Use Western Digital MyBook for TimeMachine Backup?

Discussion in 'Mac Peripherals' started by soamz, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Orissa, India
    #1
    Hi..
    I just got an iMac a month back and I would like to use the Time Machine feature on iMac, which takes weekly backups for me to one of my External Hardrive, which I have.
    Its Western Digital MyBook Essentials Edition 500GB.
    My imac also has 500GB HDD.

    So, here are my questions :

    1. Can I use this external HDD as a backup drive for Time Machine ?

    2. So, it has to be connected on USB and selected as destination on Time machine ?

    3. Both are 500GB, so any problems ?

    4. Lets say, now I connected my drive to imac and I took a backup. Then next week, when it automatically backs up, then will it overwrite over that old backed up data or write new backup again ? Im asking this, bcz I have 400GB of data on my imac , so if it writes a new one, then from where the space will come in the ext HDD ? :D

    5. Do I need to keep the external HDD always connected to electricity and iMac or I can on it anytime ? How will Time Machine detect it or search for it, in case its not connected ?

    6. I dont want to waste money on a Time Capsule, so please help me getting this existing ext HDD to work to solve my problems.

    Thanks.
     
  2. macrumors G4

    *LTD*

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    Ok, point for point:

    1. Yes. Nice choice. You might want to disable the VCD on it though, if it has that SmartWare software. Instructions are available on WD's website. 500GB will be too small, however. More on that below.

    2. Yes.

    3. You'll need a drive that's at least twice as large as your internal HD. Time Machine wants to store many backup instances of your drive so you can go "back in time" to perhaps retrieve data if necessary. Ideally, for example, if you've got a 200GB internal HD you'll want a 500GB backup drive or larger. You can use the one you have now for run-of-the-mill storage and whatnot, but if you want to use it with Time Machine, return it, and grab at least a 1TB drive.

    4. Time Machine only begins to overwrite data after it has stored many backups. You don't want Time Machine overwriting last weeks data. And further, Time Machine usually make incremental changes. Still, you'll want a drive that it much larger than your internal drive.

    5. Your Time Machine drive should be on all the time. You can disconnect it, but then you won't have a backup instance for the time it's disconnected. When you reconnect it, Time Machine will perform a new backup, but if you made data changes on your internal drive while Time Machine was disconnected, then as far as I know Time Machine will not have a record of that.

    6. Time Capsule drives . . . meh. Not Apple's best product. Stick with WD and you'll be just fine.

    Simply put, in your case get at least a 1TB drive for Time Machine. I've got a 200GB internal HD in my MBP and a 500GB Time Machine drive. I can access a backup instance from over a year ago.

    More information:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1427
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Orissa, India
    #3
  4. macrumors G4

    *LTD*

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    They're all more or less the same. The selling points these days are the so-called "convenient" backup software that comes loaded on these drives as well as the design. As for brand name, some swear by Seagate, others by WD. I'd personally go with WD products. The new ones have their Caviar Green drives, which are great, low-power, very cool-running, very quiet drives.

    It very often comes down to how you use your drives - the operating temps, the environment, frequency of use, etc. Make sure it's got a decent warranty.

    I also prefer WD because of the "book" style of these drives. I've got two of them on my bookcase, acting as bookends. They blend right in. And the little My Passport drives (one of which is actually a 1TB drive!) are great and look gorgeous.

    Pick your poison. WD or Seagate. Either one. Although make sure that the segate drive *is* 1TB, and not 800GB or something. Granted, most drives are not *exactly* the capacity they advertise, but Seagate in their newer 2TB drives, for instance, tends to actually come in at 1.8TB. Not cool in my book.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Orissa, India
    #5
    I just cleaned the 500GB Ext HDD and its fully blank now.

    And cleaned the imac as well. So, its 181GB data remaining to get backed up.

    Instead of buying a 1TB right now, I have decided to use this 500GB one, as its just 180GB data .

    Should be ok, right ?

    And I have turned off AUTOMATIC backups, since I wont be keeping the HDD always connected.

    I will only use Time machine backup and connect the HDD once in a week to take full week's backup.
     

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