Time Machine external hard drive question - AppleCare Expires so urgent!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ksanyee, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    I have to back up my macbook on an external hard disk in the coming two days to send in my laptop for repair. My 3 year applecare expires in 3 days so this is very urgent.

    I was told to reformat the external harddisk to the apple/mac journal format before saving my backup on it. My question is: Can do this with an external hard drive that already ahs data on it- and a different formatting?

    I want to borrow my friend's external hard drive but she has lots of files on it. I assume that reformatting the drive would result in her losing all her files. Is there any way to backup your mac to an external harddrive that ahs other stuff on it and not solely dedicated to the great purpose of backing up your macbook?

    Thanks a lot!
  2. bluespaceoddity, Nov 23, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2009
    Depends on the way that external hard drive is currently formatted and what kind of computer(s) you have at your disposal to perform the reformatting but the most important consideration is imo if the data on the external drive is unique. Non-destructive Repartitioning* and Reformatting of partitions is possible on some systems but there is always a risk involved. Unless the files on your friend's drive are backed up somewhere else as well I would look for a different solution for your own backup.

    In fact I suggest getting a relatively cheap USB enclosure with a disk big enough to continue backing up after you get your Mac back. Shop locally or get overnight delivery from an online vendor.

    *Non destructive Resizing of [an] existing partition(s) is probably a better way to put that.

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