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I've read quite an old article on Ask Dave Taylor (Boot Camp was still beta) and he says to format the Windows XP partition with FAT; Mac OS X can't browse NTFS partitions.

I have a new MacBook Pro (bought Oct 2010) with Snow Leopard. Can I go for NTFS?

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The standard process is to start with a single Mac partition (HFS+ format), then run Boot Camp Assistant. It'll split the drive, and create a FAT32 partition for Windows (which will be converted to NTFS later), and also play some tricks with the disk's partition map to turn it into a hybrid GPT+MBR format (note: this is the reason you should use BCA rather than partitioning it yourself). Then, you boot from the Windows installer disk, have it reformat the FAT partition to NTFS (note: be very careful how you do this, so it doesn't damage the partition map and/or Mac volume -- BCA has instructions, read them) and install Windows. Finally, put in your OS X install disk, and Windows will see it as a driver install disk (incl. a driver to get access to the Mac partition).

Note that Mac OS X can read NTFS, but cannot (by default) write to it; you can change this (see Ryan's answer for instructions), but I've heard of cases where it's corrupted the NTFS volume. Apple leaves this disabled for a reason...

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Actually, Mac OS X has had the ability to browse NTFS as read-only since 10.3. With Snow Leopard, you can not only read NTFS partitions, but you can actually write to them to.

Here is a tutorial on how to enable the ability to write to the NTFS partion: http://smokingapples.com/software/tutorials/snow-leopards-hidden-ntfs-readwrite-support/

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