Which file format for Time Machine? Confused

kdum8

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 8, 2006
909
11
Tokyo, Japan
I just bought a Buffalo External 2TB Hard Drive to act as the Time Machine backup for my mac. (See here: http://www.amazon.com/Buffalo-Techn...4?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1306046618&sr=8-4)

However, I am confused as to which file format I need to format the disk under.

I have done a search but there seems to be conflicting advice. I am running 10.6.7 so I have the ExFAT option as well.

Do I need to choose:

ExFAT,
Mac OS Extended (Jounaled),
Mac OS Extended (Case Sensitive, Jounaled) or
Mac OS Extended?

Also in disk utility I have the option to format two "levels" of the same drive. Which do I need to format? (See attached image, there is the 2TB Buffalo External HDD Media and the HD-LBU2 - not sure which I should format).

Any help would be much appreciated. :confused:
 

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Mal

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2002
6,249
17
Orlando
Easiest approach? Open System Preferences -> Time Machine, and choose the drive as your backup drive. If it's not the correct format, it'll automatically format it for you.

jW
 

kdum8

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 8, 2006
909
11
Tokyo, Japan
Mac OS Extended (Journaled) / HD-LBU2
Thanks for your reply. What's the reason you say HD-LBU2?

Easiest approach? Open System Preferences -> Time Machine, and choose the drive as your backup drive. If it's not the correct format, it'll automatically format it for you.

jW
Thanks, I'll give it a try when I get home. I think the drive is currently FAT32 formatted though. Is there only one possibility that TM will suggest?
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
12,107
75
Solon, OH
Thanks for your reply. What's the reason you say HD-LBU2?



Thanks, I'll give it a try when I get home. I think the drive is currently FAT32 formatted though. Is there only one possibility that TM will suggest?
The partition scheme is important too - this needs to be set to GPT (GUID Partition Table) for Intel Macs, and APM (Apple Partition Map) for PowerPC Macs.
 

Mal

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2002
6,249
17
Orlando
Thanks for your reply. What's the reason you say HD-LBU2?



Thanks, I'll give it a try when I get home. I think the drive is currently FAT32 formatted though. Is there only one possibility that TM will suggest?
Yes, Time Machine will simply say that it will format it correctly. It will use the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format with a GUID partition map (or, as the poster above noted, APM for a PPC Mac), because Time Machine cannot run on any other type of volume.

jW
 

kdum8

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 8, 2006
909
11
Tokyo, Japan
Yes, Time Machine will simply say that it will format it correctly. It will use the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format with a GUID partition map (or, as the poster above noted, APM for a PPC Mac), because Time Machine cannot run on any other type of volume.

jW
Great! It worked fine and is backing up as we speak. (750 GB over USB 2 though is taking a while!)

Thanks everyone. :)
 

kdum8

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 8, 2006
909
11
Tokyo, Japan
If the OP is formatting the drive, it doesn't matter which one the OP selects. In fact, selecting the parent entry will give more options.
So I let Time Machine do the formatting for me as suggested above. It automatically chose the non-parent HD-LBU2 entry (which it renamed 'Time Machine Backups') with a Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled) format and GUID partition table.
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
5,467
6,840
California
I didn't want to create a new thread on this but... frustrating! I got a new drive and am frustrated. I did the new APFS format and ... of course timemachine can't do that format and of course I find this out AFTER spending hours transferring data to my new drive. Now... I encrypt the drive with Mac OS Extended Encrypted only to have TimeMachine tell me that sorry, I have to decrypt the drive first. $!&#... Of course after hours of copying backup data first.

Ok FINE, I'll have Time Machine encrypt it .... Now I start the hours of copying data again. lol.

So looks like Mac OS Extended (Journaled) is the ONLY ONE you can do for Time Machine backup drives. Then have Time Machine encrypt it and expect to spend weeks encrypting it as it encrypts all the free space bit by bit.
 
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