Tuesday, August 21, 2007

iMountIt: MacFUSE & ntfs-3g - read/write on NTFS Drives

For a lot of people switching to a Mac after using a PC for years the fact that there is no NTFS write support under OS X is a huge disappointment. Since all my external Hard drives were NTFS formatted I was looking for a possibility to write on NTFS drives under OSX (without the work-around of using Windows under Parallels or vmware). What I stumbled upon is MacFUSE and the ntfs-3g driver:

MacFUSE: http://code.google.com/p/macfuse/
Ntfs-3g: http://ntfs-3g.org/

First, install the latest MacFUSE release (restart required) then get the ntfs-3g driver (here is a binary package).
On the webpage of Daniel Johnson you will also find the instructions how to mount your NTFS drive with the ntfs-3g driver. Basically it is a couple of terminal codes. After mounting the drive with ntfs-3g drivers your drive will appear with a network icon (apparently this is normal, so no worries).
There used to be a nice package by ShadowOfGed automounting all NTFS drives with the ntfs-3g driver etc. But that package is no longer available (hopefully it will be back by popular demand).
Either way, I was more interested in mounting my drive read/write only when I needed it and not as a default but soon got tired of typing in these terminal codes each time and found something beautiful on the AppleNova forums. This is a AppleScript code for a droplet so you can just drag&drop your drive on it and it automatically remounts it with the ntfs-3g driver. But there were some things I wanted to add/improve and so ended up rewriting parts of it and adding additional features:

iMountIt

So here is my version of the droplet: download (updated:12th Sept 2007)

Credits go out to snert67 from the AppleNova forums for coming up with this ingenious idea and providing his source code!

How to use:
Just extract the zip archive and you’ll end up with “iMountIt.app”. Put this anywhere you want (e.g. the Applications Folder) and put it in your Dock if you wish. You can double-click (or just click if it’s in the dock) and it will list the currently mounted drives. Just select the one you want to remount using the ntfs-3g drivers and click ok. The easier alternative is to just drag&drop the drive on the application.
If you use this application with a non-NTFS drive it will just remount it. If you’re done using the drive with ntfs-3g drivers just drag it on the droplet again and will remount without the ntfs-3g drivers.



Notes:
Strangely it takes about 5sec to unmount the drive. If you manually use the terminal it is way faster. If someone knows why this happens I would appreciate some comments. If you do not have multi-partitioned drives you might want to open the application in the ScriptEditor and edit the part where it unmounts the drive to use the “tell Application Finder…” option instead of the shell command (goes much faster but unmounts all partitions on the same disk).

34 comments:

George said...

great utility, many tnx,

i have one question general for NTFS3g if you know.

why does it take SO long to write back files to an NTFS mounted via ntfs3G way?

can i accelerate the procedure in any way?

MB-switcher said...

Thanks for your comment.
I'm sorry, but I don't have the performance issues you are describing. It isn't as fast as when I transfer files under Windows (imo) but it's not that slow either.
Do you have the newest releases of MacFUSE and the ntfs-3g drivers installed? I heard every new release of ntfs-3g usually also increases the performance...
If you have the newest releases installed, you should try asking someone on the ntfs-3g support forums:
http://forum.ntfs-3g.org/viewforum.php?f=4&sid=a1f7057ec4d0f1bb27efe0e487743b6a
cheers,
MB-switcher

Tink said...

Hello MB-Switcher,
Thanks for this app. It would be nice to have an auto mounter but maybe have an option in preferences if you want the current behavior or not.
Thank you very much for this!
If you need some support I might be able to help.

Cheers,
Tinky

Adrian said...

Thank you!!! Works like a charm for me. I need a possibility to automount the chosen NTFS patition(s) as read / write after every boot. If this can be added in the program preferences, it will be so great.
Keep it up!

Ben said...

The link is down right now. Could you post a mirror, please?

Daniel said...

The link is down right now. Could you post a mirror, please?

MB-switcher said...

Sorry for the late response...I will look into it. Until then please use this link: http://senduit.com/e47cee

It will be valid for a whole day...I hope until then the original link will work fine.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Thanks for using iMountIt
MB-switcher

Halloween said...

both links are dead again :s

MB-switcher said...

Sorry about that...I guess the server is temporarily down again...here is an alternate download link
http://senduit.com/a5a8d8
I apologize for the trouble and thanks for supporting iMountIt.

MB-switcher

Anonymous said...

Mb-switcher, thanks for sharing the app.

Maybe you could clear the following up. I expect the app to toggle external NTFS HDD from read-write to read-only, but very time I remount the drive with iMountIt, I can still write to it. Am I missing something?

Dropping .ntfs-readonly on the drive does make the drive read-only on restart, but then iMountIt can't work with it.

Any ideas much appreciated!

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Dave said...

Thanks for the iMountit app. I'm interested in the source. Is this your code? If so, are you willing to open it up? Maybe a sourceforge project?

Thanks again.
--Dave
http://dave.thehorners.com/

MB-switcher said...

As said in the Blogpost iMountIt was inspired by the Post made by Snert67 on the Applenova forums. Are there any plans you have with this app? If so I'd love to hear them. Please just send me an email. I was planning on working on iMountIt during my Winter break and if you are a developer you're more than welcome ^^

straker said...

This app doesn't work for me. Using MacFUSE that came out today (1.3.1) on Leopard. Also have latest NTFS-3g. All your program does is make it so the drive disappears :/

MB-switcher said...

hi with the latest leopard build of macfuse and ntfs3g driver there is no need to use imountit since all ntfs partitions are mounted automatically with ntfs3g unless you deactivate this behavior.

Mustang said...

IMountIt can succesfully inmount my ntfs drive but mounting does not work. It pops up with the following erro message:

Error opening partition device: Permission denied
Failed to mount '/dev/disk0s2/': Permission denied
Please check the device and the ntfs-3g binary permission, the mounting user and group ID, and the mount options.

So my question is, where can I set those rights? (Sorry, but I am still kind of new to Mac OS)

MB-switcher said...

hi thanks for leaving a comment...unfortunately I havent't tested imountit fully with the new ntfs3 G and macfuse edition. I will try to figure out what is causing the problem and update it in the near future. thanks for using imountit.

kariestel said...

MASSIVE thanks, I'm new to Mac and finding this just made my life SO much easier.

Good job!!

Theresa said...

The download isnt working at the mo for me. Any advice? I had it on my mac but it was deleted and I really need it back, it is the best!

Elmi said...

I'm also desperately trying to download iMountIt but link is down. Please please please fix it!

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