View Full Version : Seagate External Hard Drive help...formatting/partitioning

Apr 14, 2010, 12:32 PM
I have spent the past 5 hours going a bit crazy, trawling through what seems thousands of pages on the internet, I need clarification so I can get to sleep tonight.

I bought a Seagate portable 250gb external hard drive today. Plug it in, and start looking on the net about how to format it to my MacBook 10.4.11.

Now I don't use my laptop for anything majorly important - music, films, internet etc.
I do have some important files. As a freelance illustrator, I use my laptop to scan in drawings, edit them, do graphic design work in Adobe programs, etc. I bought the Seagate in order to free up some space on my laptop and also to back up that small amount of important files.

On my quest, I came across talk of partitioning the external hard drive. What I gather from this is that it's a good idea to do if I want to use the Seagate on both PC and Mac (which I do)

I need advice.
How do I actually format the Seagate?
Do I need to back up my whole laptop? i.e. all 70gb of it onto the Seagate?
If so, do I make 3 partitions? i.e. 1. laptop backup, 2. Windows use, 3. music/films/creative work

How many partitions do I need?!!?!?

Also, for some reason I started following some instructions that said to erase the new external hard drive before putting data on it... so I press erase in disk utility, saw that it would take 4 hours & skipped doing it. Was this a cretinous action? Will it affect the Seagate usage?

I'm sorry, I'm not very techie - almost a Luddite. But thank you for any help, I'm sure there have been lots of external hard drive questions but I am going crazy. It's my day off too, surely time could be better spent?!!!

Apr 14, 2010, 12:36 PM
Is the Seagate empty? 3 partitions would be best for you as then Time Machine doesn't fill the whole HD and you need a dedicated one for Windows anyway.

Open Disk Utility and select partition, then use Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for TM and music/films etc and MS-DOS (FAT32) for Windows

Apr 14, 2010, 12:38 PM
Yes the Seagate is empty.
But I don't have Time Machine, my MacBook is about 3 years old - it's a Tiger

Apr 14, 2010, 12:42 PM
Yes the Seagate is empty.
But I don't have Time Machine, my MacBook is about 3 years old - it's a Tiger

Oh, sorry, my bad :o

You can use Carbon Copy Cloner (http://www.bombich.com/) to make a backup. Then again, make as many partitions as you need