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Old Feb 27, 2008, 10:00 PM   #1
swmr
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Can I use time machine on a partitioned drive...?

Well I just bought myself a new MBP as seen in my signature. I also purchased a 500 GB external hard drive (Western Digital w/ Firewire).

As you may have guessed by the title, I am wondering if I can partition the drive into two sections, and use one with Time Machine and the other as a regular old external storage drive. If this is possible, what is the easiest and safest way to partition the drive? I have never had to partition any drives, and I have only reformatted a drive once. This is also my first mac, so my previous experiences were on a Windows XP machine (see sig).

Thanks in advance for any information you can give me!!

Mitch -- swmr
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Old Feb 27, 2008, 10:26 PM   #2
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You should be able to do what you described by:

-create the partitions, but give them different names to differentiate them
-set up Time Machine, but tell it to backup only to one of the partitions
-to avoid confusion, do not allow Time Machine to backup the second partition
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Old Feb 27, 2008, 10:39 PM   #3
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Open Disc Utility in the Utilities Folder in Applications
Click on the mounted hard drive and click on the partition tab.

Size the partitions accordingly.
You should see two drives mounted.
set up time machine to back up to "Time Machine" partition
Like the previous poster said do not back up other partition

Will work like a charm. No problems at all.
You can even save things to Time Machine partition in a separate folder--although a separate partition is probably better because OS X 10.5 now does non-destructive partitioning so you can later resize the partitions without erasing data on them.
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Old Feb 27, 2008, 10:43 PM   #4
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So long as you partition your Time Machine partition as a HFS+Journaling (called Mac OS Extended with Journaling in Disk Utility) partition you're good to go. That's how I set up mine with 250 GB set aside for Time Machine and the rest I left as a Fat32 so I can plug my external drive into my Windows machine for manual backups.
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Old Feb 27, 2008, 10:48 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. Is it pretty easy to do? Also, from the 500 GB, what would be a good amount to set aside for each? I plan on obviously doing a back up, and having the external as just extra storage that is not essential. All of my music, photos, movies, and documents are likely to be saved onto the internal. I was thinking 300 GB (actual) for TM and the remainder for general use. Sound good?
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Old Feb 27, 2008, 11:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swmr View Post
Thanks guys. Is it pretty easy to do? Also, from the 500 GB, what would be a good amount to set aside for each? I plan on obviously doing a back up, and having the external as just extra storage that is not essential. All of my music, photos, movies, and documents are likely to be saved onto the internal. I was thinking 300 GB (actual) for TM and the remainder for general use. Sound good?
Not any more experienced than you here, but that's what I was going to do, too.
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Old Feb 27, 2008, 11:22 PM   #7
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How much disk space is currently being used right now?

Mine was 38GB used out of 120GB so I gave TM a generous amount and after about a week's worth of use it's used a total of 36 GB out of 250GB. TM doesn't duplicate data that already exists on the drive unless the file has changed. It will look really weird if you navigate the file system because it literally will look as though you have dozens of copies of your entire hard drive.

Ultimately, you'll have to make a best guess and after two or three months you'll see how much space your TM takes up and how much additional space it takes up every month. Then you can project that out to see how much time it would take you to eat 500 GB. I'm guessing it's gonna be a very long time and they'll always make bigger drives
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Old Feb 27, 2008, 11:42 PM   #8
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Additionally, if you find that your TM drive is getting full, you can remove older backups or tell the program to save backups with larger intervals between saves.
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Old Feb 28, 2008, 12:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJones View Post
How much disk space is currently being used right now?
To date I am using 60 GB out of the 200 (185 really). I put all my old music on here in one folder, so I am still going through it to delete the crap that I don't listen too. In a week or so I will probably have used about 50 GB including the music, movies, documents, and the OS.

Sounds like I don't have anything to lose, especially if I can resize the partition later. I really hope I don't mess up the drive though. I'll post again when I am finished and let you all know how it went.
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Old Feb 28, 2008, 04:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swmr View Post
To date I am using 60 GB out of the 200 (185 really). I put all my old music on here in one folder, so I am still going through it to delete the crap that I don't listen too. In a week or so I will probably have used about 50 GB including the music, movies, documents, and the OS.

Sounds like I don't have anything to lose, especially if I can resize the partition later. I really hope I don't mess up the drive though. I'll post again when I am finished and let you all know how it went.
I don't see how you could mess up the drive. I have been using Time Machine on a partitioned drive since Leopard Day.
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Old Feb 28, 2008, 06:13 PM   #11
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I meant ruining the drive during the reformat. I have heard that it can go wrong, but of course at the time I was using my XP machine and I was using Windows to reformat. I suppose it will just be easier on a Mac anyways.
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Old Feb 28, 2008, 06:39 PM   #12
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I have a pretty big external hard drive, and I use time machine with two partitions. One is for backup, and one is for what I call "big files." I haven't run into any problems, although be sure you format the partition in the file system you REALLY want. I did both HFS+, but I wish I had made my "big files" partition FAT so I could use it on Windows machines if need be. In order to make that partition FAT, it looks like I'm going to have to erase the entire drive... something I don't really want to do after 3 months of backups...
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Old Mar 1, 2008, 11:17 PM   #13
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Looking for a quick reply!!! I am about to repartition, but I noticed I have a few options. Can somebody explain the "GUID Partition Table, Apple Partition Map, and Master Boot Record?" I guess they are differant types of partitions and I don't know which one I want.
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Old Mar 1, 2008, 11:24 PM   #14
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Never mind. I seemed to have misread my options. I guess the GUID could have been used, but the Apple Partition Map allows me to use it as a storage or backup disk, which was also the default. Did the partition and I took all of 14 seconds. Much easier than I was expecting...
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Old Aug 18, 2008, 09:22 AM   #15
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Hey MacRumors, long time no post. So its been a few months since I bought my MBP and now I want to repartition my external drive. My internal drive has 74/185 gigs free, my TM backup has 161/299 gigs free, and my "My Book" drive has 65/165 free. I was thinking of giving another 50 gigs to "My Book".

Quote:
Originally Posted by benlee View Post
You can even save things to Time Machine partition in a separate folder--although a separate partition is probably better because OS X 10.5 now does non-destructive partitioning so you can later resize the partitions without erasing data on them.
So months ago benlee told me that I can non destructively resize my partitions but as I am trying to do research now, I cannot find how to do it. In disk utility, I instructions to drag the partition dividers and click "apply" but apple's own website warns of data loss.
Quote:
Originally Posted by APPLE
What kinds of partitions can be resized in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard?

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard can resize any disk partition except a Master Boot Record Partition. You can use Disk Utility to see if a partition is a Master Boot Record Partition, and also to resize eligible partitions.

Important: Resizing a partition will erase all data on it, so be sure to back up important files on affected partitions first.
Can anybody try to guide me through a non-destructive repartition without using terminal (if that is possible)?

Attached is the graphical representation of my external drive...and the instructions giving.
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Old Aug 20, 2008, 04:11 PM   #16
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Does anybody have some information?
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Old Aug 24, 2008, 09:09 PM   #17
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That's unfortunate, I was really looking for info.
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