Backup Is Impossible

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by kenyabob, Nov 20, 2003.

  1. kenyabob macrumors regular

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    #1
    I have an external hd that is formatted fat32, and was formatted on a windows machine. Anyhow, whenever I try to backup my user folder it gives me two errors. First it says that some items cannot be copied, and if I archive it I can get around this error. THE SECOND error I cannot get around. It tells me that the certain file names are too long or contain characters the disk cannot display. WHENEVER I try to backup anything big, this is the response that I get. Its a external usb 2.0 hard drive, maxtor 160 gb, 7200 rpm.
     
  2. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #2
    Obviously, HFS+ and FAT32 do not hold the information the same way.

    You should be able to use Stuffit Deluxe version 7 or 8 to create a backup that can be put into a file that FAT32 can handle, such as that made by tar and gzip. Alternately, you can probably put a .sitx file into a .zip file to store on that drive.
     
  3. kenyabob thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    When I try to copy big files, it quits a while into it and says that files cannot be read or written, error -36
     
  4. rueyeet macrumors 65816

    rueyeet

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    #4
    If the only reason the drive is formatted in FAT32 is that it's an old drive, and you're only interested in using it to back up your Mac now, and don't need anything currently on the drive....why not reformat it for the Mac rather than use it as-is?

    Even if it does have other stuff on it, you can copy that to your Mac before the reformat, then save it back afterwards.

    Unless there's a good reason to keep it in FAT32 format, in which case this advice is silly. :)
     
  5. kenyabob thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    what if I will be switching back and forth between pc and mac, any easy way to do that?
     
  6. sparkleytone macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

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    #6
    if you are unable to reformat the drive to HFS+, then i recommend the following.

    1) put everything you want to backup in a folder on your Desktop

    2) connect the drive and let it mount

    3) open terminal

    4) cd ~/Desktop

    5) tar cvf /Volumes/DriveName /pathtofolder/backup.tar ~/Desktop/backupfolder

    6) wait a long time if the size of the backup is big, while checking and making sure its working

    good luck. this should work.
     
  7. kenyabob thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    I backed up the drive, but disk utility wont erase the drive. It fails everyime out of the gate. I cant erase it. I cant parition in, this thing is killing me.
     
  8. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

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  9. kenyabob thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    What about a fat partition, or a linux partition fit more than the 4 gigabytes??
     
  10. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #10
    A FAT16 (regular FAT) partition can't be over 2 GB. A Linux partition can't be read by Windows.
     
  11. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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  12. Wash!! macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Sorry ti break to you...

    But I think is time to get a new drive the time and effort and frustration you are putting into it is not worth it...

    my 0.02¢
     
  13. jtown macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Re: Sorry ti break to you...

    I hope nobody actually paid you that $0.02. Your "advice" is absolutely terrible and won't help the OP at all.
     
  14. Lanbrown macrumors 6502a

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    #14
  15. jtown macrumors 6502

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    #15
    This is a significant problem with dual-platform support. The only filesystem both platforms can fully access is FAT32. Unfortunately, FAT32 has size limitations and has other restrictions that limit its utility under OSX.

    There's the 2/4 gig file size limitation. The specs allow for 4 gigs but many windows applications will choke on files larger than 2 gigs on a FAT32 filesystem so your effective limit on a FAT32 filesystem is 2 gigs. Second, there's the limited number of valid characters in filenames. You can use characters in HFS+ that you can't use in FAT32. (Heck, there are some versions of windows that can't tolerate all of the characters allowed in the FAT32 spec, let alone all of the HFS+ characters.) Then there's the whole issue of HFS+ resource forks. A Mac folder on a FAT32 partition is not a pretty thing if you look at all of the hidden files.

    If you absolutely must be able to use the drive on both platforms, FAT32 is currently the only choice you've got. While it has its limitations, it can be fully accessed by OSX, Windows, Linux, BSD, etc. Each system has much better native filesystems but they're pretty limited when it comes to support on other platforms. I've heard of an HFS+ program for Windows but you'd have to buy a license for every machine you use it on. Panther supposedly has read-only support for NTFS. Seems flaky, tho. I've heard several people complain about not being able to mount perfectly good NTFS partitions with Panther. And it's read-only.

    It's long past time for "the industry" to get their act together and standardize filesystems. :p
     
  16. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

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    #16
    I have had more luck with drives shared across platforms if they were formatted FAT32 by a Mac rather than by Windows. Same goes for FAT floppies.
     
  17. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #17
    It will be tough sharing the drive between the two systems as I had a hard time doing it. It seemed that Windows didn't like the format of the drive, and neither did the Mac.

    You current problem, IMHO, is the size limit for the partition you can have. Not sure which OSX you are using, but try sticking to a single partition under 128GB (120 to be safe).
     

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