Help: External Drive strategy for Backup/Storage of MBP Retina

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Argentine86, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. Argentine86 macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2011
    Hello everyone,

    I tried to seach but got lost in very descriptive explanations of what I don't know about much. I'm a recent Mac convert from windows, and have noticed I'm starting to run out of space on my MBP Retina Hard Drive (256GB).

    So I purchased a 1TB USB 3.0 7200rpm Hard Drive

    Now I'm debating my backup strategy and have a few questions hope you all can help...

    1) I know I need to reformat the drive once I get it, but not sure how or to what to.

    2) If I do a full backup style (Time Machine?), can I clear up the space on MBP after it has backed up? Since my concern is running out of space on my MBP in future, my thought is to keep my videos/music/large files on external drive and delete from MBP to keep space free. But full system backup would be nice....both possible?

    3) Or is a simple manual file backup best since I can migrate large files away from MBP to save space and onto External Drive?

  2. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    1- Format it via Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility. Use Mac OSX Journaled.

    2- no, no, no. Do not use Time Mchine for archiving. Get another drive and archive your unneeded stuff onto it, then backup both it and your external to the large drive via Time Machine. It gives you a backup of both the internal and the archive drive.

    3- this is how I would archive your files. Don't store them on the same drive as your backups. If that drive fails, you have no backup of your archived files. You always want at least 2 copies of your files. I prefer more.
  3. Argentine86 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2011
    Great advice, much appreciated! I will definitely get another drive strictly for backups of the MBPr and external archive drives together.
  4. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Yes, really good advice, That is exactly what I do.

    I'm an impatient belt and suspenders type of guy and have had internal disk fail when I'm in the middle of a project and can't wait. So I also clone (Carbon Copy) my internal drive to the large external drive once in awhile. That way I have a bootable drive image handy should the internal completely crap out and I need to do work. Although many suggest this extra step, now days its unnecessary for most if not all as you probably have the time to buy and install a new drive (or take the laptop to a shop for repair), download the recovery OS from Apple, and recover from your time machine backup.

    By the way, I use that same drive for my away from home daughter laptops. It is a pretty good drive. Our in home laptops and computers backup to a time capsule drive using the wireless house network.

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