Need a Time Machine Drive - Internal or External?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SteelBlueTJ, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. SteelBlueTJ macrumors 6502

    Apr 2, 2012
    I am considering the Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB drive as a time machine backup for my Mac Pro. I plan to put it in one of the internal drive bays. I used to have an iMac with an external drive for time machine but just got the Mac Pro an figured why have another USB cable laying around. Plus the internal SATA would be faster. Do most of you guys dedicate one of your drive bays for time machine? Or do you still use an external? I don't need any elaborate setups with RAID or anything. I only have my SSD boot drive and a 1TB drive for media and files. They both total to around 500GB of files to back up. The 2TB should be plenty for room to grow.
  2. xav8tor, Jul 15, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012

    xav8tor macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2011
    I have an internal drive for backups and use Carbon Copy Cloner for that. I also have a Time Capsule at the other end of the house for Time Machine Backups via wireless. The argument for an external drive is that, if your computer should ever overheat and damage drives, an external HD would be safe from that.

    That very scenario happened to me on a custom Windows machine about three years after I built it. Three of the five internal drives got cooked. For really important data, make a hard copy and put it in a safety deposit box, or if you trust cloud server security, go that route. That way, if the whole house burns down or you are a victim of theft, at least your data is preserved.
  3. spacedesign911 macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2010
    Dublin, Ireland
    I back up to a WD Caviar Green, its a great drive to back up to inside my mac pro because its quiet and energy efficient. I back up from a sdd boot and a 2tb data drive. I recently put in another 2 tb drive for media, and I notice the room is hotter, and the mac pro noisier. I plan to go either move my data to the new OWC 960gb ssd or the 960gb pcie card. I may sound fussy but my office is in my home so I like things quiet. Backups are fast internally, but if my computer was stollen so is my back up. this is serious cause for concern for me. I plan to back up weekly and remove the backup from the area the computer is in and do a rotation system with the removable back up.
    So in short my internal wd drive is really only used for recovering a file that has been saved incorectly.
  4. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    I keep it on an external and only turn it on once a day or so. I don't want or need the hourly backup slowing me down. I also keep it on the other side of the room away from my tower. I think of it as a failsafe. If my machine melts down or whatever my data is safe and in an emergency I can just grab it and run. Also keep a turtlecase of backup drives ready to move at all times, two identical sets.
  5. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    I gotta disagree with you here... that's not good advice for backups. Proper safe backups require two steps:

    1) Always have a running backup of your computer plugged in and active. You can either use an external or internal drive for this, and Time Machine is a good option. This protects you from "oops I deleted that file" moments, and provides speedy backups in case of a filesystem or hardware problem.

    2) Always have an off-site backup, and preferably an automated system for making your off-site backup. I use Backblaze (, it's cheap, fast, unlimited, and it works flawlessly with Macs). This protects you from catastrophic hardware failures, theft, fire, and other disasters.

    The key to good backup is making it as "set and forget" as possible. If I have to walk across the room and plug in a hard drive, there's a good chance I'll forget one day and that will be the day my system dies. You should never have a single point of failure in your system.
  6. SteelBlueTJ thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 2, 2012
    Just curious, is there a way to set up time machine to back up to 2 different drives? - That way I'll have 2 copies - one internal and one external?

    Also, if I use an internal drive, I hope theres a way to set up time machine so it doesn't back up automatically every hour. I don't need it to do it that often. I only need it to maybe once or twice a day would be plenty.
  7. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    I have power switch for it next to my desk. I never physically need to go to it.

    I've gotten by without TimeMachine for a long time. I don't need to worry about "oops I deleted that file" moments. I suppose you couldn't "live" without a cell phone eh? How in the world did we do that 10 years ago? TimeMachine is a luxury that you shouldn't depend on, just makes you lazy. My main software packages autosave to a separate drive every 5 minutes anyway.

    I edit video, HD and 4k, and my projects sizes are in gigs at a time. Online backup isn't an option for me.

    One set of my backups in a Turtle case is offsite. I swap and update sets monthly.

    Back to point, keeping your backup external is safer in the worst case scenario, fire, theft.
  8. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Time Machine = backup for people who can't mange their data. Very slow and for me completely not practical. I need to be back up and running in ess than an hour as bootable image clones allow.
  9. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    Yeah, I pretty much use it as a secondary backup for convenience.
  10. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    I have an internal bay dedicated to Time Machine.

    Bay 1 = OSX SSD
    Bay 2 = Storage/User folders
    Bay 3 = Virtual Machines and other random stuff
    Bay 4 = Time Machine

    I also have important stuff backed up online using Backblaze.

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