Mounting NTFS formatted External hard drive on Mac OS-X 10.6 or later

I didn’t know until now that using an NTFS formatted hard drive on a Mac OS would not be a trivial task, that it would require digging up the web to find a way to do so. When I plugged in the external hard drive, it was identified and I could see that it was mounted using Finder. However, I was unable to view the contents of the hard drive. For a moment, I thought that all my content has been erased but when I checked the properties using ‘File->Get Info’, I could see that the disk usage was as I last remembered. Then I began searching(googling) to find out how to resolve this issue.

Following are the steps that worked for me and helped me get read access to the contents of the disk (will need to google more to find how to get write access as well).

  1. Install MacFuse.
  2. Install NTFS-3G for Mac.
  3. Restart your system.
  4. Connect your hard drive.
  5. (Optional) If you get a message like “Unable to mount the hard drive. Perhaps the hard drive was not removed safely from Windows system”, connect the hard drive to a windows system and unmount it properly using the “Safely Remove Hardware” option. Then, try again by connecting the hard drive to your Mac OS.

The above steps worked for me and I was able to have read access to the contents of disk. I will have to look up the web to find out how to gain write access as well to an NTFS formatted hard disk. It seems that keeping the external disks FAT formatted is the reliable option to avoid running into cross-platform issues while using it.

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