Information Technology Reference
In-Depth Information
Prepare Your Hard Drive
You've just unpacked your brand new hard drive (or two), and you're
ready to get busy backing up. You might be able to plug in the drive
and start working with it immediately, but it depends. Some drives
come formatted for Windows computers, for example, while others
might be formatted for a Mac—or not at all. Some come preloaded with
utilities and demo software. Some could use the wrong partition map
scheme for your computer, which might, among other things, prevent
Time Machine from being able to see or use the drive.
In short, because each manufacturer has slightly different ideas about
how you might want to use your drive, you should take a few minutes,
before you do anything else, to make sure it's configured correctly for
your needs.
If you have a Time Capsule, its built-in drive comes preconfigured just
the way you need it, so you don't need to worry about anything in this
chapter for that device. However, you must still follow these steps for
the external drive you use to store your bootable duplicate, and any
external drive(s) you decide to attach to your Time Capsule.
Choose a Partition Map Scheme
Your hard drive contains a tiny block of information called a partition
map or partition table that describes things like how many volumes
the drive has, how large they are, and where they're located. The way
information is stored in this little block of data is called the partition
map scheme , and the choice of scheme turns out to be crucial to how
the drive can be used. Windows PCs generally use a scheme called
the Master Boot Record (MBR) Partition Table; pre-Intel Macs
have, since the very beginning, used a scheme called Apple Partition
Map (APM); and Intel-based Macs by default use a newer and more
advanced scheme, GUID Partition Table (GPT). The partition map
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