Using External Hard Drive for Time Machine & Storage?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by boba7523, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. boba7523 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    #1
    Hi Everyone!

    I'd like to know if there's a way to use my external hard drive not only for time machine but also as a storage that can be opened by Windows PC?

    The hard drive right now is formatted as OS X Extended (Journal) I believe... When I tried to open it with Windows, nothing shows up.

    I'd like to know if there's any way to split the HD into two formats... One for time machine & the other for regular file storage..

    Thanks!
     
  2. jamietshaw macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Yes. Partition the drive using Disk Utility, making sure the one you want for Windows is formatted as FAT or (if over 32GB) ExFAT, and keeping the Time Machine one as Extended (Journaled).
     
  3. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #3
    You'd have to create a second partition on the drive, formatted appropriately for the PC. That said, it's not something I'd do - I feel backups are too critical a function. Inevitably, the drive will be connected to the PC at just the wrong time and you'll fail to backup something on the Mac just prior to a failure (Murphy's Law at work). It's best, IMHO, to leave the Time Machine backup drive connected to the Mac at all times. Drives are cheap enough these days.
     
  4. boba7523 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    #4
    Is FAT, ExFat the format that can be read by both Mac and Windows? I'd want a partition to act as a USB stick so it can be opened by both Mac and PC.

    Hi ApfelKuchen, what do you mean connected to PC at just the wrong time? Would connecting the drive to PC cause errors?
     
  5. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Location:
    Between the coasts
    #5
    No, connecting to the PC would not cause errors. I'm just talking about "tempting the fates."

    I encounter a fair number of people who have been bitten by making "occasional" backups (whether for iOS or Mac), rather than depend on regular, automated backups. The scenario I worry about in your case would be that you get used to keeping the drive connected to the Windows machine while the Mac goes without a recent backup.

    Oh, and formatting FAT32 would be the way to go - that can read/write on both PC and Mac. Do NOT format NTFS, as that is read-only for Mac.
     
  6. boba7523 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011

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