Can one external drive be used to backup multiple Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by hajime, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. hajime macrumors 68030

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #1
    Hello, I have to MBP and one 2TB external drive. Can I backup both computers using one external drive? In this case, which program should I use (Time Machine or Super Duper)? Thanks.
     
  2. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #2
    Sure. As long as the external drive has enough capacity to hold backups of both computers.

    One method would be to make two partitions on your external drive. Then use SuperDuper to backup computer #1 to partition #1 and backup computer #2 to partition #2.

    Just remember that you can not connect both of your computers to the external drive at the same time.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    Sure it can. I would partition the drive, with one partition for each backup.

    For backups, I recommend Carbon Copy Cloner You can use version 3.5.1 ($40) or 3.4.7 (free, and works well on OS X 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8). Unlike SuperDuper!, CCC also clones the OS X Recovery partition.
     
  4. chabig macrumors 68040

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    #4
    If you use Time Machine, you don't have to repartition at all. Time Machine will just automatically use the available space.
     
  5. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

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    Jun 2, 2010
    #5
    No need to partition the drive. Use time machine and it will create different directories.
     
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #6
    I think partition is better. If you just use Time Machine with different directories there's nothing to stop time machine on one system from filling the HDD.
     
  7. benwiggy macrumors 68020

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    Jun 15, 2012
    #7
    Ben's Law of Partitions: Any arbitrary partition size will become unsatisfactory in the future, and require re-partitioning.
    If one computer has more changing data than the other, then it will require more space anyway. Let the computers fight it out for space rather than imposing an artificial constraint that will still limit the size of the backups.
     
  8. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #8
    Wrong! You are a Windows switcher that won't give up that ghost. :eek:

    Time Machine drive should be about twice as big as the internal drive being backed up. That is how it is designed with it's time differences in backup up (going back into time).

    Better yet is get a Time Machine, a powered USB2 HUB and two USB2 externals. Use the Time Machine for the internal, The second hard drive as another time Machine and the third whatever you want, just Choose the Right Spectrum for 802.11n Deployments.
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #9
    It has nothing to do with a Windows mindset. I prefer partitioning because I prefer making bootable clones with CCC, which Time Machine can't do. No, you don't need partitions with TM, but you do if you want a bootable clone.

    This is one of the reasons why I don't prefer TM. With CCC, your backup can be no larger than the drive being backed up.
     
  10. 3lite macrumors 6502a

    3lite

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  11. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #11
    I think everyone is over complicating this for the guy... He just wants to backup two computers. I suggested partitioning because I feel it's simpler.
     
  12. chabig macrumors 68040

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    Sep 6, 2002
    #12
    While true, it neglects one of the nice benefits of Time Machine by foregoing the ability to move back in time and recover old versions of files and folders. A Clone with CCC or SuperDuper is nothing more than a snapshot of the backed up drive at one point in time. Time Machine, on the other hand, keeps and maintains snapshots at intervals as far back as your hard drive space allows.
     
  13. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #13
    I'm assuming that the external drive is either USB or Firewire. This would prevent both computers from being connected to the drive at the same time thereby limiting the amount of incremental backups that Time Machine can do anyway.
     
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #14
    CCC can also provide versioning of backed up files, but many don't require such functionality. For those that do, TM is fine. I've never found a need to "roll back the clock".
     
  15. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #15
    No need to be insulting.
     
  16. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #16
    One correction: Twice as big as the data you are backing up. If your family has four MacBooks with 500GB hard drive each, but nobody uses more than 100 GB, then you don't need 500 GB x 4 MacBooks x 2 = 4 TB space. And someone using 500-800 GB on his iMac might buy an iMac with 3TB because a bigger drive will be faster; that doesn't mean that person needs 6 TB backup; 1.5TB will be plenty.
     
  17. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #17
    Yea but some users want to go back far in their Time Machine so I say that to cover bases.
     

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