Format type for external hard drive to work with Time Machine

Discussion in 'macOS' started by RzrbldeSuitcase, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. RzrbldeSuitcase macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2007
    Hello all,

    I just bought a WD MyBook 500gb external hard drive, I needed it since i have recently switch from a PC to a new MBP and had to ship a lot of files over. I left the drive in FAT32 while I did this, but can still see myself needing to transfer files between the two in the future as well.

    But, since I've done the main bit of transferring, i deleted the files on the drive and want to use it with Time Machine but also have the possibilty of using it in the future to transfer files from PC to mac.

    So now looking at using time machine on it, i would like to know what File type to format the hard drive? FAT32 or ...? Please help guys as i am new at this and have ever used an external HD before or time machine. Thanks!
  2. RzrbldeSuitcase thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2007
    Wouldn't that make it incompatible with the PC for when i want to transfer files in the future?
  3. TT Katz macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2008
    I just got on this forum to ask the same question. After speaking with WD, there is no file format that will be compatible to transfer both ways (according to them) which is NOT what I was told at the apple store (on three separate occasions).

    You have to use fat 32 to get the stuff from pc to the drive, then transfer the info to the mac, reformat the drive so you can use time machine, then back everything up.

    I'm new to a Mac so I'm not claiming I know this answer is 100% fact, but it what I've been told....I'm hoping there's a solution though because frankly I feel misled by the Apple salesman telling me "there should be no problems going back and forth"
  4. lamina macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
    I'd format it NTFS and use Paragon to allow you to write to the NTFS drive.

    Or, partition say 300GB for Time Machine, and the rest for whatever.
  5. TT Katz macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2008

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