External hard drive and time machine backup question

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by povsicf, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. povsicf macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2009
    Hey I have a MacBook and will be purchasing an external harddrive to backup all my info from OS X. I also have a parition on the drive in the MacBook for windows and would like to use the external as a backup for that as well. Do I have to format the external and partition to backup each OS? Please help me out with this as I am new to the whole backup of info with an external harddrive. Thank you for your help in advance.
  2. dquattlebum macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2008
    I had this setup for awhile.

    I had a 500gb external with 2 partitions. 1 formatted for OS X and 1 NTFS.

    It worked...
  3. povsicf thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2009
    cool thanks for your answer. What exactly do I have to do in disk utility to format and partition the external harddrive for both. Thanks.
  4. reebzor macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    Open Disk Utility with the drive plugged in. There is a partition tab. It's really not hard to figure out.
  5. andalusia macrumors 68030


    Apr 10, 2009
    Manchester, UK
    This was quite a rude response in my opinion; not everybody is technically minded, there is no need to be arrogant about what you might know and what somebody else might not.

    Through Disk Utility, select the Hard Drive you want to partition and click on the Partition tab. Then click the drop-down menu and select 2 Partitions. You may resize the two partitions to whichever sizes you like for the backups. You can also rename each partition to whatever you like. Make sure that the Mac backup one is formatted for Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and that the Windows one to FAT. Then apply the changes.

    Somebody posted about formatting the Windows one should be NTFS, I'm not sure how something can be formatted as this in OS X, perhaps you would need to do it in Windows? However I hope my instructions help you anyway :) Good luck!
  6. dquattlebum macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2008

    Within OS X you'll want to make 1 partition in FAT 32, then when you plug it into windows format into NTFS. Windows likes NTFS better. and if there are files on the NTFS partition you want to access in OS X you can install Macfuse...
  7. povsicf thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2009
    Thank you all for all your great responses, but quick question right now my hard drive is partitioned through boot camp and I am running windows 7 ultimate do I need to partition the drive in FAT32 since I am running the 32 bit version? Just want to know if it changes anything that I'm running the latest version of windows. Also since you say that I need to re-format it as NTFS can I partition the Mac partition in OSX and then the windows partition in Windows and do NTFS then or should I do both partitions through OSX? Just wanna get everything clear so I know exactly what to do once it comes for me in the mail?
  8. Buskape macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2008
    NGC 4889
    Don't use the FAT32 method as it limits your files to 4gb it's really outdated now.
    I just bought an external hard drive this weekend i'll tell you how i have done it:

    What you do is you make on partition in OS X using disk utility that is in HFS+ (Mac Os Extended) make it 250gb (as you have 500) call it Leopard or whatever, then you will have 2 partitions select one and make it "Blank" or "Free Space" can't remember what it's called and name it Windows or whatever, then you plug your HD to Windows, your HD will not show up in Windows, to see it you will have to into :

    Control Panel (Switch to Classic view) -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management and then click on Disk Management on the left. You will then see your Hard drive partitions now, select the partition you have "Free Spaced" and right click on it and select format, check quick format as there is nothing on your drive anyway, it's gonna take 5 seconds and voila, you will see your drive in the main My Computer, and on OS X you will see both partitions except you won't be able to write in the Windows partition.

    I have done the exact steps above with a 640gb external HD and it works perfectly.

    Consider installing MacDrive on your Windows computer if you need to write on the OS X partition from Windows and install NTFS-3G if you need to write on the Windows partition from Mac OS X.

    Hope this helps
  9. vanderzant macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2009
    Hi, I have a similar problem. I have a 500gb lacie rugged external hard drive and I want to use it with both mac and windows. My only problem is that I have already formatted to my mac and have all my TM backups on it.

    I tried what you said, but it didn't work. My HD paritions weren't recognised by windows, even when I went to disk management. It just said there were ~450GB of unallocated space and that it didn't recognise it.

    The strange thing though, is that I think windows installed a driver for Lacie because although I couldn't format it/the paritions didn't appear, I could look at it in preferences.

    Thanks if anyone can help =/

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