06-30-2012 12:26 PM
Mac / PC / External Drive Backups
I know this topic has been covered, however as is typical of the all mighty Internet there appears to be conflicting information so I thought I would try once more.
What I am working with:
PC with windows XP
Seagate Free Agent External Hard Drive (NTFS format – 1TB)
What I want to do:
Have my PC regularly backup to the Seagate on the same partition as the MAC.
Have my Mac Air reg regularly backup to the Seagate on the same partition as the PC.
Have my Mac & Seagate backup to a remote cloud service.
I have read that some Mac’s cannot read a NTFS formatted hard drive. I have no issue with that, my Mac accesses it just fine.
I have read that having a Mac regularly access a NTFS formatted hard drive can eventually corrupt the NTFS hard drive. Is there truth to this, has anyone experienced it?
My current status:
Using the software that came with my free agent I have no issues having my PC backing up to the Seagate, it works perfectly.
Unless I do it manually (meaning drag and drop), I cannot get my Mac to automatically backup to the Seagate. I searched for free agent software for the Mac however I had no luck. I tried to use Time Machine on the Mac however it wants to reformat the Seagate hard drive to a HFS+ Journaled Format.
I read that once I format the Seagate to the HFS+ Journaled Format that my PC will not be able to access the drive. Is this true?
Does anyone have any suggestions or has anyone accomplished what I am trying to do? If so can you suggest software for the Mac and software for the PC that will run scheduled backups. Also does anyone have any suggestions on a reasonably priced and secure cloud / offsite storage service for a regular backups of about 1 TB of data?
Thanks and let me know if you need any more information.
07-12-2012 10:32 AM
I'd like my RV ot transform into my boat to! Works in the movies! (Just kidding, but not a bad analogy).
To set up two different OS computers that access data differently on the same partition is a rather cumbersome undertaking, and most undesirable. What you are hoping would be simplicity for you is not so, for several technological and logistical reasons.
There are messy, problematic solutions to achieve such a result but from the way you phrase your questions, I do not believe you are looking for trouble but, rather, true simplicity. Once you get there your problems are only beginning.
Formatting an external drive with FAT and HFS+ partitions, if successful, is problematic. If one goes down they both could go down. You are placing your data at risk exponentially by combining your two backups.
If you are willing to forgo Time machine, it's not too bad. There are other Mac backup programs that can use FAT32 format, which both computers can read OK, but Time Machine will not work with FAT 32, for good reason. The limitations of PC formatted drives prevent Macs from designing their backup software with so many prohibitive factors, and Apple does not seek solutions which inhibit end the user's experience. IE: If you choose this, with Mac's more lenient file naiming protocol, you might discover Mac files unable to copy to a FAT 32 drive.
For true simplicity, I suggest using separate drives, properly formatted, for each computer. Do not even think about opening that can of worms! Again, you will NOT achieve the simplicity you are looking for.
Bilzi Mac Services
11-14-2012 07:35 PM
11-15-2012 11:06 AM
Please take a look at this knowledge base article to see if it helps getting the drive detected properly:
Let me know how it works out.
11-27-2012 11:57 AM
If you also installed this on your Windows system, yet the isn't detected there at all, please contact our technical support for some live assistance at this point: