Mac users can now give real love to Windows NTFS

Mac users can now give real love to Windows NTFS

Summary: Switchers to the Mac can now read and write to their old NTFS disks with a new driver by Paragon Software. It's a Mac OS X port of their Linux driver for NTFS.


Mac users can now give real love to Windows NTFSWith switchers making up vocal minority in the Mac installed base, the demand for better support for NTFS, the primary file system of Windows XP and Vista, keeps growing. Now a third-party developer has come to the rescue. Utility vendor Paragon Software Group on Thursday released a Mac OS X version of its NTFS driver for Linux.

Mac OS X uses the home-grown HFS+ (Hierarchical File System) but has offered mostly read-only support for NTFS volumes. However, Paragon says that NTFS for Mac OS X 6.0 "breaks down the barriers" between Windows and the Mac. It will cost $39.95 and is available now with a $10 discount.

The driver lets Mac users read and write your data to any Windows NTFS partition; transfer data between external drives including thumb drives; and mount NTFS partitions directly without SAMBA or AFP services, Paragon said.

The new driver supports compressed files and folders, symbolic links and POSIX file attributes. The beta of the software was announced earlier in the fall.

In a Paragon-sponsored benchmark test between HFS+, Mac OS X's native NTFS driver and the beta Paragon driver, the company said:

Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X has the same performance as the native (read only) NTFS driver for all read operations. As regards the native Apple HFS+ driver, Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X has also almost the same performance, in some cases we are better in some we are not.

John Rizzo, editor-in-chief of, said this capability was something that former Windows users have been looking for.

"I don't understand why [either] Apple or Microsoft haven't come up with something like this before. People have been asking for this for a long time," he said.

Now, I haven't tested the Paragon driver but this company knows what it's doing in the compatibility and storage department. This release sounds like good news for Windows switchers and thus for the Mac in the business market.

Topics: Operating Systems, Apple, Hardware, Software, Windows

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  • Very good, but...

    ...this is definitely something Apple should be shipping with OSX.
    • Does Vista read..

      and write to Mac drives?
      • Does OS X install on non Apple hardware? (nt)

        • Not Officially, But . . .

          . . . kinda-sorta, yeah. ;)

          • You must become an Apple developer.

            Or, break your bank and buy a Mac Mini.

            It's illegal if you don't have a Mac or you're not a Mac developer. This is even if you spent $129 for MacOS X.
            Grayson Peddie
        • NOPE and good thing too...:P

          Don't do what's good for people like NonZ. Do what is good for your
          business model. It's worked for Apple this long why mess with a good

          Pagan jim
      • Don't think so, but...

        Microsoft isn't exactly trying to get OS X users to switch over to Vista. While Apple is definitely trying to get Windows users to switch over to OS X. So if your goal is to get people to switch, you probably want the transition to be as seamless as possible for them, and allow for maximum interoperability between all the other computers/external hard drives/etc. in their homes.
      • Vista doesn't have to

        When Apple takes a giant market share lead over Microsoft, it will be in Microsoft's interests to support OSX's file systems. Until then, it's Apple's job to be compatible.
      • Have you ever heard of Microsoft Office for the Mac?

        Umm, is this a well DUH moment for you?
        • You do understand that MS Office....

          ... for the Mac does not handle the file I/O. It merely makes calls to the OS to do it. Are you having a duh moment?
          • Of course...

            The entire discussion was foolish so I figured why not...
          • Why is it foolish for me..

            to ask about something I don't know?
      • Does the dog have to be compatible

        with the flea, or does the flea have to be compatible with the dog? Think on it, it'll make sense to you tomorrow...
        • Chill out NoAxe

          we're not discussing your dogs or fleas here. It's simply about access to hard disks.
      • Pretty funny that I asked a simple question..

        to which I did not know the answer, and the everyone went crazy? One honest
        response (thank you, t_mohajir), a moronic post about Office, and remarks about
        market share.

        It's still a simple question. When I get home, I'll try it on my Vista machine.

        I should have known better than to ask for information in a room full of trolls.
    • My guess is

      Either MS refused to license or Apple refused to make the royalty payments. Probably
      the latter. The Linux driver is reverse engineered, I believe.
      • That can not be!!!

        In order to reverse engineer it, they would have to install it on a PC and the EULA they agreed to strictly forbids it. Are you suggesting the same people that get bent out of shape if you don't release your code under the GPL terms would ignore someone elses license terms? Surely not, that would make them nothing but common thieves and the FSF would find more IP violations in Linux. Naw, can't be....
        • You know there's plenty of ways around that

          You get one person to spec it and someone else to write the code. If I remember correctly that's how the IBM PC was reverse engineered.
          Michael Kelly
          • Thought of an easier way

            Removable hard drive. Have a friend with Windows XP format it in NTFS and go to town.
            Michael Kelly
        • Do your homework first.

          And read the EULA first. Then decide if you still need to post such nonsense.

          Take a break Rupert.