Does time machine backup my external as well?

Trance

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 27, 2011
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I'm using my external hd for time machine but i also store junk on my enternal as well.
does time machine back up the stuff on my external or just my mac hd?
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,684
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TM can backup data from an external HDD, but it will not backup data from the same physical HDD it backups to, as that would be redundant and not a real backup, unless you have the habit (or people accessing your Mac) deleting your own files.

Time Machine FAQ

This is how I backup:
I have one 500 GB HDD for my photographs (digital and analog) libraries and editing documents, one 500 GB HDD with my personal video footage in an editing friendly format.
Both 500 GB HDDs get backed up to one 1 TB HDD via CarbonCopyCloner.
And that 1 TB HDD gets backed up to another 1 TB HDD via CarbonCopyCloner.
Therefore I have three copies of my important data.
 

Trance

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 27, 2011
256
0
TM can backup data from an external HDD, but it will not backup data from the same physical HDD it backups to, as that would be redundant and not a real backup, unless you have the habit (or people accessing your Mac) deleting your own files.

Time Machine FAQ

This is how I backup:
thanks to be clear, the current stuff on my external will not be backed up?

I have some pc programs and world of warcraft on my external as well, i don't want those copied into time machine.
 
Last edited:
Nov 28, 2010
22,684
27
located
thanks to be clear, the current stuff on my external will not be backed up?
Yes, it will not be backed up, as far as I know.
To make sure, go to System Preferences > Time Machine, click the OPTIONS button and see, if you can either EXCLUDE the other partition of your external HDD or if that partition is already present in that Exclude List (if so, see, if removing it from that list is possible).
If you can't exclude the other partition or if it is already listed in the exclude list and you can't remove that exclusion, then TM will not backup the other partition.

I have some pc programs and world of warcraft on my external as well, i don't want those copied into time machine.
If the above turns out to be correct, meaning TM will not backup another partition on the same HDD TM backs up to, then this is not a problem.

Maybe you oughta invest in another HDD if you value your data. HDDs will fail, some sooner (the moment they spin up for the 42nd time), some later (some humans report HDDs still being usable after ten years of use).
 
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