Moving files from PC to Mac

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    • #48205

      I have been comtemplating dumping my windows PC and moving to Mac and have gotten some great advice in some of my other posts (yes I’m refering to you Earl). Another potential stumbling block comes to mind. Can I move my big HD video files from my PC to Mac. It’s my understanding that Mac reads hard drives formatted to FAT32 with no problem, but FAT32 doesn’t support the huge file sizes of HD footage. As such all my drives on my PC are formatted as NTFS which I don’t think MAC can read. Am I correct on this? What are my options here.

      Thanks in Advance as always.

    • #198167

      Well, not one to encourage ‘defectors’ to the other side….

      Seriously though, everything I’ve read or heard from my mac gurus says that you can transfer your NTFS based files to a mac via Bootcamp. There is native support to read and write NTFS files in Snow Leopard, but the fix is reported to be very unstable and is not recommended.

      Here’s a breakdown of what’s compatible between Windows and Mac OS’s:

      FAT32 (File Allocation Table)

      Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      Maximum file size: 4GB.
      Maximum volume size: 2TB

      NTFS (Windows NT File System)

      Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
      Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X
      Some have reported problems using Tuxera ( (approx 33USD).
      Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, but is not advisable, due to instability.
      AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
      Maximum file size: 16 TB
      Maximum volume size: 256TB

      HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)

      Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
      Required for Time Machine
      ( or Carbon
      Copy Cloner ( backups of Mac internal hard
      To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive (
      To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer (
      Maximum file size: 8EiB
      Maximum volume size: 8EiB

      exFAT (FAT64)

      Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
      Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages (
      exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) (
      AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
      Maximum file size: 16 EiB
      Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB

      Depending on what version of OS 10 you’re using will decide the best course for transferring your files or if you can do it at all. There are pros and cons concerning using any of those formats and I’m sure the mac ‘weenies’ (I say that affectionately) can guide you through their proper use with your transfer. However, if you have an Intel based Mac it seems the best course is to just use Bootcamp and partition a drive to utilize as an NTFS based one since the more recent versions can read (though not write) to such drives.

      This very thing is one of the main reasons I never bothered to go back to dealing with mac’s in my shop. But, it can be done. Lastly, there are 3rd party software which claims to be able to do this without difficulty. Be warned most of it causes more problems than the one they claim to fix.

    • #198168
      Luis Maymi LopezLuis Maymi Lopez

      The easiest way to transfer files from PC to Mac is (believe it or not) using an Ethernet cable. Is the fastest way and basically you connect the Ethernet cable to the port of each computer and drag and drop files the a public folder on your Mac. Here are instructions from on how to do this “How to transfer files from PC to Mac using Ethernet”. Setting up can be a little tedious, but after you finish configuring, the rest is just drag and drop files. Step 8 is very important because when transferring files to Mac (once you have them on your Mac hardrive) it blocks any attempt to write data to the folders you imported (Mac assigns “nobody” ownership to those folders, which why this happens).

      If you import your files using an external hard drive I suggest following Composite1 advise and install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X ( Also, I experience a few problems using Tuxera, mostly in transfer speed.

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