how to use windows external HD for time machine on moutain lion or any OSX

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by raghunk, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. raghunk macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2012
    I am new to time machine, never used this option even though have Mac since almost a year, not needed but needed now.
    So I have external HD that was using with my other windows machine and it's got good amount of data and also it's got good space (almost 350 gb free space).
    Not sure if some one went thru this situation. looking for suggestions, how to use current HD that I was using with windows (will not be using with windows again, since my widows machine died while ago) without losing current data for time machine on Mac. Appreciate your advices :).

  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Time Machine requires the drive be formatted as HFS+, as it won't back up to an external drive formatted as NTFS. You could create a HFS+ partition for TM, leaving the other partition NTFS.

    Format A Hard Drive Using Disk Utility (which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder)

    Choose the appropriate format:

    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 ($19.95) (Best Choice for Lion and Mountain Lion)
      • For Mac OS X 10.5 and later, including Lion, FUSE for OS X
      • 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), which is an enhanced version of NTFS-3G with faster performance.
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and later versions, 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. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Since you won't be using it with Windows any longer, you will want to use OS X Disk Utility to reformat the entire drive in HFS+ format (called Mac OS X Extended in Disk Util).

    Before doing that you will want to plug the drive into your Mac and copy the data over to the Mac, as the HFS+ formatting will erase your data. After formatting the external to HFS+ you can move the data back if you like, then just turn on Time Machine and select the drive as the Time Machine destination.

    You don't have to, but some prefer making two HFS+ partitions on the external, one for Time Machine and the other for misc. data. If you don't want to mess with two partitions, you can keep the Time Machine backup and the other data on the same partition.
  4. raghunk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2012
  5. lokerd macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2010
    MacFuse doesn't seem to work...what am I missing?

    WOW!!! Returning back to active mac user after a few years absence.

    I am a little dumbfounded (although not surprised) that there is not a better solution.

    I have a 1.5tb Segate External Drive. It has a bout 500gb os space. Copying it to a computer (it is mostly backed up data anyway...95% photos...which exist in multiple locations). I don't currently have any files that are larger than 4gb (or anything over 10mmb really), just tons of small pictures files.

    I am just having a hard time believing that in 2012, that Mac and PC don't get along better?!?!?! Is this another Jobs vs. the computer industry stubbornness issue (i.e. SJ vs. Adobe and Flash)?

    I guess I am willing to buy the $20 program, although I find that frustrating. Mainly because I have numerous other external drives, like a Passport 1TB drive, etc.

    The question is, how good is the Pargon solution? Will it work seamlessly and transparently?

    BTW, I tried the MacFuse, but after install, it didn't seem to do anything different. After more reading, it seems I am missing something but NOBODY spells it out. Computer programer I am not.

    Is there an easy plug and play solution with MacFuse I can try first?

  6. MyRomeo macrumors 6502


    Jul 22, 2010
    United Kingdom

Share This Page