data BOTH on Mac (like photos, videos) and bootcamp WIndows (forex terminals installed, some files with settings that I need to keep on HTFS part of macbook drive) OSes, and Time Machine lookst like it ignores my bootcamp partition.  The same thing with clone, I have to clone twice, there is no way I can close both systems at once.

    And yes, I do of course agree with you about "Get a disk now" ! As I have already said in the 1st post I do backup all my data pretty often, but since I switched to mac recently, it is a pain.

    Backuping 450GB takes a lot of time ! ))

  • 7. Re: Transfering files NTFS->HFS ->NTFS
    Csound1 Level 8 Level 8 (35,445 points)

    Moloy wrote:

     

    Csound1  "1 clone, 1 Time Machine" Time Machine is no solution for me, because I have important data BOTH on Mac (like photos, videos) and bootcamp WIndows (forex terminals installed, some files with settings that I need to keep on HTFS part of macbook drive) OSes, and Time Machine lookst like it ignores my bootcamp partition.  The same thing with clone, I have to clone twice, there is no way I can close both systems at once.

    And yes, I do of course agree with you about "Get a disk now" ! As I have already said in the 1st post I do backup all my data pretty often, but since I switched to mac recently, it is a pain.

    Backuping 450GB takes a lot of time ! ))

    I don't use TM either (because I want at least one backup offsite). I would treat the 2 partitions as independent and back them up independently.

     

    I back up more than 450G, I backup everyday to 2 different locations, it takes none of my time and my method allows a 5 minute recovery from any hard drive failure, error or theft. You are making excuses that will sound lame when you lose files.

  • 8. Re: Transfering files NTFS->HFS ->NTFS
    Moloy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    "I back up more than 450G, I backup everyday to 2 different locations, it takes none of my time"  wah it looks like there is much stuff I can learn from you ))) So may I know how do you do that since it doesnt take much time from you?  You go to sleep while the data is being backup'ed? ))) That was my style while I was a PC-only user and back-ed up only 1 system)))

     

    Btw it is not extremely important for me to make a bootable clone of the system. I feel ok to recover MacOS, reinstal all the applications, run bootcamp assistant, devide the disk, instal Win7 etc.  The thing I am really worried about are my **** photos, passwords and settings.

  • 9. Re: Transfering files NTFS->HFS ->NTFS
    Csound1 Level 8 Level 8 (35,445 points)

    Moloy wrote:

     

    "I back up more than 450G, I backup everyday to 2 different locations, it takes none of my time"  wah it looks like there is much stuff I can learn from you ))) So may I know how do you do that since it doesnt take much time from you? 

    I have 3 portables and an iMac to deal with, the strategy is simple but not free. I divide backup into 2 categories, disaster recovery and archives. For the former I use clones, a reboot is all it takes to continue working, The iMac has an external drive connected and as for the portables I clone each (if in use) daily, this is achieved by plugging in an external drive (I keep a hub on my desk, the drive and other peripherals are permanently connected to the hub), say 5 seconds to plug the hub in. I use CCC to do a daily incremental update to the clone.

     

    Part 2 is the data storage and archive and I want that offsite so I use a service, I have 500G online that backs up all the machines (if connected to the internet) all the time, it keeps the data folders of all machines in sync and requires only that you are using the computer.

     

    That's it, unattended realtime data backup and a daily clone that requires about 5 seconds to start.

  • 10. Re: Transfering files NTFS->HFS ->NTFS
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,270 points)

    Maybe back up a bit. What are you doing with Mac vs. Windows? If you have all of this data on some NTFS drive and it is not replaceable, what are you still using it at all? All hard drives will fail eventually. Is there a reason why you need to continue to access the same data with both a Mac and Windows?

     

    I suggest just migrating your data to your Mac, use it there, and back it up with Time Machine. Let the NTFS drive gather dust. Maybe archive the data to another (HFS+) drive. If you still need Windows for something, use a virtual machine like Parallels.

     

    There are a lot of people who try to discourage use of Time Machine in favour some some home-grown, hacked-up approach. Don't listen to them.

  • 11. Re: Transfering files NTFS->HFS ->NTFS
    markwmsn Level 5 Level 5 (4,120 points)

    Two comments on etresoft's post:

    * Even if the Windows use is only inside a virtual machine, Time Machine may not really be the right tool for backing it up. Doesn't it tend to back up (and then restore) the whole virtual machine as a unit?

