Backing Up with Iomega Hard Drives

A backup is two or more up-to-date copies of your important data located on different drives or disks. If one disk fails, or files are accidentally deleted or become corrupted, you can recover using the other disk. Iomega recommends periodic system backups and more frequent data backups to ensure that your critical data is always protected. The frequency of your backups should depend on the importance of your data. For maximum safety, store at least one backup copy offsite to protect against events such as earthquakes, fires, floods, lightning, vandalism, theft, etc.

The easiest way to protect your data is to use drag-and-drop or copy-and-paste to save a backup copy of your critical files onto the Iomega Hard Drive. You can also use a backup software program to schedule regular full-system or data backups. If you purchased a hard drive package that includes backup software, check the Support area on www.iomega.com for instructions on using the software.

CAUTION! Any data storage device can fail. Always keep at least two copies on different disks for all critical data files!

Time Machine Compatibility

All HFS+ formatted Iomega drives are compatible with Time Machine (available in Mac OS X, version 10.5 – Leopard). See Formatting the Drive for Mac OS X for instructions on how to format the drive for use with Time Machine.


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Formatting the Drive

Iomega Hard Drives ship pre-formatted with one of the following format types.

NTFS
This is the native file system for Windows Vista/XP/2000 and provides the best performance with these operating systems. An NTFS-formatted drive will be read-only on Mac OS X. If you are using an NTFS-formatted drive on a Mac, reformat it using the instructions below. An NTFS-formatted drive is not supported on older versions of Windows.

FAT32
The FAT32 file system is recognized by both Windows and Mac OS, which allows the drive to be used on both platforms. However, FAT32 is not the most efficient file system for either Mac OS X or Windows Vista/XP/2000. If you want to use your Iomega Hard Drive cross-platform, use a FAT32 format. If you will be using the drive on a single platform, you will get better performance using the native format for your operating system.

Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
This format provides best performance with Mac OS X. For some drive models, an HFS+ format is required for the full capacity to be recognized by the Mac. An HFS+ formatted drive will not be recognized by a Windows-based PC. If you want to use the drive under Windows, you will need to reformat the drive to either NTFS or FAT32.


The following table shows operating system support for the different format types.

Operating System HFS+ NTFS FAT32
Mac OS X Native format Recognized2 Cross-platform
Windows Vista/XP/2000 Not recognized Native format Cross-platform
Windows 98/98SE/Me1 Not recognized Not recognized Native format
Cross-platform

1 Not supported for all Iomega hard drives
2 Read-only


How to determine the default format on your Iomega Hard Drive

The Quick Start Guide included with Iomega Hard Drives usually includes information on the format type used by the drive. Use the instructions below for your operating system if you are not sure which format type is used on your drive.


  1. Connect the drive to your computer following the quick install instructions included with the drive.

    • If the drive is not recognized by Windows, the drive format is probably Mac OS Extended. Use the instructions below to reformat the drive to NTFS or FAT32.

    • If the drive is recognized and assigned a drive letter, the drive format is either NTFS or FAT32. Continue to the next step.

  2. Right click on the drive letter for your Iomega Hard Drive in My Computer.

  3. Select Properties from the right-click menu.

  4. The format type will be listed next to File system on the General tab.


  1. Connect the drive to your computer following the quick install instructions included with the drive.

  2. Click on the drive icon on the Mac desktop. (This will highlight the icon.)

  3. Select Get Info from the File menu.

  4. The format type will be listed next to Format under General.


How to reformat the drive or change the format type

Use the instructions below if you want to change the format type used by your drive.

CAUTION! Formatting the drive will erase all existing data! If you have files on the drive you want to save, move them to another drive before reformatting.


If you will be using the drive only on Mac OS systems, use a Mac OS Extended (HFS+) format. This will eliminate the limitations you may encounter with an NTFS or FAT32 format (click link below for more information on FAT32 limitiations). Follow the instructions below for your version of Mac OS X.

NOTE: If you want to configure Time Machine to use your Iomega Hard Drive, the drive must be formatted Mac OS Extended.

  1. Make sure you have copied any needed files to another location.

  2. Select ApplicationsUtilitiesDisk Utility

  3. Select the Erase tab. In the left hand column, be sure to select the correct disk to be erased.

  4. Select the format type you want to use from the Volume Format drop-down menu:

    • For an HFS+ format, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) (recommended) or Mac OS Extended.

    • If you plan to use the drive cross-platform, select MS-DOS File System for FAT32 format. Note the FAT32 limitations below.

  5. Click the Erase button.


  1. Make sure you have copied any needed files to another location.

  2. Select ApplicationsUtilitiesDisk Utility

  3. In the left hand column, click on the drive icon for the Iomega Hard Drive. Make sure you click on the high level orange drive icon, not the second level volume icon.

  4. Select the Partition tab.

  5. Change Volume Scheme from Current to 1 Partition.

  6. Select the format type from the Format drop-down menu.

    • If you plan to use the drive only on your Mac, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) (recommended) or Mac OS Extended.

    • If you plan to use the drive cross-platform, select MS-DOS File System for a FAT32 format. Note the FAT32 limitations below.

  7. Click on the Options button.

  8. Select the type of partition you want to use:

    • GUID Partition Table for bootability on an Intel-based Macintosh computer

    • Apple Partition Map for bootability on a PowerPC-based Mac

    • Master Boot Record if you will use the drive on a PC as well as your Mac. Use this option ONLY if you selected PC-DOS as the format type.

      CAUTION! In most cases, the computer will fail to format the drive as a Mac OS Extended (HFS+) partition using Master Boot Record. For best results, always choose GUID Partition Table (Intel) or Apple Partition Map (PowerPC).

