Copying from mac via bootcamp partition to seagate drive
May 6, 2016 6:44 PM   Subscribe

I have about 500GB of files (mostly photos and music) on my iMac that I want to move to a Windows laptop. I need to use an external drive to copy them. Can I copy the Mac files onto my external drive via my iMac's bootcamp Windows partition to avoid file-type compatibility problems?

In order to use my seagate external drive with both Mac and Windows, I am supposed to install the Paragon Driver on the Mac. But when I am in the bootcamp partition of my iMac, I can see all the files on the Mac partition, and I am able to copy them onto the Windows partition (although I can't write on the Mac partition from the Windows partition).

So I am curious as to whether these copied versions are NFTS? And whether, an alternative to Paragon, it would be possible to just go into bootcamp, copy the files from the Mac partition to the Windows partition and then to the external drive, or, alternatively, just go into bootcamp and copy the files from the Mac partition directly onto the external drive?
posted by nikodym to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Firstly: Yes, this would work.

As to the reasons: File Types and Disk Types ("Filesystems") are actually different things - NTFS represents the format on the disk (and HFS+ for the mac partition), however in each case the files are still in jpeg format (or whatever format they're in). Think of it like files in a filing cabinet - If you change how the files in the cabinet are organised (say, from alphabetical to dewey decimal) the contents of the files themselves do not change.

The reason you can read it, but not write it, on windows with the boot camp is that bootcamp includes a filesystem driver to allow windows to read, but not write to, your mac parititon - essentially, a translator between the different organisation schemes. The Paragon driver for mac is the same thing, but which allows mac os to understand the NTFS organisation scheme.
posted by jaymzjulian at 7:24 PM on May 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

I need to use an external drive to copy them.

I wouldn't do it that way. I'd plug the two machines together with an Ethernet cable, get the Mac to share the folders you want to copy, then pull them over the network from the Windows end.

Because it avoids double handling, this will be about twice as fast as using an intermediate external drive. With 500GB of files to move, it will save you hours.
posted by flabdablet at 10:49 PM on May 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

You can enable OS X to write to a connected NTFS drive using a couple of short Terminal commands to edit a system config file.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:57 AM on May 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yes you can, but the fact that Apple leaves that ability turned off by default says to me that they don't trust their own NTFS filesystem driver not to mess up a connected NTFS disk. And if even Apple suspects that something might go wrong, I'd be loath to find out for sure.
posted by flabdablet at 7:16 AM on May 7, 2016

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