Write to NTFS?

Ugh! Help!

The Mac can see the remaining PC in the house, and vice versa. And, while I have finally managed to get the Mac to copy files from the PC and vice versa, I STILL can’t get the Mac to write to the PC’s NTFS partion. No rights. I’ve tried every MS admin trick to no avail. The volume is shared, and I’ve checked that I have full access. Both machines have the same administrator name and password.

ETA: If hardware matters: MacBook Pro / Dell Dimension

Anyone have advice? Please keep it very simple, or give me good step-by-step instructions as I’m not the most proficient with terminal commands.

Thanks in advance for the headaches you’ll save me (not to mention gnashing of teeth and bruises on my forehead from beating what’s left of my gray matter against the wall).

Writing to NTFS drives, while not impossible from a Mac, is also non-trivial (here is a starting point). If you want to have a shared space hosted from a Windows computer, I recommend a FAT32 volume.

Sigh. Was afraid if that. The 3G thing looks WAY over my head and reads like brain surgery instructions.

I really hate having to blow away the volume and reformat FAT32.

Sigh. I guess I’ll have to push everything TO the Mac from the PC. Seems the PC has no problem writing to the Mac.

That really is the best way to go about it if you can manage it. Sorry I don’t have better news. Microsoft has just never made it easy for other operating systems to play with NTFS. They still haven’t released the internal specifications, so all anyone can do is reverse-engineer and hope for the best. Apple is working on it. In fact a little known secret is that Leopard can write to NTFS. The ability is in the drivers but is switched off and it takes mucking about in hidden preferences to enable it.

That it is not enabled is probably for a good reason. Apple will turn it on and make a big deal out of it once it is safe to use.

MS strikes again.

I had this wonderful plan of using using some 3rd party app to copy data from the PC to a folder on the Mac so it’d be backed up on the Time Machine (eliminating the need for two separate backups).

I also wanted to use Hazel to rename downloaded bill pay pdfs based on source, include the download date as part of the file name, move to a bill pay folder, then sort into appropriate subfolders. Alas, the latter idea won’t work without writing to NTFS.

I’m not comfy letting the Mac laptop have all our bill pay statements (by the nature of being a laptop…).

Groan. Until I win the lottery, wake up and find I’m actually J.K. Rowling, or Bill Gates feels sorry for me and buys me an iMac, I’m stuck doing all the work manually and still doing two separate backups. Or, at least manually pushing the PC data to the Mac for Time Machine to capture. As for the bill pay, Hazel can now only do the naming part and dumping the pdfs to the dropbox folder. Or, I get a drive enclosure to hook up a spare drive to the Mac. But, that’ll present it’s own problems with human error - the external drive may not always be connected. Don’t think Hazel is smart enough to check for an external drive before completing a rule.

Okay, my brain hurts now. LOL!

Thanks so much Amber. I truly appreciate being able to bounce off ideas here.

I wish Hazel could detect volume mount events and network events! Optimally, it would be nice if you could create rules that enabled when a drive was present, or if the computer was on the Internet, and then automatically disable as soon as you go offline or lose the drive. There might be a way to “fake it”, but I haven’t looked too closely. Maybe something that takes advantage of how Hazel stops looking at rules once one of them hits.

Why not virtualize the PC, by running Windows under VMWare or Parallels on the Mac?

The Windows installation could live on an external hard drive if you’d rather it didn’t travel, and would be as visible to Time Machine as anything else on the Mac.

I still use two Windows programs, one of which is Quicken, and that’s how I handle it.


We still need two machines - one for hubby and one for myself. And, since the PC is still functional and money is extremely tight, we can’t replace it. Buying another drive and VM ware is also out of the question. It’s mostly a matter of making do with what we have.

While the MacBook can travel, it rarely does (unless you call moving from the desk to various parts of the house or out on the back deck travel). But, it does leave the house from time to time.

Yeah, I do wish there was a way to make Hazel understand removable drives. But alas, sounds like the best method here is to revamp a backup script on the PC to copy files to the Mac. I can still use Hazel to rename bill pay PDF and move them to the dropbox folder. Another PC script to copy folders from the dropbox folder.

I hate writing scripts on the PC. Hate, hate hate, LOL! What is simple for some takes me an eternity. Hazel just makes life so easy. But, life is like a PC, isn’t it? Not easy.

Hold on. You are not sharing a USB drive, but using windows file sharing over SMB, right? So you are NOT writing to NTFS but to SMB. If you were actually writing to NTFS you would have to remove the drive from the the dell and install it in the mac.

Assuming that I have the above correct, the problem is probably still permissions on the winblows side. try the following. I am assuming XP.

  1. Create a new folder on the dell – c:\macfiles
  2. In windows explore open c: and right click on the folder. Select properties.
  3. On Sharing, select Shared as and call it macfile (NO SPACES).
  4. Click on permissions and make sure “everyone” has read write.
  5. On mac find drive on network
  6. Copy file.

Does that work?

Could something like this help?


You are PURE genius! Seriously. YOU are SUPER genius!

I had the user (same on both machines) with full privledges (even down to inherited rights), but not the group EVERYONE. I also had to go into the security tab and be explicit that way, too. Why all the fuss and extra work makes a difference to XP, I don’t know. I can write back and forth now! And it’s nearly instant!

WOOT! (need that snoopy smilie doing the happy dance here).

Users in windows != users on macs. The systems are built on usr concepts that are fundamentally exclusive.

All that out of the way, the hang up is that the mac and winsnooze system don’t actally exchange user information unless you go through some tougher hoops. Since you are on a closed network it is simply easier to make the directories less secure.

Make sense?

Yes, and no. Yes, I understand it, but I don’t understand Windows reasoning. What I do understand now is why they have so many security issues.

What I had to do after I granted full control to the group everyone was go back and exclude guest and another user from full control. :unamused:

Fortunately, I’ve taken every other measure to protect the network from router to firewall to strong passwords, etc. But yeah, this is exactly why PCs have so many security problems.

Thanks again for shining the light on this.