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EndlessMac

 
Member Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posts: 1,469
EndlessMac is a jewel in the roughEndlessMac is a jewel in the roughEndlessMac is a jewel in the rough
Mac Specs: 2.8 GHz 15" MacBook Pro OS X 10.7.x & some old Macs

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If you just need to transfer your files to your new MBP then you can use migration assistant instead. You should have a some kind of backup system though if you don't currently have one so it's not a bad idea to start one now.

You can either use Time Machine or do clone copies of your computer with Carbon Clone Copier. Whichever one you choose is a personal preference and some people do both types of backups. You can search the forums to find out about the differences. It's a common topic.

You do need to format the external drive to Mac's format which is easy to do using the included Disk Utility in your Mac.

edited: To answer your edited question, FAT32 is only need if you want to use the external for both Mac and Windows. It's better to use Mac's format if you are trying to use it for long time backup solutions. Time Machine will only work in Mac's format.
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