Can I use an HDD for Time Machine and Storage?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by EliteF50, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. EliteF50 macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2009
    I just purchased a 1TB external HDD because I ran out of HDD space on my iMac. The first thing that popped up when I plugged it in was Time Machine. I'm currently using my 1TB HDD with Time Machine, but can I also use it as extra storage as well? If so, how?

  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, you can use Disk Utility to partition the drive, using one partition for Time Machine and the other for whatever you like.
  3. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Or just create a new folder and store all your stuff in there. No need to partition at all.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Since I don't use Time Machine, forgive my ignorance here. First, does Time Machine allow you to create a new folder in the middle of the backup files? Or, if you mean create a new folder on the external drive outside the Time Machine backup, won't TM overwrite that in time, as the TM backups consume more space on the ext. HD?
  5. karsten macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2010
    the TM files are just a Backup directory on the drive. you can fill the drive up on the root level with whatever else you want. i'd be surprised if TM touched anything other than its own data for deletion.
  6. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    TM won't overwrite it, but what TM will do is continue to use all of the free space on that drive until there is no more, which puts an end to using it for files other than TM. :)

    FWIW, Time Machine creates a folder in the root, and keeps all of the backups in subfolders on that. You're free to create other folders outside of the TM folder.
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, I think I got the idea from having read this:
    But forgetting this:
    Yes, that's what I thought. Hence, the recommendation to partition.
  8. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    Yes, you can put other files on the drive or partition the drive, as has been suggested, but Time Machine can not back up the drive that it is on. Any other data you put on the Time Machine drive will not be backed up.

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