Confused with Time Machine

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by iTnetennba, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. iTnetennba macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2012
    I was just wondering if Time Machine controls a whole external hard drive or can you back up your Mac and still use the other space on your HD for storing other files. I hope this is understandable :p
    This is quite important as it will save me £200 or cost me £200 depending on the answer when buying my Mac in a few weeks time.
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Yes, you can use a Time Machine drive to store other things besides the Time Machine backup.
  3. LaWally, Jun 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012

    LaWally macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2012
    The answer is it depends. While it is technically possible, it may be practically impossible. It depends on how large your external HD is and how much data you have to back up. Ordinarily TM requires 2x-3x the amount of space on its drive as data you need to backup. So, if your internal HD has 250GB of data on it, your TM HD (or partition) should be at least 500GB ... 750GB would be better and 1TB even better yet. TM will complain if it does not have enough space to work with.

    Edit: You might find this helpful: Pondini TM Tips
  4. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Good find!

    iTnetennba, check the FAQ link on the page above. FAQ #3 is exactly what I was going to recommend you do! :D
  5. iTnetennba thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2012
    Thanks a lot, found this site very helpful. And it shouldn't be too much of a problem since I think I'm getting a 2TB drive and a 1TB internal hard drive (or if the new iMacs have SSD standard then 512GB/256GB).
  6. LaWally macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2012
    Good luck with this and your new iMac, whenever they arrive. It's nice to know some people still plan ahead.
  7. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    If you've got the space it will work fine. When I only had my 160GB macbook HDD backing up to my 1TB drive I had a bunch of movies and TV shows saved to it as well. Now I have separate drives for everything but still; it will work as long as you give TM enough room.
  8. harrisonw1998 macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2011
    You can still use the remaining space on the hard drive for other files. Just don't mess with the Time Machine directory on it.

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