Any advantage to having a separate partition on external USB drive for backup?

swindmill

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 17, 2005
944
4
KY
I have a 500gb external usb drive that I use for my iTunes library and for backing up my internal HD. I was thinking about making two partitions, one being the same size as my internal drive and using that partition for backups only. I would have to move my iTunes library to my internal drive temporarily to do this, but otherwise it would be simple. Is there any real advantage to this or is it just as good backing it up to a folder on my 1 partition?
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,154
342
The Cool Part of CA, USA
There's no huge advantage, but that's what I do.

The plus is that you can do a complete clone of your startup drive to the external partition without affecting your library at all; you won't accidentally wipe it, and the clone should be fully bootable, and can easily be cloned back to your regular boot drive if need be, without futzing with the iTunes folder.

The minus is that, assuming your boot drive has a lot of space empty, you're going to be "wasting" that space on your external. That is, if you have, say, a 250GB partition for the backup but only 100GB of it is in use, and your other 250GB partition gets full, you don't have any really easy way of taking advantage of that other 150GB of space without reformatting the thing.
 

polycat33

macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2007
437
1
Alexandria, VA
I thought USB drives weren't bootable? If that's the case, then I don't particularly see the reason other than wanting to have everything on your comp laid out exactly the same on your backup in case you need it...
 

Mernak

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2006
435
16
Kirkland, WA
I thought USB drives weren't bootable? If that's the case, then I don't particularly see the reason other than wanting to have everything on your comp laid out exactly the same on your backup in case you need it...
On PPC mac they are not, however the intel macs boot just fine from them.
 

swindmill

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 17, 2005
944
4
KY
On PPC mac they are not, however the intel macs boot just fine from them.
Interesting. I didn't know Intel Macs would boot from USB drives either...good to know. Anyways, I went ahead and did this. I didn't want two drives on my desktop, but the obvious fact that I can eject the backup partition occurred to me, so I'm liking this arrangement better than the one partition.