How to backup a FAT32 drive?

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I have tried to use Superduper program for backing up my external hard drive and it has not worked. It seems to give even no option to back it up! Do you know what program I can use for making a backup?

Also here is a more detailed explanation of what I had tried to do:

On "copy" menu I get this:
Macintosh HD
HD 1
HD 2
Disk Image ...

On "to" menu I get this:
Macintosh HD
HD 1
HD 2
HD 3
Disk Image ...

HD 1 and 2 are two partitions on one external drive, mac formatted. Disk Image... is just an program on my desktop. HD 3 is another external drive, formatted MS-DOS file system (FAT32).

It will not allow me to copy to HD 3. It says "HD-HU2 is formatted as Windows_FAT_32, which cannot properly host HFS+ files along with all their attributes, resources and ownership." That seems pretty silly to me.

But far worse is that HD 3 does not even appear in the "copy" menu! Why should I not be able to back up a drive formatted in FAT32? I need to have a drive in a format PCs can read. Is there no way on mac to back up such a drive?

Thank you!
Justin
 
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It would appear that you want to backup the contents of HD1 and HD2 onto HD3?

SuperDuper is right of course - you will lose all sorts of important information if you do it as you have suggested. FAT32 does not support ownership, permissions, resource forks, etc... Do you REALLY need that drive to be FAT32? I would recommend using Disk Utility to reformat it to HFS+.

Now, after that, unless HD1 and HD2 are boot volumes, there is no need for a program like SuperDuper. You can literally open a Finder window on HD1 and another on HD3, and simply drag and drop. Ditto for HD2.

It is good for you however that you tried SuperDuper, as it is correctly pointing out that using HD3 for backups in its present format is dangerous.
 
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It would appear that you want to backup the contents of HD1 and HD2 onto HD3?

Hello!
Other way round. I want to back up HD3 to HD2. I was just explaining that superduper neither lets me copy from it nor to it


SuperDuper is right of course - you will lose all sorts of important information if you do it as you have suggested. FAT32 does not support ownership, permissions, resource forks, etc...

Does this have anything to do with me? (Serious question - I am new to all this).
I have never knowingly created any ownership, permissions or resource forks (nor do I know what such things are).

Do you REALLY need that drive to be FAT32? I would recommend using Disk Utility to reformat it to HFS+.

Windows machines can't read that, right? (Without buying a special program anyway). That's why I have one of each format, so I at least have one I can use with Windows machines. Doesn't that sound reasonable?

Now, after that, unless HD1 and HD2 are boot volumes, there is no need for a program like SuperDuper. You can literally open a Finder window on HD1 and another on HD3, and simply drag and drop. Ditto for HD2.

I did that, and it took 6 hours. When I add, for example, 10 more files, I would like to be able to back it up again, but not wait another 6 hours. I would prefer it to add just what it doesn't have yet. Isn't that what Superduper is meant to do? (Then taking maybe 6 minutes instead of 6 hours).

It is good for you however that you tried SuperDuper, as it is correctly pointing out that using HD3 for backups in its present format is dangerous.
[/QUOTE]

I don't see why. What is dangerous about it? Actually anyway HD3 is not backup. It is where I store all my stuff, since I have just a Macbook and it only has 74GB of storage. I see no disadvantage of using FAT32 (except for Superduper not working!). Now I just want to back that up - but on a regular basis, in a time saving way, which I thought would be easy with a backup program. Still hoping for advice and recommendation!

Thank you!
Justin
 
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MacHeadCase

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The limitations in file sizes with FAT32 is 4GB.

I am thinking here that if you didn't buy a license for SuperDuper! and are using it in demo mode, a few features are disabled. Like you cannot use the scheduled backups, and there is only one option for the backup to take place: erase previous backup and rewrite over it. You cannot choose, for instance, the "add only new files" in the backup procedure.
 
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It would appear that you want to backup the contents of HD1 and HD2 onto HD3?

