Mac and Windows Partitions on External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by sloochi, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. sloochi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    #1
    How does one go about using an external HD for backing up on both Mac and Windows machines?

    I would ideally like to use Time Machine on the mac side. I have a 1TB Western Digital. Plenty of space, because i dont have that much stuff to back up.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    Can you be more specific? How many machines, what OSes and hard drive sizes? Are they networked? Wireless? Wired?

    Personally, I'd recommend sticking it on an Airport Extreme or Linksys NSLU2 and backup over the network instead of partitioning.

    EDIT: The NSLU2 has been discontinued, but you can get other Network to USB NAS devices.

    B
     
  3. jakeguy99 macrumors regular

    jakeguy99

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    #3
    Basically what you want to do is partition your external drive. So turn your drive on and make sure it shows up on your desktop.

    **Note: Doing this will erase everything on your external hard drive.

    Step 1: Open Disk Utility

    Step 2: Select your 1TB External HD on the left window.

    Step 3: Click the partition tab and change the volume number to 2 (There is a "+" sign at bottom of the rectangular box) and fix the size you want the partitions accordingly.

    Step 4: select the second partition and select MS-DOS(FAT), leave the first partition as is.

    Step 5: Click apply and you will have a windows partition as well as a mac partition on 1 hard drive.
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    If you do go down the path of partitioning your drive you need to keep a couple of things in mind.

    For maximum compatibility use the MBR partitioning scheme, not APM or GPT. You will lose the ability to boot OS X from the drive as it must be partitioned GPT to be bootable, but if any of your Windows machines are anything less than Windows 7 64 bit, MBR is all they really understand.

    Put the Windows compatible (NTFS or FAT32) partition first on the drive, then follow that with the Mac OS one (HFS+). Windows will sometimes make assumptions based on which partition is first on the disc and you want to help it out as much as possible.

    EDIT: See http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.phpa?t=919882 about the order of partitions.

    I still think abstracting all of this on the network is a whole lot easier, but it does depend on the details. How many and what kind of machines.

    B
     
  5. sloochi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    #5
    Thanks for the help.

    The computers are not net worked. The Mac is currently running Leopard, soon to be updated to Snow Leopard. The PC is running Windows XP.

    I think i'll try the partitioning first and see if that fits my needs. I just wanted to make sure that you can partition a single drive to different formats (ive never done it before).
     
  6. sloochi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    #6
    The PCs and Mac are in two physically different locations (home and office) and definitely not networked together. I dont know too much about the technical aspect, but i dont even know how that would be possible.
     
  7. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #7
    EDIT: Missed the earlier reply by the OP.

    The partitioned drive scheme is probably your best bet.

    NOTE: If you are not your own boss, make sure that backing up your work PC which you do not own to a drive you do own and take home is acceptable. People have been fired for doing this kind of stuff without asking.

    B
     
  8. sloochi thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 4, 2008

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