Apple iMac Backup/Time Machine

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  • Apple iMac Backup/Time Machine
  • keppoch

    Time to backup my iMac, perhaps in advance of upgrade to OS X Mavericks.

    For my previous Windows PC I had an external HDD that I made backups to. The disc is about 1TB in total which is partitioned into three NTFS formatted partitions:

    Untitled: 800 Gb which is a bootable Windows XP disc that contains the main backups, 500 Gb free
    Pictures: 100 Gb
    Music: 100 Gb

    The requirement for ‘Untitled’ is unlikely to change as I no longer have any of the windows computers.

    So my question is whether this disc can be made to work as a time machine external hard drive for the iMac or do I need to buy another one? the iMac has a 750 Gb HDD but only 250 Gb of that is used. So could I divide the Untitled partition and use say 400 Gb of that or is this a bad idea?

    I am no computer expert so please bear this in mind with replies!


    If i’ve read that right, you want to use 400gb out of the 500gb of free space on the drive?

    Grab yourself some partition software and shrink the 500gb of free space to give you the 400gb of unallocated space. Format it for OSX and when you plug it in the iMac it should ask if you want to use it for time machine. If it doesn’t goto system preferences / time machine and set it in there.

    For messing with the partitions try Paragon Partition Manager in windows and disk utility or gparted for osx. Be careful what your doing tho and as always messing with partition tables carries some risk.

    Safe option, just go get another external drive… pretty cheap for a 1TB drive these days that will cover your 750gb and some


    Format the drive in OSX’s Disk Utility. No need for extra software.


    poonprice – Yes you read right. I want to set aside the 400 Gb out of the 500 Gb,
    Three_Fish – but I want to keep all the existing content on the disk so formatting it is not an option.

    OK so it can be done, I was not sure if I would be able to partition again having done it before.

    I realise the other option is to get another external HDD and have been toying with that but I am also thinking of getting an Apple Airport Time Capsule in the nearish future that would solve all future backing up and so reticent to spend money at this point on something that will only get very limited use.

    EDIT: I have just looked at the External HDD in Disk Utility. It appears I can’t do it as it says: “You can’t resize the partitions on this disk as it uses the Master Boot Record Partition Scheme”

    Looks like I have to buy a new one after all then!

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    I would install an NTFS preference pane on the iMac (there are free and paid ones available) to grab all that you want from the disc. OSx doesn’t read NTFS well without one. Once you have all the docs, music and pictures off the disc you can then reformat it with an Apple file scheme with disk utility.
    (This assumes you don’t want a bootable windows partition just the content).


    I would really like to keep a bootable windows partition as what I have at the minute can effectively be plugged into a computer and off it goes (albeit in vintage Windows XP 😉 )

    So I think I will give in and buy an additional external hard drive.

    Thank you though.

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