low capacity ssd and external hdd... what is a good setup? confused

Discussion in 'iMac' started by imaginaryfriend, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. imaginaryfriend, Oct 19, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014

    imaginaryfriend macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2010
    what are people's set up for having an external hdd with a low capacity ssd...? ordered a retina iMac 5K with 256 gb.

    i'm looking for something affordable, given i'm already over budget with this thing. i was thinking the wd my duo usb 3.0... and from my understanding...

    one of the drives acts as an external hdd for storing media, while the other drive acts as a time machine backup. is this correct? does the time machine backup also backup whats on the internal ssd? i read somewhere that RAID1 is actually just mirroring the other external drive... so does that mean my internal ssd will not be backed up?

    i'm new at external drives/backup solutions and trying to figure out what the best solution is... without hurting my wallet too much.
  2. acantril macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2011
    If its on a machine with USB 3, or TB then an external drive will function is much the same way (speed and capability) as internal. I generally go for as much as i can afford (SSD) internal, then add any extra capacity (SSD or mechanical) via expansion.
  3. imaginaryfriend thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2010
    sorry - i'm just confused on what the specific solution is and how it works.

    i know you need two separate drives (one for external, and one for backup)... but i'm wondering how do you most effectively back up both the drives you use (internal SSD, external HDD) on that backup drive and if RAID1 is generally how people do it.
  4. xmichaelp macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    In Time machine preferences you just select it to backup both drives.
  5. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Technically, you need two separate volumes. Ideally, this would be two separate drives as well. Basically, volume = it's own icon in the drive panel.

    Raid is not a backup solution. Raid makes two real time copies as you go along. If one drive dies, the second keeps going. But if you accidentally erase a file or change content, both copies will also be destroyed. You want time machine making daily copies of each version as you go along. This gives you an archive to go back in time.

    You want to buy two separate external drives or one larger box with two separate drives (non raid). If you expect to fill the media drive, the backup drive should be twice as large so it can hold multiple copies/versions of each file.
  6. imaginaryfriend thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2010
    thank you - I had the wrong idea of what RAID was and was overthinking it.

    I just ordered a 1 and 2 TB seagate plus slim (for media/extra space and backup respectively).

    think this'll do...

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