Time Machine

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by knew2mack, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. knew2mack macrumors regular


    Sep 20, 2009
    The Beach
    Happy New Year to everyone.....

    I recently bought a WD elements to back up my machine. I have no idea what I must have done wrong. I plugged it in and when it came up, 'do you want to use "elements" to back up with time machine' ,I clicked on 'decide later' because I was not expecting the word 'elements' to come up and didn't want to hit something wrong. So I google some info, during which I had also 'ejected' my external hard drive.

    When I plug it back in, this option does not come up. So I look into 'system preferences' and click on time machine. It comes up saying, 'in order to start backing up with time machine, the disk 'elements' must be erased. Erasing will destroy all information on the disk and cannot be undone."

    The options below are 'erase' or 'choose another volume'
    I have added 2 screenshots of this. first one is what I wrote above. the second one is the contents of disk. I am SO CONFUSED as to what to do. I am STILL a novice when it comes to the technical aspects of computers, and always worry about erasing something that is vital to my computer's performance or just running in general.

    Could someone please please assist me regarding this, in 'hold my hand' and 'step by step' suggestions?????

    Also, once this is figured out, will I be able to just delete most of the stuff on my computer? I am thinking that I have something that may be slowing it down. I also have LOTS of photos and music. I would like to keep the music so I have instant access all of the time, but guessing that if I do, in fact, delete the pics, maybe it would help??

    I just have noticed it lagging a bit and don't know enough to know what I can & can't erase from the machine. For example....caches and history. Is it recommended to clear the history and clean/clear the caches every so often? I have never done either and have had it for a couple of years.

    I have the Unibody OS X Version 10.5.8 with 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor and 2GB 1067 MHz DDR3

    I really appreciate everyone's help, many of you have taught me lots. Thanks!!

    I hope everyone has had a great holiday season full of love & happiness. I hope the new year brings you all peace!!!

    Attached Files:

  2. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    What is it that you are trying to accomplish?

    Do you want to use the Elements disk as a Time Machine backup volume? If so you will have to let it erase the disk, because it appears from your screenshot that the Elements disk is formatted FAT for Windows compatibility, but Time Machine will wanted it formatted as a Mac volume (HFS+). Once it is erased Time Machine can start backing up your Mac to it.
  3. ulbador macrumors 68000


    Feb 11, 2010
    New hard drives often come preinstalled with a bunch of crapware. If you don't need this, just format the drive and be done with it.
  4. knew2mack thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 20, 2009
    The Beach
    yes, I do want to use it as my backup. Not sure why it is called Elements disk though. It's the external hard drive I purchased. I haven't put anything on it....are you saying that this just came preinstalled with this stuff?? I'm not sure whether or not I need it or not....all I want is something that I can use to back up my Mac. It's weird that you say it is formatted FAT for Windows. On the side of the box, it said it is compatible with both, I'm assuming that all I had to do was plug it in my USB port and then click on time machine.

    is it possible that I did something without even realizing it when I first plugged it in?

    Can I just plug it back in and erase the stuff on it? Once I've done that, can I just back up everything? Do I have to reformat anything? I am completely lost regarding reformatting anything.....HELP!!! I'm also wondering if i can go ahead and delete a lot of the stuff from my machine once I have it all backed up? Basically, i'm just wondering if there are things that I can't really delete without worrying abt removing something that is needed for it to run properly?

  5. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    Away from you
    The disk is called "Elements" because that's what WD assigned to it when they formatted it. You can call it whatever you like.

    You need to erase (format) as mentioned earlier. If you re-enter Time Machine and set that disk for backup, it should ask you the same question again.

    The stuff that was pre-installed on the WD drive, even if you needed it, you could probably re-download it from WD. So don't sweat erasing it.

    Personally I would not erase files once you back them up. Firstly, it defeats the whole purpose to have only one copy. If the WD drive failed, you'd be out of luck. Secondly, TM will start erasing the oldest backups once the WD drive gets full. If the file is in an old backup but you've erased it from the Mac, you might have your only copy automatically erased. If you want to archive stuff, try a DVD or something.

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