How to use a Backup Plus or GoFlex drive with the MacOS



This article is broken up into categories.  Click on the category to be taken down to that part of the article.

How to Setup for Mac and Windows
How to setup for Mac only
Apple Time Machine
Time Machine and Mobile Backup
Booting from USB on a Mac
Sleep Settings



The Backup Plus and GoFlex product lines, GoFlex Desk, GoFlex Pro and GoFlex Slim drives  are flexible enough to use in Mac OS, Windows, or both. Follow the steps below to help optimize the drive for use in your environment.
Choose the environment that best fits your need.
  • Using the drive under MacOS and Windows
  • Using the drive under MacOS only

How to Setup for Mac and Windows

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If you want to use the drive under Windows and MacOS, simply leave the drive in the NTFS format that it has when shipped from the factory (click Don't Use to "Do you want to use this drive with Time Machine?", if prompted).  You will need to install the software that came on your drive.  If you installed the software already and you are still not able to write to the drive, then follow the instructions below.
  1. Plug in the drive.
  2. Download the Paragon NTFS Driver
  3. Double-click the NTFS_for_Mac_with_restart.dmg file that you downloaded
  4. Once the software installs it will restart the Mac and you should be able to write to the external drive when the Mac comes back up.
There are a few other file system options when using the drive between Mac and PC and they each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.  If you plan on using the Seagate Dashboard software to backup your PC to the drive, you will need to leave the drive in NTFS format it comes in.

Fat32
Pro:
  • Can be used between Mac and PC without a driver
Con:
  • 4GB size limit for single files
  • Fat32 does not see Packages or Resource forks correctly (can cause issues moving data back and forth between Macs and PC’s
  • Windows can’t format a Fat32 partition larger than 32GB’s
  • Does not keep track of file permissions
  • No Journaling

exFAT
Pro:
  • Can be used between Mac and PC without a driver
  • No file size limit on single files
Con:
  • Does not keep track of file permissions
  • Not compatible with Time Machine



How to setup for Mac only

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If using MacOS 10.5 or higher and haven’t already setup a Time Machine drive, you will be prompted “Do you want to use this external drive to back up with Time Machine?”.  Select “Use as Backup Disk” to start using Time Machine to backup to the drive.  If you set the drive up with Time Machine we suggest you only use the drive for Time Machine and do not store additional data on the drive.  More information on Time Machine
--OR--
If you want to use the drive for storage then you can simply partition the drive using Disc Utilities.





Sleep Settings

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Current GoFlex and Backup Plus drives come with their sleep timer disabled to allow the computer to control when the drive goes to sleep.  There is not a way to adjust this setting on the Mac but if you have access to a Windows PC you can change it.  The setting is in the drive so the sleep settings will follow it regardless of what computer you use it on.

Backup Plus
  1. Install and launch the Seagate Dashboard software that came with your drive.
  2. Click on the drive you want to adjust on the left side of the window.
  3. Click on the Manage tab
  4. Change the drop down under Power to the sleep setting you desire

GoFlex
  1. Install and launch the Seagate Dashboard software that came with your drive.
  2. Select your drive from the drop down and then click on Drive Settings
  3. Select Power Settings and change the drop down to what you want, and then click Save


Booting from USB on a Mac

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It is possible to boot your computer from an external drive, but Seagate does not provide assistance in getting it to work.  

The only drives that have been tested to make sure they are to be bootable on Intel based Macs are the “For Mac” drives.  For this reason we suggest using the “For Mac” drives when trying to install your operating system, or clone to the external drive.



Apple Time Machine

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Apple Time Machine is automatic Backup software built into the Mac OS since OS X 10.5.  Apple officially supports the Time Machine software but we have included some information below to help you get started.  All instructions were created with the newest version of the Mac OS X, but they should be very similar to OSX 10.5 and higher.
 

Partitioning an external drive to be used with Time Machine 10.6 to 10.10

Reformatting the drive will erase all data on the drive, so you should copy any data you
want off the drive prior to formatting.

