WD Passport & Mac Time Machine help please

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by OPDinBCN, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    #1
    Hi, I recently bought a WD Passport Essential to back up my Macbook. When I plugged in the WD Passport, my Mac asked if I want to use this storage device for my Time Machine.

    1. Should I use the WD Passport as the Time Machine storage device or use the WD Passport software to run back-ups?
    2. If I use it for my Time Machine, will I be able to access my files on other machines?
    2. Is it possible to have files stored on the WD Passport, such as photos, but not have those files on my Macbook... if I am using the Passport for back-ups?

    Thank you so much! I apologize if this is the wrong area... I just joined the group and feel a little overwhelmed by all the info. Thanks!
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    ideal.dreams

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Location:
    OH
    #2
    1. While it's your choice as to whether you'd like to do this or not, I'd definitely recommend doing it. I love knowing that if I accidentally delete a file, I can go back in time to see it exactly how it was. I can even see previous versions of it if I go back further. It's definitely worth it for peace of mind.

    2. Not too sure on this one, I've never had the need to plug in my portable hard drive anywhere but my mac :p.

    3. Yes, while I had my 320GB hard drive I kept 121GB of movies on it, and the other space allotted was used for backups. TimeMachine will only delete content in the backups.backupdb folder, so you don't have to worry about your stuff being deleted when the disk becomes too full.

    PROTIP: I'd recommend having a hard drive that's bigger than your computer's hard drive. I have a 500GB hard drive in my MacBook Pro and I use a 1TB drive to back it up daily.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #3
    I'd use Time Machine over the WD software anyday.

    In order to get the best of both worlds, I'd do the following:
    1. Ignore/do not install the WD Passport software.
    2. Using Disk Utility, re-partition the WD drive into two partitions: one at least slightly larger than your Macbook's hard drive, formatted as HFS+; the other formatted as FAT32.
    3. In Time Machine Preferences, indicate the HFS+ partition as the one to be used for Time Machine.
    4. This leaves the FAT32 partition for storing other offline files (photos, etc.), and the partition can be recognized by others' Windows PCs for file transferring.

    Time Machine is designed as a backup solution for a particular Mac, not a file sharing solution between computers. I recommend that the Time Machine partition remain untouched except by Time Machine itself. Use the other partition for sharing copies of your photo/video/music; it remains unaffected by Time Machine.

    Here's my setup, as an example:
    My iMac has a WD MyBook Studio with a 500Gb drive. The WD is partitioned into three: TMachine (200Gb HFS+ for Time Machine backups); ExtraSpace (approx 200Gb HFS+ for additional video storage); WINFAT32 (60 GB for use with Windows XP via Boot Camp). The WINFAT32 partition can be seen by any PC I plug it into, but not the others.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    #4
    Thanks dXTC & ideal.dreams - exactly the type of information I needed. I have a 1TB passport, so it sounds like it is perfect for daily backups and storing photos. I will try the partition solution tomorrow and let you know how it goes.

    Thank you for the super quick response!

    Jennifer
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    #5
    Formatting the Partitions Question

    dXTC,

    In formatting the partitions, I am given these options... I don't see the HFS+ or FAT32 options. Would you mind helping me in choosing the right format for the Time Machine partition and the extra storage partition? Thank you!!

    Format drop down menu:
    1. MAC OS Extended (Journaled)
    2. MAC OS Extended
    3. MAC OS Extended (case sensitive, journaled)
    4. MAC OS Extended (case sensitive)
    5. Free Space

    Then there is a box to click if I want to "install MAC OS 9 disk drivers"

    If I click the "options" button, there are also these 3 choices:
    1. GUID Partition Table: To use the disk to start up any Intel-based MAC, or to use the disk as a non-startup disk for any MAC with MAC OS X version 10.4 or later.
    2. Apple Partition Map: To use the disk to start up any PowerPC-based MAC, or to use the disk as a non-startup disk with any MAC.
    3. MASTER Boot Record: To use the disk to start up any DOS or Windows computers, or to use with devices that require a DOS-compatible or Windows-compatible partition.



