Impossible to set up Time Machine- dead end issue?

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by Tubamajuba, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. Tubamajuba macrumors 68020

    Jun 8, 2011
    It's been almost a year since I bought my first Mac, and I'm finally getting around to creating a Time Machine backup. Problem is, my external drive has 250 GB of data on it already, and it's NTFS formatted using Master Boot Record, so the OS X Disk Utility can't touch it. Therefore, I can't create an HFS+ partition.

    Alright, so why I don't I just transfer the files off the drive, reformat it with a GUID partition system, and put the files back on? Well, when I try to copy the contents of the hard drive to a folder in OS X, I get an error message saying, "The operation cannot be completed because you don't have permission to access some of the items."

    I tried going into my Windows 8 Boot Camp install and seeing if any permissions need to be changed. Nope, they're fine. I try copying the files again in OS X, and I get the same error. I can't copy the files into my Windows install because there's not enough room in the partition to hold the files. Disk Utility refuses to resize the partition so there goes that option.

    Every path seems to be blocked here. All I want to do is create an HFS+ partition for Time Machine to use on my external hard drive. Is there any way to do this without using another computer, and preferably without spending money?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    I'd say you need another external drive for starters.
    250Gb on an external, plus whatever's one your internal -- let's say the same again. I would advise at least a 1Tb drive for TM, if not more.

    The real problem is that NTFS can't be written to on OS X (without 3rd-party software), so you can't fix the problem from that end. I'm not sure what you would need to do on Windows.
  3. Tubamajuba thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jun 8, 2011
    I should have clarified- I have 250 GB of data on the hard drive, but it is a 1.5 TB drive. So I can certainly devote 1 TB to TM backups, I just want to keep the 250 GB as a separate partition. I don't need to write to NTFS either, I just want to copy the current contents of my external drive to my Mac.

    On second thought, I still run into the NTFS issue. I guess I'll go pull out my old Windows machine (USB 2.0... blah!) with a 500 GB HD and use that to transfer the files. Thanks for the help, in any case!

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