Partitionate Hard Drive for Time Machine.

Discussion in 'macOS' started by maconequity, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. maconequity macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2008
    Hello everyone.

    I have a 500 go MS-DOS (FAT32) External Hard Drive. I have been using it to save all my data from my previous windows computer.
    I have 200go free and would like to partition this hard drive to use Time Machine.

    My questions are the following:
    How can I partition this hard drive without having to erase everything?
    Can I keep the current data that's on it and partition the 200go to use Time Machine?If yes, how?
    What is the most ideal format to format for MAC OSX, Fat 32 , right?

    Thank you very much for your help.

  2. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Well first off and most importantly, Time Machine cannot be run from a FAT32 formatted disk and its accompanying MBR partition map scheme.

    There is unfortunately no way around the fact that until the data existing on the drive at this point is backed up and the drive reformatted (using the correct format and partition map) that you will be able to use Time Machine on it.

    In answer to the last part of your question "What is the most ideal format to format for MAC OSX, Fat 32 , right?" I would say that the most ideal format for Mac OSX is a Mac format (Mac OS Extended (Journaled), not a Windows format like FAT32. FAT32 formats do not allow file transfers > 4GB and Mac disks formatted in it can not be bootable disks among just a couple of the less than ideal issues.

    If you need a disk that can be read from or written to by both Macs and PCs make it simple on yourself and get a separate external drive and leave it as FAT32, but for Time Machine and general Macintosh use format a drive as Mac OS Extended.
  3. maconequity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2008
    Alright, thanks:)
    Now I'm planning on backing up my already existing data from the HD on another one, temporary that is.

    One questions remains :
    Can I, after formatting my HD, partitionate it in 2 parts : one in fat 32(to keep my already existing data), the other one in MAC OS Extended (for a time machine purpose)?

    Since my HD is 500 go, I do not want to buy another HD just ot use Time Machine.

  4. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Yes, you can partition it that way, just set up the Time Machine format first so that the volume map is set correctly (GUID or Apple Partition Map, depending on the type of computer you have). Then go to Disk Utility, click on the drive (the listing that shows the size of the drive, not the name of the volume), then click Partition at the top (a tab), and click the + button at the bottom of the list to add a new partition. You can name it and choose a format from there.


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