former Mac HDD or portable disk as a reliable back-up for TM?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Kristina85, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. Kristina85 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    #1
    Hi guys,
    So have I have successfully installed a new SSD (Samsung 850) into my MBP mid-2010, also upated to 8GB Ram and El Capitan. It's all so smooth, running well. Pretty happy with the upgrade.
    Now I have in an external enclosure my old HDD (Hitachi 300GB 5400RMP) and I also own another external (portable) drive - Toshiba 600GB. That Toshiba I bought for back-ups with Time Machine long time ago and has had no issues with it either.

    The question is now, is there any difference in quality/reliability etc. between the Hitachi and the Toshiba disks?Are the drives that were originally put into Macbook Pros better than the ones that are bought as extra -portable drives?

    I will again use Time Machine for my backups and need to decide which of the drives to use for that purpose. I'd like to use the more reliable drive.

    Thanks,
    Kristina
     
  2. JTToft macrumors 68040

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    Aarhus, Denmark
    #2
    - Probably not. The newest drive should, all else equal, be less likely to fail. But if you really care about your data, you should have more than one backup anyway. So why not utilize both? You can alternate between them with Time Machine, or, more optimally, use one with Carbon Copy Cloner and the other with Time Machine. You'd have two different media and two different backup methods.
     
  3. gccumber macrumors newbie

    gccumber

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    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #3
    I used to think macs used higher quality drives, but that simply isn't the case. The internal drives are no better then drives of other manufacturers. That said all hard disks - platter drives - are not created equal. I've had awful luck with Seagate for instance but excellent luck and long life with hitachi and western digital.

    I've taken a few hitachi drives out of my macs when replacing or swapping and used the old one as a backup or just a portable option and had great luck.

    I think the issue is the speed of the drive, you'd probably want a 7200RPM vs the slower 5400...

    My preference would be for the hitachi.
     
  4. KimUsername macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2016
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #4
    I agree with JTToft. I changed my HD to SSD but installed the old HD in place of the optical drive. Haven't used it for a long time. I keep 2 backups and I also use carbon copy cloner. I alternate between the 2 backups. I backup every couple of weeks. I guess the only reason I am so paranoid is because I have had an external hard drive fail. One day all the information was gone.

    Kim
     
  5. MrAverigeUser, Jan 23, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016

    MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

    MrAverigeUser

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    #5

    I´d use the 300GB HDD as a clone of the SSD (with CarbonCopyCloner you can even create and install the recovery partition on it) - so you can save yourself immediately in case of theft/failing of your MBP.

    And you can use the 600GB one as yourTM-backup-HDD.
    Backup disks should have at least about double capacity of the data-volume to backup to have enough place for further backups.
    CCC is also able to backup.

    edit: I´d NEVER trust in web/cloud-based backups. local backup is the only thing that is shire for saving private data as private as it should be and all times at your hands.
     
  6. Kristina85 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 29, 2012
    #6
    JTToft, well the most precious data I actually upload instaneously to a web server, so in a way my data are backed-up in three places..on the web, on my SSD - main drive now, and with Time Machine on an external disk. I hope this will be enough.
    hence if you were to chose between the two, Hitachi and Toshiba, which would you go with?

    Gccumber, thanks!

    btw. one think I have always been puzzled by (and this might solve my issue).Time Machine seems to need less space on an external drive to back up all my data than what the real volume of such data is on my main drive. For example, if my MacBook has 250GB, the disk on Time Machine seems to be able to able to make a back-up using less than 250GB. Why is that?

    This is why I am asking: I have now a 500GB SSD. My Hitachi is 300GB, and my portable Toshiba is 600GB. My thinking has been thus far to make the Hitachi the external hard-drive for TM back-ups while Toshiba I'd use as an extra hard for stuff I don't need as much..movies etc. Now would that not be a problem? I.e. woundn't the Hitachi at some point get full?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 23, 2016 ---
    MrAverigeUse,I haver never used CarbonCopyCloner. But if I understand you right, I would make a full copy of my SSD (in a way, have two identical disks). So in case something happens..I an immediately use the other one. Now with this though, wouldn't that require for me make a copy (clone) of my SSD disk on a regular basis so that it's reasonable up-to-date? that sounds like a lot of work to me.
    I've found TM as a good way of making timely back-ups without having to always copy the entire hard drive. Now ssd:))
     
  7. gccumber macrumors newbie

    gccumber

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    Chicago, IL
    #7
    In terms of the space required to back up: that varies based on what folders you choose to backup - time machine prefs - I personally never backup the entire system, I'll only add my documents folder - which has all my PSDs / Word / Excel etc. - My music is all in iTunes Match... Then it's just selecting my font folder... Backups are usually pretty small for me.

