If I use my external HDD for Time Machine, can I use it to store other files too?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by yniq, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. yniq macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2009
    I bought an external HDD for my MBP and I set it as my Time Machine back up drive.
    I'm wondering if I can still use it like a normal external HDD.. because now on the desktop and Finder, the drive name says "Time Machine Backups", does that mean the drive is now like fully dedicated only for the Time Machine app, or can I use it normally too (e.g. copy/drag files or install some apps into the drive)?
  2. ergdegdeg Moderator emeritus


    Oct 13, 2007
    You can use the drive for other files as well. You can either just throw them on there or make a separate partition for your backups.
  3. yniq thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2009
    okay thanks :)

    Oh wait. What's the difference? Like if you can just throw them in, why would you need to make a partition?

    And how do I make a partition?

    Sorry if I ask too many questions.
  4. MWPULSE macrumors 6502a


    Dec 27, 2008
    Before you start the time machine process go applications/utilities or (cmd+shft+U in finder) and select disk utility. Select your the root external drive and then there should be a tab called partition (if there isn't you havent selected the root of the drive) select your partition arrangement-in this case 2 partitions, i'd opt for a larger time machine partition that second partition but it does depend on your HDD space.

    Then name your 2 partitions, hit apply/go/energise and it should only take 20 seconds. Make sure you partition the drives as Mac OS Journalled (else time machine wont like it)

    The main advantage of 2 seperate partitions is if something should happen to one partition but not the other (i.e incorrect permissions and file settings) its not necessarily the be all and end all of all things good. (Or thats the way i think of it- hence i have about 6 different partitions on the same drive!) ;-)

  5. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2009
    Partitions will make things more organized. Basically its like a big room that you put up walls in and dedicated each room to difference things. One "room" can be used for time machine while the other "room" can be used for files and other things.

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