Setting up "Time Machine' over the phone with elderly parent...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by GilesM, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. GilesM macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2008

    I want to guide my elderly mother in setting up "Time Machine" on her macbook.
    Obviously I will try to connect with screen sharing first, but if this fails (it does sometimes) then I want to keep it simple.
    I have sent her a western digital passport drive to use, do I have to ask her to re-format it to first or can I just go ahead and use it as time machine immediately regardless of format?

    I am a little concerned about using disk utility to reformat the drive just in case she mistakenly re-formats her hard drive (potential disaster)....
    Any advice please....?
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    You have to reformat, although (I can't remember) OS X may prompt her to do it. If not, don't be too concerned about Disk Utility. You can only reformat the boot drive/partition while booted to another drive or to the computer's restore disk. She can reformat other drives, but the worst she could do to her system drive even if left completely to her own devices with no instructions is repartion it.

    Just have her read everything back to you. ("Now, there should be a line of text highlighted in blue on the left side of the window. Can you read what it says to me?")
  3. surflordca macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    With your concerns, you should of got the HD sent to you and formatted it, than sent it back. If it is that much of a concern get her to send it to you and do the formatting. That is the only safe way...
  4. GilesM thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2008
    Right, so re-formatting is required and she will only be able to re-format the TM drive.
    You are right, I guess I should have got my hands on the drive first.
    I am going to push ahead because she has her macbook for over a year and has never backed it up, and this, I think silly not not to have a back up.

    Thanks for the advise, I will report back how we got on.

    Thanks BlueRevolution and Surflordca.

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