Best use of an External HD

eutexian

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 6, 2012
118
8
Mapperley, Nottingham UK
I have been given a Firewire Lacie HD as a gift. it has 1TB.

I'm at a loss though as the best way to use it. Yes.. for Time Machine.. but what else?

Maybe this is a daft question But having this extra capacity sitting there unused seems wrong somehow.

Apart from Time machine is there anything else that it is in my best interests to put on the HD.. to get me up and running again quickly if the worst was to happen and the HD inside the Mac were to die horribly.

I have already created a partition 40% for Time machine and 60% 'free'

Its a Mac Mini 2011.
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,684
27
located
I would also create a bootable copy of the internal HDD via CarbonCopyCloner, as that would keep you running even if the internal HDD fails.

For instance, I have a MBP with an SSD and HDD, where the SSD gets cloned to a partition on the HDD on a daily basis.
My iMac also has an SSD and that SSD gets backed up to an external FW800 HDD on a daily basis too, so if one SSD fails, I can still boot from the backup and use my iMac or/and MBP.
 

KScottMyers

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2009
236
2
Orlando, FL
Just FYI...

You don't have to partition the drive for Time Machine and other files. Just stay out of the Backups.backupdb folder.

Other uses.

• Time Machine drive
• Store additional files/disk images
• Store your Parallels/Fusion VMs there
• Share a folder out to other machines on your network
• Make it your emergency boot drive
 

sbk1799

macrumors newbie
Jan 10, 2012
16
0
Only Firewire?

I was in the same boat - a Lacie 1 TB drive just sitting around - and I knew there had to be a use for it somewhere in my house. My Lacie was a quadra so it had eSATA port. I connected it to my DVR's eSATA port, vastly increasing its storage size.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
759
In addition to bootable backups with CCC, I use external drives to store movies and TV shows, as well as other archives that I don't need available when I travel. I also split my iTunes library between internal and external drives, since it won't all fit on the internal. When I travel, I have my favorite music with me, and can still have the rest available when I'm on my wireless network.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
83
Poole, England
Just FYI...

You don't have to partition the drive for Time Machine and other files. Just stay out of the Backups.backupdb folder.

Other uses.

• Time Machine drive
• Store additional files/disk images
• Store your Parallels/Fusion VMs there
• Share a folder out to other machines on your network
• Make it your emergency boot drive
If you don't partition the drive, then TM will continue to use up as much space as is available due to incremental back ups.
 

eutexian

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 6, 2012
118
8
Mapperley, Nottingham UK
That was my understanding.. and my reason for allocating 40% of the drive to TM. I thought I was probably being over-generous too as I don't have TM running constantly.
 

EricMN1

macrumors newbie
Jan 10, 2012
1
0
HD use with DVR?

I was in the same boat - a Lacie 1 TB drive just sitting around - and I knew there had to be a use for it somewhere in my house. My Lacie was a quadra so it had eSATA port. I connected it to my DVR's eSATA port, vastly increasing its storage size.
I have a Directv HD receiver/DVR and was told it had to be a specific brand bought from them. While I never trusted their answer, I never bothered experimenting either. What kind of DVR are you using? Thanks!
 

sbk1799

macrumors newbie
Jan 10, 2012
16
0
I have a Directv HD receiver/DVR and was told it had to be a specific brand bought from them. While I never trusted their answer, I never bothered experimenting either. What kind of DVR are you using? Thanks!
I'm with DirecTV, too. The DVR is definitely recording to the external HDD. After I accidentally disconnected the drive recently, my wife was in a panic that all her "Glee" episodes were gone. I then plugged the eSATA cable back in and, viola, all our recorded programs were there.
 

KScottMyers

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2009
236
2
Orlando, FL
If you don't partition the drive, then TM will continue to use up as much space as is available due to incremental back ups.
That is correct. My point was you don't have to partition the drive for TM to operate - so you're not forced to predetermine a partition size.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
83
Poole, England
That is correct. My point was you don't have to partition the drive for TM to operate - so you're not forced to predetermine a partition size.
Sure, but then you mentioned "Other uses" so I thought I would add that if you're planning on using a drive for both TM and other uses, it's best to partition it to keep TM in check.
 

KScottMyers

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2009
236
2
Orlando, FL
Sure, but then you mentioned "Other uses" so I thought I would add that if you're planning on using a drive for both TM and other uses, it's best to partition it to keep TM in check.
Agreed. Wasn't nesessarly suggesting doing all of these other things at the same time. Just suggesting other uses. Thanks.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,029
5,971
"I have already created a partition 40% for Time machine and 60% 'free'"

As another poster mentioned, use the "free" area to create a bootable clone backup using CarbonCopyCloner.

CCC is free and you can find it here:
http://www.bombich.com

BTW, CCC now has "Time Machine like" capabilities --- that is, it can not only maintain a bootable backup clone, but can also "archive" older-version (but changed) files, or files that you no longer keep on the main drive (and would otherwise be removed from your clone).

With these new capabilities, there is little need for TM at all. I consider it a HUGE waste of drive space.

Also, if you spend some time browsing the forums here at MacRumors, you are going to see post after post from users who are trying to access their TM backups in a moment of need, and.... can't.

There is nothing you can have backup-wise that is more useful in a moment of extreme need than a second, bootable drive. CCC can create this for you.
 

madridista59

macrumors regular
May 19, 2010
105
0
Houston, TX
Looking to finally jump the gun and pick myself up a mini. After reading the threads on here I also decided it'd be a good idea to get an external HDD with at least 1TB for Time Machine. Do you guys have any recommendations? I was looking at these two:

http://www.amazon.com/LaCie-Minimus-Desktop-External-301967/dp/B0042KFLJE/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Elements-Desktop-External/dp/B002QEBMCI/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1326297556&sr=1-4

Thanks in advance for your opinions!