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Ask Max: Backup problems with LaCie external drive

Asked on 04/25/2007:

Recently my G4 PowerBook suddenly developed nasty ticking noises, resulting in my losing all of the contents of my hard drive, and yes, I had not backed up for the last 12 months.

So I've now purchased a dedicated LaCie external drive and have used the LaCie backup facility to copy everything to the external hard drive.

This took some time, since I'd reloaded all of my programs and what I'd salvaged from the last backup of documents....

But then there were a large number of files and thingys that didn't successfully back up. At least a couple of hundred of them. Some of them looked like Adobe related things (I have CS as one of the programs...)

I felt silly not being specific last night when I emailed about my LaCie
backup difficulties, so I went through the process again. It took about 3
hours, and at the end there were hundreds of files not backed up, including
my user file word documents (very important) that were in folders, and also
many of my photos in the iphoto program (also of extreme imptance to me)

The message read: "Error copying file resources. You may have to re format
your destination volume to HSF+"

Could you please advise me what I should do?


I understand now what's happening. When Lacie drives come from the factory they are formatted in a PC format, which Macs can read and write to. For best performance you should always reformat new drives in a Mac format. You do this by opening Disk Utility and selecting the LaCie drive from the left hand column. Then click on the Erase tab and change the "Volume Format" to "Mac OS Extended" (AKA HFS+). Clicking on the Erase button will reformat the drive. You will lose all data on the drive when you format, so make a copy of what you need. Instead of using the LaCie program, however, I would recommend you use Carbon Copy Cloner.

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