Time Machine drive partitioned to store Windows files too?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by cactusleaf, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. cactusleaf macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I have this fairly simple question that I promise I already searched this forum for, to no avail.. So I'm wondering if I can partition an external drive in two partitions, one formatted as OSX+ journaled to use with Time Machine, and the other formatted NTFS to store some bulk files from my PC. No need to share between the two, no need to use TM to back up Windows files, nothing like that. I basically want to know if TM can backup to a partition within a larger drive.

    Basically I want to end up with OSX+ journaled/NTFS partitions on a drive and use the former with Time Machine. Is this possible? I'd have to partition and format the OSX+ partition with Disk Utility and then reformat the NTFS partition in Windows.. is that feasable? I'm a newly-christened Mac guy and I've been here a lot lately.. great people around here! Thanks!
     
  2. brapmac740 macrumors member

    brapmac740

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    #2
    This might be a tad bit easiar than partitioning out the external...I'm pretty sure if you just format the external as a FAT32 it will still backup your mac and you wil still be able access windows files as well.

    So like you said, since you don't need to backup the windows part it sounds like the perfect setup for you. I use this set up with a 1TB Mybook WD external I picked up on new egg for 189USD. Seems to be working for me good now. But i've only had it for a month.
     
  3. cactusleaf thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Hey thanks brapmac.. this sounds promising. I just bought a MyBook 750gb today (MyBooks are pretty popular on this forum) so when my first ever MacBook comes in the mail this week I'll try that. Actually I thought Time Machine needed a GUID partitioned OSX+ journaled drive to backup to and it wouldn't work with FAT32. You said you're using a FAT drive with TM? If you are then this will be easier than I thought.
     
  4. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #4
    Unless something had changed with Time Machine, I think that TC still can only write backups to a partition formatted with HFS+.
    http://www.lacie.com/us/more/?id=10050

    Time Machine def. has no problem backing up to an HFS+ partition on a multi-partition drive though. I just set a system like that up at work the other day. :)
     
  5. cactusleaf thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Thanks aristobrat, that's kinda what I thought (I keep calling it OSX+ for some reason.. I meant HFS+). I definitely want to use TM and not just have a FAT32 backup drive, which would be ok if it weren't for the awesomeness of Time Machine. But it sounds like I can do what I want to do, and partition the drive for both uses.

    So does anyone know if I can format one partition using Mac Disk Utility and then reformat the remaining partition in XP as NTFS?
     
  6. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #6
    The Disk Utility program doesn't have an option to format in NTFS, but you could use it to partition the drive in two, format one of the partitions as HFS+, and then use a Windows computer to partition the other partition to NTFS.
     
  7. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    #7
    I would suggest that unless you have a specific need for NTFS for your PC file storage (such as individual files greater than 4Gb) that you make it simple on yourself and do it all within Disk Utility by using the choice to format the PC file storage partition as MS DOS (Fat) (in Disk Utility's language meaning FAT32).

    Just make sure that when you partition the drive into 2 partitions that you use the Option button at the bottom of the window to make the partition scheme either APM (for PPC based Macs) or GUID for Intel Macs, as the MyBook drive will probably carry a PC partition scheme of MBR fresh from the factory (at least all of my four did before I got rid of them). See below for the panel that the Options button will present you with. Keep in mind that there is only one partition scheme per disk. It is not possible to assign partition schemes per partition, and I do not believe TM will work with MBR partition scheme drives (but don't hold me to that). I do know that you cannot change partition sizes on the fly from within Disk Utility under Leopard if the partition scheme is left at MBR, so use an Apple scheme! ;)

    Under normal conditions that is absolutely right- but in checking out some Disk Utility things recently I discovered that if you have installed MacFUSE and NTFG-3G to allow OSX to write to (along with the native ability to read from) NTFS volumes, a new choice appears in the Volume Format choices- "Windows NT Filesystem 3G" but I have not had a chance to try it yet to natively create a NTFS volume.
     

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  8. cactusleaf thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Awesome, sounds like I can do what I want to do! Whee I like when life works out.

    sickmacdoc thanks for the advice about GUID. So I'll have to do the initial formatting in Leopard to get the whole volume set up that way.

    The reason I want to use NTFS instead of FAT32 is the supposed 32gb limit on FAT32 partitions.. although, I think that's only if you use Windows to format. Does that limit exist in Disk Utility?
     
  9. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    #9
    You are correct about the unusual 32Gb limit being arbitrarily imposed by Windows when formatting a disk- I just read something about that last night as a matter of fact. The FAT32 specification itself does not limit itself to that- and the writer was currently using a 100Gb FAT32 partition, but as you identified it was done in Disk Utility, not Windows.

    So there you go- another reason to do it all in Disk Utility! ;)

    Edit: To confirm what I had read (suspicious person that I am!) I just went into Disk Utility and shrank a partition on a drive so that I could add a 240Gb partition. I made the new partition MS DOS (Fat) and it went just fine- so consider that confirmed. (It even chopped off the long partition name I had assigned to meet the FAT32 name length restriction just like Windows would!) ;)
     
  10. cactusleaf thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Hey thanks Doctor! What a big help. You bet I'll use Disk Utility for all my formatting needs from now on. What's with Windows restricting usage of its own formats? Seriously, I discover a new reason every day to love OSX. Can't wait to get my MacBook tomorrow, although I still use this old PC for daily computing.. I wonder what it'll take to get me to fully make the switch...... (I'm open to some convincing...anyone?)
     
  11. Brien macrumors 68020

    Brien

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    #11
    MBR works, but it seems a bit slower.
     
  12. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    #12
    Thanks for that updated info! I will try to remember that. :)
     

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