New external harddrive... need advice on Time Machine, Movies, Music & photos.. - ehMac.ca
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Old Aug 19th, 2008, 10:56 PM   #1
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New external harddrive... need advice on Time Machine, Movies, Music & photos..

I ended up with a my book from costco 1TB for 199.99. So I hook this thing up and Im supposed to install a couple things which I did. I dont really need the backup software considering I hope to be finally using time machine on this drive but I have questions.

This is gonna be an if this if that kinda question so I apologize in advance.

Right now I have a mac mini with an external drive 350gig USB and I just got the 1TB drive running firewire. All my music is on the USB external. My photos are on the mini. My movies are on the USB drive. I essentially want all the music, movies and photos running off the firewire drive.

Here is the wrench...and the confusion... and the what ifs...lol

If I want this firewire drive to beable to connect to an xbox 360 via USB should I want to watch movies on my TV instead of burning to DVD-RW or if it can, hook up to a rogers PVR box so I can watch movies with or without the xbox 360. I also want to be running Time Machine for my backups. I might be getting a new macbook when it comes out so I want this drive to be used for both computers. Can I have two different time machine folders on one drive? Is it better to use the usb drive as time machine for the mini and use the firewire for time machine on the macbook?

This drive comes formatted FAT32. Do I need to format this to another format? Do I need partitions? Could I use this drive with Mac and PC if I needed to? Do I need the files that came loaded on the firewire drive or can I delete them?

I know its a ton of questions and I appreciate whatever advice you guys can give me. I just don't want to start something and find out all that was for nothing or delete something that I will regret later

thanks guys
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Old Aug 19th, 2008, 11:32 PM   #2
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I can't say for sure but I'd guess the XBox and PVR box will require the drive be formatted in FAT32..which isn't a problem for OSX as it can read and write to that format...but I seem to recall Time Machine wanting the drive formatted in HFS though I could be mistaken. Do you need the space of the 1TB drive? If you can get away with it I'd be more comfortable having the USB drive handle the media and leave the 1TB Drive to be just for backing up all your data etc. If not switch the drives and just back up the important data from your machines and ignor the movies/music/photo's that you can recover from physical media if need be...though less then ideal its an option.
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Old Aug 19th, 2008, 11:34 PM   #3
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Let me see if I have this straight -- this drive you want is supposed to:

a. Be your Time Machine drive for your boot drive
b. Backup all your media drive as well
c. Connect to the XBox via USB *while* connecting to the mac via FW (na ga ha pen)
d. Also (somehow? Via Xbox?) connected to the TV
e. ALSO backs up the new macbook when you get it

I'm not addressing the technical merits of this except for (c) which isn't going to happen when I say "this is insane."

My suggestion is to use the Costco drive strictly for TM on your two machines (yes you can have two TM folders without partitioning, though you may want to partition just to keep everything clear), or use the USB drive as TM for the mini and the Costco drive as media/TM drive for your future MacBook as you said.

Yes, you need to reformat the drive to HFS Extended. Copy the driver (if needed), then delete the crap that came on the drive. Yes, you can use the drive (via partitioning) on both Mac and PC, though I don't advise it.

The "missing link" for your movies-to-TV-via-Xbox (what a mess!) would be an Apple TV. Much better idea for a wide variety of reasons.
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 12:23 PM   #4
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thanks for the responses guys.

Just wanted to clarify something. The mini is reckognizing the FW drive as Fat32 and does write to it so why would I need to format that to NFS just wondering that..

Also I should clarify that I don't want to hook up the drive to the xbox WHILE hooked up to the mac. I was just wondering about the possibility of taking the drive into the next room where I have my xbox and plugging it into the USB port of the xbox as I know you can do this from the xbox and watch movies.

The USB drive I have is a nextar case which is the same size as the mini so it sits perfectly under it hence why Id like to keep that drive exclusive to the mini also it has a 5-7 year old 350 gig drive in it. I figured that the newer drive is more reliable.
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 02:31 PM   #5
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In OS X The maximum possible size for a file on a FAT32 volume is 4 GB minus 1 ,
this can lead to problems with large media files.
And Time Machine needs to have a HFS extended formatted drive, as mentioned in other posts.

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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 03:44 PM   #6
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When I plugged in the drive last night Time Machine asked if it wanted to use the external as the drive and I said no, but when I did click on get info on the drive it did say FAt32 and there was over 960 GB free... how is that possible if it only sees 4 GB?
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 04:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elvtnedge View Post
When I plugged in the drive last night Time Machine asked if it wanted to use the external as the drive and I said no, but when I did click on get info on the drive it did say FAt32 and there was over 960 GB free... how is that possible if it only sees 4 GB?
No one is saying it only "sees" 4GB.
Try copying a file larger the 4GB, lets say 5 or 6GB to this drive and see what happens.
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 04:56 PM   #8
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sorry I missed what you meant. 4gb max file size read... which doesnt do me anygood for movies...

how much space does time machine take up roughly? What would be a safe size? I might partition and do one partition FAT32 for the xbox or PVR box of smaller sized movies...
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 11:12 PM   #9
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TM will eventually use all the drive space you give it, then it will start to delete it's oldest backup files.
So the larger the drive or partition the farther back in time you can go to retrieve files.

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Old Aug 21st, 2008, 11:44 AM   #10
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just to update this thread, I created a partition for Time machine of 350gig and the rest was a fat 32 partition since I rarely have full DVD movies on there and I can always change that in the future if I want. I tried plugging in the drive to the xbox 360 and was able to view the files on the drive so I can watch movies under 4 gig

Just one question about time machine. I told it not to include the application folder as I can always reinstall apps. My main concern was are the photos from iphoto store in the application folder at all?

I really only care about backing up music and photos,,,,and emails..

Last edited by elvtnedge; Aug 21st, 2008 at 12:17 PM.
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