Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When I've plugged in my USB HDD (WD Passort Elite) for the first time, the system had asked me whether I want to use this HDD as time machine drive. I've chosen smth like 'decide later' and continued my work. When later I tried to setup time machine preferences I couldn't find the way to set my USB HDD as time machine drive. When I press 'Select drive for backup' i see empty list, nevertheless my drive is plugged in and works well. Btw, it is ntfs-formatted, could it be a problem?

Thanks in advance

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You can't backup to an NTFS formatted disk as stated below:

Note: Every available disk that can be used to store backups is listed. If you’ve partitioned a disk, the available partitions are listed. Time Machine can’t back up to an external disk that's connected to an AirPort Extreme, or to an iPod, iDisk, or a disk formatted for Microsoft Windows (NTFS or FAT format). If you select an NTFS or FAT-formatted disk, Time Machine prompts you to reformat the disk. Choose a different disk or reformat the disk in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format. Because reformatting erases any files on the disk, only do this if you no longer need the files or if you have copies of them on a different disk.

This quote is from the apple support page for Time Machine

You could always reformat the disk in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format which would allow you to use it.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Copied to A Super User answer to Equivalent for Time Machine that writes to NTFS disks:


Backup to NTFS

If you wish to use Time Machine in Lion or greater with an NTFS volume – and if you have a write-enabled driver for NTFS:

  • with tmutil you can configure Time Machine to back up to a sparse bundle disk image, the .sparsebundle stored on NTFS.

In some situations you may find that Time Machine simply offers to use an NTFS volume. This may occur if, say, a write-enabled driver for NTFS is installed before a physical disk with NTFS is introduced to OS X.

Restore from NTFS

OS X can read NTFS, and so should be able to restore from a .sparsebundle in this environment.

Whether Recovery OS is similarly prepared to read from NTFS and restore, I don't know.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.