Use Time Machine on NTFS drive with data already on it

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by PhazonUK, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. PhazonUK macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    I have NEVER used Time Machine in the 3 years I've owned a Mac, but now I finally need to use it.
    I have an NTFS drive with about 50GB of important files on it. Am I able to use that as a Time Machine drive and keep all of the data stored on it without having to partition the drive?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Time Machine will not back up to an NTFS drive.

    Format A Hard Drive Using Disk Utility (which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder)

    Choose the appropriate format:

    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.

    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
  3. bmouthboyo macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2013
    Sorry to dig this old topic up but it refers to the exact problem I am having so thought would make use of it.

    I have a 1TB My Passport that I would like to be able to use for Time Machine backups but also ideally an external HDD that MAC and Windows can read / write. Is this at all possible or do I need to render the entire 1TB to MAC time machine? Partitioning not an option?

  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, you can partition the drive with one partition in HFS+ format and one in NTFS format.
  5. Daramb macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2013
    MAC OS with NTFS works thru server

    I have working: MAC OS making backup
    thru TIME MACHINE on an NTFS formatted drive(Lacie) which is connected to
    a Synology linux server.
    The Macbook connects wireless to the synology thru a router.
    Read and write works.

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