SuperDuper is right of course - you will lose all sorts of important information if you do it as you have suggested. FAT32 does not support ownership, permissions, resource forks, etc... Do you REALLY need that drive to be FAT32? I would recommend using Disk Utility to reformat it to HFS+.

Now, after that, unless HD1 and HD2 are boot volumes, there is no need for a program like SuperDuper. You can literally open a Finder window on HD1 and another on HD3, and simply drag and drop. Ditto for HD2.

It is good for you however that you tried SuperDuper, as it is correctly pointing out that using HD3 for backups in its present format is dangerous.

The limitations in file sizes with FAT32 is 4GB.

I am thinking here that if you didn't buy a license for SuperDuper! and are using it in demo mode, a few features are disabled. Like you cannot use the scheduled backups, and there is only one option for the backup to take place: erase previous backup and rewrite over it. You cannot choose, for instance, the "add only new files" in the backup procedure.

If it does not work for my drive though, I will not want to buy it. I do want something that will work though. That's why I posted this topic, to ask if there is any program that can do it (backup from FAT32).

Do you know anything that can?

Also, I am unclear about the backup thing. I thought Superduper backup was meant to be faster that drag and drop precisely because it doesn't erase the previous backup, only changing what has changed, hence saving time. Have I misunderstood that? (Otherwise why would anyone use it anyway, instead of drag and drop?)

What I want is top back up my drive as it is, and fast. So if one month has passed, there will be both extra files and changed order of folder structure. I would not want it to merely ad the new files. I would want it to update all of my changes. Is that what is normal for these backup programs?

Very grateful to hear from you all. I find it very hard to understand without human contact!
Justin
 
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MacHeadCase

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SuperDuper! backs up everything and makes a perfect clone of the hard drive you want to back up and it will catch every little bit a drag and drop procedure cannot.

The problem doesn't lie there, I think. With your post above, you didn't say if you bought a licence for SuperDuper! or not. If you didn't buy a licence you are running SuperDuper! in demo mode. Demo mode will disable certain features in the software. If you bought a licence, you should be able to have more options in the type of backups you make.
 
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Super duper works for me....to an external drive no probs, so in any oter should be esier I would have thought....and I have th downloaded copy..not registered.
You could buy another drive and run in Raid config. The other thing you could try is to copy the contents to you internal drive first and then run then reformat the external drive to Mac HFS+ then run super duper.
 
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SuperDuper! backs up everything and makes a perfect clone of the hard drive you want to back up and it will catch every little bit a drag and drop procedure cannot.

The problem doesn't lie there, I think. With your post above, you didn't say if you bought a licence for SuperDuper! or not. If you didn't buy a licence you are running SuperDuper! in demo mode. Demo mode will disable certain features in the software. If you bought a licence, you should be able to have more options in the type of backups you make.

I don't have the license. And I do not want to buy it, if I cannot use the program to backup my FAT32 drive! So, do you (anyone!) know how I can backup my FAT32 drive?? (Like the title of this thread!)

I am very surprised that no-one seems to know! I thought it should be rather simple! Is there really no program anyone knows about that can do this task? (I simply do not want to choose to close myself off into a Mac-only world by having all my data on a mac-only formatted drive.)

Thank you!
Justin


P.S. Someone suggested I move the date from my drive (over 300GB on a 500 GB drive) onto my laptop drive (maybe 20GB free of 74GB) and then reformat my drive (which I explained must be kept in FAT32). Somehow this option seems rather impractical.
 
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The recommendations above are all valid, but I see your question still is not answered. That said, I took the empirical approach for SuperDuper:

I own a fully-licensed version of SuperDuper and tried to back up a FAT32-formatted external drive.

SuperDuper will not back up a FAT32-formatted drive. You can use a FAT32-formatted drive as a target, but the vendor does not recommend it.

It's a great program and I use it religiously, but you need to find a solution that does what you need.

Edit: I just tried backing up using the Backup program that comes with .Mac. This works, but it's not free.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
 

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