Mac / PC / External Drive Backups

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Mac Air, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Mac Air macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2012
    Mac / PC / External Drive Backups

    I know this topic has been covered, however as is typical of the all mighty Internet there appears to be conflicting information so I thought I would try once more.

    What I am working with:
    PC with windows XP
    Mac Air
    Seagate Free Agent External Hard Drive (NTFS format – 1TB)

    What I want to do:
    Have my PC regularly backup to the Seagate on the same partition as the MAC.
    Have my Mac Air reg regularly backup to the Seagate on the same partition as the PC.
    Have my Mac & Seagate backup to a remote cloud service.

    I have read that some Mac’s cannot read a NTFS formatted hard drive. I have no issue with that, my Mac accesses it just fine.

    I have read that having a Mac regularly access a NTFS formatted hard drive can eventually corrupt the NTFS hard drive. Is there truth to this, has anyone experienced it?

    My current status:
    Using the software that came with my free agent I have no issues having my PC backing up to the Seagate, it works perfectly.

    Unless I do it manually (meaning drag and drop), I cannot get my Mac to automatically backup to the Seagate. I searched for free agent software for the Mac however I had no luck. I tried to use Time Machine on the Mac however it wants to reformat the Seagate hard drive to a HFS+ Journaled Format.

    I read that once I format the Seagate to the HFS+ Journaled Format that my PC will not be able to access the drive. Is this true?

    Does anyone have any suggestions or has anyone accomplished what I am trying to do? If so can you suggest software for the Mac and software for the PC that will run scheduled backups. Also does anyone have any suggestions on a reasonably priced and secure cloud / offsite storage service for a regular backups of about 1 TB of data?

    Thanks and let me know if you need any more information.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You can't do that. Mac OS X requires HFS+ for backups, which Windows can't read/write natively. Create separate partitions. One NTFS for Windows, one HFS+ for Mac backups.

    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 (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.

Share This Page