  9. Click OK.

  10. Click the Partition button


If you want to use a FAT32 format for cross-platform compatibility, please note that you might encounter the following limitations:

  • The drive may mount slower.

  • Files may copy slower.

  • The full capacity of the drive might not be available if the drive is formatted as a single large volume. If the drive does not mount or you do not see the full capacity of the drive, you need to partition the drive into smaller volumes (less than 127GB).


NTFS Format

  1. Connect the Iomega drive to your computer.

  2. Open Windows Disk Management (right click on My Computer, select Manage, and click on Disk Management).

  3. If the Disk Wizard opens, click Next. Select the disk, click Next, then Finish.

    If the Wizard does not open, locate the drive in the lower list. Look for a disk that does not show a drive letter or file system. Right click on the drive name and select Initialize Disk (Windows XP) or Write Signature (Windows 2000), then OK.

  4. The drive will now appear as Unallocated and the bar will be black. Right click on the black bar and select New Partition (Windows XP) or Create Partition (Windows 2000).

  5. When the Partition Wizard opens, click Next.

  6. Verify that the partition type is Primary Partition and click Next.

  7. Leave the maximum disk space selected and click Next.

  8. Assign the next drive letter available and click Next.

  9. Check the option for Perform a quick format, click Next, then click Finish. The drive will be ready to use when the format completes.

    NOTE: The NTFS format is recognized only by Windows Vista/XP/2000. If you plan to use your drive cross-platform, you should format the drive FAT32.


FAT32 Format

After completing the NTFS format procedure above, use the Iomega FAT32 Formatter to change the format to FAT32.

  1. Download the Iomega FAT32 Formatter from Support area on www.iomega.com.

  2. Double click the application to run the formatter.

  3. With the drive highlighted, click Format, then OK. The drive will be ready to use when the format completes.


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For best performance on Windows 2000, XP, or Vista, change the drive format to NTFS. You can either reformat the drive, or convert the FAT32 format to NTFS using the Windows utility.

NOTE: If the drive is formatted to NTFS, it might appear as a read-only volume when connected to a Mac OS system, or it might not be readable at all, depending on the version of Mac OS X. If you need to change the drive format from NTFS back to FAT32, follow the instructions below for reformatting to FAT32.

The following instructions will format the drive as a single large volume with an NTFS file system. If you want to partition the drive, check Windows help for more information.

  1. Open Windows Disk Management (right click on My Computer, select Manage, and click on Disk Management).

  2. Select the Iomega Hard Drive. Look for the drive letter assigned by Windows.

  3. Delete the existing FAT32 partition.

  4. The drive will now appear as Unallocated and the bar will be black. Right click on the black bar and select New Partition (Windows XP) or Create Partition (Windows 2000).

  5. When the Partition Wizard opens, click Next.

  6. Verify that the partition type is Primary Partition and click Next.

  7. Leave the maximum disk space selected and click Next.

  8. Assign the next drive letter available and click Next.

  9. Check the option for Perform a quick format, click Next, then click Finish. The drive will be ready to use when the format completes.


CAUTION! Converting the drive from FAT32 to NTFS may cause data loss if a problem is encountered. You cannot convert an NTFS formatted drive back to a FAT32 format without reformatting, which will erase all existing data on the drive.

  1. Close all open programs and files.

  2. Click Start and then click Run.

  3. Within the Open: box, type CMD and press the Enter key.

  4. At the C:\ prompt, type CONVERT X: /FS:NTFS (where X: is the drive letter assigned to the Iomega Hard Drive.

  5. Press the Enter key.


If you want to change the drive format from NTFS back to FAT32, format the drive using the Iomega FAT32 Formatter.

  1. Download the Iomega FAT32 Formatter from Support area on www.iomega.com.

  2. Double click the application to run the formatter.

  3. With the drive highlighted, click Format, then OK. The drive will be ready to use when the format completes.


For the most recent information on formatting Iomega hard drives, please visit the Support area on www.iomega.com.


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Partitioning the Drive

If you want to use multiple partitions on the drive, use the formatting utility for your operating system to create the partitions. See the formatting instructions above.

NOTE: When partitioning the drive on Mac OS X, version 10.2 or lower, it is recommended that you use the same format on all partitions. If you use different formats, only the first partition will automatically mount on the Mac desktop. In this case, you can use Disk Utility to mount the additional partitions.


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Disconnecting the Drive

IMPORTANT: Before disconnecting the drive, make sure you save files and close all folders and applications on the drive to avoid losing data.


Use the Safely Remove Hardware utility before you disconnect power or the USB or FireWire cable.

  1. Ensure all files or programs on the drive are closed.

  2. Double click the Safely Remove Hardware icon on the taskbar.

  3. Select the Iomega® Hard Drive and click Stop; a new window will open.

  4. Select the drive again and click OK.

  5. You can then safely disconnect the drive.


  1. Ensure all files or programs on the drive are closed.

  2. Drag the Iomega drive icon onto the Trash icon.

  3. You can then safely disconnect the drive.


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FireWire Pass-through

The drive includes two FireWire ports—one FireWire 800 and one FireWire 400. When the drive is connected via either FireWire port, the other port can be used to connect another FireWire device to your system. Any device connected to FireWire pass-through will need its own power supply connection. Check the FireWire Guidelines for recommendations when using multiple FireWire devices.

NOTE: FireWire pass-through works only when the drive is connected to a FireWire port on the computer. Do NOT connect the drive to USB and FireWire at the same time.


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