One Time Machine Drive for Multiple Computers?

Discussion in 'Mac Applications and Mac App Store' started by wildwell, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    wildwell

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    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?
     
  2. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #2
    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.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #3
    Are you certain that partitions are necessary? I thought that all Time Machine data for each computer was contained within its own folder.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #5
    it is not necessary but highly recommended. more in this user tip.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #6
    ...

    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
     
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    wildwell

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    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).
    :D
    Thanks again to everyone.
     

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