Win/Mac network USB Drive Reat-Write Glitch


  1. Posts : 15
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    Win/Mac network USB Drive Reat-Write Glitch


    I have a DOCSIS 3.0 Arris Surfboard Cable Modem\wireless router gateway, Model SBG6900-ac. If I plug a 233GB, newly NTFS-formatted thumb drive into its USB port, the USB drive appears on the Windows Network as a 'network drive' like this: Network\Arris-LGW\USBStorage

    ...and I can read/write to it....(its properties\security tab confirm that "everyone" can "read/write".)

    But the thumb drive that I inserted into the Arris router refuses to function as a cross-platform read/WRITE network drive. Viewed from the Mac, the network drive appears on the network as,

    "Network\Arris-LGW\USBStorage\SanDisk-010189d5392d5e057c3280e72a64c55eb29413578f8ef6bd8b3a2c07bc8cafc0"

    ..and the Mac Finder's Sharing & Permissions confirms, that 'Everyone can read and write".

    ...BUT when I try to write a file to it from the Mac, i get, 'file can't be copied - not enough free space'.

    Curiously, I can put i.e. three 10MB .doc files on the USB drive using the Win10 PC, but I can only Read those files from my Mac...I can't write new files to the USB drive. From the Mac, the USB drive's free space always appears zero, and its capacity appears to be 30MB. If I add two more 10MB docs, its capacity now shows as 50MB.

    What's causing this strange behavior and is there any way to get past it? Arris tech support is baffled.

    Windows 10 Pro, Ver 20H2, OS build 19042.867
    Mac OSX versions 10.5.8 and 10.6.8
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 94
    W10
       #2

    Hello.
    NTFS is not really a good choice for this situation. It doesn't have proper support in macOSX, it is read-only, it cannot write to it.

    It is also not the best for a router because they might not have perfect support for it either.

    I recommend trying this situation with a different filesystem like FAT32.

    I noticed that your Mac OSX versions are very old. 10.5.8 Leopard and Snow Leopard don't have modern network sharing implementation and might suffer from expired certificates. While these OSes still work, they only support SMBv1 Nd FTP. I recommend using these. Don't use any kind of encryption or access control or password security on your network share if you are using SMB because the Mac might not support it, unless it is SMBv1, in which case it will.

    Regarding permissions. You have it wrong here. You need to set permissions TWICE. Once cor the filesystem, so aka. Security tab. And then on the sharing tab if the share is from your pc. If it is from the router, then set the permission up on the router AND on the filesystem. You can do the latter on your pc.

    Keep in mind, NTFS permissions are not that simple as FAT's. It might not be enough to add everyone, you might also need to add "Anonymous logon" and "Guests" unless you are sure you can log in properly to a network share on your mac.

    What I suggested above will greatly harm your security. Only proceed if you trust your network to be free of intruders. Anyone who logs onto your wifi might be able to access your stuff. But then again, with Mac OS X releases more than 10 years old, you don't have many options. You should upgrade your Mac OSX versions if possible.

    Keep in mind that while exFAT would be a great filesystem choice, it is not supported by Mac OSX 10.5. Often not supported by routers either. Do you could go with FAT32 but that one has a 4gb per each file limit.
      My Computer

  3. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,497
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #3

    My experience when I had a MacBook Pro was to format such drives as exFAT, better cross-platform with Windows and Linux.

    I have 2 x 2GB NAS drives on my Network and all 3 OSes can write to them. Mac OS X could read but not write NTFS, don't know about the new macOS yet.

    Also, 233GB isn't a normal size for thumb drives, starts small then beginning with 4GB starts doubling, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, etc. Formatting does take a bit of room but may be less than 10%.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 94
    W10
       #4

    Yes, exFAT is a solid gold choice for cross platform compatibility and for defeating fat32's 4gb limit.

    But poster said his/her OS version was 10.5.8 which does not support EXFAT at all, not even in readonly mode! It will not work!
    I'm unsure if his/her other computer, running osx 10.6.x would support it. I'm afraid that won't either. ExFAT support was added around that time and my memory is fading but i remember using it in mavericks, which is 10.9.
      My Computer

  5. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,497
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #5

    My MacBook with OS X 10.9 Mavericks died when trying to Upgrade to the new macOS but it had worked with exFAT, still couldn't write NTFS without more software installed. My NAS drives interpolate between Windows, Mac and Linux, whatever Maps and accesses them.
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 15
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Thanks to all - yes my old Mac systems are ancient.


    ish4d0w makes good sense regarding file security with these ancient Mac systems. It's time to bite the bullet and Spend Money.

    Network security can be very complicated for a home user, and when you add in gateway/router security issues plus cross-platform issues, it gets much worse.

