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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.5 - Portable Hard drive works on Mac, but Not on PC


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Justin Chin

 
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Hi there everyone!

Im new to the forums as well as being new to my Macbook which I just got for school

Now the problem I am having is I have it set up for Time Machine and that works great, but there are times when I need to connect my portable hard drive to PC's. That where the problem occurs. The PC doesnt read it. Now from what Ive read and searched around on is that it needs to be formatted to do both. Now since im new to all of this, Im not sure how to format it for PC/MAC usage. Can anyone chime in and help me out? That would be great!

Justin
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jc1350

 
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You need to run Disk Utility and "erase" the drive and have it use the "MSDOS File System" (from the drop-down menu).

I could be wrong, but I suspect that you NEED it with the Mac OS file system to use Time Machine.

And, again I could be wrong, but I think the disk has to be dedicated to Time Machine (you can't/shouldn't use it for other purposes).

If Time Machine does require the Mac file system, you could try partitioning the drive with 2 partitions (done via Disk Utility), put Mac OS file system (journaled) on one partition and MS DOS file system on the other.

I do this with a very large external drive I use for different things. On the Windows machine it will mount only the MSDOS partition; the Mac will mount both.

But, again, I do not know if this will work with Time Machine.
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Lifeisabeach

 
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As jc said, you need to format the drive in a file system that both OSes can read and write to. While OS X does support FAT, it's a pretty lousy file system.

If your Windows PCs are running a Windows NT variant (Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista), then I'd suggest, as a free alternative, installing some software in OS X that will enable it to read/write to NTFS-formatted disks. To do so, you need to install 2 different packages: MacFUSE, then NTFS-3G. A tutorial is here:
http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/

AFAIK, you would have to use Windows to format a drive in NTFS still, but once done, OS X will read/write it just fine with those packages installed. And NTFS is a much more robust, safer file system than FAT is. Now... there are other commercial programs that will let Windows read Mac-formatted drives and vice versa, but this solution works very well.
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On windows to read mac filesystem, you would need MACDRIVE. But it's not a freeware.
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It makes more sense (to me and maybe others) to just format the drive to something both OSes can read.
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msen612

 
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is it possible to partition my 500GB hd so one partition can be used for Time Machine and the other partition can be used for just normal data backup for both mac and pc?
help and tutorial possible?
thanks
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walmartconnect

 
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msen612,

That should work with no problems. Time Machine simply creates a folder on whatever drive you use anyway, you can still use the remaining free space on that particular drive/partition. Partitioning is a good idea however, since Time Machine will eventually fill it's alloted space (the drive) to capacity.

Send back your traffic if it doesn't work.
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msen612

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walmartconnect View Post
msen612,

That should work with no problems. Time Machine simply creates a folder on whatever drive you use anyway, you can still use the remaining free space on that particular drive/partition. Partitioning is a good idea however, since Time Machine will eventually fill it's alloted space (the drive) to capacity.

Send back your traffic if it doesn't work.
Thanks walmartconnnect,
i will try this out..not too sure how i'm going to do it but i'll test and try some things.. unless you know a way to partition everything..
thanks
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Weird Fish

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msen612 View Post
Thanks walmartconnnect,
i will try this out..not too sure how i'm going to do it but i'll test and try some things.. unless you know a way to partition everything..
thanks
Just pull up Disk Utility. It's very easy. I just did it for my 160GB External Drive, and I'm using 130 for Time Machine, and 30 for transfers, just like you described.
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msen612

 
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thanks guys, +rep for both
but i have one question, before i partition my harddrive, i used time machine to back everything up. after i partitioned, i backed up my info again but this time it is very very slow at backing up, is this normal?
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How much slower? Remember that it's recopying everything since you erased whatever backup you had.

What format did you use on your Time Machine partition by the way?

One last push!
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