How to set up external HDD as Time Machine Backup later?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Red Cube, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. Red Cube macrumors member

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    #1
    Recently, I got a Seagate Backup Plus 3 TB external hard drive so I could back up my files for when I would bootcamp windows 7. When I plugged it in, the window asking if I wanted to use the drive as a Time Machine backup popped up, but instead I clicked on "Decide Later." I later realized that I wanted to set it up, but I cannot figure out how. If I try to set up Time Machine in system preferences, the list of backup disks is empty. My only other option is to backup everything manually, but the time and human error involved would be unavoidable. I use 10.6.8.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

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    #2
    As that 3 TB HDD of yours is probably formatted for Windows (NTFS or FAT32), it cannot be used with Time Machine without reformatting the HDD, thus losing all data on it, if you have not copied it elsewhere beforehand.


    ____________________________________________________________

    Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    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, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, 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
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • 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
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
    ____________________________________________________________
     
  3. Red Cube thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    It's formatted for windows & mac
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

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    #4
    What does that mean exactly?

    Have you checked Finder > select external HDD >> GET INFO >>> Format yet, and if it does have two partitions, check both and even look at Disk Utility and check its Partition Map Scheme*?
    [​IMG]

    *
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Red Cube thread starter macrumors member

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    #5

    it's set up as windows NT.
     
  6. simsaladimbamba

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    #6
    Then it is only set up for Windows, Mac OS X can only read data off from it, unless you installed an NTFS driver for Mac OS X and can write to it now. Even if that is the case, for Time Machine usage, the HDD needs to be formatted with Mac OS Extended (HFS+) as file system, as can be read from the list (albeit a bit long for many people, though it is quite succinct) in post #2.
     
  7. Red Cube thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    i did get the driver. thanks.
     
  8. simsaladimbamba

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    #8
    Then all is understood?
     
  9. Red Cube thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    mostly.
     
  10. simsaladimbamba

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    #10
    What is missing?
     
  11. Red Cube thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    I'm just a bit worried about the process, that's all.
     
  12. simsaladimbamba

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    #12
    Handle with care and when you copy the data off the 3 TB HDD before reformatting it, check all the files and folders you copied on the drive you copied to to calm your worries. And do not copy in big chunks with Finder, better copy one root folder after another, as when Finder disrupts copy process, it does not tell you what has been copied and what has not been copied.
    Sadly, with NTFS formatted HDDs Mac OS X cloning software does not work to make a 1:1 copy and have the cloning software check the copy after it has been copied.

    And as you probably only have one copy anyway, thus it is not a backup, why not invest in another xy TB HDD for copying the 3 TB HDD to and then formatting the 3 TB HDD properly and using it as Time Machine?

    I have one 500 GB HDD for my photographs (digital and analog) libraries and editing documents, one 500 GB HDD with my personal video footage in an editing friendly format.
    Both 500 GB HDDs get backed up to one 1 TB HDD via CarbonCopyCloner.
    And that 1 TB HDD gets backed up to another 1 TB HDD via CarbonCopyCloner.
    Therefore I have three copies of my important data.
     

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