I recently upgraded my mac Mavericks at the same time as I swapped the hard drive for a new, larger capacity one, making for a fresh install (i.e. not an upgrade of the software). I kept the old hard drive, mounted it into an external caddy, and I am now trying to recover my files.

The issue I am having is that I cannot access (or even see) the old NTFS Boot Camp partition. I can access it with a windows laptop, so I know the partition is there and seemingly healthy. My mac can access the old HFS+ boot partition, but Disk Utility doesn't even identify the ntfs partition as existing. The disk has a GUID partition table if that makes any difference (I suspect that isn't the problem however, since it can see the size of the HFS+ partition).

Disk Utility with missing partition

I am finding this to be a difficult problem to diagnose, as every search I attempt reliably informs me that all recent versions of OS X have read-only support for NTFS built-in, and thus most articles and forum posts are about how to enable write support. While writing to the disk would be nice, I only really need to be able to read from it for now.

1 Answer 1


Mavericks does have read support for NTFS partitions enabled by default. However I doubt the problem is with the NTFS filesystem itself.

More likely the problem is with the partition table on the drive. If you are confident in the use of command line tools you can use TestDisk to attempt to locate and restore the missing NTFS partition. There is a detailed guide here on how to restore missing partitions.

PLEASE NOTE: Before attempting this though I would backup all the data on that drive (using the Mac to backup the HFS+ partition and the Windows laptop you mention to backup the NTFS partition), as a misstep could result in losing both partitions.

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