iMac + External HD + Time Machine

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by fernande-mac, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. fernande-mac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest
    #1
    Hi,

    I got an iMac with a 1 TB internal HD (Mac OS X 10.6.8, 2.93 GHz Intel Core i7, 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3).

    We are going to scan vintage slides into digital scans to keep for posterity. I don't want to use the iMac internal HD for that and am planning to get an external 1 TB HD specifically for this project to store all the scans.

    I am also planning to get an additional HD for set up Time Machine for backing up both the iMac and the external HD.

    I currently own an Airport Extreme Base Station. Hence. I was planning to hook up the Time Machine HD to it in the USB drive and use it as a network HD.

    1) Is it possible to configure Time Machine to back up both the iMac and the external HD under this configuration?

    2) Are there any recommendations about what kinds of HDs to get for Time Machine and to store large number of image files?

    My thought is to get the following:
    * a fast 1 TB HD with a FireWire connection to the iMac (800 Mb/sec) for the image storage.
    * a 2 TB RAID mirror setup (4 TB total) with a USB connection to the Airport Extreme Base Station for Time Machine.

    Other considerations include:
    * portability of the image HD is a plus, but not required
    * cost is not an issue, but keep it real ;-)

    Any suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ian.maffett macrumors 6502

    ian.maffett

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Florida
    #2
    good setup.
    1. yes, TM settings - simply remove the external from the exclusions list (it's just in there by default, as are all external drives)
    2. nearly any drive will work but if you're looking at a raid drive, G-raid is the way to go.
     
  3. fernande-mac thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest
    #3
    Ok thx for the advise.

    Would you suggest to get a RAID drive for both or just the Time Machine one?

    Thanks!
     
  4. ian.maffett macrumors 6502

    ian.maffett

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Florida
    #4
    No, not really. There would be no need for raid on a drive that you're backing up WITH raid. Realistically, that would just be a waste of money.
     
  5. fernande-mac thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest
    #5
    I was more thinking about a stripped RAID for the image HD for faster speeds, and a mirrored RAID for the Time Machine HD for added redundancy.

    But yeah, I can see how it would be overkill. :) I guess a plain FireWire 800, 7200 RPM HD should be enough.

    Thanks!
     
  6. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #6
    Your ideas seem sensible to me (although I have little experience with RAID setups).

    One thing you should know is that Apple claims that "Time Machine can’t back up to an external disk connected to an AirPort Extreme." (See Disks that can be used with Time Machine.)

    Now, according to what I've read in these forums, that's not really true. It seems to have worked for many people (and apparently not worked for some others). But I think it's fair to say that, for whatever reason, using TM to back up to an AEBS disk is "not supported" by Apple. If you were to need the backups, and if there was a problem, you'd probably have to rely upon the online community, and not Apple, for technical assistance.

    I think that Apple's position is probably based on some reason other than a technical one (like a bid to sell more TCs). But, I also think it is plausible that Apple knows about some sort of backup error could possibly occur with this configuration. There are always risks associated with backups, whether fire, theft, or software glitch. You have to decide which ones are high enough on the scale to worry about.

    With my interpretation of the importance of your project, if it were me, I'd either buy a Time Capsule or use a directly-connected external drive for the Time Machine backups, instead of using the AEBS. (Oh, with the TC, you do have the choice to use the TC internal drive or an external drive plugged into the TC, and still be "supported" by Apple.)

    Regards,
    Brian33
     
  7. fernande-mac thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    Midwest
    #7
    Yeah, I went to the Apple store today and found out that Time Machine will not "officially" use any HD connected to the AEBS. However, some people have been able to get such configuration working... "unofficially"... :)

    I ended up with a setup where the two HDs are daisy-chained using the FireWire 800 port from the iMac.

    I would have preferred to have the Time Machine HD as a network drive, but this works fine too. The only caveat is if I want to backup any other device in my home network, the iMac will have to be up and running to have the HD visible.
     

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