Hard drive for Time Machine w/ 2 machines

someone28624

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 15, 2007
849
11
Buffalo
My best friend and I both have 120gig Macbooks. I want to buy a 250 gig hard drive. Is there anyway we could split the hard drive and both back up with Time Machine to the same one?
 

zen

macrumors 68000
Jun 26, 2003
1,713
471
Yeah I'm curious about this two. If you have a shared drive via Airport Extreme, can more than one machine Time Machine to it?

And I don't know much about hard drives, but I have a Fireone external that has two Firewire ports - can I plug two Macs into it and they both mount it?
 
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joshysquashy

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2005
707
1
UK
My best friend and I both have 120gig Macbooks. I want to buy a 250 gig hard drive. Is there anyway we could split the hard drive and both back up with Time Machine to the same one?
I think that would work, you might need to partition it, you might not.

What I'm curious is this:

I have a 250GB internal drive, and a 250GB backup drive. If I use up 80% of the drive, surely the backup will fill up reasonably fast - as it keeps every change. With files as big as several GB, this could fill up in no time!

I guess I need to buy a 500GB hdd? What do you think?
 
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zen

macrumors 68000
Jun 26, 2003
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471
I think that would work, you might need to partition it, you might not.

What I'm curious is this:

I have a 250GB internal drive, and a 250GB backup drive. If I use up 80% of the drive, surely the backup will fill up reasonably fast - as it keeps every change. With files as big as several GB, this could fill up in no time!

I guess I need to buy a 500GB hdd? What do you think?
Yeah, the bigger the drive, the longer back in time you can go with Time Machine.

You could in the meantime select a folder for Time Machine NOT to include in the backup. For example, I have a 500GB internal drive and a 300GB external one. But on my internal drive, 250GB at least are media files (video and music), so I may as well tell Time Machine not to bother with those. Likewise the Applications folder. So I'll just use Time Machine for documents and pictures mainly. Should cut down the space required.
 
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joshysquashy

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2005
707
1
UK
Yeah, the bigger the drive, the longer back in time you can go with Time Machine.

You could in the meantime select a folder for Time Machine NOT to include in the backup. For example, I have a 500GB internal drive and a 300GB external one. But on my internal drive, 250GB at least are media files (video and music), so I may as well tell Time Machine not to bother with those. Likewise the Applications folder. So I'll just use Time Machine for documents and pictures mainly. Should cut down the space required.
good idea! i have lots of videos taking up space! (and yes, they are clean!)
 
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emptyCup

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2005
1,482
1
My best friend and I both have 120gig Macbooks. I want to buy a 250 gig hard drive. Is there anyway we could split the hard drive and both back up with Time Machine to the same one?
If I understand it correctly, you do not have to partition the Time Machine drive to backup more than one machine. Each machine backs to its own folder.

Also, after the first complete backup only changes are stored. Therefore you do not gain much, and you risk losing everything, by not backing up your media files. If you value your media enough to keep 250GBs of it, it should be backed-up.
 
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zen

macrumors 68000
Jun 26, 2003
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471
So can two Macs mount the same drive volume at the same time? For example, my external drive with two Firewire ports can be plugged into and used by two machines at once?
 
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joshysquashy

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2005
707
1
UK
So can two Macs mount the same drive volume at the same time? For example, my external drive with two Firewire ports can be plugged into and used by two machines at once?
No, that wouldn't be possible, it can only be mounted on one machine at a time.

Perhaps attaching it on one mac, and sharing it to the other over the network might work (but would be slow unless you had 802.11N). Otherwise, you will have to swap it between the 2, or buy another drive - they are much cheaper now than they used to be.

If you have an Airport Extreme (N one), you can plug it in there and both comps can use it over the network, that would be an ideal solution for Time Machine, but only if you already have an Airport Extreme.
 
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zen

macrumors 68000
Jun 26, 2003
1,713
471
Ah. Yeah Airport Extreme sounds like the best bet, especially as one Mac is a Macbook and having to connect and re-connect it to an external drive all the time would be a pain. What happens if you need to use Time Machine from bed? No joy! :rolleyes:
 
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DavidLeblond

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2004
2,197
286
Raleigh, NC
Sorry to hijack the thread, I've seen a lot of posts on the internet saying that if you hook a disk up to an Airport Extreme, multiple macs can back up to it with no extra configuration.