    * If you use only Time Machine for backup, you should rotate among several TM disks and keep one offsite. How far offsite depends on how large a catastrophe you want your data to survive.

     

    I use Time Machine as part of a tiered backup strategy for a varying number of computers. I find it very convenient, but not a complete solution for me.

  • 12. Re: Transfering files NTFS->HFS ->NTFS
    Moloy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Csound1  wow lol I was realy smiling while reading your post, you seem to be a god of data backup )))) What I am trying to do, is to leave my bulky PC and to use only portable machines. MacOS and MBA seem to be a great solution for me, so I dont want to have any desktop computer, iMac as well (I use to travel a lot and I dont want to bother myself with sync data between my portable computer and desktop computer. External display is a nice way to use mba as if it was an iMac).

    The reason I started to worry about my data a bit more - is that I am not used to Mac yet, I am talking about temperatures. Sometimes, while video editing or maybe some gaming, the temperature is like . . . 90-100 celsius for few hours. I know people say its ok for macbook, but I just dont feel safe for some reason.

     

    etresoft "What are you doing with Mac vs. Windows?" this is the problem I was trying to solve for a year, but I failed))) 1) My bank client does support only windows (i know its lol)  2) Metatrader 4 (Forex) does not support Mac, and crossover is no reasonable solution     3) maybe some gaming ? . . . like Serious Sam 1 or dota 2 ))))

    4) working in excel on Mac is a **** PAIN omg i've wasted so much nerves trying to get used but....enaugh of me. I have to push 2 buttons to delete a cell (fn+delete), also there is a topic with 100 pages somewhere here about some delay when working on MS Office 2011 for mac. I mean....for example when you chose a cell, you have to wait about 0,5-1sec before you can copy/paste (trust me thats a lot of time for excel). And few more problems sory I decided to forget about this experience as soon as possible  

    "I suggest just migrating your data to your Mac" "If you still need Windows for something, use a virtual machine like Parallels" This is something I wish I achieve in close future !

  • 13. Re: Transfering files NTFS->HFS ->NTFS
    Csound1 Level 8 Level 8 (35,445 points)

    Moloy wrote:

     

    Csound1  wow lol I was realy smiling while reading your post, you seem to be a god of data backup )))) What I am trying to do, is to leave my bulky PC and to use only portable machines. MacOS and MBA seem to be a great solution for me, so I dont want to have any desktop computer, iMac as well (I use to travel a lot and I dont want to bother myself with sync data between my portable computer and desktop computer. External display is a nice way use mba as if it was an iMac).

    The reason I started to worry about my data a bit more - is that I am not used to Mac yet, I am talking about temperatures. Sometimes, while video editing or maybe some gaming, the temperature is like . . . 90-100 celsius for few hours. I know people say its ok for macbook, but I just dont feel safe for some reason.

    No God qualities here, I have lost data in the past and take it seriously now, because I use more than one machine (on 2 continents) it is very important to me that when I get where I am going the machine there will match the machine here, and that both are backed up.

  • 14. Re: Transfering files NTFS->HFS ->NTFS
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,270 points)

    Moloy wrote:

     

    etresoft "What are you doing with Mac vs. Windows?" this is the problem I was trying to solve for a year, but I failed))) 1) My bank client does support only windows (i know its lol)  2) Metatrader 4 (Forex) does not support Mac, and crossover is no reasonable solution     3) maybe some gaming ? . . . like Serious Sam 1 or dota 2 ))))

    4) woring in excel on Mac is a **** PAIN omg i've wasted so much nerves trying to get used but....enaugh of me. I have to push 2 buttons to delete a cell (fn+delete), also there is a topic with 100 pages somewhere here about some delay when working on MS Office 2011 for mac. I mean....for example when you chose a cell, you have to wait about 0,5-1sec before you can copy/paste (trust me thats a lot of time for excel). And few more problems sory I decided to forget about this experience as soon as possible  

    "I suggest just migrating your data to your Mac" "If you still need Windows for something, use a virtual machine like Parallels" This is something I wish I achieve in close future !

    1) Your bank doesn't have a web portal? This is something that Parallels could certainly handle.

    2) I get 9 results in the Mac App Store when searching for "forex"

    3) I know nothing about games

    4) I haven't noticed any problems in Excel 2011. I'm not a heavy user though. If I were, I would have already tried Numbers instead.

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