How to use Time Machine with external HDD & large files

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Hi everyone,

I have just switched from a PC running XP to a new iMac running Lion. I have just bought a 2TB external HDD so that I can use Time Machine. I would like Time Machine to be able to back up not only the system HDD but also my existing external HDD that contains 1000's of photos.

The problem is, I can't see how to get Time Machine to do this. I read somewhere that the external HDD to be backed up must be formatted in a certain way so that Time Machine can work with it. Is this true? The drive is currently formatted as NTFS.

If that's the problem, what format do I change it to?

Lastly, I have a couple of very large video files on the NTFS disk which are around 10GB in size. If I reformat the disk to a format that Time Machine can recognise, will it be able to support files this large?

I really appreciate your help.
 
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ok, many questions. i will try and break it down:

Can Time machine back up multiple EHDs - Yes i think it can, try this link below
http://www.soundsupport.biz/2010/09/05/setting-up-time-machine-to-use-multiple-hard-drives/

For the two different formatted EHDs, i think reading the link below, they all need to be MAC OS extended (Journaled) please see link below to see the detailed response,
Mac 101: Time Machine

As for the large files, i would have thought this would be no problem, albeit it may take more time to back up. i am assuming the back up will be via Wifi.

good luck and tell us how you get on, i for one will be interested to know as i am thinking of doing the same thing.

J
 
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Hi, thanks for the help. I read both those pages but, unfortunately, they don't seem to have answered my queries. I don't want to have to reformat my existing NTFS drive unless I am sure I have to in order for Time Machine to be able to back it up.

BTW, I am not using Time Machine wirelessly. I just have the new 2TB HDD plugged into the iMac via USB.
 
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Ah, I see. do you want to be able to use the EHD with the PC and the Mac?

sorry i couldn't help more. hang a round a while and the more technically savvy members will no doubt be able to get you where you need to go.

J
 
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Hi, I'm not really bothered about being able to use the EHD on PC & Mac. I am converting totally to Mac.

Thanks for your help anyway. Hopefully someone else will come along to find answers to my questions.
 

chscag

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You're going to need two separate hard drives: One for normal Time Machine backups, the second to backup your NTFS drive. The reason...

Time Machine will only back from a drive formatted to HFS Extended Journaled (in other words the Mac file system).

Also, in order to backup a drive that's formatted to NTFS you're either going to have to do that on a Windows machine or a straight copy. Another alternative is to install Windows on your new Mac either using the Boot Camp assistant or Virtual Machine software.
 
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Hi, thank you. I don't think I have made myself clear enough, sorry.

I have 2 external drives. One is brand new and is being used for Time Machine. The other drive used to be connected to my Windows PC and is currently formatted as NTFS. I do not intend to use that drive on a PC again so I am not worried about reformatting it, I just didn't want to do so unnecessarily.

So, if I understand correctly... I need to:

1. Copy all data from the NTFS drive to another drive temporarily.
2. Reformat the NTFS drive so that it becomes HFS Extended Journaled.
3. Copy my original data back to the drive.

If I do that will Time Machine then be able to back up data from that drive as normal?
 
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1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes

Yes I believe it can. you need to toggle between the back up discs though:
Changing your backup disk

You can manually select a backup disk in Time Machine System Preferences if you want to.

Changing your backup disk

You can manually select a backup disk in Time Machine System Preferences if you want to.

Choose From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
From the View menu, choose Time Machine.
Click "Select Backup Disk".
Choose a disk where backups will be stored, then click “Use for Backup.”


got the above from the second link i posted above for reference, hope it is relevant.

good luck

J
 
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Thanks, although I'm not sure why I should have to toggle between backup disks. I only want to use 1 drive where all backups are to be stored (my new 2TB drive). Surely Time Machine can back up the system drive and my other external HDD to my new 2TB drive without me having to go around swapping disks?
 
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OK so my misunderstanding then..

just to get this straight, in my head ..

you want to back up your iMac to the new 2TB EHD via time machine?
you also want to back up the NTFS drive (reformatted of course) to the new 2TB EHD via time machine?

is this correct?

J
 
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Yes, that's correct.

The NTFS drive (when reformatted to Mac standard) will also be permanently connected to the iMac via USB.
 
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Just to let you know that I reformatted the drive today and Time Machine is now working a treat! Thanks again for all your help :)
 

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