I have installed Mac OS X in my MacBook Pro. I have installed Windows 7 on the same machine but by creating a separate partition.

Is there any way I can access files (like mp3 files or photos, etc.) of my Windows partition in Mac OS X and vice versa?

The output of diskutil list command:

Last login: Tue Aug 16 13:37:08 on console
theali:~ SAli$ diskutil list
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *320.1 GB   disk0
   1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS MacOSx                  150.0 GB   disk0s2
   3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3
   4:       Microsoft Basic Data BOOTCAMP                169.2 GB   disk0s4

and the Windows partitions are formatted using NTFS. You can see these here:

enter image description here

  • 1
    When you open your Macintosh HD in Finder, can't you see the Windows partition there? – slhck Aug 15 '11 at 13:32
  • no, I can't ... – Safran Ali Aug 15 '11 at 13:38
  • Make sure your Finder preferences are set so that you can see hard drives as well... just in case. Enter Disk utility and check if the windows disk is there. – Vervious Aug 15 '11 at 15:57
  • @slhck ... sorry it is showing the Bootcamp partition but initially bootcamp has single partition which I divided into 2 after installing windows, using disk management ... so now it's only showing the partition where windows is installed and not showing the second partition i created ... – Safran Ali Aug 16 '11 at 10:28
  • i have edited the question with the output you asked for ... – Safran Ali Aug 16 '11 at 14:24

Given your latest screenshot, the answer is quite simple – but the solution isn't. First of all, Windows and OS X use different partition tables. Windows uses the Master Boot Record (MBR), whereas OS X uses the GUID Partition Table (GPT).

When you installed Boot Camp, the disk was converted into a "hybrid" one using both MBR and GPT. This is partly explained here.

You seem to have created a Logical Partition, which is part of the Extended Partition. the changes in Windows are written to the Master Boot Record. However, OS X won't recognize these changes in its GPT, as it hasn't been updated.

Simply speaking, your extended BOOTCAMP partition is recognized as 320GB in OS X, as OS X can't identify the logical partition you created in Windows yet.

What can you do?

I guess there is only one option: Update the GPT entries. This isn't trivial though and I probably can't help you as I've personally never done this. It is somewhat described in this VMware Fusion thread, but heavily depends on your individual setup. Not to mention you can break things in the process.

  • thanks ... it sure tells you how to modify the GPT but I am not gonna try this on my current machine as it says it might invalidate the GPT so will leave it for later and try on some other test machine ... – Safran Ali Aug 17 '11 at 20:25
  • I'm really sorry I can't help you any further. You can try to make a 1:1 backup of your hard disk using Clonezilla just in case you don't want to screw things up. – slhck Aug 17 '11 at 20:26

I would recommend OSXFUSE now instead of MacFUSE, as MacFUSE hasn't been updated since 2009 and OSXFUSE has taken up the cause.

FUSE for OS X allows you to extend Mac OS X's native file handling capabilities via third-party file systems. OSXFUSE is a successor to MacFUSE, which has been used as a software building block by dozens of products, but is no longer being maintained.


The solution is to install rEFIt. It has an option to sync your GPT and MBR table. Just go to google, type download refit mac and you are presented with the download link. Once installed, reboot your mac twice. This makes rEFIt work. When you then reboot, you will be able to go to a screen which shows your mac and windows. Use the right arrow to navigate to the little drive icon in the lower row and hit enter. You will be presented with the question: Sync MBR? [y/n]

Hit yes, and its updated and synced properly. Now you can see your NTFS drive in MacOS.

To get write-access to it, use OSXFuse.


I was fiddling around to find a better approach and I found about MacFuse


and Amit Singh's NTFS RW driver:


  • Was it able to read that? – slhck Aug 21 '11 at 12:18

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