    For example, my iPhone recently alerted that that my 3-year-old Arris home wi-fi network has "weak Security" and that I need to configure my router to use either WPA2 (AES) or WPA3 security. However, when I go into my router's settings, neither of those are available...my only choice is WPA/WPA2/(TKIP). Below that, I see an option for WPA2-PSK security settings as follows: AES, or AES+TKIP. I have always had mine set for AES+TKIP. Maybe that was wrong, because If I just set it for AES, the weak security message goes away on the iphone. (I thought more was better....maybe not?) Also, the iPhone wants me to turn on private WiFi address. But when I do that, i can't connect to my wi-fi network. Time to run screaming from the room... :)

    Ironically, I bought the Arris to avoid perpetual rent to Comcast, but this 3 year-old Arris is already too old to support latest WPA3 security. At this rate, I'll have to buy a new router every 2-3 years, wiping out whatever rental savings are accumulated. No Win!

    But that's preaching to the choir, so I'll stop! Many Thanks to all respondents.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 94
    W10
       #7

    Berton said:
    My MacBook with OS X 10.9 Mavericks died when trying to Upgrade to the new macOS...
    Did you have legacy filevault enabled? The per-user one that was enabled in 10.6 Snow leopard or earlier? Because that is only supported up to 10.9 and any system upgrades to a version newer than that will fail. It took an hour for me to figure out that. To get to a newer version, you must first decrypt (or remove) every encrypted user account, then you can either upgrade and then encrypt again, or you can re-encrypt before the upgrade. The installer did not make this very clear but I managed to figure out from the logs that where it is failing

    - - - Updated - - -

    Al Nonymous said:
    ... For example, my iPhone recently alerted that that my 3-year-old Arris home wi-fi network has "weak Security" and that I need to configure my router to use either WPA2 (AES) or WPA3 security. However, when I go into my router's settings, neither of those are available...my only choice is WPA/WPA2/(TKIP). Below that, I see an option for WPA2-PSK security settings as follows: AES, or AES+TKIP. I have always had mine set for AES+TKIP. Maybe that was wrong, because If I just set it for AES, the weak security message goes away on the iphone. (I thought more was better....maybe not?) Also, the iPhone wants me to turn on private WiFi address. But when I do that, i can't connect to my wi-fi network. Time to run screaming from the room... :)
    You should be using WPA2-AES. That means only WPA2 and only AES. The other options are just left there for compatibility reasons, legacy support, they should not be needed anymore. Sadly both WPA(v1) and TKIP are hackable and a lot of devices used to came with WPA2-AES+TKIP as the default setting. Which means, even though one couldn't get in using AES, they could just fall back to TKIP which they would be able to exploit. This is why you want to disable TKIP and this is what your iPhone is warning you for. But sadly even WPA2-AES is hackable now, even though it requires a lot of time, hours or even days without the key crypto changing so that's probably not very incentive to hack. But sad to hear anyway that after so many years, it is no longer bulletproof.

    WPA3 is a complete failure though. I read it once that it had already been hacked even though it is barely released. It is a total failure because it is not supported by the majority of current devices, not even the latest ones. And no one is bothering to backport WPA3 to existing routers and devices. I believe it will never be popular. Knowing that it doesn't really secure anything as it can be hacked just like WPA2-AES isn't impenetrable anymore, I wouldn't spend money on buying WPA3 devices. Maybe WPA4 will be worthy.

    The private wifi option is the MAC address randomization feature I believe. It is not necessary on home networks and doesn't really secure anything. It is more like a privacy feature and should be used on public networks. Your phone, just like every device has a MAC hardware address, think of it as a license plate. If someone were to track network usage, they could see what you are browsing on the web and then easily isolate your web activity because they would see "hey, this is all that is coming from this Mac address". If this private thing is on, you would get a different Mac address, or license plate every single time you connect to wifi. This would make it more difficult for spies to track you. They could see traffic still but it would appear it is someone else's activity each time. It would also seem there is a new device on the network every time. They would have a hard time figuring out that you are the same person
    This is great but it also breaks things. Many home networks use MAC Andress filtering, meaning that only select whitelisted/preapproved devices can join your wifi network, even if they know the password. We'll this identification is done by checking the device mac address against the ones on the list. As you might imagine, having your mac address randomized completely ruins this filtering and that is most probably why you cannot use it on your network. If you really want to use it, then you would have to disable Mac address filtering, but that could be more of a security issue than not having this private address thing turned on. Actually i am mad at Apple for making this a default option as it breaks the wifi connection at many homes.

