There are couple of tradeoffs for this.
1. I was a Windows user and recently switched to Mac. The data I backed up over these years on multiple HDDs are in NTFS format.
2. HIgh capacity HDDs often comes pre-formatted with NTFS.
3. There's no safe way to convert NTFS to HFS+
4. Time Machine won't support format anything other than HFS+. Looks like I should have a dedicated HDD for Time Machine Backup
You may have to resort to 3rd party applications for writing to NTFS. Tuxera and Paragon have solutions that are compatible with Mavericks. You may have to research to see which may be better for you.
Any new pre-formatted drives can be re-formatted to HFS+ if you like.
Definitely have a dedicated Time Machine backup.
If possible and not too costly you may want to purchase some HDD's, format as HFS+ and transfer all your data from the NTFS drives to those drives. If you value your data you should not have in just one location due to the occasional drive failure.
I have created a script to initialize NTFS HDisks and use them in write mode just by using the native OSX driver, without third party software). It seems to work also under Mavericks. You can download it from:
You only need to run it once for each new ntfs disk. Next time you plug a ntfs disk that was alreadyinitialized with my script, the disk will be automatically mounted (however, it will not be displayed in the desktop, you will have to open it from /Volumes).
It is also important that the HD has been safely removed, since NTFS contains a flag to notice if the disk was safely removed or not, not allowing to mount it in write mode with the native OSX driver (something similar happens under Linux). In case it happens you just need to plug it into a windows PC and safely remove the HD (so it cleans that flag).
Hope this is useful to you.
Not all hd sets UUID? I didn't know that. In this case It might work with the Volume Name (not in my case). I will try with more HD and change the script in case write mode works with the Volume name or any other flag (I simply created the script to work with my hard drives and it works with all of them).
The article that ixxion linked before says you can do it just using LABEL= instead of UUID= and use "Volume Name" as the label.
The problem of using the /etc/fstab approach is that you lose mounted icons on Desktop:
Does anybody know how to make mounted volumes appear again?
PS: Finder options are ok as I can see other (HFS) volumes and I used to see NTFS "readonly" volumes...
Yes, I know, but I tried to use the Volume Name with my disks and it didn´t work (as I said, with my disks).
As far as I know, there is no other way to use native write mode in ntfs rather than using fstab and beside that, with the "nobrowse" option (If the browse option is set, the icon appears in the desktop but the device is not mounted in write mode). That is why you need to open it from the Volumes dir.
Yes, It could be a solution but by creating a symbolic link, the icon will appear permanently in the desktop (one per device in fstab), even if the disk is not connected. I think that it is better to leave it as it is and open Volume manually (I have a link to /Volumes in my desktop and also in the sidebar of the finder)
I was able to make NTFS write support worked on Mac OS X 10.8 with the command below but now in Mavericks it will not work.
/sbin/mount_ntfs_orig -o rw,auto,nobrowse "$@“
I only moved "mount_ntfs" to "mount_ntfs_orig" and created a new "mount_ntfs" script. Change the permissions.
I also added: open /Volumes/
So finder will open/show the mounted drive automatically since the "nobrowse" command will not show mounted drives on your computer.
BTW: I only read about this and just mixed the command together to make it work. Credits to them.