I plan on hooking a drive up to my iMac and using that drive to backup the iMac + 2 laptops. Would that be no extra config as well? Or would that require partitioning?
 
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zen

macrumors 68000
Jun 26, 2003
1,713
471
No, so long as the drive is on the network and can be mounted on each Mac, it can be used. Doesn't matter if it is an AirDisk or plugged into another machine.

...which kinda answers my own question from earlier. Wonder what kind of performance hit the iMac would take?

Are Macbooks 802.11n?
 
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joshysquashy

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2005
707
1
UK
No, so long as the drive is on the network and can be mounted on each Mac, it can be used. Doesn't matter if it is an AirDisk or plugged into another machine.

...which kinda answers my own question from earlier. Wonder what kind of performance hit the iMac would take?

Are Macbooks 802.11n?
Should not be a great performance hit to the iMac, I think all macbooks have n, yes
 
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DoreanGrae

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2007
185
2
New York, NY
Has the AirPort functionality been re-confirmed? Apple removed all references to using TM via AirPort disks from their site the other day and I've not been able to verify yet that it actually will still work. I'm trying to find out from the people who already have Leopard (illicitly, I know), but my question keeps getting buried by the 1230912349081234 jumping on soapboxes regarding piracy.
 
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zen

macrumors 68000
Jun 26, 2003
1,713
471
Is there a way of checking? I think my wife has the first Macbook, which according to Wikipedia doesn't not have a 11n card.
 
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thestaton

macrumors 6502
Jan 19, 2006
478
0
good question. I was wondering the same thing if I could back my iMac & MBP up using the same external drive.

If the Airport - USB ends up working out that's going to be the way to go.

man, the excitement is killing me!!
 
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slb

macrumors 6502
Apr 15, 2005
395
51
New Mexico
My best friend and I both have 120gig Macbooks. I want to buy a 250 gig hard drive. Is there anyway we could split the hard drive and both back up with Time Machine to the same one?
When I used an ADC build last year, Time Machine created a folder on the external drive with the name of the computer it was backing up. I presume using one drive to store backups from multiple machine is an included feature.
 
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someone28624

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 15, 2007
849
11
Buffalo
Ok, seems like it would work.

I'm still confused by a few things though. Since time machine stores every change, it doesn't actually store a new copy, does it? It just knows the differences between the files, right? So how much more space than my actual hard drive size, do I actually need?

If my hard drive fails, will I actually be able to boot from the external drive? Or are OS files not stored on there?

And do I need a special hard drive to back up to it wirelessly? How does that work?
 
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BWhaler

macrumors 68030
Jan 8, 2003
2,920
3,118
Pulling out the ability to use airdisk for Time Machine is a major disappointment. Hopefully this will be fixed in a patch.
 
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joshysquashy

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2005
707
1
UK
Ok, seems like it would work.

I'm still confused by a few things though. Since time machine stores every change, it doesn't actually store a new copy, does it? It just knows the differences between the files, right? So how much more space than my actual hard drive size, do I actually need?

If my hard drive fails, will I actually be able to boot from the external drive? Or are OS files not stored on there?

And do I need a special hard drive to back up to it wirelessly? How does that work?
1. If you have a 1GB file, make a change and save it, time machine looses 1GB. If you have a 5GB file like an iMovie file (it is actually a folder full of files) then it would only increase by a few mb (the size of the file within the folder). So it really depends on how the program handles the file.

The more spare space you have, the longer it will be before time machine has to delete old versions of changed files (it will ask you what to do).

2. Not sure about booting, but the original of every file will be there, and also the latest version. To restore, you put in your leopard DVD and choose the “Restore System from Time Machine” option. So it works as a full backup in case your hard disk dies too!

3. I don't think it will currently backup to a networked drive, though we will have confirmation on that pretty soon. I am sure apple plans to add this feature, but did not have it ready at release time. So expect an update, then buy your network hd.
 
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clue and fear

macrumors newbie
Feb 18, 2008
1
0
Partitioning of shared hard drive for time machine?

I don't think I saw a clear answer to whether or not partitioning is required to back up 2 different Macs with Time Machines to one external hard drive. Is there an advantage to doing that?

Would I partition the external drive into 2 parts and have each Mac back up to one of the parts? How do I point each Mac to its own partition?

Thanks for any help.
 
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