So you have a Mac and instead of backing up to an external hard-drive ($$$) you’d like to backup to an NTFS drive that is on the network (maybe to your Windows 7 desktop machine)? Sweet cuz that’s what this tutorial addresses!
What you’ll need:
- A Mac running OS 1.5 or higher with Time Machine Installed (I’m running 10.5.8)
- A separate computer with an NTFS-formatted hard-drive that has enough free space to fit all of the data you plan to backup (I created a a 500 GB NTFS partition on my Win 7 PC to backup my 200 GB Macbook Pro) Note: I don’t suggest using Paragon Partition Manager (aka ParaGONE Partition DAMAGER) to partition your PC as it wrote over my system partition and I couldn’t boot into Windows afterwards – “Missing Operating System”. If you run into this issue as well, comment and I’ll tell you how I fixed this issue.
Follow these steps:
On your Windows 7 Machine
- Make sure you have a Windows password set up by going to Control Panel, click on ‘User Accounts and Family Safety’ and then ‘Change your Windows password’
- Turn on sharing by going to Control Panel and clicking on ‘Choose homegroup and sharing options’ under ‘Network and Internet’, select ‘Change advanced sharing settings…’ and under ‘Public’ click on ‘Turn on network discovery’, ‘Turn on file and printer sharing’, ‘Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can read and write files in the Public folders’, ‘Use 128-bit encryption…’ and ‘Turn on password protected sharing’. Save your settings.
- Next, go to ‘Computer’ and right click on the drive you would like to backup to and click on ‘Share with -> Advanced sharing…’
- Click ‘Share this folder’ and give it a Share name (Mine is called TimeMachine)
- Click on ‘Permissions’ and with ‘Everyone’ selected, remove uncheck all the check boxes
- Click on ‘Add…’ and start typing your Windows Login name (mine is Chris-PC) and click on ‘Check Names’ and then select your Windows Login
- Click on ‘OK’ on all of the windows until they’re closed down
- Get your computer’s ip address by typing in cmd into the search box in your start menu and pressing ‘enter’, then when the black dos window comes up, type in ipconfig /all and scroll up to wherever it says IP Address (mine says IPv4 Address . . . . . . : 192.168.0.109). Write this down.
On your Mac
- Go into Applications / Utilities and open up ‘Terminal’
- Copy and paste this command into terminal (all on one line)
defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1
Apple does not display NTFS drives on the network, so this command allows you to see said drives
- Hit enter / return
- Mount your network drive by clicking on ‘Go -> Connect to Server…’, entering in smb://followed by your Windows machine’s IP address you wrote down earlier. OR you can use your Windows machine’s name (this is probably better). (Mine is Chris-PC). It will then prompt you for your windows login and password, then the volume you want to mount (mine is T: – TimeMachine).
- Start up Time Machine. Click on ‘Change Disk…’ and select the Windows drive you want to back up to (mine is TimeMachine). Time Machine will fail this first time. Before it does:
- in Finder, go to ‘Go -> Network’ and navigate into your backup drive. You will see a file there with your MacName_MACAddress.tmp.sparsebundle. Copy this name.
- Open up Disk Utility, Click ‘New Image’. In the next steps the order is very important.
- Under the dropdown, select your computer name (Chris Macbook Pro) rather than Macintosh HD.
- Use the following settings:
Save As MacName_MACAddress
Volume name can be whatever
Set volume size to the max amount of space you have allocated on your Windows machine.
Volume Format: Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
Partitions: ‘No Partition Map’
Image Format: ‘Sparce Bundle Disk Image’
- Now change the dropdown from your computer name back to ‘Macintosh HD’. Save onto your Mac.
- Copy this file onto your Windows machine in the backup location
- Run Time machine again and it should be working!
Alternatively, if you find this frustrating or cumbersome, you can pick up Apple’s Time Capsule. It’s expensive, but an elegant solution.