Time Machine question

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Chris204, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Chris204 macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2008
    I'm considering buying an iMac, but I'm not too familiar with the Time Machine feature. Do I have to use the G-Tech G-DRIVE to be able to make a backup? Or can I use any external hard drive? Also, seeing as how Time Machine makes automatic backups, would the external hard drive always need to be on?
  2. iPhil macrumors 68040



    Any external drive thats HFS+ formatted.. always on for TM to work.. if you put the mac to sleep then TM will remember where it was before sleeping then resume after the sleep..
  3. Chris204 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2008
    How can I tell if my external drive is HFS+? It's a Western Digital USB 2.0 I picked up a few months ago. I looked at its formatting options and only NTFS is available.
  4. dops7107 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2005
    Perth, Oztrailya
    You'll be able to format it to HFS+ from within Mac OSX. If you don't want to reformat it, which will erase all data, then I guess you won't be able to use it for time machine.
  5. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000


    Dec 7, 2007
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    Just to add for posterity, the G-Tech series are certainly a bit more money than the third party solutions offered here, but it literally is plug and play - absolutely simple setup, almost to the point of being rediculous. Literally just plug it in, your Mac will detect it and ask you to enable Time Machine if it's not been enabled previously.

    I happen to have bought a G-Tech, I like it because it's quiet, doesn't overheat, supports Firewire800 and I spent all of 2 minutes enabling Time Machine. So for alot of people new to Mac, it's the EASIEST solution plus G-Tech makes good products.

    Not that guru skills are required for setting up a third party external HD, the advice given previously was excellent and easy enough to follow, but I suggest those not familiar with basic FDISK usage in the PC world (or lack basic Linux experience with mounting) would appreciate the plug and play.

  6. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    (Re)formatting your external drive in OS X is easy. Here's a simplified method:
    Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
    In the left pane, highlight the drive you want to reformat (your external).
    In the right pane, choose the options and number of partitions you want (if any).
    Format as type Mac OS X Extended Journaled.

    If there is already data on your external that you wish to keep, be sure to back it up FIRST, as partitioning/formatting your drive will erase everything that is currently stored there.
  7. Chris204 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2008

Share This Page