  1. Open Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility
  2. Select the first entry for the external drive and click on the Partition tab
  3. Click on the Partition Layout drop-down menu and select 1 partition  Note: More than 1 partition can be created but for this document, we'll just stick with a single partition.
  4. Enter Volume Information (e.g., Name, Format, etc.)  Apple suggests Time Machine drives be formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
  5. Click on Options and make sure GUID is selected and then click Okay.
  6. Click on the Apply button located in the bottom right corner of the Disk Utility window. The Partition Disk confirmation window opens.
  7. Click on the Partition button. At this point, the drive is partitioned and formatted. At the end of this process, a window opens asking if you would like to use the volume with Time Machine.
  8. Click on the Use as Backup Disk button. At this point the Time Machine window opens and the volume icon changes. Time Machine then performs the first backup of your computer. This may take awhile depending on how much content you have.
  9. Once the backup is complete, Time Machine closes

Erasing an external drive to be used with Time Machine 10.11

Reformatting the drive will erase all data on the drive, so you should copy any data you
want off the drive prior to formatting.

  1. Open Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility
  2. Select the first entry for the external drive, not the indented entry.
  3. Click Erase
  4. Enter Volume Information for Name, Format, and Scheme.  Apple suggests Time Machine drives be formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled) using GUID Partition Map Scheme.
  5. Click on Erase again.
  6. Once complete, click Done. The drive will be ready to be used with Time Machine. 

Selecting a drive to backup to with Time Machine
  1. Click on the Apple symbol at the top left of your screen and click on System Preferences
  2. Double click on the Time Machine icon located on that window.
  3. The Time Machine preferences window will open and you can click on Select Disk
  4. Click on the drive you want to use for Time Machine backup and then click on Use Disk.
  5. The Time Machine backup should start after a short timer.

Changing the settings of a Time Machine backup
  1. Click on the Apple symbol at the top left of your screen and click on System Preferences
  2. Double click on the Time Machine icon located on that window.
  3. The Time Machine preferences window will open and you can click on Select Disk
  4. You can toggle the Time Machine status icon on the Apple Menu Bar from here
  5. Click on Options and you can adjust the other settings with Time Machine

Stop backing up with Time Machine
  1. Click on the Apple symbol at the top left of your screen and click on System Preferences
  2. Double click on the Time Machine icon located on that window.
  3. The Time Machine preferences window will open and you can click on Select Disk
  4. Select the disk you want to stop backing up to and then click Remove Disk.

Restoring Files with Time Machine

With Time Machine it is possible to restore your entire backup to a blank hard drive or to recover individual files and folders.  The instructions on how to restore individual files and folders are below.
  1. Open Finder - Applications - Time Machine.
  2. Time machine opens. You can navigate Time Machine through the following:
    • The Graphical Timeline to the right of the Time Machine window
    • The Up/Down Arrows
  3. Browse to the correct date that had the data you need
  4. Navigate to the folder or file you want to restore and select it
  5. Click on the Restore button. Address any prompts that appear on the screen (grant Administrative access, etc.).
  6. The data should be restored to your Mac.
Note:  Depending on the type of data you are wanting to restore, you might need to open the specific application you are trying to restore data to and go to that section before clicking on Enter Time Machine.  An example of this would be restoring a folder from your inbox, or contacts in your email application.

Time Machine and Mobile Backup

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If you do decide to use your drive with Time Machine, if you are using MacOS version 10.9.5+, you will not be able to run a Mobile Backup from the Seagate Dashboard software to the Seagate drive.  This is due to a Time Machine drive permissions limitation introduced in 10.9.5.

Troubleshooting Time Machine

We have very limited troubleshooting options with the Apple Time Machine software.  If a backup is failing, we suggest trying the following.
  1. Attempt to drag and drop, or copy and paste a file or folder to the external drive manually to make sure the drive is working as it should.
  2. If that works then we suggest partitioning the drive and resetting it up with Time Machine.
  3. If the issue continues we suggest contacting Apple for assistance with the Time Machine software.
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