Partition for Time Machine on External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by cmF, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. cmF macrumors member

    cmF

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #1
    I'm currently thinking about upgrading my macbook to Leopard under certain conditions. I was wondering if I can create a separate partition on this kind of hard drive http://tinyurl.com/6s7nq6 for OSX and my regular applications (clean install). Then have another partition for large video files, music, games, photos etc.

    Essentially, I want to keep a clean version OSX on one partition (with all painstakingly long install software on it i.e. Office and Adobe CS4 and all the little ones as well, addium, firefox, quicksilver etc)

    Can the hard drive mentioned be partitioned? And will Time Machine write on only one partition?
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    Any hard drive can be partitioned.

    Time Machine can only write to one partition (at a time). But yes, it will back up to one partition of a partitioned drive.

    You can boot to a partitioned external drive with a properly-installed copy of OS X. I'm not sure why you'd need a "fresh" copy, though. Archive & install with preserve user and network settings has always worked fine for me, and doesn't require any reinstalling, even of CS3. I imagine the same goes for CS4.
     
  3. Cap41 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    #3
    Try carbon copy it backs up to a bootable partition.
     
  4. cmF thread starter macrumors member

    cmF

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #4
    What is this "Archive & install with preserve user" that you speak of?

    Basically. I use my computer a lot. No matter how organized I try to keep my hard drive, I just end up having miscellaneous **** everywhere and the performance of OSX suffers to some degree until I give it a fresh install. Problem is, I hate doing the installation process of OSX and all other applications all over again.

    This is the primary reason I want to get Time Machine, so I can just restore that original, mint, pristine computer again.

    Is there a better way to do this that doesn't require Time Machine or an external hard drive?

    Thank you!
     
  5. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #5
    Yes. It's called archive and install. When you begin the setup process, you will be presented with an error that you cannot install Mac OS X to the target disk with the current settings. You will then be prompted to choose an alternative method, which includes formatting the drive first (bad!), as well as archive and install. Basically, archive and install moves all of your documents and settings and so forth into a directory called "Old Systems" and runs a fresh install of OS X. Underneath is a checkbox that allows you to "preserve users and network settings". If you choose this option, the data from Old Systems will be reimported into your fresh install of Mac OS X and you will be presented with your system exactly as you left it, files and settings and everything, but running on a new install. You would then have to patch up to the latest version of OS X and everything is good. I have done this a number of times and I have never had any problems. Even Adobe CS3 didn't need reinstalling or reserializing or anything.

    Reinstalling an operating system may not be a particularly Apple-like thing to do, but they certainly apply the most Apple-like approach to the problem. Your install during the upgrade to Leopard should progress in a similar manner, although you may have a few application compatibility issues to deal with at the other end. Nothing life-threatening.

    You can achieve the same effect as an archive and install from a Time Machine backup as well. Just connect the Time Machine drive during setup and you will be asked if you want to restore from one of the available backup increments. It's very neat.
     
  6. cmF thread starter macrumors member

    cmF

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Ok great, thanks. You've provided some great insight and some other very likely alternatives.
     

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