Can I use time machine on a partitioned drive...?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by swmr, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular

    swmr

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Penn State
    #1
    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
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    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
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    benlee

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #3
    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.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #4
    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.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    swmr

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Penn State
    #5
    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?
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #6
    Not any more experienced than you here, but that's what I was going to do, too.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #7
    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:)
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    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.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    swmr

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Penn State
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    benlee

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #10
    I don't see how you could mess up the drive. I have been using Time Machine on a partitioned drive since Leopard Day.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    swmr

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Penn State
    #11
    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.
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    #12
    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...
     
  13. thread starter macrumors regular

    swmr

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Penn State
    #13
    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.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors regular

    swmr

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Penn State
    #14
    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...
     
  15. thread starter macrumors regular

    swmr

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Penn State
    #15
    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".

    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.
    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.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. thread starter macrumors regular

    swmr

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Penn State
    #16
    Does anybody have some information?
     
  17. thread starter macrumors regular

    swmr

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Penn State
    #17
    That's unfortunate, I was really looking for info.
     

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