To ask - how the hell do I reconfigure an external hard drive for my new MacBook?

(8 Posts)
Sprinklestar Sat 17-Sep-16 18:55:23

Hi - feel so daft asking this but anyway...

I got a new MacBook for a new uni course I'm starting. Fab. Thought I'd get an external hard drive and make sure everything was always backed up. So far, so simple. But now it turns out I have to (somehow) reconfigure the external hard drive for a Mac set up. It's entirely possible, everything's compatible, I just don't know how to do it! I've tried following instructions I've found online but still can't get it to work. In my head, it would just have connected to my laptop (like in the old days) and I'd have copied across what I wanted to back up. Seemingly not anymore...

So - if anyone has any tips, please let me know! I feel so stupid but I just can't get it to work, whatever I try, and I'm sure it's something so very simple. Many thanks in advance.

Sprinklestar Sat 17-Sep-16 18:56:47

Ps - external hard drive will just be used for this and won't be used on the PC/swapped back again. I know the two don't seem to like each other!

Silvercatowner Sat 17-Sep-16 19:01:46

sad My external hard drive just plugs in to a USB port. Sorry - why do these things have to be so complicated.

BelfastBloke Sat 17-Sep-16 19:06:25

This video seems quite clear. I did mine a different way, but I can't remember how. Have you tried anything like this in the video?

SpeakNoWords Sat 17-Sep-16 19:06:36

What kind of external hard drive is it? Are you trying to use software that came ore installed on the hard drive?

Grimarse Sat 17-Sep-16 19:12:57

Have you bought this as a new external drive? Or are you re-using an old drive?

If it's new;
1. plug it in (USB and power)
2. Open the Time Machine application on your Mac
3. Choose the new drive as your back-up drive within Time Machine
4. It will run a back-up of the entire system, which can take a couple of hours first time

If it's an old drive, follow the above three steps, and take any options to format the drive. It may warn you that any existing data might get scrubbed, but I guess that's okay. Time machine will subsequently back up only new or changed files, so back-ups in future will be much quicker.

Go into applications then utilities, the select dusk utility, then choose the drive and then opt to erase. This will then give you four options. Most hard drives are already configured as FAT32. The Mac options are Mac OS and Mac OS journaled, extended. Usually just choose plain Mac OS if you need just plain read write. Choose extended and journaled if you need it to be bootable, say if you are ever going to need to boot from it to restore the system software. It's always handy to keep a usb drive as a bootable drive for eventualities such as this anyway. You can just format the drive though and use although most drives will let you use when still formatted as FAT32 and then you can still use with PCs too, once they are Mac formatted you can't use with a PC.

Disk utility not dusk!

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