    Thanks!
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    dXTC

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    #6
    If my memory serves me correctly, I believe that the Time Machine partition should be Mac OS X Extended (Journaled), with GUID.
    The other one should be Free Space, with MBR option (which will allow Windows PCs to see that partition).
     
  7. Mal
    macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #7
    GUID and MBR apply to the entire disk, not just to one partition. However, unless this drive will be used for booting a Windows PC, GUID will work fine. It will still mount and can be used to transfer files on PC's and Mac's.

    jW
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    dXTC

    Joined:
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    #8
    What jW said. Thanks for the clarification.


    Thanks for the clarification, jW. I stand corrected. OP, use GUID.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    #9
    If I'm using an external drive, should I definitely give Time Machine it's own partition? I would like to use the same drive to be able to access and edit, share, manipulate, etc...files that are on it, so wasn't sure if I should be touching the files directly in the Time Machine backup files or creating a partition and using the files from another partition other then the Time Machine one.

    Thanks guys!
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    dXTC

    Joined:
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    #10
    I strongly recommend you give Time Machine its own partition. Do not-- repeat, do NOT-- touch files in the Time Machine backup; this will corrupt Time Machine.

    Instead, using Disk Utility, create a separate partition on the same drive (preferably before initiating your first Time Machine backup), and use that other partition for manipulation and/or sharing.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    #11
    Whewwww!! Thanks so much for the response. My Macbook is completely FULL but I need to be able to access the stuff I put on the External (pictures, music, etc) so didn't know how to go about it. Some said to drag and drop on the same partition as the Time Machine, so I wouldn't have to make separate partitions, but wasn't sure if that was the best way to do it. How much space should I allot to Time Machine then?

    You have no idea how much you just saved me from a possible HUGE headache bc I was all about to start trying to get in and out of those Time Machine files! :eek:
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    dXTC

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    #12
    You're welcome. Some drag and drop onto a separate folder in their Time Machine partition, which is theoretically "legal" but can lead to problems later. Separate partitions help minimize mistakes.

    As for partition size suggestions, I recommend a minimum of 150% of the total capacity of your MacBook's hard drive-- 200% if you can spare it. This will guarantee at least 1 full backup and a good handful of incrementals. The more room Time Machine is given, the better it works-- it can store more incrementals before consolidating the backup data, and can store data for longer before having to delete older versions.
     
  13. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    #13
    I predominately use a mac but occasionally may use a PC (poor me, LOL), what format should I make the other partition? Above you mentioned HFS+ or FAT32, but I don't see the HFS+ option. The FAT32 is in paranthesis next to MS-DOS, is that the one?? Someone mentioned NTFS but I don't even see that as an option. I just want to be able to do all this setting up 1 time so thank you for your patience and help!
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    dXTC

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    #14
    FAT32 is what you'll want to use, especially if you plan on making the partition visible to Windows users when they attach the drive to their Windows PCs. (HFS will not be easily read on most Windows PCs without a third-party app or driver.) There may be a maximum FAT32 size limit on what OS X will allow you to create, so keep that in mind.

    Macs cannot format a drive as NTFS; that's a Windows-only spec. (OS X can read an NTFS partition, but not write.)
     
  15. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    #15
    Great!! Thanks so much! My MACBOOK drive is 160GB and my WD External Drive is 640GB (although only about 598GB is showing when plugged in). Either way, I'm going to set the partition for Time Machine to about 400 GB as the Mac Os Journaled and the remaining to MSDOS (Fat32).
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    dXTC

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    #16
    Sounds good! 400 Gb will be plenty for Time Machine, and should serve you for years of backups.
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    #17
    Decided on 320 for the Time Machine and the remainder for HFS+...I don't use Windows often enough to make a whole partition for it's compatibility. I just wanted the "option" to be able to use it. But with the FAT32 limitations, I don't want to give myself a headache! LOL! Was going to leave "free space" but couldn't talk myself into that bc the thought of having to delete partitions and info, when I do want to use it, made my head hurt..:p

    Have another question that maybe you can help me with. I did the 2 partitions, 1 is Backup and 2) is storage. In the TM preferences there is an option that says, "Do Not Back Up" and lists the STORAGE partition. Would you recommend me NOT backing that up? I'm going to be using that STORAGE partition as like a 2nd backup for my MUSIC as well as to clear up some space on my Macbook bc my hard drive is completely full. I have HUGE picture files so will be moving them to that partition and then deleting them off my Macbook. Am I doing all of this correctly?

