iMac newbie - best way to partition drive and make back ups

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Big-G, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. Big-G macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2012

    I am an iMac newbie and am getting up and running with the machine. I'm glad I've made the switch from Windows!

    Anyway, I went for a 3TB SATA drive and was wondering how people partition their drives. I was thinking of having say 500 GB for the system files (what would be the correct size?), and the the rest for personal data. Then, maybe getting a couple of external USB drives with the first being used to back up the system files and the second being used to back up the data - both using Time Machine.

    Is this feasible and/or sensible? Does the fact that I've already starting using the machine (i.e., I have my music, photos and document on the machine) scupper this plan?

    Any advice welcome.


  2. 2012Tony2012 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 2, 2012
    I made the switch from crappy windows to iMac too recently :)

    I would forget about Time Machine all together and just use Cabon Copy Cloner instead. I use the free version and it works great, can even create bootable partitions you can boot and restore from etc.

    I am using an external USB hard drive that I partitioned into 7 partitions to use one partition for all my personal files and the other partitions to use as seperate Cabon Copy Cloner rescue partitions for different dates.
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I think you will find that most Mac users do not partition the main, internal drive at all. There really isn't much of any reason to do it.

    On the external, some make one partition for a complete clone, then another for say a Time Machine backup.
  4. Big-G thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2012
    Thanks. So what is the difference between a complete clone and a Time Machine backup?
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    They both make a complete copy of the OS and data, but the clone can be booted to and you can run off of it in an emergency. Time Machine you would need to restore it back to a drive to actually run the system.
  6. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Time Machine will backup your drive hourly, it also allows you to go back in time to access old files or one you accidentally deleted.
  7. iWaiting macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2012
    time machine is very good and transparent in operation to the user

    its very easy to say go back in time machine and get one email back
  8. Big-G thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2012
    Ok, thanks all.

    I think what I'll do is get a couple of external drives then and partition them both as has been described above (I.E., on each drive have one partition for a complete clone and another for a TM backup).

    I'll get two drives as I'll keep one at my parent's house (as a form of offsite backup) and swap them every month or two.

    Sorry for all the newbie questions but does Time Machine manage the clone and partitioning on the external drives too, or is something else needed for that?
  9. iWaiting macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2012
    TM will need its disk connected and preferably left connected

    you would need carbon copy to do the cloning the free by one is not supported for ML ( free not supported paid supported its your data whats it worth )

    CC would be good do the offsite BU routine
    ( I am the recipient of the SIL business BU drives in our safe off his site to comply with the FSA rotated ever three weeks ) byway these are fully encrypted

    TM is good to restore the OS just select restore from TM BU and let it rip
  10. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Like iWaiting mentioned, CCC will handle the clone and TM the backup. But you will need to use Disk Utility from /Applications/Utilities to do the partitioning.

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