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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussions including the Apple Watch.

MacBook - I just bought an external hard drive. How do I use it?

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Member Since: Oct 14, 2007
Posts: 273
oxband is on a distinguished road

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I just bought a 500 GB LaCie external to back up my computer. Is there anything I should know about this? Do I simply plug it in and follow directions? Does anyone have helpful tips - I've never used an external hard drive before.
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Member Since: Jul 12, 2007
Posts: 120
pballa2099 is an unknown at this point

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there are no directions. It should pop up on your desktop. Then you can back things up.
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Member Since: Feb 13, 2005
Location: New Orleans, LA, USA
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Mac Specs: 13" Macbook Pro 2.26Ghz Unibody 4G RAM 160G HDD Superdrive

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I usually format any new external hdd to Mac OS HFS filesystem (when I get something for my Mac, it stays with my Mac, so no need to plug it into some Windows computer even though I have one) and for that I use Disk Utility. It's in /Applications/Utilities, make sure the disk is plugged in, and you should see it listed among the devices so you can format it.

Do this prior to putting anything on it though, as that will wipe out whatever's on that disk.

It's kind of a waste of 500 gig to have it formatted FAT32, and it's no good to format it to NTFS (which Mac OS can read, but not write.)
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Member Since: Sep 25, 2007
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A few comments as I had that one and now have the 1 terabyte version.

Don't use the software that came with it. If you are running Tiger, get SuperDuper. If you are running Leopard, get Carbon Copy Cloner. SuperDuper is not yet Leopard Compatible, should be soon.

If you want to partition the drive Use Disk Utility (found in Applications/Utilities to do so.)

CCC and SD are really simple and easy to use. Simply select your source (your Mac HD) and your target (Your Lacie) and Clone the Drive. You can then set a schedule for either a full backup, selected folders, or only whats changed.
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