Format HD

Now the hard drives….


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There are 2 kinds: ones that spin and the new SSD drives. The ones that spin are much cheaper. They are slower and will wear out sooner. TheSSD drives are super fast but still expensive. For a backup an external hard drive rather than an SSD is probably good enough.

The major brands are Toshiba, Western Digital, Seagate, and LaCie.

You can find a 1 TB external hard drive with aU SB 3 connection online for less than $70. If you plan to use Time Machine the external hard drive needs to be larger than the internal hard drive.

How to Prepare the New Hard Drive

The features below are now gone in El Capitan.

Most hard drives are ready to use on Windows unless specified.

Setting it up for a Mac is not that hard. On your Mac is a software program in Utilities called Disk Utility ( Applications>Utilities>Disk Utility). This is used to form an the external drive to work on the Mac. This is what you do:


On the left you will see a panel listing the name of the external hard drive. It will probably say the Brand name and the size like 500 MB or 1TB. Don’t mess with the internal Mac hard drive. That is the one listed on the top. The icon for the external drive is an orange colored icon. See above.

• Erase the hard drive. There isn’t any data on it. It is empty. Really. Always use Mac Extended (Journaled). You can give the external hard drive  a better name such as MacBook Air Backup, Bob’s Backup or Mac Air TM (for Time Machine).

• You can partition. But keep it at 1 for now. Click apply.


Disk Utility has other uses. Maybe more on this at a later time.

Next page Time Machine.

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