Setting up external drive for mac and PC?

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by doubledge, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. doubledge macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2009
    I've tried searching for answers to setting up the external drive on this forum, but haven't found a suitable response so apologies if this has been answered elsewhere. I recently moved from PC to Mac (15" Retina MacBook Pro) and am a bit of a newbie with Macs.

    I have a 2TB WD external drive and I'd like to set it up as below:

    4 partitions:
    1. Time Machine backup (400GB) which I must be able to encrypt using the option in Time Machine preferences
    2. (500GB) to store my mac data
    3. (500GB) to store my wife's mac data
    4. (600GB) to store windows and mac data. Must be able to be read by PC and Mac.

    So far I've erased the drive to MS-Dos format and created 4 partitions as above using Disk Utility. The (600GB) drive is set to FAT and the others to Mac OS Journaled. Partition scheme set to Master Boot Record.

    Everything seems to work fine but the problem is I can't seem to encrypt the time machine backup...the Encrypt Backup option is greyed out for some reason??

    Any idea how to set it up as above? thanks!
  2. Jaypi macrumors regular


    Nov 10, 2012
    Los Angeles
  3. mfram macrumors 65816

    Jan 23, 2010
    San Diego, CA USA
    The encryption might require GUID partition table. I recommend you use that. Win 7 will read GPT, you don't have a conflict there. For the shared partition, you can use exFAT which will get around the 4GB file size limit on FAT. Again, exFAT is compatible with Win 7 and Mac.
  4. Kasalic macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2011
    Spot on, the TM encryption requires GUID partition table :-

    I also tend to use exFAT for joint access drives as I cannot always guarantee I will be using it on a Mac that has been setup to read/write NTFS.
  5. doubledge thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2009
    Thanks for the help.

    Apparently Windows XP doesn't support GUID which is why I had to choose Master Boot Record and that means I can't encrypt the time machine backup.

    I guess it's time I upgraded my Windows machine too! :)
  6. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Also think of getting a Windows ware called MacDrive.

    I use this product on my Windows 7 partition and it works perfectly for my needs. Windows 7 treats HFS+ volumes just like any other drive. You just have to remember Windows 7 can't handle super long files names.
  7. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    Yup. The setup you want requires Win7 or 8. It's not possible to do with XP (XP also doesn't support exFAT, so you'd be stuck with only files smaller than 4 GB on that partition).

    Out of curiosity, why is it so important that your TM backup is encrypted? I'm not trying to pry, but if we know the reason it might be possible to find an equivalent solution.

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