Switching from Windows to OS X? Make this your first OS X purchase

Switching from Windows to OS X? Make this your first OS X purchase

Summary: If you hope to exchange files between your Windows and OS X machine(s), you're going to need more than what's provided out of the box. Here's the driver I use to get the job done.

TOPICS: Apple, Microsoft, Windows

I've been meaning to write this piece for quite some time now, but with all the recent hubbub surrounding Windows 8 -- as well as Apple's slow-but-steadily-increasing adoption rates amongst consumers and businesses -- I thought now might be an apropos time to share the very first purchase I made when I bought a MacBook Air last year: Paragon NTFS for Mac.

[Related: 10 extremely awesome iPad tips and tricks]

Why is this a necessity? Well, when I first received my MacBook Air, I just assumed there would be some sort of in-built support for reading and writing files to and from a USB device that was formatted for Windows usage.

This was a fallacious assumption in one of my less-notable moments that initially left me frustrated, but I quickly came to my senses and remembered that Windows doesn't afford OS X users a way to read or write to HFS partitions. An eye for an eye, right?

With NTFS for Mac, you simply install the driver, and that's it. No wrestling with commands, hacking system files, or equally as frustrating/risky nonsense (especially if you're new to OS X's operating environment). You can just go about transferring files to-and-from as though both operating systems were made to work with one another.

Since installing it, I've enjoyed headache-free file exchanges between Windows and OS X, and that's including the numerous upgrades I've installed for OS X (which includes an upgrade from Lion to Mountain Lion). Literally, I've not had one single issue with this driver. And though I've seen a complaint or two regarding speed issues, all of my transfers have been plenty fast for me, and I've not had a single issue with file corruption.

Getting a bit nitpicky, the one annoyance I have is the hidden OS X system-related files that are created throughout various folders every time you attach a drive: .DS_Store, .trash, etc. But, here again, Windows has a tendency to do the very same thing with its own hidden files, depending on the contents in the folder: desktop.ini, thumbs.db, etc. There are things you can do to disable these minor annoyances, though, so if they become that big of a headache for you, then you know what to do (hint: click the link at the beginning of this sentence).

So, that's it! Go forth and be fruitful with your file transfers between your newly-adopted OS X catalyst(s) and your Windows machine(s).

Do you have any useful drivers, applications, or pointers to share with those who are looking to move from Windows to OS X for the first time? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below.

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Topics: Apple, Microsoft, Windows

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  • Good tips, not much useful for me now

    I was about to buy the MBA sometime back, but after using Windows 8 for sometime find OSX quite outdated in many areas. These days even PC hardware is getting better, so don't see any need to move to OSX again.

    The touch+mouse+keyboard friendly UI in Windows 8 is the future, and Apple got it totally wrong about touch on PC's. It is very natural and a no compromise option. The touch part is useful in many aspects and consumption, while the mouse/keyboard have advantage in creation. One cannot replace other, but each has its own advantages. It should not be long when people start appreciating what Microsoft has done.

    So enjoy your MBA, I will enjoy my Yoga ultrabook !
    • I went back to Windows from Mac

      Actually the tougher thing is to go from Mac's back to Windows which is what I did. Considering everything it went pretty well. I was worried more about losing iTunes content then anything else. Not sorry I went back to Windows though. I was able to save money on hardware when considering a new laptop. I just cannot justify how much Apple wants for a laptop anymore. They keep taking stuff away and locking you into RAM, and other upgrades strictly from Apple.
      • I love it when tech heads extrapolate

        their fringe behavior to the mainstream. Reality check. Since nearly every consumer who buys a computer NEVER upgrades it, upgradeability is NOT an issue for them. You guys made the same mistake with replaceable batteries. Nobody cared, and when you couldn't figure out it was because you are NOT Joe Sixpack, you proceeded to insult everyone else's intelligence.
  • Longer

    The article needs to be longer, as in what application you have adopted and how much more productive you have become.
  • Apple propaganda

    The headline and subsequent article are little more than pointless fanboy fantasy.

    People generally don't switch from Windows to Mac, for multiple obvious very good reasons.

    After all these years, Mac market share has barely scraped past 5% against Windows.
    Tim Acheson
    • Poor old Cowboy Tim...

      ...can't handle or face, the truth.
      For 6 years or 24 quarters, Apple has had increased sales of Macs well in excess of the industry. Last quarter Apple was the only manufacturer whose sales experienced growth in the PC market. Over 50% of Macs are sold to former Windows users. These are 'real' numbers from SEC filings...not some fantasy grudge by a disaffected cubicle worker.
      • Re: Poor old Cowboy Tim...

        "Last quarter Apple was the only manufacturer whose sales experienced growth in the PC market."

