My PC's hard drive - running w8.1- crashed. Bought a mac mini and now trying to retrieve files from crashed disk (and others). All drives have read only permissions, with no locks showing in the get info windows. Is there a way to change permission w/o losing files?


1 Answer 1


The "read only" status has to do with the UUID of the files on the drive no longer matching what is coming from your Mac. So, basically, you have to "orphan" those files.

Here is a good writeup on how to do it, but note that this is an UNOFFICIAL method and not sanctioned by Apple.

How to Enable NTFS Write Support in Mac OS X

  • Thanks - looks dangerous. Ill hold that as a last resort.
    – TomG
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 19:53
  • If you just want to retrieve the files, then you can just copy them to another disk (formatted for Mac) and then take ownership.
    – Allan
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 19:56
  • 3
    Allan should maybe be more forceful. Do not enable write permission until you are done recovering the files. Read-only is a blessing that gives you time to get all the files you can read off the spindles. Once you have a full copy, then mess with erasing or fixing the directory structure.
    – bmike
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 21:25

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