What file systems can I write to? (Hoping to avoid buying a Time Capsule)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by kyzen, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. kyzen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #1
    So I'm going to be buying a Mac next week - whether this rumored update drops or not - and am trying to figure out what else I'll need to buy.

    I had a drive drive on me in a PC a couple years ago, and I lost about 2 years worth of pictures, because I wasn't as religious about backups as I should've been. After that though, I've been doing nightly backups to a couple of large network drives I bought (each is 1TB mirrored, which backs up to an external USB drive weekly for a third layer of paranoid redundancy). I want to make sure I have a backup system in place for my Mac when I get it (or at least shortly thereafter)

    Ideally, I'd like to just keep using my existing storage devices, as I'm only using about 60% of the space across them so far. The catch is that they use the EXT3 file system.

    Does anybody know if Macs can read/write to that? Or am I going to run into issues? I'd really like to avoid buying a Time Capsule if I can :)

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
    Out of the box? Absolutely not. It may be possible with a MacFuse plugin (Google will help you here).

    Time Machine only likes backing up to HFS+ formatted drives. You may have some success placing am HFS+ DMG (a file that can be mounted like a drive) on the non-HFS+ drive and getting Time Machine to backup to that though.
     
  3. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #3
    The general answer is no, pretty much - although there are a few methods discussed here:http://forums.macrumors.com/archive/index.php/t-45382.html
    Although Im pretty sure itd be cheaper just to buy a generic NAS and format it as HFS+ (Macs built-in File System) and use that over a Time Capsule :)
     
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #4
    Since you say they are network drives I assume they are the pre-built single hard drive NAS you can buy or you built a Linux file server. In either case I do not see any reason why you would not be able to connect via Samba and backup manually over your network. Just add the workgroup name to your network preferences and type in the drives IP Address in the Connect to Server under the Go menu in Finder or command+K. I have connected fine for file sharing purposes to the drives without any additional programs.

    You could likely use Carbon Copy Cloner for incremental backups though it would only make sense to backup the user, application and other miscellaneous data folders only. As you could not make a bootable backup this way over your nework to a non-HFS+ drive, data is fine though. Heck you could also add the shared volumes to your startup items to have them appear on your desktop.

    Time Machine would not work but I don't care for it too much anyways. As it does not provide any options for limitations of size or number of saved file revisions. It just slowly keeps using more space.
     
  5. kyzen thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado
    #5
    Something in between. I'm using a Hammer 2 bay storage device, so it's an off the shelf box, but I believe it's running some version of Samba. I'll give your suggestion a shot, sounds like it should work. Thanks!
     
  6. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #6
    velocityg4 - While Time Machine is useless in some professional environments (my own home studio is a perfect example) - it is good for most new Mac users - just for peace of mind about it working and being built in (limited or not, its still a neat solution).
     

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