Time Machine and NTFS external hard drive (connected via USB)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MacIIe, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. MacIIe macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2010

    I am in need of assistance with backing up my macbook pro using time machine. I am running Mac OS X leopard 10.5.8. I have attempted to backup to a network share folder on a Windows machine, but the backup abruptly ends. So, I decided to attach an NTFS external drive, connected via usb. The external drive was formatted on a Windows 7 machine (not quick format); so, it currently has no space occupied. I installed MacFuse and NTFS-3G. Then, I rebooted and attached the NTFS external drive. I set the preferences in time machine to backup to the aforementioned drive. However, Console is reporting that the backup failed with error 19, and time machine is reporting that the storage location for backups cannot be found, when i command time machine to backup now.

    Is there something I'm missing? I have seen at least one other thread on the Internet where a mac user was able to get time machine to work with an NTFS external hard drive. Do I need to create a separate sparse bundle image and copy it to the external drive, similar to the method used to get time machine to copy to network shares on Windows? If the ironclad rule is time machine ONLY recognizes HFS+ drives, then a sparse bundle image is a good workaround. But then what is the point of MacFUSE and NTFS-3G. What is its purpose, as it relates to time machine?

    Thank you very much for your help.
  2. UpQuark macrumors member


    Jan 8, 2002
    Zushi, Japan

    Can you do this via the network instead? Leave the drive connected to the Win7 machine - share it, then connect from the Mac to the Win7 share (not home networking, btw) and do the backup that way?

    You will have to do a bit of terminal work to let Time Machine talk to that drive. (maybe this is the issue all along ? )

    defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

    Here is a step by step for the network backup:
  3. MrCheeto macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2008
    Just format the drive either in two partitions or use the entire drive for Time Machine.

    In Disk Utility, split the drive in two partitions, size however you like and then format one in NTFS and the other in Mac OS X Extended Journaled.

    If you are wanting to use a drive to share across Windows and MacOS, format the partition you want to share to FAT.

    Perhaps Time Machine will work with FAT. You should look into that.
  4. MacIIe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2010

    Yes, I have done this before, but the full backup fails abruptly. I have tried it a few times to no avail. So, I decided to connect it directly to the Macbook pro, since I anticipated that would be easier and faster and return to the network backup at some point later on.

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