PArtioning and back-ups

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by fgttlw, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. fgttlw macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2007
    Hello Apple fans! I've been a lifetime user and have checked this forum many times for answers- so thanks to everyone posting here:)
    I've read though a few posts but still don't have an answer to a question, but first my machine

    Dual 1.8 g5 with 2 rams slots filled with 512 each, and have just filled in the other 2 with a gig each.
    I currently have a 500gb drive in each of the 2 slots

    I use my machine for the following
    Final Cut Pro (mostly for home movies, but also for work)
    Popcorn and Handbrake to convert movies to ipod

    I hope to eventually get appleTV, and will obviously be getting the new OS when it arrives.
    I've been having problems with my HD's lately, and have replaced yet another. (still am trying to recover AL my Family Pics, Songs, and Movies.. wish me luck) so, before I start to really get down to business, I need some advice.

    1- With the type of computer use I have, do I need to partition my drive? I can't help but wonder if I had put my OS and App's on one partition, and all else on the other, if I could have had an easier time trying to access my now FROZEN information.

    2- I also would like to use either part or all of the other internal drive for back up. Is that a smart thing to do? I have an external drive, (sligtly problimatic right now, It was the first HD to get funky on me, so I plan to erase it sand start it new and fresh) but it's only 250GGb, Should I just use that to back up certain files?

    3- If I am lucky enough to rescue my files from my messed up 500GB HD, is there a way to move all of that music onto a new drive now? IS it somehow protected? I haven't gotten there yet, so I'm asking.

    4- Also, while saving songs like that in the future, how can I make sure that my back-up will allow me o restore the music files?

    5- I might not "Set-UP" all these drives and files until the new OS comes out, but I'd really like to know what you expeerts out there think.

    One last question
    I'm using a software called Data REscue II to try and save as much as I can. If I'm getting information that indicates bad sectors, what other options do I have to recover those files? Could one of those "ship the Hd to US and we'll extract everything" type places still help with recovering files if this program can't?

    Thanks as always, and please link any other posts in your replies that you think I should read to help me figure this all out.

  2. fgttlw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2007
    WOW- Am I not posting in the right spot? Usually I've had some advice by now. At least let me know if I've posted incorrectly or something...
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia

    Well, if you're having hard drive issues and they're what's frozen your machine then a different partition wouldn't have helped at all. Nevertheless, your use could justify having a separate partition for a few of your files but I think that's the least of your worries at the moment.

    There's no point in backing your data up on the same disk. Most data loss ensues when a disk fails. Having the backup on the same disk is useless as it'll be inaccessible. I wouldn't back up to a faulty drive either. Go buy a new one and back up on that. :)

    Unless you were using some sort of encryption app such as FileVault, you'll be fine moving the data. Of course, that's assuming you can access it in the first place.

    If we're talking about iTunes then I find the easiest way to back it up is to make a copy of the Music folder on my Home library. This keeps all my tracks, playlists and playcounts.

    Buy some new hard drives. Sleep your drives at night to ensure they get some rest because it sounds like you get through 'em pretty quickly.

    Possibly, but it'll cost quite a bit.
  4. fgttlw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2007
    Thanks fo rthe insight MAD JEW. One question back at ya.
    When I was talking about doing a back up to another drive, I meant the OTHER drive installed in my g5. In other words, I'd use the one drive for all my os and apps, then mirroe it to the other drive weekly. WHat about that? The only problem with that is I've heard that using a different drivefrom the one Final Cut is running off of for a scratch disk is a good idea (faster renders etc.) If I did that, then I'd have to back those files up somewhere else.

    Thanks again for a response... ya know, the HD issues were pretty f-ed up. I don't run my computer on all day and night. i power it up in the mornings and off at night (i put it to sleep whenever it's not in use)
    - My first drive had the OS running reallllllllyyyy slow, and it would freeze up (still haven;t had the time to figure out why)
    - The second one used to replace that just froze up on me. (Only a few months old, but.. it had EVRYTHING on it) Since most of that information came from the slowwww drive, I can retrieve some of it..but I'm really hoping to find movies/artwork/and scanns again.

