HELP: Question about partitioning external drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hswisher, May 8, 2014.

  1. hswisher macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Location:
    College Park
    #1
    I have a 500 mb external drive that I've been using for Time Machine since around this past Christmas, though I've probably only used it about 10-20 times.

    Anyways, I have about 230 GB of audio on my macbook pro (without retina) and including the other stuff on my hard drive I only have about 7 GB free out of 319 GB and my computer is painfully slow. I decided to subscribe to iTunes Match a few weeks ago but I had been having problems with it until earlier tonight so I'm afraid to delete the music off of my computer and even if i did I would want a backup of it all just to be safe, so I was thinking about partitioning my external hard drive and making around 250-275 GB (library is always growing) to store/backup my music collection and then just use the remaining space on it for Time Machine.

    The only problem is that I have never done it before and basically have no idea how to partition my external drive and I feel like I'll somehow manage to screw it up and lose all my music. From what I have read about it so far, you just have to go into disk utilities and select your external drive, go to partition, then divide it up into however many partitions you want and assign the size to the partitions and then hit apply. (please correct/enlighten me if I'm wrong)

    Right now, my external drive has a little over 400 GB of backups on it and I'm concerned/unsure what will happen to the backups on it if I partition over them.

    I guess I'm just basically looking for some suggestions/thoughts/guidance on what I should do. I would take just take my problem to a Genius Bar but the closest one to my school is a 30 min car drive away...and I don't have a car.


    NOTE: I created my account here less than an hour ago so I apologize in advance for any rookie mistakes & if there are any let me know
     
  2. Meister, May 8, 2014
    Last edited: May 8, 2014

    Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #2
    It seems like you already know how to partition your drive.

    If there are already 400gigs of backup on there and you want to keep your backups, then get a separate external disc to store your media files on.
     
  3. hswisher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Location:
    College Park
    #3
    I've had my Macbook for almost three years and I've never even been into disk utility before lol

    I mean if I haven't really changed much on my computer besides deleting some school stuff from previous semesters I can just partition over it right? As long as there's nothing important that I'm going to miss/need on the backups that's not still on my computer now. I mean once I do the partition I'm going to go right back to using Time Machine there just won't be as much space for the backups.

    Thanks for the response too lol I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to mess anything up or lose all my music by not being sure what I was doing.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    Do you only have one, large partition on the external now? If you do, you can resize (shrink) that partition following this guide without losing your Time Machine backup. Then add the new, second partition to the end.
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    My suggestions (may be different from others):

    If you need to "archive" your music on an external, get another external drive just for that purpose (and nothing else).

    Maintain a backup drive "for backups".

    I would arrange things as such:
    - Music drive (if you currently have 200+gb of music, better plan ahead and make this drive 500gb (or larger).
    - Backup drive. I would recommend at least a 1tb drive. I would suggest partitioning it into around 600gb (first partition) and 400gb (second partition). Use the first partition to backup your internal drive. Use the second partition to backup your music archive drive.

    Since you already have a 500gb external, this can eventually end up as your "music" drive.

    Just add a larger-capacity SECOND external, partition it, and use it as the backup drive.

    WORDS OF WARNING (and the shouting is VERY intentional).
    Do not, repeat DO NOT, trust anything to you consider to be "important" to ONLY ONE drive. You need a backup of the external music drive, as well. If that drive fails, where will your music be?

    Final suggestion:
    For creating backups, I suggest you try CarbonCopyCloner (particularly for backing up one external drive to another). CCC can also create a BOOTABLE BACKUP (very important) that you can use to boot the Mac if the internal drive fails, or if something goes wrong and you have an "I can't boot!" moment. Eventually, this IS going to happen. When it does, having that CCC backup makes getting things going again FAR easier than trying to work with the recovery partition...
     
  6. Meister, May 9, 2014
    Last edited: May 9, 2014

    Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #6
    If it fails the music will still be on the hdd. Its a magnetic disc and you can always recover.
    You could in fact still recover if you demagnetize it because of remanenz.
    In 25 years I did not have a single hdd fail on me.
     
  7. hswisher thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Location:
    College Park
    #7
    It's only a 500gb drive and the backups took up close to 400gb of it. I partitioned it last night and all my music finally finished transferring to it an hour or two ago so right now I'm in the process of deleting the music from my hard drive and that's going to easily take all day so I'll just have to wait it out and see how it goes.
     

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