I want to enable write-access in a Mac OS X installation for an NTFS partition in an external hard disk.
I don't want to switch to FAT32 for performance reasons. An exFAT partition sounds good, but it's not compatible with older versions of Mac OS X. I'm also not sure of its performance as compared to NTFS.
I've searched all over for what is a good solution. But the more I read, the more confused I get.
- Native hack to enable write access (unsupported, reviewed as unstable)
- NTFS-3G (slow speed, looks abandoned)
- Seagate NTFS driver for Mac (probably works for Seagate drives only, not helpful in my case)
- Paragon NTFS (better speeds, but some bad reviews)
- Tuxera NTFS (seems generally more favored)
I came across others here and there but they are rarely talked about.
I have a WD hard disk (1TB) that I plan to make two unequal partitions in. One large partition (99-99.9%) for HFS+ (mainly used with Mac OS X), and a small partition (0.1-1%) for Windows compatibility.
The large HFS+ partition will be for the main data storage and Time Machine backups. The smaller partition will be for quick data transfer from Mac to Windows or vice versa but not for permanent data storage. A portable HFS+ reader software like HFSExplorer will be in the Windows-readable partition to help read the HFS+ partition on a Windows computer.
I would like your recommendations mostly focused on the smaller Windows-compatible partition.
- What is the easiest solution to enable write access to NTFS? (easy means one-click install, or just a couple of scriptable commands - assume novice user)
- What is the most stable and/or most outperforming solution to do the same? (not necessarily the easiest)
- What solution just works? (no hassles, drive always shows up on Mac desktop - not necessarily same as above, but preferred)
- Is purchasing Tuxera or Paragon worth it? If yes, which one is better?
- Should I just switch to exFAT and just forget that I even thought about NTFS? This would mean the drive would be writable to all modern Windows and Mac (no need to consider Linux) without needing any software - but would be dead to anything old.
- Should I switch to FAT32 since it's just a tiny partition that is not used for much? This should not affect the performance of the drive or the other HFS+ partition.
- While you're at it, what about the partition table? MBR or GPT, or something else?
- Finally, any other software recommended for reading (or even writing) HFS+ partition in Windows? I dislike that HFSExplorer requires Java, which cannot be guaranteed to be available or up-to-date.