How to use time machine as an external hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by adamwest528, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. adamwest528 macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2009
    I was just wondering if there is anyway to use time machine as an external hard drive? i'm running low on storage with my macbook and wanted to move some files to it permanently for storage
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    You can partition an external drive, then use one partition for Time Machine and the other for storage. Obviously the stuff on the storage partition isn't backed up (unless you do something like burn a copy to DVD), but it will do what I think you're looking for. Disk Utility can repartition a disk on the fly, without erasing data, but I'm not positive whether this is an option with a Time Machine drive. Easy enough to open it up and test.

    Alternately, you can store files directly on a Time Machine volume, but I only have experience with such a situation with using Time Machine via the network, in which case the files get dropped into a disk image. Not sure what Time Machine does when it's accessing a drive directly and finds files it didn't put there on the disk--might automatically erase them, or treat them as if they were from an older backup, in which case they will eventually be deleted when you run out of space, to make room for new backups.
  3. DLH macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2006
    Do you mean Time Machine (the backup software in OS X) or Time Capsule (the router/ network hard drive)?

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