External HD & Time Machine: Always On?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Black&Tan, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. Black&Tan macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2004

    I'm trying to decide how best to work with Time Machine and external hard drives. In the past, I've always mounted external firewire drives on a need to use basis. Since I'm only using them for a manual backup, this has worked fine. However, Time Machine changes things.

    I prefer the external hard drive option so all my eggs are not in the same basket, so to speak. However, that begs the question of how to access external drives that require daily use. Should I always leave the externals powered on and connected, regardless of if my machine goes to sleep or shuts down? Or should I continue to manually unmount the drives, disconnect the cables and shut the externals down?

  2. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    If you shut down the computer, TM will not be backing it up--so you could shut down the drives. Not sure why you'd disconnect cables though. TM does do backups during sleep (I think--maybe it's backing up wife's computer, which has share access to my externals).
  3. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2004
    If your machine is off you might as well turn off the drive too since it is only wasting electricity. I always unmount/poweroff my drives when I don't use them...but that's because I have laptop.
  4. Black&Tan thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2004
    I've found in the past that the only way to remount my "ejected" Firewire drive is to unplug and replug the device into the firewire port. It tends to be a pain because I'm crawling around under my desk, but I live with the annoyance.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Just set the exteral drive to spin down when not in use. then you can leave it connected and on 24x7 and it will shut itself down. Ok the interface will still be using a few milliamps.

    But just using one TM drive is not a good enough backup system. You need to keep a copy of the data off-site too.

Share This Page