External hard drive (NTFS) for CCC/other backup

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ls1dreams, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. ls1dreams macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2009
    I can think of a few ways to handle this, but was hoping people could chime in on best practices.

    Pretty standard situation:

    Just about a new macbook pro. Would like to create a clone image on an external hard drive to be able to immediately restore if necessary. (similar to Ghost).

    I have a 1.5TB external USB2 drive, formatted NTFS as one giant partition.
    Of this, I've filled only around 100gb or so.

    I've been reading through CCC's FAQ, but still have a few questions:

    (1) CCC states that it requires an HFS partition to backup to. However, it looks like there is also a backup to disk image option. Does that also require HFS? Or could I simply write a CCC disk image to an NTFS partition?

    (2) If I can not write to NTFS, what tool is my best option to non-destructively repartition my external hard drive?

    (3) Any other software I should consider instead of CCC? I don't really care about having a bootable image file/etc.

    (4) How do you run CCC to restore that image if the computer fails? (In the past I would startup with a Ghost boot CD - not sure how CCC handles it)

    (5) To people who switch between PC/Mac quite a bit: Any suggestions on how to distribute the file system on the external? I'm leaning towards leaving it largely NTFS right now just out of convenience. I would like to easily be able to bring my external to work, friends' places, etc, and not deal with finding NTFS drivers for Windows. (Maybe 1tb NTFS, 500gb HFS?)

    Sorry for all of the questions - I am going to continue to Google around for answers, but thought someone might be able to offer some best practices first.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, CCC requires HFS+ to backup your internal drive, unless the drive is a network drive.
    You should backup your data from the external, then repartition, then move your data back.
    CCC does a great job, even if you don't need a bootable image.
    You don't need NTFS drivers for Windows, as Windows handles NTFS natively. You can install NTFS-3G on your Mac to enable read/write of NTFS.

    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
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    Here's what I would do. To make anything bootable, you would have to reformat the entire hard drive to a GPT (GUID partition table), so that's out.

    I think you could probably use windows to shrink the partition and leave the rest free space or format that to FAT32. Then on your Mac, use disk utility to format your new partition to HFS+, and you could just use Time Machine to back up in that case. CCC is basically best if you need a bootable backup, otherwise TM will work fine, and is conveniently built into the OS.
  4. ls1dreams thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2009
    Step #1 here: "Launch CCC" assumes you can get into the operating system. What if something gets corrupted? I'd need a way to still boot and launch CCC to access the image file. That's the question I was trying to figure out.
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You could boot from your install DVD, but that's the primary reason to have a bootable backup. If something happens to your internal drive, you can simply boot from the backup. You could also physically swap the internal and external drive (assuming the same size) and boot from your new (backup) internal drive.
  6. ls1dreams thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2009
    I guess what I'm not clear on is... if I write a disk image to an external drive, how does it boot from it?

    Is the OSX boot manager able to find this file? (with a CCC partition I'm sure it can)
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    1. Start your Mac
    2. Press and hold the Option key
    3. Select the bootable backup from your boot drive choices
    4. Boot up

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