External Hard Drive for Windows & Mac backup as well as extra storage

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by French, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. French macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    #1
    I have just gotten a Macbook Air 13" ultimate...and am trying to get everything on my network set up. I would like to use Time Machine to backup the mac, but I also need to be able to back up at least one windows machine (and maybe two). AND I would like to be able to use that same drive for extra storage.

    My router does have a USB port so I think I'm good there. I already have a 1 terabyte back up drive (Seagate) but it came with proprietary software and I have not found a way to make it fully accessible to all computers. It works with Windows XP but there is no software/drivers for Windows 7. It simply isn't supported anymore. With that said, I would like to avoid any type of drive that requires proprietary software just to perform a back up. I would far prefer a drive that allows me to install the backup software of my choice on the computer of my choice to back up to the drive.

    I am not sure what I should be looking for or if it needs to be partitioned. I'm honestly just not even sure where to start. My thought is that I would like to be able to save all my pictures and other large files to this drive as extra storage space that my Macbook Air can access as an additional "D" drive. I would also like to be able to do Time Machine backups to this drive. And I would also like to be able to do Windows backups to this drive. And I would like all computers to be able to access this drive as a "D" (like a "C" drive).

    What would you all recommend? I think 1 terabyte would be sufficient for my needs.
     
  2. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #2
    Well this will be complicated but it WILL work with the least amount of headache.

    On your Windows box install the shareware MacDrive because it will make Windows see OS Extended formatted drives (Time Machine need OS Extended drive to work correctly) and you will be able to read/write OS X Extended drives with no problem.

    Then share that external disk in the router and mount it on your Mac desktop (and the Windows desktop as well). Just wire to the router for the very first time Machine backup. It will be huge the first backup section so the speediest connection should be used. After that you can go wireless with no problem. Just in OS X use System Preferences->Time Machine, options button, and select to ignore the windows backup portion.

    Why not just use boot Camp and run both OS x and OS X on your Mac?
     
  3. French thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    #3
    The 1 terabyte drive I currently have...the Seagate...(Maxtor)...I remember when I purchased it it was referred to as a NAS drive. I wonder if I already have the hardware I need and just don't know how to set it up. I didn't see any way to access the drive directly so didn't think it could be reformatted or partitioned or anything else. Of course it's no longer supported because it's 2 years old...
     

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