External Hard Drive for storage...Time Machine?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by silvrwoman, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. silvrwoman macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2010
    I just bought an external hard drive (My Passport for Mac) because my Macbook's hard drive is almost full. I did not want it necessarily for backup purposes, but rather I wanted to be able to store music, docs, etc. that I might want to access in the future, but want to remove from my computer for now.
    Should I use Time Machine? Will time machine let me access my hard drive to obtain certain files when needed? Or is Time Capsule's sole purpose to backup everything on my computer?
  2. Hal Itosis macrumors 6502a

    Hal Itosis

    Feb 20, 2010
    If I'm understanding the situation correctly, then the answer is No. Do not use Time Machine in some attempt to permanently "archive" stuff which is overfilling your Mac... and then subsequently turn around and delete that same stuff from your HD. Eventually (depending on how soon you trash those items), Time Machine will either "thin" out those items early on (before folding them into a weekly bundle), or otherwise erase them from its database some time later on.


    Having said all that, you can still use this external disk for both purposes... because Time Machine only uses one folder (called "Backups.backupd") for all its data. So you could store whatever else you want right along next to it, and Time Machine will never touch it.
  3. mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
    yes, although a bit complicated.
    what you might want to do is manually back up your music and videos, then have time machine back up the rest.
  4. zyggiepyggie macrumors member


    Apr 9, 2010
    I have a 1TB drive set up for this purpose.

    I found it best to partition the drive into two, eg. backup and storage. I use backup for Time Machine and Storage to manually backup my movies, music, documents etc.

    EDIT: You can choose what Time Machine backs up, you don't have to have it backing up your whole drive.
  5. Izzy35 macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2010
    How? Every time I plug it in it automatically starts backing up everything? If I'm doing a manual drag and drop, should I exclude those from the TIme Machine backup or back them up also?

    Is it better to partition it or just use the same partition?
  6. Izzy35 macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2010
    How do you set Time Machine to NOT back up certain things? Is there a way to do that?
  7. DJ-R macrumors regular


    Feb 17, 2010
    I have no problem here for 1 month of backups with my Music, Games and other files with it outside of the BACKUP folder.

    As long your files are outside the Time Machine BACKUP folder. You're fine.

    I don't have to worry about space right now since I have 2TB.

    But I'll tell you what happened. In order to fill my 2TB it will takes YEARS!!! Depends what you are doing and how much NEW files you get each months. I've been downloading and importing photos. So far. I'm at 480GB with my other NON-Time Machine files on the same HDD.

    First time backup will be the same size of your used space of your OSX HDD + 10% more.

    Each backup may increase by 500mb-1GB of files at daily rate.

    That is why it will takes year to get up to 1TB.

    As for example if you have 1TB.

    You filled up 500GB of Time Machine and another 500GB personal files (music, games, movies)

    The Time Machine will stop at 500GB since there are no more space for more. At every new backup it will delete the oldest backup.

    In other term, the bigger the HDD space, the longer backups you will see. If I use 2TB PURE Time Machine. I can check my backup from the last 2-4 years ago.

    If you have 1TB... might limited to 1-2 years range.

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