External HDD Advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by g00gl3r, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. g00gl3r macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2011

    Got a Macbook Pro with 500GB HDD. Filled it. Ordered a 2TB Time Capsule as I thought I could use this as an external HDD.

    Looks like all I can do with it is backup the Mac to it?

    So I'm wondering if I backed up to it, can I: -

    A) Retrieve files from it from months ago as and when I please
    B) Erase my photo's and video's etc (stuff taking up the bulk of the space) from the mac, and then ensure the backups don't just get erased over time that do contain those photo's.

    By the looks of it, it'll fill the time capsule with loads of regular backups, but then starts to erase older backups when it gets full.

    I wouldn't want to backup, erase all my photo's, and then in 9 - 12 months time find my backups now don't contain the photo's, and I can't find them anywhere as I don't have them anywhere.

    Can you guys help me understand all this?

    I'd like to be able to drag and drop folders to it, separate from the backups, and then access them as and when I please. Is that possible?

    Cheeeeeeeeers in advance techies. :)
  2. Kafka macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2011
    I don't own a Time Capsule but it should work like any external: create 2 partitions, one for your backups and one for Time Machine. Time Machine will only touch the partition that was allocated to it.
  3. g00gl3r thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2011

    I can't seem to create a new partition. How do you go about that?

    Doesn't seem to let me add folders to the standard file system it came with.
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    You can't partition a Time Capsule drive.

    As to your, Time Machine purge question, yes it will purge older data as the drive gets full. So you would not want to delete your photos and rely on them being there in Time Machine later.

    Just open the Finder and open the Time Capsule drive and you can create a folder on the drive to store whatever you want and Time Machine will not erase it. Only thing there is, by doing that you have no second backup of your photos if the only copy is in the Time Capsule. If the Time Capsule drive dies, your photos are gone.
  5. prisstratton, Nov 5, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012

    prisstratton macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2011
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Another option for you…….plug in a USB drive into the back of the Time Capsule and use it anyway you want.

    Also, don't forget that you can use your Time Capsule as a print server and share your printers with all users on your network (Windows users included).

    To plug multiple devices into the Time Capsule use a USB hub.


    You can use the Time Capsule as an external HDD.

    My Time Capsule is setup as follows:

    (1) Wireless Time Machine backups
    (2) Super Duper folder for saving full disk images
    (3) Folder for Windows desktop backups
    (4) Folder for my personal file repository
    (5) Software folder
    (6) Media folder to serve my wireless music system

    Plugged into this I have another HDD (to backup the Time Capsule) + 2 printers.
  6. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Follow the instructions posted Weaselboy, you can store files on your Time Capsule.

    Additionally, why didn't you just upgrade the HDD in your laptop? You can pick up a 1TB drive for $90 now.

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