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Old Dec 31, 2010, 01:45 AM   #1
wildwell
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One Time Machine Drive for Multiple Computers?

Does anybody know how to, or if a single Time Machine drive can be used to back up more than one computer?

I'd like to consolidate my Time Machine backups to just one FW800 drive. The drive is already setup as the Time Machine drive for my desktop, how can I get my laptop to also back up to this drive? I've tried to just select that drive through the Time Machine application on the laptop, but it doesn't seem to want to back-up to a shared drive. I also tried adding the shared laptop drive as a 'non-excluded' drive from my desktop's Time Machine application, but that isn't working either.

Does anybody have one network Time Machine drive for multiple computers?
Thanks?
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 02:05 AM   #2
Mebsat
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If you have enough space, partitions can be used easily with Time Machine.

I back up two different laptops to one external drive by having each laptop have its own partition on the external disk. I've never tried this on the network, but it should work...

Also, you can have multiple Time Machine copies for one computer, you just select the currently mounted one in the prefs and it will use the drive as the Time Machine backup.
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 02:25 AM   #3
smirk
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Are you certain that partitions are necessary? I thought that all Time Machine data for each computer was contained within its own folder.
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 02:50 AM   #4
mfram
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Yes, you can use one drive for multiple computers. As long as you can share the drive from your Mac to your laptop, the laptop should be able to do a Time Machine backup to it assuming you have enough space. Share the drive first, mount it on your laptop and verify you can write files to it. Then you should be able to go into Time Machine prefs and select the drive.
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 06:12 AM   #5
Jolly Giant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smirk View Post
Are you certain that partitions are necessary?
it is not necessary but highly recommended. more in this user tip.
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 06:47 AM   #6
newdeal
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...

Yes you can backup multiple macs to the same drive. I have this being done on my time capsule with no issues. I am not sure if you can wirelessly backup like this to your shared drive though or if apple blocks it. I know Apple used to block this unless the shared drive was connected to a mac running the server version of the OS but not sure if they lifted that restriction
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 12:26 PM   #7
wildwell
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Thank you everybody, problem solved. Of my desktop's four drives, I only had the two 'content' drives shared with read/write permissions. My problem was the Time Machine drive allowed read only access. It is now working very well (although expectantly slow via wifi).

Thanks again to everyone.
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