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Question For Mac Users Who Backed Up Coming From PC (Time Machine Related)
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Question For Mac Users Who Backed Up Coming From PC (Time Machine Related) - September 16, 2013, 11:35 AM

I'm transitioning from Windows to Mac as a primary machine and want begin running Time Machine to back up to my 2TB external, which until now has only been used for my PC.

When I connect the external the Mac recognizes and can access all the PC files that are in the correct agnostic or Mac compliant format - which is perfect.

However, when I ask Time Machine to create a back-up image for the Mac, I get prompted that it will first ERASE MY EXTERNAL and reformat it?!


That's a no fly for me. Too much important information on my external.
Is there any way to get around this?



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September 16, 2013, 11:39 AM

It needs to be reformatted into a mac readable format. The options on a drive are windows only, mac only, or mac and windows

You probly have it set to windows only. You're gonna have to wipe and reformat

You'll need to get a second hard drive to do all this

I *think* ntfs is mac and windows capable and FAT is only windows. Not certain though, have to look


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September 16, 2013, 11:39 AM

I think Mac can read the Windows NTFS format but can't write to it. Or something. No workaround that i can find. I just went and bought a new external hard drive for Mac usage.


*Not intended to be a factual statement.
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September 16, 2013, 11:45 AM

I had the same issue when I went from PC to Mac. 1TB drive with enough free space to more than cover my MBP HDD capacity. I re-partitioned part of my drive to work with Mac. Depending on how much of that 2TB you have used up, this may be an option.

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I think Mac can read the Windows NTFS format but can't write to it. Or something. No workaround that i can find. I just went and bought a new external hard drive for Mac usage.
Yup. Read only.

I just Google'd. I may try this tonight: Enable writing to NTFS hard drives on Mac OS X


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September 16, 2013, 11:48 AM

Yeah, if the drive is large enough you can re-partition, but MAC is very picky on where it will store Time Machine backups. Last I used a MAC it had to be on a MAC formatted partition. FAT is universal read/write, NTFS has become read/write for most if not all modern OS, but still is best on a Win box, and MAC File Systems LOL... just use them on a MAC


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September 16, 2013, 11:57 AM

I have ~900GB left on the external, but can port some stuff over to an old naked spare harddrive and open up the external to 1.2TB.

How would I go about creating a Mac only partition on the external though? I've partition Windows hard drives before via its internal utility. Does MAC have something similar buried inside OSX?



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September 16, 2013, 12:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heist View Post
I have ~900GB left on the external, but can port some stuff over to an old naked spare harddrive and open up the external to 1.2TB.

How would I go about creating a Mac only partition on the external though? I've partition Windows hard drives before via its internal utility. Does MAC have something similar buried inside OSX?
It's probably in accessories-->Utilities--> Disk Management (or disk utility).

Also used to erase cd-rw's FYI.


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September 16, 2013, 12:03 PM

Just buy another external? they're so cheap now. Why deal with the formatting issues?

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September 16, 2013, 12:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rail View Post
It's probably in accessories-->Utilities--> Disk Management (or disk utility).

This will do it for you Heist. You can probly google a youtube video to get familiar with the settings in the utility. It's pretty simple to do


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September 16, 2013, 12:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch View Post
Just buy another external? they're so cheap now. Why deal with the formatting issues?

Western Digital My Passport USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drives: 2TB $100, 1TB $59 + Free Shipping w/ V.me by Visa Checkout

Western Digital My Passport USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drives: 2TB $100, 1TB $59 + Free Shipping w/ V.me by Visa Checkout - Beach Camera Deals, Coupons and Promos

Yes, that of course would be the cheapest and easiest solution.
I just wanted to be tidy and use one box for all since I planned to install Parrallels and running a Windows virtual machine on the Mac too.



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September 16, 2013, 12:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tecknojoe View Post
This will do it for you Heist. You can probly google a youtube video to get familiar with the settings in the utility. It's pretty simple to do
Will do.
Thanks all.



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September 16, 2013, 12:20 PM

Quote:
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Yes, that of course would be the cheapest and easiest solution.
I just wanted to be tidy and use one box for all since I planned to install Parrallels and running a Windows virtual machine on the Mac too.
https://www.virtualbox.org/

I used this for Win XP (and Win 7 via Bootcamp) until I realized I never use Windows outside my work machines.


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September 17, 2013, 10:51 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rail View Post
It's probably in accessories-->Utilities--> Disk Management (or disk utility).
Sorry that should be Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Utility


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September 17, 2013, 11:37 AM

Thanks to all. Apparently Apple will not play nice with anything, in so much as writing to it or reformatting the sector, after it has been touched by NTFS.

I thought I had found a work around. I took the Free Space on my drive, shrunk the occupied volume, disassociated it from the free space, created a new volume, stripped it of the Master Boot Record scheme and left it as RAW unformatted (by default it remains as FAT white space).

I was happy! Then took it over to Mac, Mac saw and recognized the volume as unformatted free space, but poo-pooed on formatting it to NFS+. It still wanted me to reformat the entire drive first and set up the partitions through Disk Utility.

I accepted my defeat. Ported all the stuff on my 2TB USB 3.0 external to various other drives over their slow as molasses USB2.0 connection (of course with 10gb to go I remember my brother's computer has a USB 3.0 system with 2TB of SSD internal storage - whole process would have taken 40 minutes at most.)

Several hours of data transfer later, I have a wiped, reformatted, and tri-partitioned drive. Time Machine (Guid/NFS) - Mac (Guid/NFS) - Win (Guid/ExFat)

Mac's "seamless, it just works," clearly didn't "just work" in this case.
Hopefully this is a case set it and forget it though, because I'm not looking forward to this experience again.



“Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. Hence a Prince who wants to keep his authority must learn how not to be good, and use that knowledge, or refrain from using it, as necessity requires”.

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Last edited by Heist; September 17, 2013 at 11:40 AM..
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