How to partition an external hard drive for time machine?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rsphotocreation, May 28, 2011.

  1. rsphotocreation macrumors newbie

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    Feb 20, 2011
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    I decided to use Time Machine on my MacBook Pro, I've got an external hard drive that I already use for music, movies or important documents, etc.

    So what I want to do is to partition my external hard drive in order to get one part for Time Machine and another part for the files I want to keep only on this hard drive and not on my MacBook Pro.

    My external hard drive has a storage of 500Gb and the hard drive on my MacBook Pro has 320Gb and I only use 100Gb at the moment.

    So which size should I consider for Time Machine in order to partition my external hard drive? I won't back up my whole computer with time machine though, only my personal files and maybe applications too.

    And another question :) do I need to keep the external hard drive always plugged in? Or can I plugged in like once every two days or once a week, etc. just to make the copy, because I don't need it to backup every hours.

    Thanks a lot in advance if you can solve this problem :)

    Regards,
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    You don't have to partition it as long as it is in HFS+ format. Just turn on Time Machine and it will create a folder for backups.

    You don't need to keep it plugged in, it's fine to connect it every now and then to back up.
     
  3. rsphotocreation thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Time Machine won't erase all my files on my external hard drive?
     
  4. Jolly Giant, May 28, 2011
    Last edited: May 28, 2011

    Jolly Giant macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    #4
    no.

    however, i recommend you do partition the drive. you might want to check out this user tip, especially #3, #6, and possibly #13 (see below).

    time machine doesn't play well with this scenario. you might find that TM will do complete backups rather than incremental ones or, even worse, that your backups become corrupted.
     
  5. kalsta macrumors 68000

    kalsta

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    #5
    Really? Can you reference your source for this information, or have you found this from personal experience? I use small portable drives for my Time Machine backups, which I have plugged in reasonably often, but not every day. I also rotate two drives, so I might use one for a few weeks and then switch back to the other. So far I've not seen anything to suggest that this has caused data corruption or any other problems. All I have is the minor inconvenience of going into Time Machine preferences when I want to switch to a new drive.
     
  6. rsphotocreation thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    I need to partition it, cause when I want to set my external hard drive it says something like that (translated from French) "reformat required, files system not compatible".

    So I definitely needs to partition it first.
     
  7. Jolly Giant macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    #7
    reports from other users (can't provide links, though).

    not saying it will, just saying it might lead to the problems i mentioned.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #8
    I've been doing that for over two years and haven't had a single issue. I have even used the backup several times.
     
  9. Macsavvytech macrumors 6502a

    Macsavvytech

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    #9
    Are you guys going to stay on topic? Who cares if some one posted an off statement. :p

    You need to reformat it, I personally have mine on two partitions. Not actually completely sure why I have it like this, I just do!
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #10
    I would say that is on-topic as that is what OP asked. He wanted to know if he can keep the HD unconnected and only connect it once a week for instance. I provided my real world experience about it as I find that OP might be interested in it, especially since someone frightened him with issues.
     
  11. kalsta macrumors 68000

    kalsta

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    #11
    Absolutely it was on-topic. The OP asked:

    Isn't that what we're discussing? :confused:
     
  12. Jolly Giant macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    #12
    TM was designed to run hourly and protects you best if you let it (although i have changed my schedule to every four hours).

    there is no point in using TM if you want to backup only once a week. you're better off using e.g. CCC under such circumstances.
     
  13. rsphotocreation thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    I won't back up once a week, maybe sometimes but it would be once every two days I guess. I'm not on a Mac Pro or iMac, where I could leave the hard drive plugged in. I'm on a MacBook Pro and I find the idea of always having to move with the external hard drive quite annoying.
     
  14. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #14
    It still works flawlessly so what is your point? There is no harm even if you didn't leave the HD connected 24/7. CCC has ugly ads and doesn't integrate with OS X as well as TM does, thus I prefer TM. It works nicely in the background when I plug in my external.
     
  15. Jolly Giant macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    #15
    my point is that the strength of TM lies in the fact that it runs regularly. what if you deleted that file you desperately need to have back after your last TM run ?

    i'm using CCC for my weekly clones. the apps starts the incremental backup at a predetermined time, runs completely in the background, and i don't see the ads at all.
     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #16
    CCC won't rescue in that case either. There is nothing that will rescue besides data recovery.

    You could make CCC run hourly as well, making it equal to TM. The opposite, TM runs fine even if you don't have the HD connected all the time. You can't beat that fact, no matter how hard you try. There is no need for OP to use CCC instead of TM.
     
  17. kalsta macrumors 68000

    kalsta

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    #17
    Then you restore it from your last Time Machine backup, assuming the file was around then. Obviously the more regularly you backup the better your chances of recovery are. How is that different to any other backup software?
     
  18. Jolly Giant macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    #18
    agreed. that's why i'm using both, each for another job.

    you lost me here.

    not arguing that fact. you're simply less protected if you're not letting TM run regular backups.
     
  19. Jolly Giant macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    #19
    uh huh.

    didn't say it is.
     
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #20
    But what are you arguing then? You said OP is better off with CCC, while he would be as unprotected with CCC as he would be with TM. That is what I replied to.
     
  21. kalsta macrumors 68000

    kalsta

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    #21
    What's that supposed to mean? You didn't say how old the file was, only that you deleted it 'after your last TM run'. If you meant to say, 'what if you deleted that file you desperately need to have back, which you only created after your last TM run', then that is what you should have said!

    You certainly implied it!

     
  22. Jolly Giant, May 28, 2011
    Last edited: May 28, 2011

    Jolly Giant macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

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    #22
    as far as i'm concerned, i see potential problems using TM for irregular backups. my recommendation is to let it do "it's thing" and perhaps change backup schedule to run e.g. every four hours. this will provide best protection.

    if one only backs up once a week (or every two days), apps such as CCC do a better job. plus, CCC backups are bootable.

    no mas !
     

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