I have Mavericks on one HDD and Windows7 x64 on another HDD in same machine. Windows can't even see MAC partitions while MAC gains READ ONLY access to NTFS partition.

I want a robust and common file system for windows (data) partitions which can be accessed from MAC with full read and write support. My NTFS partitions are not huge as terabytes, in fact 50GB to 500GB max at the moment.

I have Googled and tried to analyze worthiness and reliability for the two solutions most commonly appearing exFAT NTFS drivers on MAC (paragon being recommended as faster)

I found cases with reliability issues and issues disk operations latency

I do have frequent power outages. I believe NTFS and HFS+ takes care and self heal upto some extent under such situations.

sigh! if MAC had native read/write support for NTFS this problem would have never existed for me.

please suggest a solution

  • Please clarify. Is the one HDD partitioned with two different filesystems, or are two HDDs installed on your machine? – njboot May 11 '14 at 9:30
  • @njboot I have 2 HDD's one with windows7x64 and many NTFS partitions, another has Mavericks on it with only 2 partitions both HFS+ journaled. both are in one Machine and both OS working. Now needs a way I can use my NTFS partitions withing Mavericks with Full Access – sunnyimran May 11 '14 at 12:44

Or you could just format the partition as exFAT and not have to mess with the generally unsupported NTFS write in Mac O/S or pay for a third party program to have R/W NTFS.

exFAT works great and while it doesn't have much support for file permissions and the like, if all you need is a partition to share files it might work a treat!

  • exFAT is a quick solution. It does offer you large file and partition sizes but it has its shortcomings as I searched on net. – sunnyimran May 11 '14 at 19:45

Enable ntfs write support in Mavericks

You can enable write support for ntfs in Mavericks.

I have linked to instructions on how to do this, but the gist of it is to edit the /etc/fstab file and add a line for each ntfs drive you want to write to:

 LABEL=device-name  none    ntfs    rw,auto,nobrowse

changing "device-name" to the name of your ntfs drive.

This is a per device hack.

Third party software

Alternatively, there is a lot of third party software to give you full ntfs support, such as Paragon NTFS, or the open source NTFS-3G for FUSE which is utilized in the closed source Tuxera NTFS, or an old standard from Thursby Software, DAVE


NTFS-3G and OSXFUSE are available for a free, package managed source or binary installation using the missing package manager for OS X, MacPorts. It is based off of FreeBSD's ports system, which is based off the finest package management system known to exist, of course I mean, NetBSD's pkgsrc. It won't let you down!

Installing MacPorts, NTFS-3G and OSXFUSE is simple enough once xcode (for Mavericks 10.9 xcode_5.1.1.dmg) is installed. Install xcode, and then enter these commands in Terminal.app :

 curl -Ok https://distfiles.macports.org/MacPorts/MacPorts-2.2.1.tar.bz2
 tar xf MacPorts-2.2.1.tar.bz2
 cd MacPorts-2.2.1
 sudo make install #not war!
 cd ..
 rm -rf Macports-*
 sudo /opt/local/bin/port -v selfupdate
 export PATH=$HOME/macports/bin:$HOME/macports/sbin:$PATH
 export MANPATH=$HOME/macports/share/man:$MANPATH
 sudo port -vsc install ntfs-3g     # osxfuse is a dependency, macports will install it for you when you instsall ntfs-3g
 diskutil quiet repairPermissions /

MacPorts is worth getting to know as it is a mature package manager for OS X that maintains thousands of open source software commands, utilities, and applications. It will not interfere with any other package system you happen to use, and it is very easy to completely remove, if necessary.

If for whatever reason you need to remove MacPorts...

to completely uninstall MacPorts

 sudo port -dfp uninstall --follow-dependencies installed

 sudo port -dfp uninstall all

 sudo rm -rf /opt/local  

 sudo rm -rf /Library/Tcl/macports*

Really, its good stuff.

  • editing fstab file to enable NTFS full support on MAC is appealing. I will give it a try. sure there are many third party drivers for NTFS support in MAC, but I want a reliable solution. I noticed cases with these drivers, slow performance since they are not native, they are addons to the main OS. in some cases after months of successful use, these drivers showed signs of unreliability, that is files/folders structure corruptions etc. I can't bear that. – sunnyimran May 11 '14 at 12:52
  • 1
    @sunnyimran - I've added a link to the well-regarded NTFS-3G, which I would recommend over the ntfs hack, as the hack is per device and involves editing a file protected by the System. If my solution works, please don't forget to mark the question answered, as it seems to be a curse of mine that most answers I have posted solutions to remain eternally open. Good luck, and thanks. – chillin May 11 '14 at 16:06
  • OK I will try NTFS-3G method first. But not immediately so be patient and I will post the results. After the NTFS-3G stuff is over, is there a way, any stress tests etc so I can stay assured this is not going to create a nightmare for my NTFS partitions in the long run. Actually, I had been on windows platforms and now I want to gain access (I mean full access) from MAC platform. Sometimes I would go back to windows environment and work from there and sometimes in MAC environment. Thanks – sunnyimran May 11 '14 at 19:43
  • Has anybody came across 'Seagate NTFS driver for MAC' here: seagate.com/support/external-hard-drives/portable-hard-drives/… note that it is for Seagate portable external HDDs. – sunnyimran May 14 '14 at 12:28
  • @sunnyimran nice find! – chillin May 15 '14 at 5:49

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