External hard drive format for time machine

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Ridonze, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Ridonze macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2011
    Hello everyone.

    I'm a Mac newbie running Snow Leopard 10.6.5 on a 1TB internal HDD.

    I've just bought a Samsung G3 Station 1.5TB external hard drive that I want to use to back up my mac but also for file storage that i want to access from mac as well as win xp.
    Since mac as well as win xp reads and writes to exFAT format, I'm planning to format my drive using exFAT.
    I would like to know if time machine will be able to see and write to this drive in the said format? I do not want to partition the drive for mac and windows separately and would prefer not using fusion software.

    Thanks in advance ;)
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Mac OS Extended / HFS+ is supported for TM HDDs.
    exFAT is not.

    MRoogle is a search engine.
  3. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Yep, Time Machine requires the HFS+ Journaled format, it will not work with an exFAT formatted disk. You either have to do separate partitions or buy MacDrive for Windows in order to read that disk from within Windows (and I don't know if I'd recommend that, not sure how it might deal with the Time Machine data with it's hardlinks).

  4. 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, 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.
    • exFAT partitions created with OS X 10.6.5 are inaccessible from Windows 7
    • 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

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