Back-up on NFTS formatted Ext. HD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Raphey, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Raphey macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    Dear people,

    I've been using windows before I started using apple.
    The external HD that I used on my windows is formatted in NFTS, but (, as some may know,) Apple doesn't support NFTS.
    I found a program that let me use the ext. HD with the NFTS-formatation, no problems there.

    The problem comes when I now wanna use Superduper to make a back-up from my mac onto the ext. HD.
    It gives an error, saying the ext. HD is formatted in such a way...

    Does anybody know a solution to my problem?
    I'd be much obliged
  2. Mrguidogenio macrumors regular


    Jun 4, 2011
    SuperDuper need a HFS+ (Mac format) partition in order to backup. my recommendation is to partition the drive using Disk utility. One partition shall be used with SuperDuper. There other, in NTFS format, for anything else.
  3. Raphey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    Thanks a lot for the reply.

    Will I be able to part the HD without formatting it totally, and so losing all the data on it?
  4. Raphey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    I am in Disk Utility and I selected the ExtHD.
    Went to the partition part, but there (I think) is a problem.
    I put a screenshot of the Disk Utility in the Attachments

    I can't press +, to get a new partition.
    Also it says This partition can not be modified., is that the end then?

    Attached Files:

  5. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Indeed it is. You need a HFS+ formatted disk for back ups. Playing with the partition sizes with data on the disk is asking for lost data and I personally wouldn't touch it.

    See if you can offload the data somewhere else first then do a complete reformat.

    Edit: And why are you using NTFS in the first place? OS X cannot natively write to it. Sure windows can use it, but FAT32 and ExFat can also be used by both OS'es in read and write. You're still stuck with the fact that any backup software is going to want to be pointed to a HFS+ formatted drive, or at least, partition.
  6. Raphey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    Ow, that sucks. Thanks anyways for the information

    I had it NFTS, and never changed it for the same reason I try to avoid doing it now; I'm not sure if I have any place to put such a large amount of information easily. But I'll just try then.

    I don't use FAT32 because the max size of 1 file is 4gb, and since I have films larger than that, I wont be able to use that kind of formation.

    I've never heard about ExFat, what is it?

    Is there a formation that I can use, that isn't restricted the way FAT32 is, but which I can use on both mac and windows? (In our student house we have a windows PC that uses the HD just as much as I do personally.)

    Hopefully you'll be able to help me with this before the night starts, then maybe I can fix some stuff over night with the time-consuming copying of files.

    Thanks a lot again for everything
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    ExFat could theoretically be called Fat64, and it doesn't have the 4Gb limitation that FAT32 does, and can be read and written to by both OS X and Windows.

    You can easily format your hard drive to ExFat using disk utility in Mac OS X. I did it with my thumb drives so that I can move larger files than 4Gb between windows and macs without issue.
  8. Raphey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    I've been looking around a bit, and I see very few suggestions in forums and tutorials about exFAT.
    It seems like most people suggest either to use either HFS+ and get a program for PC to run, or NFTS to do the opposite.

    If I 'post' this on my problem, isn't a partition then the easiest option?
    How reliable is exFAT?
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    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: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, 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
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
      [*]Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backups of Mac internal hard drive.
      [*]To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
      [*]To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
    • Maximum file size: 8EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
    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
  10. Raphey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    Thanks for the table, helped me get some points right in my head :)

    But most important question that I forgot, and with which it all started:
    Will Superduper be able to make a backup on exFAT?

    Mrguidogenio was pretty clear about this point:

  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No, any backup of your Mac's internal drive to an external drive must be on HFS+.
  12. Raphey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    So then it's down to this; which combination should I use for the formation?

    -NFTS with HFS+
    -exFAT with HFS+
    -somethingelse with HFS+

    I feel like the first 1 is the better option, but that's mostly because I'm used to NFTS and it's working fine. Somehow it seems 'useless' to have the other part of my HD formatted with exFAT, since I'd use that to use it on both mac and PC, but that's already taken care of with NFTS.
    On the other hand, if exFAT is the overall more easy to use 1, then why not?
  13. Mr MM macrumors 65816

    Mr MM

    Jun 29, 2011
    I would simply go for the exfat with HFS+, simply because the files can be written on OSX and windows. Win xp supports exfat since service pack 2, and I dare say that I dont find win 98 machines anymore

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