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dangerzone9k 09-07-2010 08:35 PM

Need help backing up my Macbook to external HD
 
Hello,

I am trying to sell my Macbook and upgrade to a Macbook pro. Before I can do this I need to back up all my information on my laptop so I will be able to restore it easily on the Macbook pro. Can someone help me out with this.

I know I need to purchase an external hard drive first. Can you guys recommend me some that work well with macs. I've been hearing that macs can only read and not write on external hard drives that are formatted NTSF. Will I need to format the external hard drive when I buy it?

Should I use time machine to back up my data or use some other method that is better?

I did a search and it looks like I have to format the external HD as FAT32. Is this going to give me 32 gigs sections in the HD? I only have ~ 90 gigs of information that I am trying to back up.

EndlessMac 09-07-2010 08:50 PM

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.

chscag 09-07-2010 08:54 PM

When you buy an external hard drive you will need to format it so that it can be used to backup your MacBook. Whether you decide to use Time Machine or a cloning program, the drive has to be formatted as HFS+ Extended Journaled not as FAT-32 or NTFS.

After you format it as above, then you can make a Time Machine backup or if you wish, you can use either SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner to clone a copy of your hard drive to the external. The advantage of using either of the cloning programs is that the external drive will be bootable.

Tarek 09-08-2010 06:18 AM

Almost any External HD that uses USB will work fine on your Mac. I am using a Western Digital Passport 160GB and it never failed me. Oh and they're cheap.

TattooedMac 09-08-2010 06:27 AM

^ +1 on WD .... My WD MYBook 1Tb was plug and play. In other words no need to format it at all :)

Cheers

csegeek 09-08-2010 05:25 PM

100% agree with Tarek and Tattooedmac Western Digital all the way have a 160GB my book carry around every day ... and 2 1TB home drives... and they are plug and prey for Mac as well... go get one they are inexpencive.

EndlessMac 09-08-2010 05:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by csegeek (Post 1109370)
...and they are plug and prey for Mac as well...

Prey? I didn't realize your Mac was hunting external hard drives. ;) I know it's a typo but I thought it was funny though. :)

Anyway just wanted to let people know that Mac hard drives are not exclusive to WD. Just look for any drive that says it's formatted for Mac and you will get the same plug and play ability. Many manufacturers don't pre-format it for Macs because it will cost them more to have both a Windows and Mac version when it's pretty easy for the user to either format it for Windows or Mac.

I've actually noticed more drives being formatted as FAT32 so that it can be used on both and leave it up the user to decide if they want it solely for Mac or Windows.

Tarek 09-08-2010 06:16 PM

Mine is NTFS and it can be used on both.

csegeek 09-08-2010 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EndlessMac (Post 1109377)
Prey? I didn't realize your Mac was hunting external hard drives. ;) I know it's a typo but I thought it was funny though. :)

Anyway just wanted to let people know that Mac hard drives are not exclusive to WD. Just look for any drive that says it's formatted for Mac and you will get the same plug and play ability. Many manufacturers don't pre-format it for Macs because it will cost them more to have both a Windows and Mac version when it's pretty easy for the user to either format it for Windows or Mac.

I've actually noticed more drives being formatted as FAT32 so that it can be used on both and leave it up the user to decide if they want it solely for Mac or Windows.

Actualy ... was not a typo .... left over slang term from those of us that are geeks from the windows 95 and 98 (and gasp Millenium) erra where it was really plug and prey (that it worked)

EndlessMac 09-08-2010 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tarek (Post 1109388)
Mine is NTFS and it can be used on both.

You must have setup your Mac to write to NTFS because Macs can only read NTFS as default.

EndlessMac 09-08-2010 06:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by csegeek (Post 1109393)
Actualy ... was not a typo .... left over slang term from those of us that are geeks from the windows 95 and 98 (and gasp Millenium) erra where it was really plug and prey (that it worked)

Yes, I know the phrase. I've been using Windows since version 3.11 but isn't it plug and pray? ;)

csegeek 09-08-2010 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EndlessMac (Post 1109398)
Yes, I know the phrase. I've been using Windows since version 3.11 but isn't it plug and pray? ;)

LOL {head slap} now you got me.... yes that was typeO...

tends to happen when ... you have too many phones attached to your head and copy and paste is easier than the keyboard (just not more accurate).

dangerzone9k 09-08-2010 10:55 PM

So, in the future I might want to use Windows. Should I format the external hard drive that it can work with windows and mac? How does fat32 work?

Also, my macbook has microsoft office on it but I do not have the cd. When I transfer everything to the new macbook pro will I be able to use this software?

thanks

EndlessMac 09-09-2010 03:49 AM

Once you are done transferring all your files over to your new hard drive then you can reformat your external HD for any type of usage you want. Although you really should have some kind of backup plan. It seems that you don't. You can partition the external HD so that one side can be used for Time Machine while the other can be FAT32 so that Windows can also use it.


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