Advice for an external hard drive

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Stitch30, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. Stitch30 macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2007
    Hi gang !

    After a month ordering from a reseller, my new (and first ever) 24'' iMac is finally being delivered. I should get it on thursday if UPS is right.

    I would like to know how backing up with Time Machine works. Does it take a lot of space to do that ? I already have a LaCie 500 go external hard drive (it's USB2). I use that drive to put my iTunes library which is not very big but ever growing with movies and music. This drive is connected to my PC.

    Do you think I should get a new one to use exclusively with my iMac ? I saw a LaCie D2 Big Disk Extreme+ 1000GB External Hard Drive for 329$ CAN at FutureShop. It has USB2, Firewire 400 and 800. I'm wondering if it's worth getting it.

    Any advice on backing up and this drive is appreciated.

    Thanks a lot.

  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Basically, as I understand it, Time Machine wants to have its own partition (which must be HFS+), and that partition can be basically any size, although it should be larger than your internal drive.

    The larger the backup partition is, the farther back Time Machine can go. What it does is make nightly snapshots, and then every week, it overwrites the last week's nightly snapshots, but it keeps one of them as the "weekly" snapshot, and so on. So in this way, if you have a large amount of space, Time Machine will keep snapshots that go farther and farther back in time. Does that make sense?

    Here's more info:

    Regarding Lacie, some people here have been complaining about high failure rates recently with them, although I have never owned their hardware. Firewire is definitely worth it if you can get it.

    EDIT: If you're worried about ultimately filling your 500GB drive, you could certainly also retire it to TM and get a brand new and faster drive for your AV library. FW is nice for both applications, but probably an even better spend for the library than for TM (which usually shouldn't need to move terribly large volumes of data with each snapshot after the very first snapshot).

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