Best use of an External HD

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by eutexian, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Location:
    Mapperley, Nottingham UK
    #1
    I have been given a Firewire Lacie HD as a gift. it has 1TB.

    I'm at a loss though as the best way to use it. Yes.. for Time Machine.. but what else?

    Maybe this is a daft question But having this extra capacity sitting there unused seems wrong somehow.

    Apart from Time machine is there anything else that it is in my best interests to put on the HD.. to get me up and running again quickly if the worst was to happen and the HD inside the Mac were to die horribly.

    I have already created a partition 40% for Time machine and 60% 'free'

    Its a Mac Mini 2011.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    I would also create a bootable copy of the internal HDD via CarbonCopyCloner, as that would keep you running even if the internal HDD fails.

    For instance, I have a MBP with an SSD and HDD, where the SSD gets cloned to a partition on the HDD on a daily basis.
    My iMac also has an SSD and that SSD gets backed up to an external FW800 HDD on a daily basis too, so if one SSD fails, I can still boot from the backup and use my iMac or/and MBP.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Location:
    Mapperley, Nottingham UK
    #3
    Exactly the answer I was looking for. Many thanks.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #4
    Just FYI...

    You don't have to partition the drive for Time Machine and other files. Just stay out of the Backups.backupdb folder.

    Other uses.

    • Time Machine drive
    • Store additional files/disk images
    • Store your Parallels/Fusion VMs there
    • Share a folder out to other machines on your network
    • Make it your emergency boot drive
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    #5
    Only Firewire?

    I was in the same boat - a Lacie 1 TB drive just sitting around - and I knew there had to be a use for it somewhere in my house. My Lacie was a quadra so it had eSATA port. I connected it to my DVR's eSATA port, vastly increasing its storage size.
     
  6. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    In addition to bootable backups with CCC, I use external drives to store movies and TV shows, as well as other archives that I don't need available when I travel. I also split my iTunes library between internal and external drives, since it won't all fit on the internal. When I travel, I have my favorite music with me, and can still have the rest available when I'm on my wireless network.
     
  7. macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Poole, England
    #7
    If you don't partition the drive, then TM will continue to use up as much space as is available due to incremental back ups.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Location:
    Mapperley, Nottingham UK
    #8
    That was my understanding.. and my reason for allocating 40% of the drive to TM. I thought I was probably being over-generous too as I don't have TM running constantly.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    #9
    HD use with DVR?

    I have a Directv HD receiver/DVR and was told it had to be a specific brand bought from them. While I never trusted their answer, I never bothered experimenting either. What kind of DVR are you using? Thanks!
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    #10
    I'm with DirecTV, too. The DVR is definitely recording to the external HDD. After I accidentally disconnected the drive recently, my wife was in a panic that all her "Glee" episodes were gone. I then plugged the eSATA cable back in and, viola, all our recorded programs were there.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #11
    That is correct. My point was you don't have to partition the drive for TM to operate - so you're not forced to predetermine a partition size.
     
  12. macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #12
    Sure, but then you mentioned "Other uses" so I thought I would add that if you're planning on using a drive for both TM and other uses, it's best to partition it to keep TM in check.
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #13
    Agreed. Wasn't nesessarly suggesting doing all of these other things at the same time. Just suggesting other uses. Thanks.
     
  14. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    "I have already created a partition 40% for Time machine and 60% 'free'"

    As another poster mentioned, use the "free" area to create a bootable clone backup using CarbonCopyCloner.

    CCC is free and you can find it here:
    http://www.bombich.com

    BTW, CCC now has "Time Machine like" capabilities --- that is, it can not only maintain a bootable backup clone, but can also "archive" older-version (but changed) files, or files that you no longer keep on the main drive (and would otherwise be removed from your clone).

    With these new capabilities, there is little need for TM at all. I consider it a HUGE waste of drive space.

    Also, if you spend some time browsing the forums here at MacRumors, you are going to see post after post from users who are trying to access their TM backups in a moment of need, and.... can't.

    There is nothing you can have backup-wise that is more useful in a moment of extreme need than a second, bootable drive. CCC can create this for you.
     
  15. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #15

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