External harddrives used for Time Machine backups

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dj95, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. dj95 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    #1
    Hi all, I'm not completely sure if this has been answered before and it's probably a silly question, but is it possible to store other files on the same external hard drive that's regularly used for time machine backups? Or does time machine sort of 'lock' access to the rest of the drive for security? I only ask as I'm getting my first mac soon but will be using a 1TB harddrive to back up the internal 256GB SSD, so there will be plenty of space left over. Thanks, always helpful to speak to you guys on here :)
     
  2. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #2
    Yes, you can.

    Time Machine doesn't limit the space used to the same size as your Mac hard drive. Time machine by default will use all the available space, then deletes the oldest backups as required.
     
  3. MarcusCarpenter macrumors 6502a

    MarcusCarpenter

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Location:
    London
    #3
    I have a 2tb partitioned into 2x1tb one for TM other for installers etcc
     
  4. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #4
    What happens when that external drive dies as all spinning HDs will do eventually? With one drive you lose your library data and all backups. Very bad karma.

    If you need an external storage that if fine as many laptop owners do. That means you want two external drives. The first one is the library drive. The second one is for Time Machine (or other copy app) to use to backup the entire file system (all internal and external drives). And the drive should be double the size of the data on the internal and external drives (so you can retrieve data from the past). If you need a 1TB library drive, get a 3-4TB backup drive for TM to use. Being able to retrieve data from last month, not just yesterday, is a killer feature of TM. Have a TM volume large enough to provide that value to you.
     
  5. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    #5
    True - but at that point you can do a new backup on a new external. For some people, this will work fine. All depends if you really need that stuff on the backup/external. Of course, if the external and main computer drive fail on the same day - you are screwed.

    Again, the demands and needs for some people are way different than others. My son in law for example noticed his 2009 was running slow. He "heard" that if your hard drive gets below 50gb free space, it slows down and was going to get an an external drive to offload some music. (I did not laugh). He does need to backup his files though.
     
  6. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Location:
    Far from here
    #6
    How can you backup the data that were on the second partition of the dead drive ?
     
  7. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #7
    All you could backup with the replacement drive is the current data on the internal drive. You would have lost the external library data and all the historical backups. :(
     
  8. jg321 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Wholeheartedly agree. Incidentally, I do store other things on my TM drive, however, it's not important if I lost it. E.g. TV shows that I've already watched, or could easily download again.
     

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