5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 7, 2010 5:20 AM by Fortuny
Ferry67 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hi there, I have an external hard disc in NTFS format. I used it for my laptop with Microsoft Windows on it. Now it is impossible to use this hard disc for my new iMac. It's "only read" now. I have done some Googling and there seem some software to get the mac write, copy, read and delete on an external hard disc in NTFS format. But I am not sure if I want to download this software. Is there any other way except reformatting the disc into FAT32? I have loads of music on the disc I want to upload into my iTunes library.

Thanks in advance and Happy Holidays!


iMac 21,5" 500Gb, Mac OS X (10.6.2), iPod Classic 180Gb
  • Fortuny Level 7 Level 7 (21,425 points)
    Hi Ferry,

    OSX itself can indeed only read from NTFS formated disks, not write to them.

    Only through installing NTFS-3G or the commercial Paragons NTFS for Mac OSX gets write access to NTFS.

    While there is a way to convert FAT32 to NTFS there is no way for the other direction apart from reformating the disk.

    But for 'uploading' the music files you have on that disk you only need read access not write access.
    Or do you plan to leave the files on the disk and not put them into the iTunes library ?


  • Ferry67 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Stefan,

    Thanks for your quick reply.

    I have installed the NTFS-3G and iTunes is busy now to rearrange the iTunes library. I have over 500Gb of music files so it will take iTunes a couple of hours I guess. I leave the files on the disc and add some more in the near future. iTunes will only work when I connect the disc. This is how I did it when I had my laptop with Microsoft. Hopefully it will work fine after is has finished to rearrange my library.
  • Fortuny Level 7 Level 7 (21,425 points)
    Hi Ferry,

    500GB is quite a task for iTunes to 'import'.

    I myself have about 190GB and it took iTunes about 4-5 hours to 'import' them into its library.
    My advantage is that with my Mac Pro I assigned one internal harddisk solely for the files.

    If you don't plan to use the external harddisk for Mac and Windows PC, you should consider reformating it to the OSX file system (Mac OS Extended - Journaled).
    You should also consider getting a second external harddisk for backup of your music files.

  • Ferry67 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks Stefan, I have done some cleaning and have about 400 GB left. That's already imported by iTunes, took some time but finally it all worked well. And yes, I have a second external hard disc to back up my music files.
  • Fortuny Level 7 Level 7 (21,425 points)

    glad to hear that all went well for you.

    Have a nice one and thanks for all the stars.