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viseral 10-05-2009 03:53 PM

Backing Up External Hard Drive to Time Capsule
Hey all,

I am sorry if this has been discussed in a previous thread. I just recently purchased a Time Capsule. I only have a Macbook with a 120Gig HD. I have all of my music stored on a 320Gig external drive connected to my Macbook through Firewire. When I set up the options for backup, it excludes this external drive and will not allow my to include in the backup. Is there anyway to get this external drive included?



chscag 10-05-2009 05:38 PM

According to the Apple discussions I've read, it's possible to backup your external to the TC. See the following thread posted in the Apple user forums.


viseral 10-05-2009 05:48 PM

Thanks for that. I read that thread as well. My problem is that my external drive is showing up in the "exclude" part of the Options, but Time Capsule will not allow me to remove it.

I called an apple store and they told me that by design, the Time Capsule will only back up the internal hard drive and not an external.

That seemed kind of BS to me and I didn't know if they were just blowing smoke...

Thanks for your help.


Dumbeldor 10-08-2009 04:08 PM

Seconds before I bought the TC 1tb, I made sure it could back up external hard drives. I was online with an apple specialist who CONFIRMED my external USB drive will be backed-up when attached to my Mac BUT NOT when attached to my TC.

It must work. Or we have both been fooled.

Dumbeldor 10-08-2009 04:33 PM

Just spoke with someone at Apple. I got misled and they apologize. Great. All we can do is manually copy the content of external drives on the TC.

If someone at Apple reads this? Maybe that's an area to improve (backing up other drives).

viseral 10-11-2009 07:15 PM

That is unfortunately the same message I got. I chose to buy the time capsule instead of just another hard drive because I was told that it would back up external drives.


This is going to sound dumb, but do you know how to manually copy the data over? It doesn't appear that it is a simple drag and drop.

ksk 11-10-2009 05:17 AM

It does backup some externals
I was reading the forums trying to figure out why TC doesn't backup one of my external hard drives & I saw this thread. For the record, when I choose "options" in Time Machine Prefs, it let me select one of my hard drives to take it off the "exclude" list. But one of them is grayed out and I can't take it off the list. I was able to drag the data from the drive into the "data" folder of TC, but that's a pain to have to do it every time.

MorgansDaddi00 11-11-2009 11:42 PM

My External HD's (ExHD) back up with TC/TM perfectly.

I have a Maxtor 320 partitioned for Music, Movies, & Photos. I also have a Western Digital Studio 500 partitioned for 4 businesses. Each ExHD partition is represented by a separate desktop icon. I can exclude or include any or all of the 7 partitions.

I use the two Firewire 800 connections on the iMac; One to each ExHD. I could have daisy chained the ExHD (it will work), but I also have a LaCie 1T firewired/daisy chained to the WD 500 which I use as my vault -taking it out of the house office.

As I understand it. The reason my setup is successful is that I have the ExHD directly wired to the iMac. TC recognizes the ExHD's as a branch device of the primary account. Same as the internal drive of the iMac.

TC will not back up an ExHD attached to it via its USB 2.0 port. But it can extend itself and utilize an USB 2.0 attached ExHD. TC then becomes, say a 1T PLUS whatever size the ExHD is. This is an option that has to be selected, otherwise, the attached USB 2.0 ExHD is treated as a separate drive (But as I said earlier, TC cannot/will not back it up).

I Hope this helps.

bellazoid 08-24-2012 05:13 PM

Format Matters

Originally Posted by viseral (Post 919585)
My problem is that my external drive is showing up in the "exclude" part of the Options, but Time Capsule will not allow me to remove it.

Cory, or anyone else with this same issue, it depends on the format of the external hard drive which is plugged into the Mac to be backed up to the Time Capsule.

Mac OS Extended (Journaled)-formatted drives should show up automatically in Time Machine Preferences > Options > Exclude list, in black letters, with the option to remove it from the exclude list. Removing it from this list allows that external hard drive to be backed up to the Time Capsule's internal hard drive, as long as the external is turned on and plugged into the Mac that's backing up to TC.

If external hard drive is formatted for MS DOS, also referred to as FAT32, then it will appear in the exclude list as grey, and will not be removable. Your option at this point is to reformat the drive to Mac OS Extended (Journaled), which erases everything on that drive, so if your end goal is to back up existing data which currently resides on that drive, you need to have a solution for getting the existing data off before you reformat. Another external hard drive or a computer with sufficient space will do, and drag and drop should work. On a Mac, you can reformat an external hard drive in Disk Utility's Erase tab.

I've not yet tested an external hard drive formatted for NTFS, because I do not own a computer running Windows. Please take this last statement with a grain of salt, but I would imagine it would also show up greyed out and unable to remove from the exclude list.

I hope this clears up some confusion for anyone who wanders upon this, as it does seem to be a question many people ask in the wonderful world of wireless.

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