One of the best ways to keep your computer working smoothly and quickly, is to utilize an external hard drive. And a time machine backup is one of the best ways to keep all of your content safe from any mishaps. Keep in mind when purchasing an external hard drive that they work best when they are fixed in place and not moved. The more often that you move your hard drive, the more likely like one of the many moving pieces may break or not function properly. If you have a lot of photos or videos that you want to carry with you, take to a print center or move around a lot we suggest getting a high capacity USB drive (or two!).
Here is a simple way to format your external hard drive. The hard drive we’re using in this video is the PQI 500 GB External Hard Drive.
1. Plug in your external drive with the included cable to both the drive and your computer. This seems like an obvious step, but you’d be surprised…
2. Wait for the window to pop up prompting you to use your drive as a backup. To format your drive first, click ‘Don’t Use’ and you will be able to come back later and set it up. If your drive does not automatically show up on your desktop, go to Finder (upper left corner) > Preferences, and then make sure that the Hard Drive box is checked so that it will be shown on your desktop.
3. Open your disc utility program. It should be located on your dock but if not, open up Launchpad > Other and find it there. The icon is an image of a hard drive with a stethoscope over it. Once in disc utility, select your now-connected hard drive from the left side menu. Make sure you have not selected your internal Macintosh HD. Once your hard drive is selected go to ‘Partition’.
4. In the partition sub-menu, move the partition lay-out to 1 partition and name it ‘Backup’. Change the format of the drive to ‘Mac OS Extended (Journaled)’ which can be selected from the drop down Format menu right under the name. Next go down to ‘Options’ and make sure GIUD Partition Table is selected. Click ‘OK’ and apply the settings.
5. Once you have applied the settings, you will get a pop-up window once again asking if you want to use BACKUP (or whatever you named your drive) to backup with Time Machine. To begin backing up as Time Machine, click ‘Use as Backup Disc’.
You are all set! With the drive continually plugged in you will automatically be getting backups on the hour as a Time Machine backup. If you miss a step at the end you can also see this full tutorial on our YouTube channel. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips like this!