    Thanks again!
    :apple: ROCKS!
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    You seem pretty unlucky with the drives all the same. :(

    Anyway, if I were you I'd put the OS and all the apps on the first drive, and then use the second drive as a scratch disk and also use it for your data files. This would probably ensure maximum speed and reliability. I'd then back the second drive up onto an external drive which would otherwise remain disconnected to the machine except during backups.

    The problem with having your backup connected to the same machine as your regular data is that if you get a power surge or anything that may affect the machine, you automatically lose your backup as well as everything else. There's little point in backing up the system and apps in my opinion, since they can quite easily be reinstalled from their original sources. :)
  6. Schroedinger macrumors regular


    Feb 12, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    Could you be having issues with too much heat? Heat will kill HDs and if you're consistently having problems this could be a source of the problem.
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    It could well be heat. Even if it's not, it's probably a good idea to check this out because it'll start getting expensive and inconvenient having to replace drives all the time.
  8. fgttlw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2007
    Thanks again MAD JEW
    I'm currently having the G5 looked at anyway (still under applecare for 1 more month and was having ANOTHER issue with it anyway.. maybe it's the source of the drives going wacky on me)
    I'll follow your suggestion and put the back up stuff on my external HD. So- do you think I still need to have that drive partitioned? Also, as far as back-up is concerned- I've read in other posts that people seem to like "smartbackup". It looks like it does 1 big back-up, then each additional time it just looks for changes to any existing files as well as new ones. Would you agree that this is a good software? Or... will something like the "time machine" be a better thing to wait for?
    ut-oh.. never mind.. I should start backing everything up the second I have my computer back in my hands.. so again.. what's yer suggestion for speed and ease of use.

  9. MikeTheC Guest


    Apr 26, 2004
    Gallifrey -- Capitol City, Prydonian Sector
    Smart backups are fine, and are a concept that has been around quite a large number of years.

    However, HDD partitioning is probably not all that useful for the average person, especially an external data HDD that you're using as a backup.

    For partitioning to be of use, the first thing is you need to have some reason to do it. Generally, partitions are done to the primary internal HDD either for performance reasons (older HDDs were slower, so by splitting up the storage space into smaller sections you could get some speed improvements), or for capacity limitation reasons (Mac OS Standard is limited to 2GB, so if you had an older Mac with some huge-ass HDD attached, you would have to have a bunch of 2GB partitions on it), or for multi-OS compatibility reasons (you've got an Intel-based Mac that you're dual booting with Mac OS X and WinXP), or for multi-OS interoperability reasons (you're dual-booting, but want a data partition you can read and write to in Windows XP and Mac OS X, so you make a third partition that's FAT32).

    There may be other reasons, but those are the ones which stand out most prominently in my mind.

    Really the only time I've seen a point in isolating the system/app install area from the data storage area is in Windows 9x -> XP (Vista too, probably, but I've never touched it), and that's mostly to do with the fact that because Windows' architecture includes the registry, which if it gets hosed you really need to do a nuke-n-pave, so your applications are expendable but your data files aren't.
  10. fgttlw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2007

    Last question for you all- If you use a backup software- what do you use. I don't mind having to spend money on it if it's good:)
  11. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    I have Backup as part of Apple's .Mac service and I use it but only 'cause I can. Otherwise I do all my backups manually, making a copy of my Home folder. A few people 'round here recommend cloning your drive with an app like SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner though, if you're into that kind of thing.
  12. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    I would highly recommend having at least one large, external drive, either Firewire, or with the addion of a SATA card, a eSATA or eSATA /Firewire/USB combo enclosure. You want to clone your system to this drive and also backup your data folders to it. Why? Because if your G5 dies, you can pick this drive up and take it to another Mac and keep going.

    For maximum performance on apps like photoshop and Final Cut, you want to have your data and your scratch disk space on different spindles. This is to avoid the same heads having to transit back and forth between the data and the scratch files.

    If you can afford three or more drives, splitting System/Application, Scratch, and Data into different spindles is even better. If you use an eSATA drive, then you will be getting full bandwidth performance on the external.

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