New 640GB drive: How many partitions?!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Apollo21, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. Apollo21 macrumors member


    Feb 6, 2009
    Pennsylvania, USA
    UPDATE: I decided to just go with one partition because it seems like less hassle. But if anyone still wants to answer my questions, it would be nice for future reference ;)


    So I replaced the 160GB drive in my 13" MBP with a 640GB drive. I now have the 160 in an external enclosure. I got the huge drive so I can finally copy all my crap from my PC to my MBP and have it in one place. I don't have any big external drives, so I had 2 ideas:

    - Make the 640 into 100 and 540 partitions, with the system on 100, and use the external 160 with time machine (assuming that's possible with TM?).

    - Make the 640 into 160 and 480, system on 160, clone the system to the external 160 regularly as a backup. This seems better since the external will then be a full working system (I assume), in case my internal drive would ever break.

    With either of these, I'm wondering how easy it is to separate all my media onto the other partition, like the itunes library, pictures folder, movies, downloads, etc.


    Should I just stick with one huge partition, and figure out some other partial-backup solution / wait till I get a big external?

    Thanks to anyone that can give advice! In the meantime I'll go spring-clean my old drives.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Why not keep the new drive as a single partition. There's really no reason to split it up - unless you're going to use boot camp.
  3. harlequin29 macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2009
    Me thinks if your hard drive crashes, you creating partitions for a backup on the same drive will be useless.
  4. Apollo21 thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 6, 2009
    Pennsylvania, USA
    I said "external 160" as the backup in both of my options.
  5. harlequin29 macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2009
  6. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
    I had a similar dilemma when I reformatted my drive to do a clean install of snow leopard

    I would say that having your backup time machine partition on your internal drive is not smart. It should be on an external (even on the small spare drive you have now would be better)

    that said what I did when I repartitioned my drive for snow leopard was to have 1 partition (270GB) for system and have another ~230 for movies (or other things that you won't lose track of when you are making a backup).

    I like this because it takes a LONG time to fully clone or make a backup of larger drives. So if you partition the drive then you can make a backup of just the important stuff but still have everything (movies in my case) on one computer.

    Hope that makes sense:)
  7. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Oct 12, 2006
    One partition on your internal, and select what you need to save for a Time Machine backup. Your music, pictures etc... that's all more critical than the system.

    So, your section option.
  8. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008
    I dont really like partitions personally.
    I'd say stick with your current One partition scheme.

    And it is NOT wise to have Time Machine on the same drive your system runs on, unless of course you have an offline back up of it elsewhere.

    Just organize your files into folders on your system and you should be fine.
  9. DivineEvil macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2009
    I've done a 3 partition setup on my MBP with 500GB HDD...

    60GB MacOS
    60GB Windows
    380GB Data...

    I keep all my music, home folder, videos, downloads on the Data Partition and the Systems and Applications/Programs on their dedicated partitions.
    Installed rEFIt and NTFS-3g in Mac OS X and Macdrive in Windows and I can read/write on every partition with every OS.
  10. Wotan31 macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    I hate partitions. 1 drive = 1 partition is the only way to go.
  11. DarkHeraldMage macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    Internally I agree, but externally I don't. For instance, I have both an MBP and an iMac, so I partitioned a 1 TB external to be the Time Machine drive for them both. I just swap out the usb connector every once in a while to make sure they're both backed up.
  12. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    Yep, that's the way to go. Dealing with partitions is a pain, so always minimize the number of them you have to deal with.

    Regarding your backups:

    BEST: Get a bugger external so you can back up everything...

    UNTIL THEN: It's easy to configure time machine to exclude one or more folders. So you can exclude the media folders you don't have room to back up. Please, please, please, (for your own sake) keep your old PC drives around until you can get a bigger external for full TM backups.
  13. Apollo21 thread starter macrumors member


    Feb 6, 2009
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Haha, of course! That was the main reason I got a new huge drive—so I'd finally have 2 copies of everything!

    And thanks to the people that mentioned excluding folders with Time Machine. I didn't realize that was possible.
  14. keithOrbit macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2008
    if you use windows normal, mac 40gb, other windows, if not, 600bg for files you saved, and others for os system. i think so.

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