Time Machine and NTFS

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NikFinn, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    NikFinn

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    MA
    #1
    I just got my macbook pro, and I'm loving it. But I have one question, I use to run a windows computer with a 500gb external, which is formatted to NTFS. It has somewhere around 400gb of stuff on it, mostly media. Is there anyone to use the free space as a time machine backup, as I know for a fact I will be buying a bigger harddrive in the next 2 weeks or so, and I want to be able to seemlessly switch between HDDs. Anyone know the easiest way to go about this?

    Thanks,
    Nik
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    #2
    I believe the volume needs to be in HFS Journaled, or else time machine will not play nice
     
  3. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    #3
    That is correct. HFS+ for Time Machine.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NikFinn

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    MA
    #4
    There must be a work around? I know there are programs that allow you to read and write to NTFS, but can you use time machine with any of these?
     
  5. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    #5
    No, just as you cannot install OS X on NTFS, TM must have HFS+.
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    NewMacbookPlz

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    #6
    Time Machine requires the HFS+ Journaled setup that OS X uses.

    Even with an NTFS write utility, you HAVE to format a portion of the drive as a Time Machine partition.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NikFinn

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    MA
    #7
    Is there a way to format part of my external as HFS+ Journaled, so I can use that partition for time machine?
     
  8. Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Missouri
    #8
    Yes, but I don't think you can do it without formatting the entire drive. IIRC, NTFS could not be resized.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NikFinn

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    MA
    #9
    That's crappy. So, the best bet, would to just buy another hdd?
     
  10. 1ne
    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Canada Oil Country
    #10
    If you find one please post here. I have 4TB in my basement on my Windows Home Sever and unfortunately it's all NTFS. I have searching for a workaround for awhile and the conclusion is Time Machine needs HFS no matter what.

    There are hacks out there for NAS time machine and the ability to write to NTFS but nothing for Time Machine and NTFS. :(
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    #11
    time machine is not a big fan of raid ext hardrives also keep that in mind
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    NikFinn

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    MA
    #12
    I wouldn't want to run them in raid, but just have one for stuff I download, and one for backups, but once I upgrade to a bigger internal hdd, i'm not sure if a drive for downloading stuff will be necessary.
     
  13. macrumors demi-god

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #13
    I read somewhere that Microsoft never officially documented how to write to NTFS. Although some third-party folks have figured out how to make it work (MacFUSE, etc), it doesn't look like Apple wants to implement "official" support for it, which is what they'd have to do to make Time Machine work with it. :confused:

    Which kind of sucks, because Time Machine has no problems backing up over the network to a NTFS filesystem. Well, I've had no problems doing that, anyway. (knock on wood!) :)
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #14
    NTFS can be resized if you have the right tools and the planets are aligned properly, but I don't know if you would be able to get a HFS+ partition that TM will like once you resize it. Windows uses a MBR partition scheme, but Apple likes Apple Partition Map or GUID. I'm fairly sure it is possible to put a HFS+ partition on a MBR drive, but I don't know if TM will let you use it.

    A Linux live CD will often have the right tools to let you resize a NTFS partition. Most of them have Parted and/or Gparted (a graphical version of Parted), but not all of them will resize NTFS. Even you have a tool that lets you resize NTFS, with only 20% free there probably won't be enough free space to move everything around and create the continuous block of free space needed for a partition. Defragmenting first in Windows will help, and if you can move some big files to another drive for a while, that will help too.
     
  15. 1ne
    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Canada Oil Country
    #15
    So your Time Machine is backing on a network to a NTFS drive??? (Mind sharing?) The way I understood is was... Time Machine will only let you backup using HFS.

    Edited... I also have try using Time Machine and NTFS-3G for backup over network...no go :(
     
  16. macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #16
    buying a new HD would be the best option :)

    you cannot format without erasing the whole thing using primitive software, but i am fairly certain that you can change the partition size using some more advanced software (you would want to backup your drive though just incase).

    100gb wouldnt be enough to backup to anyway, it wouldnt last you that long.

    you only have Read rights to the NTFS drive dont forget :)
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #17
    ok none of you know absolutely anything about what you're talking about, and need to stop.

    Here's a screenshot of the drive i REGULARLY use with time machine to do backups on and also a screen of the drive SHOWING UP in time machine. Allow me some time to look up exactly how I did this, as it has been a while.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #18
    Ok,

    Go into terminal and type the following command:

    Code:
    defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

    Now, as long as you have a connection to your windows computer shared drive, you should be able to see it in time machine. Reboot if you don't.

    To connect to that shared drive, use: finder > go> connect to server

    type in the ip address or network name of the computer, you may be prompted to log in or you can press "connect as" and log in with your windows username/password

    Configure time machine to use the drive, and try creating a backup.

    This is where it gets a little hairy, its going to try to create a sparsebundle image on your shared drive and i guarantee it will not to this effectively.

    In spotlight, type "console" and open it. Check the system.log

    In the error messages it will say the filename it was trying to create.

    In my case, the file name is ".MacBook Pro_00254bd7abe8.sparsebundle"

    The numbers are based on your computer's mac address, and is specific to you. You will need to create this disk image and put it on the hard drive manually before the backups will work.

    To do this, in spotlight type "disk utility"

    you should find the disk utility application. I have attached a screen shot of what you should fill in after hitting "create image"

    set the size as big as you can, btu keep in mind that it will limit you to what you have available on your current hard drive. Don't worry because the image will only be about 110 megs initially, it will just be formatted for whatever you set as the max.

    Make sure you have no partition map, sparsebundle disk image selected, and whatever else i have in the screen shot.

    Though the file on the hard drive will need to begin with a period, you will not be able to do this right away through disk utility, so just call it whatever without a period.

    you can then change the name of the file once its on the drive you're going to use for time machine THROUGH windows, not mac osx, or you can change the name in terminal as root or with the sudo command prefix. If you don't know what im talking about, just do it through windows. you can use windows remote desktop for mac (free from MS) online to do it, so you dont need to physically go to that god awful mess of a computer (just kidding, humor.)

    If everything is done right, you should now be able to use time machine with a windows shared drive.


    bookmark this, because I don't know if I'll feel like ever typing it again.



    And by the way I didn't have to do ANYTHING other than share the drive through windows. I did not need to do any other formatting. sparsebundle images appear as folders in NTFS but the mac writes to them just fine so dont worry.

    by NO means should you have to reformat, lose any of your data, or buy a new drive if you have one already.

    Good luck and regards
     

    Attached Files:

  19. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #19
    here's a screenshot of me using time machine to back up to my NTFS shared windows drive, which is an internal 500 gb NTFS drive.

    I'm doing this while I'm typing right now, so ch chickity check yo' self before you wreck yo' self.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #20
    thats for NTFS shares which OS X can write to. you are just allowing Time Machine to see these shares. good tip anyway im sure a lot of users will not know this will find it useful! :D.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #21
    Ok I misread. I didn't realize the windows box was no longer a part of the equation. allow me to recommend this as an alternate method of accomplishing the backup.


    I personally prefer using time machine with network drives as it will work whether or not I have a usb cord attached.
     
  22. macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #22
    next time can i suggest you dont go all "guns blazing" especially when you dont read it properly?? you might offend somebody :mad:
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    #23
    Chickity read the post before you wreck yoselffffff

    +1 for epic failure.

    Now for those who can read, concerning the little work around machoman just posted, its neat little work round but again the responsibility of backing up on non supported drives (or filesystems) falls in your hands, not guarantees anything will work, especially system restores (i highly doubt it will work imo)
     

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