partition external HD for Time Machine

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by irun5k, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. irun5k macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2005
    Hello, I purchased a Seagate 500GB external drive for my father to use for Time Machine backups.

    I can't find anything conclusive on whether I need to monkey around with the partitions in disk utility, or just send him home with it and let him say "yes" when he plugs it in and OS X asks if he wants to use it with Time Machine.

    Apple's knowledge base has an article that makes a passing statement that "GUID Partition Table (GPT) or Apple Partition Map (APM)" is recommended- but it pretty much stops there.

    Should I do something to this drive before giving it to him to take home, or shouldn't I? I mean, either it is compatible as-is, or it isn't, right?

    I appreciate your help of this one.
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    It is compatible. On first connecting that HDD to the Mac, Mac OS X asks if you want to use the HDD as Time Machine HDD and if it is using the wrong format (NTFS or FAT32) and partition table (APT or MBR), it will format the HDD to use the right format (HFS+) and partition table (GUID). Data already on that HDD will be deleted.

    If you want to make sure your Dad does do no harm, you can use Disk Utility to format it properly.
  3. irun5k thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2005
    OK, that is what I was looking for.... that Time Machine will not only format the drive to HFS+, but it will also rewrite the partition table to the proper type. I knew it would reformat but couldn't find anything conclusive about whether it would change the partition table.


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