View Full Version : Files already on External hard drive

12-18-2005, 04:42 PM
I have just downloaded SuperDuper and went to back up. I discovered that my hard drive was showing in the drop down list but was greyed out.

I had a look around on here and discovered that I may need to reformat my hard drive.

Now me not being very techie I need to ask a few questions.

I have a 250gb Lacie external hard drive. I want to use it to back up my PC and Mac laptops. I already have my PC ghost copy on there and I have a few Mac files on it as well. I don't want to reformat or I will lose all of the files I have on there already, is there any way I can do a full back up of my Mac without having to lose these files, bearing in mind that at the mo' the hard drive is showing in the drop down list greyed out?

Cheers Alison.

12-18-2005, 04:58 PM
Unfortunately, Alison, no. Your drive is likely formatted as FAT32, and thus can't even store an image > 4GB. So... there's little you can do but dedicate the drive to your PC or your Mac... but not both.

12-18-2005, 05:43 PM
OK, thanks for that. Big decision to be made, I have a 20gb hard drive in an enclosure I suppose I could use that for now. Shame, I wanted to use my lovely Lacie one for both.

Cheers Alison.

12-18-2005, 05:51 PM
Well, you *sort of* can. If you format as HFS+ and then use Windows File Sharing to serve the drive from the Macintosh, the Mac will let the PC use the files, without the limitations of FAT32.

01-03-2006, 04:02 PM
Hi there,

I think I have the same problem mentioned here. I have a Maxtor OneTouch II that I use to share files between my Mac and my wife's PC. I'd also like to use it to back up each computer.

I have it formatted as FAT32 at the moment. At first I thought I could create a FAT32 partition (for shared files) and a Mac partition for the Mac backup. I can't seem to figure out how to do this ... perhaps because it isn't possible?

Any ideas? SuperDuper looks like a great program - I hope I get to use it!



01-03-2006, 04:56 PM
Unfortunately, Doug, you can't really do it. A FAT32 formatted volume has inherent limitations (4GB file size), and a Windows-partitioned drive can't host an HFS+ formatted volume as one of the partitions.

What you *could* do is format it for the Mac, and then use the Mac's Windows File Sharing to make a partition available over the network for your Wife...

05-12-2006, 11:08 AM
What about an NTFS format drive? I have a new WD MyBook 500 that I want to use to back up both an XP windows machine and my Mac for offsite storage.

I reformatted the drive to NTFS while on the XP machine. It mounts on my Mac desktop fine, but it's greyed out in in the SuperDuper drop down box. Do I need to set up partitions on it for each machine?

I can do the network approach you describe, but it'd be a lot easier for me if I could just move the MyBook from one machine to the other and use Firewire connections.

05-12-2006, 12:08 PM
You can't write to NTFS volumes from OSX: it's not supported.

What I'd suggest is partitioning the drive with GUID, on the Mac. I believe that if you then leave one partition for your NTFS volume, and format one for HFS+, you'll be able to use the appropriate volume for the appropriate computer.