Help! reformatting hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Eldiablojoe, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Eldiablojoe macrumors 6502a

    Eldiablojoe

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Location:
    West Koast
    #1
    Help please. I back up my MacBook via Time Machine to an external WD Passport. It has not backed up since 11/28/10. Time Machine says my back up disk is unavailable, however it is fully plugged in, with light indicator on, and it "hums" as though it is working.

    I've been in touch via email with WD customer support. They suggested running "Disk Utility" on it. I did that with the option "Repair Disk." It failed.

    Now Disk Utility is suggesting I back-up, format, and restore from the backup.

    I don't have any place to back up my Time Machine Backups, I'm thinking of just formatting and starting Time Machine anew. Also, the Disk Utility is asking me what format I want to format the disk in. MacOS Extended (journaled), Case Sensitive, Journaled and case-sensitive, MS-DOS (FAT), and Xfat.

    I'm venturing into a new frontier here, and would appreciate guidance.

    PS- I do have another identical external My Passport that I did a CCC clone on a few weeks ago. I've never restored from one of those before.

    Thanks.


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  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #2
    WD support is correct in this situation--although it's possible to salvage the data on the drive, since it's a backup anyway you're probably better off just reformatting from scratch and starting fresh. You'll lose any past buffer, but you'll at least have a full back up as of whenever you finish the first one.

    The format you want for Time Machine is "MacOS Extended (journaled)." Not case sensitive (that's for very specialized situations), and none of the other options, either.

    To be absolutely sure it's formatted correctly, I would recommend the following: Select the hardware itself (the least-indented item) of the drive in the list on the left (exactly what you have selected in that screenshot), select the "Partition" tab, select "1 Partition" for Volume Scheme, make sure "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" is selected in the dropdown at right once you've got a single partition, then click the "Options" button at bottom left and select "GUID" for the partition map. Once you've got all that set up, click the "Apply" button, confirm when it asks, and wait a minute for it to finish.

    You now have a completely fresh drive, and Time Machine should ask you if you want to use it.

    I'd be just a little concerned, however, that it managed to corrupt itself that badly--it does happen with Time Machine now and then, but that can be a sign that you've been unplugging the drive without ejecting it, or maybe even a hardware problem. I wouldn't panic, but I'd keep an eye on the drive for a while to make sure it's not acting up in any other way once it's been reformatted.
     
  3. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #3
    I'd be worried about trusting my backups to a device that has failed.
     
  4. Eldiablojoe thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Eldiablojoe

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Location:
    West Koast
    #4
    Thank you Makosuke, this is exactly the information I was hoping to elicit. I'm also emailing back and forth with a Western Digital CSR, so I will work with them as well- perhaps I'm still under warranty and they'll send me out a new drive.
     

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