External drive time machine

danny842003

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 6, 2017
995
1,107
I have a 2018 Mac Mini 256 GB. What drive would people recommend me using as a permanently connected time machine drive? Preferably USB C as I use my USB A port much more often.
 

Spudlicious

macrumors 6502
Nov 21, 2015
444
254
Bedfordshire, England
When I commissioned my iMac in June of this year I bought a couple of these very smart items:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07D284B1L/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

One for TM and one for a clone drive. I bought a new SSD for the clone and salvaged a 1TB SSD circa 2015
from my retired desktop PC as the TM drive. I suppose if you have a sufficiently large hard drive - it can't ever be too capacious for TM - going spare then it could be pressed into service, but I think on the cusp of 2020 we should only be thinking solid state. Perhaps a PCIe drive and housing would be neater with a Mac mini than what I am suggesting?

Screenshot 2019-12-08 at 09.55.44.png
 
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3SQ Machine

macrumors regular
Dec 8, 2019
103
39
I use a 7200 RPM HDD from WD (separately powered) with no issues, minus that it's slightly more noisy than SSD. If you need quiet operation, stick to SSD. However, I need a minimum of 4TB for my TM backup and I'd rather use SSD for my audio recording since I could care less how long it takes to backup (plus it's really expensive).

I also just picked up a 5TB WD easystore on a black friday sale. It's a portable HDD & bus powered. Slower than my other one, but actually very quiet for HDD. Too soon to tell if I would recommend it, but so far so good.

While I might be too paranoid, I actually feel more comfortable with my backups on a HDD rather than SSD because there is a greater potential (however small) for data recovery from a mechanical drive--and you don't have to worry about giving it some power at least once year to keep the data fresh. I have an old 2TB buffalo station from 2008 that still works fine and has all my old backups. Slow and noisy as heck, but the data is still there if I need it.
 
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HDFan

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2007
1,804
427
What drive would people recommend me using as a permanently connected time machine drive?
An SSD is a waste of money for Time Machine. The first backup will be faster, but updates will be relatively fast on a HD. Use the money you save to get a larger HD so you can keep more TM history.

and you don't have to worry about giving it some power at least once year to keep the data fresh.
Larry Jordan posted an article about degridation of signal on hard disks. Evidently they need to be refreshed (cp -r *.* > null) or eventually the signal will fade as well.