TIME Machine Question!!!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by tjlamro, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. tjlamro macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2009
    I am trying to backup my mac for the first time using my external hard drive which is a WD 10EADS External Media hard drive. It is a terabite in size or 1 TB. I have a ton of stuff on there that I do not want to lose. However when I go to time machine and select my hard drive as the backup disc it says reformat required (incompatible filesystem) and asks me to delete my whole hard drive.

    That is not an option because it would take days to move all of that information and I have no where to put it. What should I do? There must be a way to put my backup mac on my hard drive considering it has like 500 GB left of free space. Can anyone lead me in the right direction or is there a step by step process I need to know so I can use the hard drive to not only keep my files I already have on it but add my backup for my mac? Thanks for your help!
  2. fehhkk macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    For Time Machine to work, you need a partition formatted as HFS+
  3. tjlamro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2009
    Is there a guide to do this so I do not mess it up and erase everything on my hard drive?
  4. savar macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2003
    District of Columbia
    There's no "Safe" way to do it, but if you are willing to take a bit of risk, you can theoretically do this:

    1) Resize your existing filesystem -- this is complicated enough that I can't explain it here. You'll want to search google based on the type of filesystem that already exists on the drive. For example, if the drive is FAT32, then google for "resize fat32 partition" and find some decent instructions.

    2) AFter you resize the file system, you can shrink the partition to match it, which will free up space on your drive.

    3) Create a new partition in the free space.

    4) Format the new partition as HFS+
  5. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    It cannot be done. Doesn't work that way. Formatting by nature destroys everything on the disk. Consider a different, dedicated drive for TM maybe? Or copy that stuff elsewhere (DVDs?) and reformat.
  6. upaymeifixit macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2009
    You could make a new partition like savar recommended, or you could try to find a way into letting Time Machine backup on a NTFS (or whatever it is) volume. But I would just partition it (half NTFS and half HSF+) and then move the files from the old partition to the new one. Then delete the old empty partition. - Reformatting a chunk at a time.

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