1

I wish to plug my external hard drive which is formatted as NTFS into my Apple Airport Extreme Basestation.

It will only take HFS+ or FAT32. I don't have any other devices to store data. I have managed to backup all the crucial data but I would like to keep the other data too.

Is it possible to "convert" NTFS to HFS+ without loosing the data?...and what are the chances of success? If it helps, over half the drive is free space.

1 Answer 1

1

You could probably do something like this:

Initial situation:
[-NTFS partition-----------------------------------------]

Shrink that partition to half the disk size
[-NTFS partition----------][ Unpartitioned---------------]

Now create a HFS partition in the unpartitioned space:
[-NTFS partition----------][ HFS+------------------------]

Copy over all data from the NTFS volume to the HFS volume.
Delete the NTFS volume, resulting in this:
[-unpartitioned-----------][ HFS+------------------------]

And finally grow the HFS volume

However I would never try this without having a backup.

And if you already have a backup then it is much faster to just delete the NTFS volume and create a HFS volume. Which means the best solution is to borrow some extra storage space.


Shrinking a NTFS volume can be done with windows (7 and upward) build in utilities or with external tools such as gparted, Ntfsresize, Symantec partition magic or many other tools.

Growing a HFS+ volume is possible with OS X,using the included Disk Utility app, located in /Applications/Utilities.

Copying over the data either requires an OS which has drivers for both NTFS and for HFS, or a third location with is understood by both. (e.g. a pen drive formatted to FAT32). Apple has a Bootcamp HFS driver which might be the easiest solution.

7
  • I am doing this with Parted Magic and it appears to be working...just taking a while to do the transfer of files...
    – Cheetah
    Jul 21, 2013 at 11:59
  • If the disk is reasonably full (and your was about half full IIRC) then it will take a while. Especially if you use an external drive with a slow connection (e.g. USB rather then eSATA). But as long as the power does not fail it should eventually finish the task.
    – Hennes
    Jul 21, 2013 at 12:01
  • Right. Its done. However I know have the problem with resizing the HFS+ partition so that it takes the whole disk. I've deleted the NTFS partition but I can't seem to resize the HFS+ partition. PArt of the problem is that the partition table is msdos so I can't resize in OSX....any ideas?
    – Cheetah
    Jul 21, 2013 at 13:36
  • I think this post has the answer to that part of the question.
    – Hennes
    Jul 21, 2013 at 15:18
  • 1
    A bit late question, but did the moving to the top of the disk work? If so, which commands/tools did you use. (Or can you edit the answer to add that information) ?
    – Hennes
    Sep 13, 2014 at 10:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.