Need advice on Time Machine and multiple external harddrives / enclosures

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by earthbound, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. earthbound macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2007
    Hi everyone.

    I've been meaning to set up Time Machine for my MBP. I currently have two external drives, one for my music/movies and the other for photography, and use a docking station to access them (it's a single-bay so I have to switch these two drives around).

    I'm thinking of buying a USB dual bay enclosure and put one of my current drives and a new 1TB drive for Time Machine in it. Will this be a good set up or will getting an external 1TB FW800 drive for Time Machine and the USB dual enclosure for the HDs I have now be better?

    I've got over 200GB worth of files if it matters.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. earthbound thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2007
  3. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I think you could do either really. Once the initial Time Machine backup is done you won't really need the FW speed. Then again, you won't really need the FW speed for music/movies or photos either. Honestly, if I had that many drives that could fail I'd probably go with an online backup service like Carbonite, Mozy, etc.
  4. MonkeyET macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2009
    Coachella, CA
    I feel you. I previously used a 1TB FW800 drive to my iMac. Now I've added a MBP and an Airport Extreme and have been weighing the options for the last two months. I have to pull the trigger soon. The temporary 500 GB FW400 drive I have connected to my iMac (replaced the defective 1TB about two months ago) is almost 80% full and I still haven't backed up my MBP.

    I've been looking at a 2TB USB drive to connect to the Extreme so I could backup both and have a file server for my iTunes, iMovie, and iPhoto files since currently they are both on both computers. I would concur with someone else who commented on the possibility of more drives creating more of a potential for failure. I think you should consider the online backup idea in addition to time machine. Time Machine seems like the convenient way to go where online storage is the safe way to go. Just be careful what you choose. Some of the sites charge a fee for monthly service or yearly service, but there is additional fees if you actually have to access the information you have backed up.
  5. earthbound thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2007
    Darn. I never thought of the higher chances of failures with more drives. The reason why I got separate drives for my movies/music and photography in the first place was because I didn't want to put all my eggs in one basket should one of the drives fail, but seems like that plan now works against me.

    Thank you guys for your recommendation on online backups. I shied away from them because of the higher price (compared to buying additional HD's that is), but I think I'll take a look into it now considering their advantages.
  6. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    You are putting all your eggs in one basket if there are no backups for those drives. You are still risking losing everything to theft or fire.

    Seems like you could get all your media files and TimeMachine on a single drive with two partitions (Time Machine alway on its own partition). Then buy a second drive which you occasionally clone from the first, and keep offsite. Much more comforting, IMHO. So two 1.5TB drives would do, or even 2TB to allow for future growth. I'd recommend FW800 for drive 1 and USB for the backup -- you will get faster backups if the two drives are using different interfaces.
  7. guihan macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2010
    Iphoto + Time Machine HELP

    apologies - not very savvy with this. I have time machine set up on my macbook, which is running out of space. I want to move my iphoto library to my desktop (both run MAC OS X 10.5.8). Trick is that I want to restore an older version of my library, from the external hard drive, to the desktop. When I access the external hard drive in question from the desktop, i can find the library, but I can't figure out how to move it to the hard drive? Make sense?

    Many thanks in advance

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