jeebo
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Connecting a standard "Windows" NTFS hard drive to a Pi

Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:52 pm

Hi All,

I am currently trying to setup my pi as a home server. The issue I have, is I have three hard drives I want to "share" with the network, a 4TB, and 2x2TB drives.

Some tutorials I have read, stated data must be removed, and the hard drive reformatted before it can be used. However, what I am looking for really, is a way I can take the HDD's and swap them between Pi and Windows without manipulating the file system between devices.

Is anyone aware if this is possible, or is file system manipulation a "minimum requirement".

Martin Frezman
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Re: Connecting a standard "Windows" NTFS hard drive to a Pi

Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:00 pm

The short answer is: apt-get install ntfs-3g

The longer answer is you might find the thread listed below good reading...

viewtopic.php?p=1149023#p1149023
If this post appears in the wrong forums category, my apologies.

jeebo
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Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:55 pm

Re: Connecting a standard "Windows" NTFS hard drive to a Pi

Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:14 pm

Thanks Martin, I had a read through and I can see that would generate a read only scenario.

Out of curiosity, what would be the answer to

a) implement a read / write driver, and
b) how much of a "risk" is there to my data (given the statement, the "read only driver is safer"?

Thanks

Martin Frezman
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Re: Connecting a standard "Windows" NTFS hard drive to a Pi

Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:27 pm

If you install ntfs-3g, you will get read-write.
And it is reasonably well-trusted and considered reliable and safe.
For your application, I think this is the route you should take.

The short summary of that other thread (apart from all the fun and games) is:

1) If all you need is read-only, then the built-in read-only driver (ntfs, not ntfs-3g) is, at least theoretically, safer.

2) The OP in that thread probably could have been OK with read-only access, but clearly, since you are setting up a NAS, you need read-write.
If this post appears in the wrong forums category, my apologies.

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mahjongg
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Re: Connecting a standard "Windows" NTFS hard drive to a Pi

Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:28 pm

Microsoft has never released full specifications of NTFS, making a reverse engineered Linux driver nearly impossible.
The situation as is now is that an reversed engineered NTFS driver does exists, but it is deemed unsafe by some to write to a NTFS file system with it, so it is made read only.

jeebo
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Re: Connecting a standard "Windows" NTFS hard drive to a Pi

Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:33 pm

Thank you to you both, clearly caution should be considered with this project, on the offchance data loss is a risk.... perhaps a handful of cloud accounts are required!

Martin Frezman
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:05 am

Re: Connecting a standard "Windows" NTFS hard drive to a Pi

Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:39 pm

@Majonng:

I think you are confusing the original Linux 'ntfs' driver with the current 'ntfs-3g' driver. What you wrote is accurate for the 'ntfs' driver, but not for the 'ntfs-3g' driver.

Incidentally, there was at least one type of driver that was made available between the original 'ntfs' and the current 'ntfs-3g' drivers - and there may have been others. This is an area where many people have tried many different things over the years. But, as of now, the 'ntfs-3g driver is considered to be the state of the art and, as I stated above, it is considered to reasonably safe and reliable.

That all said, what you say about MS not supporting these 3rd party efforts is true, and as with Linux itself, it all comes with no guarantees.
If this post appears in the wrong forums category, my apologies.

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mahjongg
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Re: Connecting a standard "Windows" NTFS hard drive to a Pi

Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:25 pm

Could be, I never heard of the 'ntfs-3g'driver, the name implies its the "third generation driver" true?

Well if its officially released (as safe to use) that is good news, as not having a reliable NTFS driver has always been problematic.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Connecting a standard "Windows" NTFS hard drive to a Pi

Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:31 pm

mahjongg wrote:Could be, I never heard of the 'ntfs-3g'driver, the name implies its the "third generation driver" true?

Well if its officially released (as safe to use) that is good news, as not having a reliable NTFS driver has always been problematic.
http://www.tuxera.com/community/open-source-ntfs-3g/

Though one has to bear in mind NTFS is a Microsoft Proprietary Format: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS
adieu

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