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Enthusiast

External SSD Drive NTFS support that works with Fusion

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I run some VMs off an external NTFS formatted drives and swap between fusion on my MAC and Win10 workstation. Does anyone have a NTFS driver that works with Fusion reliably that they have experience with? I've tried Tuxera as it advertises it wors with Fusion but when fusion closes Tuxera cases a kernel lock resultng in the MAC to be power cycled and the external drive corrupted. This has been a long outstandinng and recognised fault with tuxera. I've also tried paragon on my 2017 laptop and it had issues that resulted in it corrupting the display when the MAC came out of sleep that was a recognised fault. I've yet to validate that this was fixed. Does any one have experience with a NTFS driver that will actually function with Fusion?

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Leadership
Leadership

Hi,

I tend to format external drives with a FAT partition and a macOS partition.

My VMs that might need to be accessed from Workstation are all using the "split into multiple files" option.

This works with FAT as long as your disk slices are under 4 GB in size.

There's a formula for this, it means you have to keep your virtual disks under a certain limit.

The split disk scheme since Fusion 7 is:

Capacity                          Extent size

================================

<= 128GB                         4GB (increased from 2GB)

>128GB && <2TB      Capacity / 32 (so maximum of 32 extents)

>=2TB                   2TB

So if your VM needs more than 128GB in a disk then you can consider adding a virtual disk.

If that doesn't work... then external disks are a bit problematic.

In the past I would even recommend running VMs from an external disk, but it appears people are having issues with that nowadays, so I am not really recommending that anymore.

A pity as it was a great tweak to add more avaiable IOPS to a host.

Another alternative is using a network share.

Windows SMB works great from a Mac. NFS works well too btw, but is a bit less common on Windows.

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva

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Champion
Champion

The key word there is 'reliable'.  None of the NTFS drivers on OSX are reliable - aside from breaking when Apple releases patches, they are known for data corruption.  Now some here have had better luck, but it's always dicey - make sure you have a good backup sstrategy.

You'd be much better off moving to exFAT for the shared drive, though again, you'd need a backup strategy as that is more subject to corruption than others since it only has one copy of the allocation table.  It's still better than NTFS hacks though.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Yes your 100% correct that I moved away from exfat due to the fact that it has no jourmneling but I do suppose a corrupt drive is far better than a kernel lock+corrupt drive. I was hoping that before wasting some more of my $$$ that there may be a solution out there for MAC that is compatible with a journel format that would work. I have largely given up on the products that i have paid for that advertised they work with Fusion only to find out that they do not work when you actually use them. I'll chase down paragon maybe they have fixed there MAC issues.

How is every one else with a MAC managing there VM images?? I'm looking at maybe moving to docker would fix this alotogether? I'm assuming everyone else just dedicates an entire drive to your MAC and do not try and use a common drive across Mac/Windows?

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Leadership
Leadership

Hi,

I tend to format external drives with a FAT partition and a macOS partition.

My VMs that might need to be accessed from Workstation are all using the "split into multiple files" option.

This works with FAT as long as your disk slices are under 4 GB in size.

There's a formula for this, it means you have to keep your virtual disks under a certain limit.

The split disk scheme since Fusion 7 is:

Capacity                          Extent size

================================

<= 128GB                         4GB (increased from 2GB)

>128GB && <2TB      Capacity / 32 (so maximum of 32 extents)

>=2TB                   2TB

So if your VM needs more than 128GB in a disk then you can consider adding a virtual disk.

If that doesn't work... then external disks are a bit problematic.

In the past I would even recommend running VMs from an external disk, but it appears people are having issues with that nowadays, so I am not really recommending that anymore.

A pity as it was a great tweak to add more avaiable IOPS to a host.

Another alternative is using a network share.

Windows SMB works great from a Mac. NFS works well too btw, but is a bit less common on Windows.

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva

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