Anyway to use a 'scratch drive' also as a 'reliable' backup drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by musicguy7, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. musicguy7 macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2011
    So far I have 3 drives in my mac pro. 1 for the OS, 1 for "music samples", 1 for "music projects". The sample and project drives are scratch drives just being read and written to a lot while I'm working on music. This is the first time I have used separate drives in my workflow, and have noticed I barely use 10 gigs on both these drives, 1 TB, 500 gigs. I realize it's not a good idea, but is there a way to reliably use a significant portion of the unused space on these scratch disks as backup for stuff like movies, photos, etc? Is there a way to divide/partition these drives so that a certain portion is only accessed as scratch drives, the rest of the drive is left alone for backup. Or does partitioning not do what I am trying to achieve in this case...
  2. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Partition the drive. Use the first partition as scratch and the second as a backup drive. this is fine to do so long as they wont' be used at the same time.
    If you don't partition then as the drive fills your scratch will slow (as you know).
  3. musicguy7 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Ok, so you are confirming partitioning in this case will have a physical different in how the drive will behave? I read in another similar thread that partitioning will not help preserve the drive over just making separate directories for scratch and backup...
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    If you partition the drive, and try to access both partitions simultaneously, you will slow down on the data transfer per partition due to a single servo moving back and forth to access it.

    Under such conditions, a separate disk per would be needed. But this is only an issue if both are used at the same time, which is easy to avoid (just schedule the backup process at a time you won't be using the scratch partition).
  5. musicguy7, Oct 25, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011

    musicguy7 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Alright, well by backup, I meant actually just manually backing up files from time to time to use up all that space on my scratch drives, so no simultaneous use should occur.

    To "prep" these drives, secure erase and partition? do I need to zero out data? I already made a directory on my scratch drives and put random stuff there...

    I guess what I am realizing is that partitioning the drives will not protect against a "disk crash"...
  6. kevink2 macrumors 65816

    Nov 2, 2008
    If by reliably you mean safely storing the backup data, with little risk of drive failure, even though you are using part of it for frequent write/reads?

    Essentially no. You may have lower risk of errors on the part that isn't written too, but the drive itself can still fail.

    It works best with 2 identical drives, but it would appear better to have a mirrored setup. Where both drives look like 1 drive, and partition that. Everything written would get written to both drives, and if one drive fails the other should still have the data.

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