Backup questions - Ext HD & Time Machine

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Tawcan, May 21, 2009.

  1. Tawcan macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2008
    Not sure if this is in the right section or not, apology if it's not.

    Just some background information to start with:
    I have a MacBook Pro. I'm an amateur photographer so most of my data are photos. I currently shoot mostly in JPEG but would like to start shooting everything in RAW (bigger file size)

    What I'd like to do in the future:
    Usually I end up with large number of pictures after each shooting session. I usually go through these pictures, select the best ones then edit them. Once I start shooting in RAW I'd then save the edited pics in RAW & TIFF formats as well as convert them to JPEG & upload the JPEG files online.

    As you can see, the HD will get filled up quickly. Ultimately I'd only keep the edited TIFF files on my MBP HD. The rest of the files (original RAW files, edited RW, edited TIFF) would be stored on an external HD and preferably backed up on a 2nd external HD. I know time machine backs up the entire HD initially and does incremental backups afterwards.

    Few questions:
    1. Can you use a firewire external harddrive to use Time Machine (I think you can). Is there benefit of choosing a firewire HD over a USB 2.0 HD?

    2, Is there a way to configure time machine as to how often the incremental backup happens? Since I'm changing a lot of files would this mess up time machine?

    3. If I use an external firewire HD, does that mean the HD has to be plugged in at all time for the incremental backup to happen? Or can TM be configured such that the incremental backup only happens whenever the ext HD is plugged in?

    4. Without getting a Time Capsule, is it possible to set up a network HD to do what I want? What would this require? (I think an airport?)

    5. Would it possible to do what I want to do with an external RAID HD system? (i.e. 2 partitions, 1 partition for storing files, 1 partition for Time Machine)

    6. Am I better off spend the money and get a Time Capsule instead?

  2. Dimwhit macrumors 68000


    Apr 10, 2007
    1. Yes. Firewire will give you faster backup speeds, but for only backup, USB is fine. You don't need fast for backups.

    2. No, not by default. I think there is a 3rd-party utility that allows you to custom configure it, but I don't know the name off-hand.

    3. If you keep it unplugged often, TM will just wait until it's plugged in again, then backup. So that's not a problem. This is a default behavior of TM.

    4. Yes. Mount any network HD to your computer, then select it as your backup through TM. Works fine that way. Time Capsule is not necessary.

    5. Yes.

    6. No, unless you need a router for your network, then it will save you purchasing two devices instead of one. But if you already have a router and a wireless network set up, there's no point in getting Time Capsule.
  3. Tawcan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2008
    Thanks for the reply. If I have a 250GB HD on my MBP, how much ext HD disk space would I need for the Time Machine partition? (say if I have a 1TB drive and I want to partition it into 2).
  4. Parsec macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2007
    N53 E004
    If I were you I wouldn't connect it all the time it will fill your TM drive quickly. You can turn TM on and off on the fly. And decide when a backup should be make. The program Aperture (which I recommend for professional photogaphers) has it's own backup function. But it merely mirrors the backup with your current state. It is not incremental. But still useful.
  5. Dunmail macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2009
    Skipton, UK
    You don't say what application you are using. I use Lightroom which does non-destructive editing, it simply stores your edits for each image and only applies them when you export so you don't need to keep "edited" versions as you just export the image again when needed. Obviously if you need to do something that Lightroom can't do and have to use Photoshop then there will be an extra copy but I think there's ways round that as well.

    Yes, don't thinks so and yes! The latter just happens, if the TM drive isn't there then the app on the machine skips that backup.


    Note that with TM, once the drive is full, then the earliest backups are deleted. I don't think it deletes the original or base backup, just the incremental ones.

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