Mac virgin.. Have some questions about backups.. please help

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by tm0000, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. tm0000 macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2014
    I've just bought my first mac ever.. the 15" new rMBP. I bought the Transcend 1 TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive - Military Drop Standards (TS1TSJ25M3) to use for time machine backups. I have a few questions I'm really hoping you guys could help me with please?

    1. I've heard that I have to format the drive to work with a mac when it first arrives. How do I do this?

    2. I've been using Microsoft synctoy for backing up data on my windows laptop. Is the time machine the same thing? Synctoy actually syncs folders from my laptop to my external hard drive. Is time machine the same concept?

    3. I want to divide about 750 gb of the hard drive for time machine backups, and leave about 250 gb for transferring files from the windows pc to the mac. How would I do this?

    4. One last really stupid question.. sorry in advance.. So, with synctoy I backup my important folders like, my pictures, my documents and my videos. If I use time machine, and my mac crashes... my windows laptop won't be able to access these folders and files, right? So is there another option like microsoft synctoy for the mac?

    Thank you very much for your help! I really appreciate it!
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Use Disk Utility (in your /Applications/Utilities folder) to format the disk as HFS+ (Mac OS Extended Journaled)
    Same concept.

    Mac Basics: Time Machine backs up your Mac
    Time Machine

    Using Disk Utility you can partition the drive, with the 750GB partition formatted as HFS+ for TM backups, and the 250GB partition formatted as NTFS for sharing with Windows. You'll need something like Paragon NTFS for Mac, so your Mac can format and write to NTFS. Or you could use exFAT format.
    Right. Unless you're running like MacDrive on your Windows computer, it won't be able to read HFS+ formatted drives.

    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 and later)
      • 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. tm0000 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2014
    Thank you very much for your reply.

    So, I have an external HDD with all the folders from my windows laptop. Can I just plug that in the mac and drag and drop them onto the macbook pro? My external hard drive is windows and mac compatible.
  4. rctlr macrumors 6502a

    May 9, 2012
    Yes. External hard drives formatted at NTFS can be read my macs and files can be copied from them to a mac.
    If the external drive is formatted as FAT32, then you can read and write to it.
  5. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    With portable drives being so cheap these days it's good to have multiple backup devices. In addition to time machine I make a Carbon Copy Cloner backup of my drive. This drive is bootable and I can plug it into my wife's iMac and it looks exactly like my MBP. While neither are readable on Windows it's not a problem since we have multiple macs.
  6. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012
    Awesome write up man! I could not have said it better myself.


    Keep in mind though that fat32 is limited to 4GB file sizes.

  7. Freyqq macrumors 601

    Dec 13, 2004
    For #3, partition the hard drive into two partitions. For the first, make it 750GB in HFS+ (OSX's file system). For the second, make it 250GB in exfat, which both windows and osx can write to.

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