External HDD Format

This should be an easy question, but I have searched high and low for an answer without success. I have a bootcamp Windows 10 installation on an older Macbook Pro (2011) running High Sierra (10.13.2). I just bought Winclone 6 standard and am trying to use it to create a Win 10 backup on an external hard disk drive. (The HDD also contains Apple Time Capsule backups in a separate partition.) Nothing really fancy here. My question is: must I format the destination partition on the external hard drive as HFS+? I had in mind to use exFAT, but that doesn’t seem to work. I get a message that says,

“The folder you selected to put your backups in is not on a Mac formatted (HFS+ or APFS) Volume. Please select a Volume (or disk image) that is Mac formatted”

Is there a “best practice” recommended format? Does it matter if the destination drive is formatted Mac OS extended case-sensitive or not?

Sorry for the confusion. If you are saving an image, it is best to save to a Mac (HFS+) formatted volume. MS-DOS doesn’t allow for large file sizes, but exFAT does. We have not updated Winclone to not prompt for exFAT, and since we have not tested it, I can’t recommend it. I’ll add it to potential feature updates.


This is kinda related to the problem I am having. I am trying to configure the Winclone Backup destination as the Airport Disk in the Time Capsule on my network. However, I get the error about it not being the correct format. Obviously it is Mac formatted (Journaled I believe) and I can’t change that. Why doesn’t Winclone support it?

I also find this message bizarre: “To create a Boot Camp partition, use Boot Camp Assistant or Disk Utility to create a MS-DOS (FAT32) formatted partition.” FAT32 is limited to 32GB maximum, with a 4GB maximum file size. My Bootcamp partition (NTFS) is 200GB, and the size of Bootcamp is 41GB. I think you need to update this message!

Winclone backup requires hard links, which is not supported reliably by network volumes.

As for the requirement for FAT / MSDOS for preparing the volume, it doesn’t relate to the final disk format. When macOS creates the partition, it sets the partition type on the partition as a Windows partition. Winclone uses the fact that it is a FAT/MSDOS to limit the selection to those volumes, and not any Mac formatted volumes. It is really just to prevent people from selecting the incorrect volume.