        Maybe you have more recent numbers, but in Q3 the only two manufacturers that had growth were Lenovo (+6.1%) and Asus (+11.8%). Every other manufacturer went down, including Apple (-6.1%). So it looks that even Apple suffered from the PC's slowdown.


        "Over 50% of Macs are sold to former Windows users."
        Windows is close to 90% of market share. Don't you think this could be a reason?
        • Regarding that 90% Windows Market share stat

          In the "Golden Era" of Windows OS Global market share (Roughly from the mid '90's to about 2006", 90 to 95 percent of all computers or computer devices had a Microsoft OS installed in them.

          That is (and was) a most impressive statistic.

          However .. Times change.

          I have read recent reports that indicate Microsoft's global OS dominance is quickly diminishing.

          For example, from the following current Wikipedia article on global operating system usage statistics


          Microsoft has fallen to "only" 69.72 percent of usage shares of Desktop operating systems.

          Still a commanding lead but a far cry from the glory days citing 90 to 95 percent usage rates.

          You may wish to revise your stats accordingly.
          • PS. If one ignores mobile OS systems than the stats change

            for Microsoft. Current Netmarketshare stats for Microsoft OS systems (XP, Win 7, Vista and Win 8) vs the rest of non-mobile OS systems are a little better.

            Using those parameters, Microsoft enjoys a 80.69 global OS usage percentage. Still pretty impressive but nowhere near the 90 to 95 percent rate posted only six years ago.

            It is interesting to note that Apple's OS X global percentage usage has remained somewhat stable over the years. (Roughly six to eight global usage rate) However, as the global computer usage has increased so has the number of computers using OS X.

            Well, since Apple manufactures the only computers that OS X is installed on (legally-grin), Apple's profits have increased accordingly.
          • Re: Regarding that 90% Windows Market share stat

            "You may wish to revise your stats accordingly."

            I followed your suggestion and found some interesting stats in the wiki you posted. For example I followed the link for the article and found that Net Market Share have Windows leading the desktop with 91.45% of market share.

            The other stat I found is from StatCounter, that gave Windows a 87.42% of market share. This numbers includes iOS. so if it was only for desktop operating systems, the Windows market share would be higher.

            The third one is from W3Counter that gave Windows a 77.03% of marketshare.
            Those numbers included mobile operating systems, so if we take them now, it would be higher.

            And the one you refer, Wikimedia, also included mobile operating systems.

            Based on the first two that focused on desktop market share, you will find Windows still close to the 90%.

            Anyhow, my point was regarding the post on how 50% of Mac buyers were Windows users. If you had close to 90% in the market, it's clear that people acquiring a Mac may had a Windows system before.
        • Bad figures

          Check Apples Q4 and you'll see Mac sales were not down 6% but up 1%. Your URL is for the perennially bad preliminary estimates by IDC.
          • Errrr.....

            Up 1% ain't much....
          • Maybe so but

            I would take up 1% over down any percentage any day.
    • Apple last quarter on Mac's bad

      Apple's last quarter Mac sales barely moved. Just shows how Apple has pretty got all the converts its going to get. When you look at world stats of OS on desktops. OS X is not growing much at all. In fact some quarters it shrinks. I think more people look at a iPad when leaving Windows then a Mac. Who really needs a $1000 plus laptop?
      • iPads

        I agree. iPads may actually be hurting Apple's revenue and profits. As you said, why bother with a $1000+ laptop when you can buy a $500 iPad - especially all you will do with it is surf, check Emails, show pictures and watch YouTube videos.
        • This argument coming from the same people that for

          2 1/2 years now have been saying you can't replace a computer with an iPad.
    • I have known for a while now you are a small minded hater but

      had not realized what a complete moron you must be until now.
  • More Apple B*llox

    It was a shame that when an architect came in with his fancy MBP he couldn't read my thumb drive, but I could read his on my PC - He then went on about how rubbish our PC software was (Revit) and how Autodesk (the authors) had no interest in making their software easy to exchange information with, then it turns out, after Graphispoft released an update for Archicad, that the problem was with his software. It seems he was a typical Mac user: Need I say more?

    :O) x
    • Free at last....

      P.S. I finally dumped my iPhone 4 for a Nokia Lumia 920 running Windows Phone 8 and I am kicking myself for waiting this long to dump the iPhone. So far from people going from Windows 8 to OSX I can see a very different future unless Apple pulls its finger out and starts getting innovative again.
    • Hmm.

      Is that a client, customer, or collaborator that you are disrespecting?

      And do you really think having contempt for those people is a good long-term business or career strategy?

      Seems to me, you are there to solve problems, not judge, and not to add to your list of anecdotes to polemicize platforms. Then again, I haven't read your job description.