Mac : Unable to write to NTFS

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Posted on January 03, 2015

For some odd reason Mac systems do not mount ntfs as read/write. It will only mount the disk as read only by default. Which is good in some cases but what if you want to write to a external drive for remote use. This makes it very hard for the average user to use Mac in conjunction with other systems.

I used the below method which may not be conventional but it seem to work. I check several online forums which said to add a entry into “fstab”  then remount the drive. The drive was still mounting as RO.

The below command will show you all devices connected to the usb bus . This is one way to grab the uuid to mount the drive via terminal

system_profiler SPUSBDataType

if you want to only grab the name of the disk use grep like so

system_profiler SPUSBDataType | grep BSD

Live example

Mass-MacBook-Pro:~ mas$ system_profiler SPUSBDataType | grep BSD
BSD Name: disk1
BSD Name: disk1s1
Mass-MacBook-Pro:~ mas$ diskutil info /dev/disk1s1 | grep -i uuid
Volume UUID: 6EC60DFC-E887-43FC-BF91-0DF8B1565759696

>Another way is if you know the device name

diskutil info /dev/disk*  — replacing * with the actual name of the device

If you plug the device in already and want to remount with read/write. First umount the existing disk. Run df to check for the existing mount point then run sudo umount “mount point path”

Next create a virtual directory to use for the rw mount point. Also add an entry in the Fstab file as follows.

mkdir /volumes/external

And create an entry in “Fstab”  sudo nano /etc/fstab

UUID=6EC60DFC-E887-43FC-BF91-0DF8B1565759696 external  ntfs rw,auto,nobrowse  0 1

Now that you have the uuid and virtual directory created. run the below command to mount it

diskutil mount -mountPoint /Volumes/external  6EC60DFC-E887-43FC-BF91-0DF8B1565759696

Replacing the numbers at the end with your device volume uuid.