Easiest way to transfer big files between PC and Mac

Most USB drives and sticks are formatted FAT-16 or FAT-32. That’s great because Mac and Windows can read and write both. But what if you have large files you want to transfer, and no wired connection? Large files like an image of a DVD, for example, which is larger than the 4GB limit.

Kernel extensions or projects like MacFUSE have generally been the answer to allow the Mac to read and write NTFS or other file systems, but these are cumbersome and buggy. A little known fact is that Mac OS can read and write NTFS, but this ability is not exposed. You can assign it to named volumes through the file fstab under etc. Apple doesn’t support this activity, but it seems to work fine.

So, a drive (or even a 16GB USB stick) formatted to NTFS is the best bet.

Thanks to CNET for hosting this tip.


3 thoughts on “Easiest way to transfer big files between PC and Mac

  1. Thanks for the comment. Yes you are right, interruptions are fatal. I didn’t know about Binfer. Although it’s interesting, it still relies on a good network and isn’t free. The USB method is fast for a specific use: computers with no wired connection in the same room. A couple of minutes to read/write for 8GB, in my hands.

  2. Pingback: Even easier file transfer? | Serious Piffle

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