Backup External Hard drive error

Hello, searched for this and couldn’t find an answer. I’d like to back up a project on an external hard drive (Seagate), but I keep getting an error message: “A backup could not be created” I do have enough space on the drive. I’ve tried changing the backup preferences. Clicked and unclicked save as zip. I know there can be issues trying to do this from iCloud. I THINK I moved my current file successfully to my MacBook’s hard drive. I don’t know what else could be going wrong! Help!

I do backup to dropbox, so I’m not walking on thin ice, I just want to be able to back up on my external hard drive once and awhile.

Frankly, I’m not real sure what’s going on. I’d have to put fingers on your computer’s keyboard and look around.

But it occurs to me that you are using Dropbox as “backup” where in fact that’s not a real good “backup”. Should the projects get corrupted or lost, Dropbox will merrily sync those flaws and you may or may not know until too late.

Scrivener is using Dropbox for synching, not backup.

Instead … perhaps use your USB disk as the holder for setting up a TimeMachine backup regime. TimeMachine is the backup method provided on your Mac and there are plenty of resources available to explain how to use it, how to restore, how to check that it’s working etc.

Just a thought.

I would prefer to backup my project to my external hard drive, but it’s not working!
The hard drive works fine with TimeMachine backup, but I can’t get my Scrivener project to save there.

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It won’t work (out of the box) if you try to save these backups on that same hard drive TimeMachine is using.


You can use the same drive if a partition is created. I do this with no problem.

I don’t know what’s happening, but it sounds like a permissions or formatting issue to me.


How does one create a partition? Can you recommend a link on how to make one? Or advice on what exactly I should search for?

But to be honest I’d just leave the TimeMachine disk alone.


If you don’t know how to partition a disk, I would recommending keeping your Time Machine volume separate from any other backups.


Thank you, everyone! It WAS a permissions issue. It’s solved. Thanks for the partition advice as well. I will take the advice to leave well enough alone, especially now that I can back up on my external hard drive.