    Thanks!
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    dXTC

    Joined:
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    #18
    As a second backup for music as it stands "right now", that's fine. Keep in mind that Time Machine won't update your second backup. You can also move those pictures there. I would go one step further and burn some of those to DVD, especially if they're in a "raw" format.

    Currently, your Time Machine will back up only your Mac's main internal partition by default. It places any external volumes, including your STORAGE partition, in its "Do Not Back Up/Exclude" list. There are ways to have Time Machine back up certain folders in your STORAGE partition, but I wouldn't bother with it right now.

    Looks like you're good to go!

    Keep in mind that there will most likely be very few times you actually go into Time Machine to retrieve something. Don't ever feel like you've wasted your money and effort on this venture, however. I look at Time Machine as additional insurance-- if your main hard drive crashes or OS gets scrambled, you've lost virtually nothing.
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    #19
    You seriously are the best! Thanks so much for all of your help!

    Ok so I did a Time Machine Backup. I then, additionally, stored my pics and music on the STORAGE partition. Here's another confusing thing for me to understand. Since my Macbook is full, I basically would like to move ALL of my pics onto the external STORAGE partition and then DELETE them from the Macbook. But here is where I'm confused...Since I ran TM, then moved them to the STORAGE from the Macbook, then deleted them from the Macbook, do I still have 2 copies of these pics??? If so, in the future when TM starts deleting the oldest backups, will 1 of the copies be gone??

    I'm sorry for all the questions and thank you sincerely, seriously. My pics are the most important thing for me so really want to make sure they are backed up before I start deleting things and lose them.
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
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    #20
    Yes, you have exactly two copies: one in Time Machine, and the other in STORAGE. Eventually, Time Machine may delete these, leaving you with one copy, just as you have deduced.

    Buy a short spindle of blank DVDs and save your pictures onto them; an extra "offline" copy never hurts, especially if the data means that much to you.
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    #21
    how can i access my "free space" after partitioning external hard drive

    Hi all,

    I've followed the directions here for using one external hard drive as both a time machine backup and as flexible storage that you can mount, drag/drop on a PC.

    My issue is that i partitioned my drive, one 400 gb for Time Machine and another 100 gb for free space. My time machine backup is currently in progress, but I'm worried because I don't see the other "partition" where I can drag and drop files and move between PC and Mac.

    That is there is only one icon in my Finder menu that says Time Machine, and no other "icon" that is the 100 gb where I plan to freely move documents.

    Or is it normal that the free space partition won't show up separately in the Finder menu and we're just supposed to drag and drop into the Time Machine icon and whatever we drag and drop in that icon will be accessible when I plug this external into a PC?

    Hope my question isn't too confusing! Thanks.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    Did you create two partitions or just one partition leaving the remainder as free space?
    If you did the latter then you'll need to create a partition in the free space to be able to use it.
     
  23. Mal
    macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #23
    Free space isn't usable. It's just empty space on the drive. What you need is a FAT32 or NTFS partition on the drive. If you want NTFS, you'll need to download a driver like NTFS-3G as the Mac can't natively write to or create NTFS partitions.

    jW
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    #24
    free space problem

    hi everyone,

    thanks for your help. i guess i got confused by the directions above. i currently repartitioned with one I called Time Machine - 400 gb - Mac OS Extended and the other I called Drag-Drop that's NTFS - 3G.

    I had previously installed a NTFS -3G driver on my Mac so it seems to be recognizing the Drag-Drop.

    I'm re-doing my Time Machine back up so I hope (and think) everything should work now.

    Will let you guys know if I have any more questions!

    Thanks again. You guys have been a wonderful help.
     
  25. macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #25
    Time machine, hands down.
     

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