Time Machine Problem

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by blank.blank1, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. blank.blank1 macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2008
    I recently bought my first macbook :p and am trying to backup my files using Time Machine. However when i select my external HD (seagate 750gb) for the time machine it says that a reformat of the hard drive is required. Since i've got over 250gb of files in there already, it would be a huge hassle to load it on a couple of laptops, format it and then reload it on the hard drive. Is there any way around this? is it possible for me to partition the hard drive without formating it so that part of it is reserved for time machine and the other part is for my files?

    oh btw the hard drive is already in FAT32 format
  2. Xander562 macrumors 68000


    Apr 2, 2006
    I'm pretty sure that time machine needs the drive to be formatted correctly in order to use it. :/ I think you may be stuck. But I've been wrong before...
  3. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    I think maybe you could use one of the partition utility programs to make a new partition with a portion of it. Then, reformat the new partition with the Mac file system. I would assume this is doable, but I am not 100% certain.

    I know the Mac is somewhat capable itself of making a few partitions from a current larger partition. Using Boot Camp, you can change the large partition of the Mac into two partitions and format the Windows (Boot Camp) partition.

    Good luck with it.
  4. kainjow Moderator emeritus


    Jun 15, 2000
    Yes you can partition it without reformatting. You can use apps like Drive Genius and iPartition. Some of those utilities try to defrag first, but you may want to do that manually beforehand (Drive Genius can do this, as well as iDefrag).

    Edit: I'm not sure if those apps defrag FAT32. I've used CampTune successfully before, which you could try.
  5. blank.blank1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2008
    thanks for the replies. I think i would just do it the conventional way and load all the files onto two laptops. its going to be tedious and slow but I just want to make sure that no huge chunks of files end up missing, afterall this is my first time :eek:
  6. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020


    Jun 14, 2008
    New Hampshire
    That is the best plan, as although you may be able to repartition it with some third party utilities, that will not change the fact that the Partition Map Scheme on your FAT32 formatted disk will still not be correct for Time Machine usage. The partition map is actually what TM is complaining about- and to change that, the entire drive must wind up being formatted. The partition map is on a drive by drive basis, while format can be done on a partition by partition basis.

    Disks shipped for use immediately with Windows (as most externals are) will be using the Windows "Master Boot Record" partition map and either a FAT32 (as your is) or an NTFS format. Your MacBook's external will need to have a partition map scheme of "GUID" (selected via the "Options" button at the bottom of Disk Utility's "Partition" tab. At the same time you change the map you will select "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" in the same window, and when you apply the partition change the drive will be formatted too.

    BTW- just in case the "Options" button is grey (thus non-selectable) when you go into the Partition tab in DU, change the "Volume Scheme:" at the top from "Current" to "1 partition" in the pull down menu. The "Options" button will then be black and you can use it to select "GUID".

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