    To be fair I don't think I've ever restored via TM.
     
  8. MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

    MrAverigeUser

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    #8

    CCC is absolutely easy to use. it´s not more complicated than TimeMachine.
    AND: it´s immediately bootable! (if necessary so)

    https://bombich.com

     
  9. JTToft macrumors 68040

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    Aarhus, Denmark
    #9
    - The largest. But looking purely at the two brands, I would go with Hitachi.

    - Well, it obviously doesn't need more space for the backup than you have actually used on the drive that is being backed up. But it can't use less.

    - It won't be a problem until you go beyond 300 GB used space on your internal SSD that is being backed up. But yes, the Hitachi will get filled up at some point.
    As mentioned above, your Time Machine drive should have at least twice the capacity of the drive you're backing up to make room for file histories and past backups. So I would get a completely new 1TB external drive for Time Machine if I were you. And then perhaps use the Toshiba as a clone backup using CCC.
     
  10. KimUsername macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2016
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #10
    Carbon Copy Cloner from Bombich $40.00 https://bombich.com makes a complete bootable clone of your hard drive or SSD in your case. If your SSD were to fail, you could hook up your external backup and boot from it. When I upgraded my HD to an SSD I used Carbon Copy Cloner to make a bootable backup and then just switched the drives. It seems to be a small price to pay for what it offers.

    Kim
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    OP:

    Since you have the old internal drive already mounted in the external enclosure, I suggest you try either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper, and create a BOOTABLE cloned backup of you internal drive on it.

    Keep the existing TM drive for TM.

    There's nothing like having a fully-bootable cloned backup, if you ever experience an "I can't boot!" moment. It could really save the day if you're out traveling with the MacBook and have a problem.

    CCC is FREE to download, and it's FREE to use (fully functional) for the first 30 days.
    SD will create a full cloned backup forever (If you want to do incremental backups, you need to register).
    One of the special features of CCC is that it will also clone the recovery partition.

    But, if you already have a cloned backup that's bootable, you don't really need a recovery partition, except perhaps for some very specific operations...
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #12
    Time Machine does not backup some swap and cache files, so it is normal for the backup space used to be a few GB smaller than the actual space used on the computer.
     
  13. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #13
    Hard drives are designed to live for 3 years. Yours is 5. "Reliable" time machine back up? I'd suggest not. You might be lucky, but setting out expecting to rely on a 5 year old hard drive is setting up for failure.

    Use the newer one.
     
  14. Kristina85 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    #14
    Now that makes sense..for I really experienced that it took less than what I tried to back-up.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 23, 2016 ---
    I see. Okay I will do so. In the newer one - Toshiba (the portable one) is actually 1TB - I thought it was just 600GB but that's because I made a partition for TM that was supposed to be twice as large as that of the original drive - 300GB hitachi.
    Now regarding the age and stuff: I know this is relative but I have hardly used the portable drive (the 1TB toshiba, and I bought it later). I mainly used it as a disc form my TM back-ups. So from that perspective too, it might not be as "worn out" as the Hitachi which has been my primary HDD for the past 5 years. Does this logic make sense when it comes to hard drives? (I know it would work with cars:)
    I know that ideally Id have 2 back-ups (i.e use both external drives for that purpose). With understanding the riksts though, I think that my strategy of having a main SSD + one backup on one portable drive + having some of the most important data on a webserver + other data on DVDs (pictures)...that this should be fairly safe. I mean what are the odds of your SSD breaking down at the same time that your external portable drive breaks down? I can live wihout a computer for a day or two - don't need immediate boot-up from another drive in case my SSD fails. Again, I am aware of the risks but it seems that this is a fairly reasonable approach?
     
  15. MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

    MrAverigeUser

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    europe
    #15
    @ Kristina85
    Toshiba 2,5" and 1,8" HDD were/are well-reputed for being very reliable and carefully designed.

    as you correctly supposed "Life expectancy" is indeed related to a certain calculated average daily use (and their amount of write/read actions), not for time since production/delivery date.
    So don´t worry and use the Toshiba. Be shure that the acceleration sensor is activated as this protects the HDD if you move it more or less voluntarily while using it. Buy a resistant and shock-proof external USB-enclosure for it (10-20 USD), put it in and you will be happy.
     

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