    As per renting vs buying a router, well. You have options there, that's great. Here in Europe we can only use modems provided by the service provider but at least it's rented for free. It, just like most, doesn't support WPA3. It is a home gateway, can operate either as only a modem or can utilize it's built in router too.
    I can hook uo up a router to it but then again, WPA3 is not something I would spend money on. It's great that some companies like Apple already support it but it appears to be flawed out of the box.

    You can read more on this at Security Flaws in WPA3 Protocol Let Attackers Hack WiFi Password
      My Computer

  8. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,497
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #8

    Berton said:
    My MacBook with OS X 10.9 Mavericks died when trying to Upgrade to the new macOS...



    Did you have legacy filevault enabled? The per-user one that was enabled in 10.6 Snow leopard or earlier? Because that is only supported up to 10.9 and any system upgrades to a version newer than that will fail. It took an hour for me to figure out that. To get to a newer version, you must first decrypt (or remove) every encrypted user account, then you can either upgrade and then encrypt again, or you can re-encrypt before the upgrade. The installer did not make this very clear but I managed to figure out from the logs that where it is failing
    The drive controller on the motherboard crapped out and scrambled the drive in the process. However, I did salvage the RAM and the drive, the drive is living happily in a Sabrent portable case repartitioned and formatted as exFAT.
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 15
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #9

    ish4d0w said:
    Yes, exFAT is a solid gold choice for cross platform compatibility and for defeating fat32's 4gb limit.

    But poster said his/her OS version was 10.5.8 which does not support EXFAT at all, not even in readonly mode! It will not work!
    I'm unsure if his/her other computer, running osx 10.6.x would support it. I'm afraid that won't either. ExFAT support was added around that time and my memory is fading but i remember using it in mavericks, which is 10.9.
    I could only try the various file formats on my two older Mac systems (10.5.8 and 10.6.8). Neither of those systems can be upgraded. Also, any Arris info only applies to my particular Arris model (DOCSIS 3.0 Arris Surfboard Cable Modem\wireless router gateway, Model SBG6900-ac.) After a lot of pesky amateur testing, I came up with this - I'm not a tech expert, however, so don't bet your data on them:

    There are three kinds of disk formats available on PCs or Macs: FAT32, ExFat, and NTFS. Unfortunately, if you choose the wrong format, the USB drive in your Arris USB port will not be visible, or may only function in brain-damaged mode, on your home Wi-Fi network:

    FAT32 can’t handle files over 4GB in size, or partitions larger than 8TB, but otherwise both PCs and Macs can read/write to FAT32 USB drives WITH CERTAIN CAVEATS:
    • Windows PCs can read/write without any problems.
    • The Mac Finder can copy any file to the FAT32 USB drive, no problems.
    • Mac Apps can only open files on a FAT32 USB drive as read-only: you can open and edit a file, but you MUST use “Save As” to save your work. So with each edit, you are forced to spawn a new version of the file when you save it to the USB drive.

    ExFat is read-write supported by both PCs and Macs. However, the Arris doesn’t appear to support ExFat drives: neither the PC or the Mac will be able to see your ExFAT USB drive when inserted into the Arris USB port…A MAJOR FAILING.

    NTFS poses the same problems as FAT32 drives: Both PCs and Macs can see an NTFS formatted USB drive in the Arris USB port, and your PCs will be able to read and write freely to it. But Macs will find the NTFS drive’s files to be read-only.

    As a result, Mac users on your Wi-Fi network will constantly be confronted with work-stopping, confusing messages such as “You need permission to write to this drive”, “Disk is Full”, “File could not be saved”, or "File can't be copied because there is not enough free space."

    Some of of the above messages are caused by Mac read-only limitations in the Finder and/or within certain Mac applications. But the “Permission” message can be generated by the Arris itself, due to its lack of support for one of the USB formats.
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 94
    W10
       #10

    It is possible to install software onto your Mac that enables NTFS write support. There was demand for it 15 years ago and there is just the same demand now. I really don't know why Apple does not build this in. Even Linux has full write support for it, but not Apple.

    There are two companies that are quite good at this. One of them is Paragon and the other one is Tuxera. They both have NTFS-support programs and they have been doing this for decades, meaning you will be able to install old versions of their software onto your older systems, too.

    This is not some third-party file manager, this is more like a driver. Once you install it, Finder and all the rest will be able to access and write NTFS volumes, just like if they were FAT32s.

    It is an extreme tragedy that there are many devices out there which don't support exFAT. exFAT is clearly superior for portable devices to both NTFS and FAT32. And yet, developers are just painfully lazy to implement it. Thankfully Apple implemented it in later versions (around 10.8 or 10.9 I believe) and Microsoft did so in Windows Vista or 7. Linux supports it too of coursre, so it is a solid choice, unless you use these TVs and media players which don't. In that case, NTFS is your best choice probably.
      My Computer


 

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