Skip navigation

trouble backing up external drive with time machine

606 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Oct 18, 2012 10:46 AM by fan4bronco RSS
fan4bronco Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 18, 2012 5:43 AM

I have a small USB stick that I use to store important documents but documents that I don't access very often.  I have an additional 500 GB hard drive that I use for backing up with Time Machine.  I want Time Machine to backup both my internal hard drive (Macbook Air 2011 Lion) as well as the small USB stick. I've searched the forum and discovered that I needed to reformat the USB stick, which I did (it is now Mac OS Extended).  The USB now appears in the list of excluded drives in Time Machine preferences, which I removed.  Thinking that Time Machine would be backing up my USB stick now, I backed up and then turned the computer off.  The next day, I looked at the external drive, and it didn't seem to have a backup of the USB.  I entered Time Machine and the USB is "greyed out" which means it wasn't backed up. I've retried backing up several times by including the USB in Time Machien preferences, but it seems that when I click "save" it doesn't actually save because when I open Preferences up again, the USB stick is in the list of excluded items again.  Have I done something wrong?  Any imput would be greatly appreciated.

MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.7.5)
  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,845 points)

    I don't use Time Machine but my view is that it is too dangerous for sticks which may be removed - I understand that it may delete previous backups if it discovers that the stick no longer exists.


    You could:


    1. manually copy the stick to your main drive from time to time
    2. use Carbon Copy Cloner to backup the stick
    3. use a utility to mirror the stick to your main drive


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.