How does an external HD work?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by vampyr, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. vampyr macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2008
    I bought a Buffalo 1TB external drive and I was wondering... how do I back up my Mac OSX partition and my Windows XP Partition on my iMac?

    I basically want to move all of my important files off of my XP and OSX and onto the external drive.

    The reason is that I want to try installing a fresh installation of OSX to see if it resolves problems with my iMac shutdown at random times.

  2. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
  3. vampyr thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2008
    Thank you for the reply.... however what I'm asking is can I partition the external drive so that I can use part of it with my Apple OS, and use the other part with my Window XP?

    Windows doesn't have a backup program... so I plan on just keeping the files on the external drive and run them from there.

    however I'd like to try Apple's backup system with iMac and the external drive.

    Does this make sense?
  4. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    yes you can partition a drive, just use disk utility from os X to setup the different partitions,

    to use time machine the partition has to be hfs+ journaled
    and it's recommended to have double your hard disk capacity for time machine.
    hfs+ is called "mac os extended" in disk utility.

    there are utilities out there that will let you read hfs from windows. haven't used it but I've seen macdrive ($50) recommended. It is only needed if you want to read that partition from windows.

    both windows and mac will read and write a fat32 format (just called FAT in disk utility)
    mac can read but not write NTFS.

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