Re-formatting external HD

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georgeandjolie
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Re-formatting external HD

Post by georgeandjolie » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:06 am

So, from last night, I learned that my portable ex hd that had been used with a pc is not formatted to work with my iMac-- therefore, can I transfer the data on this hd to another one (assuming there is room to accomplish this) via the use of a pc, and then re-formatting the newly emptied one with the iMac and merrily continuing on using Time Machine?
Suggestions please...

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Re-formatting external HD

Post by Stephen Hart » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:28 pm

Are you saying the drive doesn't mount when you plug it into your Mac and power it up?

Or do you just want to repartition it so that you can use it as a startup drive?
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georgeandjolie
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Re: Re-formatting external HD

Post by georgeandjolie » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:56 pm

Stephen,
When I plug it in to retrieve data there is no problem.
The problem is when I want to utilize the Time Machine program from my dock.

I don't know what repartition is, but I'm interested to find out as I have 977 GB available on it and want it as a back-up.

Thanks for your attention..

George

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Richard Serkes
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Re: Re-formatting external HD

Post by Richard Serkes » Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:45 pm

It's formatted as FAT therefore Time Machine can't use it.

First, copy all the Windows data to another drive.

Second, use Disk Utility to reformat the external drive to the Mac standard.

Finally, copy the Windows data back to the external drive if that's where you want to permanently store it.

Now Time Machine should be good to go.
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georgeandjolie
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Re: Re-formatting external HD

Post by georgeandjolie » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:39 pm

Thank you Richard.
I will try this when I obtain another drive.
Your instructions couldn't be more clear.
Maybe I can even accomplish this.
George
PS: Good program last night.

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Re-formatting external HD

Post by Stephen Hart » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:44 pm

Why not just buy a new drive for Time Machine? Costco has inexpensive drives, if you need only USB connections. If you need multiple connection possibilities, I recommend Other World Computing. Get a drive half-again or twice as big as currently used portion of your internal drive. In any case, use Disk Utility to partition the drive as APM for Power PC Macs or GUID for intel-based Macs.

This is the safest and quickest method. Anything else requires a ton of copying. And, if you don't make two copies, the procedure leaves you vulnerable to a lot of data loss. But note that even if you just save this drive, you really want all those files backed up somewhere. Any drive can fail any time. If you only have one copy, that's a disaster.

If you use these files frequently, I recommend just copying them all to your internal drive. If your internal drive isn't big enough, I recommend replacing it. That way, Time Machine will back up all your files regularly.
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georgeandjolie
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Re: Re-formatting external HD

Post by georgeandjolie » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:51 pm

Thank you Stephen.
You always come through for us neophytes.
George

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Re-formatting external HD

Post by Stephen Hart » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:16 pm

georgeandjolie wrote:Thank you Stephen.
You always come through for us neophytes.
George
Heh. Just speaking from [sometimes bitter] experience. When it comes to data loss, everyone's a neophyte when disaster occurs.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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Richard Serkes
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Re: Re-formatting external HD

Post by Richard Serkes » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:56 pm

If you buy a new external hard drive I can almost guarantee it'll be formatted for Windows. Make sure you use Disk Utility to format it for Mac.
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georgeandjolie
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Re: Re-formatting external HD

Post by georgeandjolie » Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:01 pm

Wow!
I needed to know that.
But first the plan is to copy my files onto another drive. And when emptied, reformat (or partition?) to the Mac.
Thanks again.
George

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