Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is their a file system that can read/write mac and win and do time machine? I know that OS X can write to NTFS with the correct software installed, but Time Machine usually insists on formatting drives before using them. Is there a compromise?

share|improve this question
In short your looking for the one file-system? I suggest you start packing your bags Frodo :) – BinaryMisfit Jan 21 '13 at 11:02
@Diago Well said. Was asking for a friend. – Moshe Jan 21 '13 at 11:07
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can't use Time Machine to back up Windows, if that's what you mean.

The only way you could do that is if you're hosting the Win installation in a virtual machine like Parallels(Paid) or VirtualBox (free), then of course your entire VM would be backed up to TM along with everything else on your mac.

Still, rolling back to a particular state (or recoveing a particular file) that way would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

I'd suggest you'd be better off keeping a clone of your windows installation and a separate clone/or TM backup of your OS X installation (on a separate disk).

Not only is this the only practical solution, more importantly its also the safest. Never keep all your eggs in one basket (hard drive) when it comes to backups, especially with Time Machine, which has a habit of getting itself corrupted just when you least want it.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


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.