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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jan 26, 2013
    External Hard Drive Back Up Questions
    Hi all

    I was in the middle of downloading music and a dialog box alerted me that I had absolutely no space left on my hard drive of my 500 gb MBP!

    So I get the 1 tb Seagate Backup Plus external hard drive that i acquired this week and I plug it in to my laptop.

    First, Time machine asks if i want to back everything up (which i have not done yet) and I say ill decide later.

    Now I am at the point where seagate is asking me a question of how I will use my seagate drive. they give me an option to choose to back up to my mac only and says this : Erase the drive to prepare it for use with all your Mac applications, including Time Machine and the included Mac backup software from seagate.

    Does this mean that by pressing continue , it will erase everything on my hard drive right now?

    and where should I go from here? I have never backed up anything on my laptop. I use it mainly for Final Cut Express, photoshop, & lately After Effects. I have tons of pictures and videos that I want to put on this external hard drive to make room for simple stuff like music.

    Any feedback/help/guidance would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2

    IWT's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2009
    Born in Scotland, Worked in Scotland then England, Now live in Wales
    Late 2015 5K 27-inch Retina iMac, 4GHz i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB Flash Drive, macOS Sierra 10.12.6
    Hello and welcome to the Forum.

    I shall try to answer most, if not all, your questions.

    Firstly, with absolutely no offence intended, you MUST back up and pronto. You simply cannot afford the possibility of losing your, music, videos, photos and all sorts of precious stuff.

    Time Machine (TM) makes smart, incremental back ups (BU) of all your libraries, photos, iTunes, movies, settings, preferences, mail, calendars etc. A great start.

    When setting up TM, it is asking you whether you want to back everything up -YES. The next question relates to whether your TM will only be used as a BU for Macs. In almost all cases, this should be YES.

    At this point, you will be directed, in easy steps, to format your EHD so that it is wholly compatible with Macs. During this process, it will Erase your EHD - NOT your MBP Int HD! Your EHD, being new, will not have anything on it anyway.

    Once done, the first time that TM does a BU, it will take quite some time; but subsequent BUs will be limited to changes made since that last BU. I advise doing this now.

    But this only answers part of your problem. Your MBP Int Disk Drive is too full and you risk imminent shutdown. So, after the TM BU, you will still need to MOVE a great deal of stuff off your MBP and onto another EHD. I suggest, your iTunes, iPhoto and iMovie libraries for a start.

    The following Links can help you:

    How to move your iTunes Media folder | Music and Audio | Playlist | Macworld
    How to move your iTunes Media folder | Music and Audio | Playlist | Macworld
    iMovie ’08: Storing or moving your video library to an external hard disk

    Your iPhoto Library can be found at HD/your name/Pictures/iPhoto Library. This can be copied or moved to an EHD. If moved, you then have to "reconnect" your iPhoto app with the moved library.

    There's more to all of this, but perhaps you will find these initial comments useful.

    Others may suggest alternatives.


  3. #3

    Member Since
    Jan 26, 2013
    thanks so much for all of ur advice.

    i hope that i wont reach imminent danger by tonight at 9 o clock when i will have time to back up my computer because i will be traveling all day until then.

    because i only have 1 external hard drive, would it be okay if i partitioned it and put my other files on this drive also?

    i appreciate all ur advice!

  4. #4

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 15, 2009
    North Louisiana, USA
    2.8 GHz 2008 MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 8+, 2015 iMac 16 GB 10.13 beta
    Assuming the external drive is formatted for Mac you should be OK. I am always a little nervous about partitioning a drive that has data on it. Can ve done, I've done it. still gives me the hives. Might be worth just creating a folder on the external and dumping the data into there. This will make it easy to find when you need to without formatting.

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Jan 26, 2013
    okay i think i will go with just making a folder on my external drive & dumping the files.

    partitioning does have me a bit worried.

    thank you!

  6. #6
    If you put other files on your TM backup, what are you going to use to back up those files?

  7. #7

    Member Since
    Jan 26, 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    If you put other files on your TM backup, what are you going to use to back up those files?
    are you suggesting that it is necessary to get another external hard drive for those files?

  8. #8

    Dogbreath's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 03, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    mid-2010 Mac Mini OS 10.12.6 Sierra, 2.66 GHz C2D, 8GB RAM, 30 in. Cinema Display
    You could use a flash drive or some type of optical media to back up those files. There are places on the internet where you can back up and store files, also.

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