External HDD and Time Machine

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by irDigital0l, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. irDigital0l Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #1
    Planning to get a 500GB or 1TB external HDD for my 13" MBA.

    Can I use the HDD for both Time Machine and to store media content or does that HDD have to be soley for Time Machine back ups?

    Thanks
     
  2. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #2
    Split it using Disk Utility, make the TM disk 2-2.5x the size of your internal disk, at least. The rest can be whatever you want. If you plan on using the extra space for both Mac and PC, format in FAT32 or ExFat (I'd use ExFat) so that you can read and write from both Windows and OS X.
     
  3. irDigital0l thread starter Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #3
    Since I have 256GB model that means I should get at least a 1TB HDD? 500GB for Time Machine and 500GB for other stuff?
     
  4. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #4
    Yes, that's a reasonable size.

    Keep in mind that the "other stuff" isn't backed up in any way with this solution; you'll want to plan accordingly.
     
  5. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #5
    FreakinEurakan has it right. 1 TB should be fine. He hit it right on the head with the rest of the comment, anything on the other partition won't have a backup.

    I use a split backup solution. I use TM for the entirety of my data, the absolute most important stuff also gets backed up to an online service (CrashPlan) so if my place burns to the ground I can recover that stuff easiest (since my TM disk is stored at home).
     
  6. irDigital0l thread starter Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
  7. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #7
    irDigital, you will find two things.

    TM will eat drive capacity until none is left for other "stuff"
    It does not make much sense to backup one partition of a drive to another partition on the same drive as one disk failure and you lose both your data and its backup. So don't bother the partition approach, been there done that.

    For you as well as most, if you need an external drive for "stuff" you need two physical drives (they are cheap enough currently). One for the stuff and another larger one to backup both your internal drive and stuff drive.

    Crashplan works for some, well enough if all you have are a few files, but is slow and really sucked for my purposes. Not only that, the crashplan software corrupted my system to the point that I had to do a fresh OS install. The net is full of similar experiences. Thanks a lot crashplan. I would stay away, especially if you need to backup any files more than ~5GB in size.
     
  8. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #8
    While you're right that there is no sense backing up one partition to another, there are still benefits to partitioning the drive in the OP's instance.

    He wants the drive for Time Machine plus "Other stuff" (static media files that he will have backed up elsewhere). If he leaves the drive as a single partition and loads, say, 400GB of media - at some point, it's conceivable that Time Machine will fill up the remaining 600GB and prevent him from adding further media files.

    If however he partitions it into a Time Machine partition of 500GB and a Media partition of 500GB, then Time Machine will automatically prune old backups once it fills its 500GB partition, and the Media partition will always have 500GB of space to work with.
     
  9. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #9
    I hear yah, I've done that. I just think its counter productive for the OP in this era of sub $80 1TB drives. Just not worth the hassle when he changes his mind a month or two from now (not very scalable in other words).
     
  10. scbond macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #10
    Either partition it like others have said or you can just select the external disk in Time Machine settings and it will create a disk image on the drive or a folder if it's connected to the MBA directly. I currently have a 2TB external hard drive connected to my Mac mini and then I had my MBP backing up to the disk via the mini using sharing. The Mac mini backs up and appears as a folder and the MBP appears as a disk image (mount it and you can view the same TM root folder inside). I just have one primary partition with files and the back-ups all on there. Set-up correctly using sharing and it works as you'd expect.
     

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