Backup FAT32/NTFS with Time machine

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by andreydzung, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2012
    I'm setting up the backup scheme for my very first Mac, and having some troubles. Ideally, I want to backup the computer + 250G Fat32/NTFS external drive into my 1TB HFS+ drive. The reason 250G cannot be formatted as HFS is that I need to use it with other windows and linux boxes.

    Is it true that time machine can't backup non HFS drive? When I tried NTFS format, I can remove it from the exclusion list but it's not saved into preference.

    Any suggestions? Thanks for the help.
  2. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Time Machine requires HFS+ for backups to external drives. You can partition the drive and use one partition for TM backups, with the other for files to be shared with Windows.

    Format A Hard Drive Using Disk Utility (which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder)

    Choose the appropriate format:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon ($19.95) (Best Choice for Lion and Mountain Lion)
      • For Mac OS X 10.5 and later, including Lion, FUSE for OS X
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36), which is an enhanced version of NTFS-3G with faster performance.
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and later versions, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
  3. macrumors 68020


    Feb 16, 2012
  4. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    For reference, here's what Apple says (from the Time Machine link in my earlier post.):
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2012
    Thanks! But what I mean is the source of backup. My backup destination is definitely HFS+, but one of my source is an external drive formatted in FAT32/NTFS. It seems that I can't remove them from the exclusion list in time machine.
  6. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That's strange. You should be able to exclude any drive. I prefer using Carbon Copy Cloner for backups.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2004
    Depending on how familiar you are with the command line, you could setup a launchd or cron job to run an rsync backup of the drive. You wouldn't get all the fancy features of TimeMachine but rsync couldn't care less what your drive format is.
  8. macrumors regular

    May 11, 2012
    He DOESN'T want it excluded. ;)

    He wants TM to backup not only his system partition, but his external NTFS drive to a third HFS+ backup destination.

    That being said, CCC would probably be an easier option. I have CCC and TM set to backup my Air once a day, every day. :)
  9. macrumors Core


    Jan 23, 2005
    Won't work. Any external that is not HFS+ will automatically be added to the exclusion list.
  10. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Well, I'm doing a good job of grasping this thread, aren't I? :D Senility is a terrible thing! I don't know if TM can backup a NTFS external drive, but I know CCC can.
  11. macrumors regular

    May 11, 2012
    From what I have been able to find, it can not.

    CCC does look to be the best option. :cool:

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