Using an external drive connected to a PC & macdrive for Time Machine

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by SouthernMac, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. SouthernMac macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Ok, so I've done a lot of searching for an answer to this, but I haven't exactly found what I'm looking for. I have a feeling this question has come up before, but here it goes...

    I have a PC running Windows XP and an external drive attached to it. I have installed Macdrive so that the PC recognizes the HFS+ formatted drive with all of my backups on it, and I also used the terminal command to recognize unsupported drives ( TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1). I want to backup my Macbook Pro over my home network via external drive connected to a PC. From what I understand, my PC can't write to HFS+ drives. Is this correct? If it is, is there any way around this? If not, is there any way this setup will work (e.g. formatting the drive to a Windows partition and then having Time Machine write to it that way). Any help or explanation as to why this won't work EVER is appreciated.
  2. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    The problem is with the filename length limitations imposed by the networking protocol you're using. Filenames of over 31 characters will be truncated.

    In addition, bundles (such as applications) will not survive the copy via a Windows machine - when copied back, they'll behave as if they were folders and will no longer be executable.

    Your best bet if you want to back up to a Windows machine (and our Macs at work backup to a Windows server nightly, so it's certainly doable) is to skip Time Machine and just backup documents and data instead - making sure you use filename conventions that will survive (i.e. under 31 characters). This works just fine - we use Deja Vu for the purpose.

    Oh, and yes - your PC can't handle HFS without MacDrive. I'd suggest you don't bother - just format it NTFS. If your Mac is writing to it over the network, it doesn't really matter what file system you're using, and as it's attached to a Windows box, it'd probably be more convenient if Windows could read it.
  3. calcalcal macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2008
    i have done exactly wat the original poster has done:

    i use macdrive from xp to see the HFS time machine drive,

    however i konw for a fact that i have backed up ~160 gigs worth , exept when i go into the drive and select everything there (and being able to see hidden files) i can only see 500 mbs or so..

    also when i navigate through the folders i cannot find all my files and the ones that i do are either blank, just icons or 0 bytes.....

    is there a way/program to easily see my files on the time machine drive through xp?? or is this because of the poster saying something about long file names do not work with xp

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