Partitioning A Used External Hard Drive - Questions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MichaelMidnight, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. MichaelMidnight macrumors regular

    MichaelMidnight

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    Hello all! Ever since Leopard came out, I've been meaning to make a back-up plan for myself on my Macbook and I've only gotten around to it now. But my question is, I have an external 500GB hard drive that I've already littered with files and I wanted to know if I could use the remaining space to make a partition for either Time Machine or Super Duper.

    Maybe this will help. Again I'm on a macbook, so I won't be backing up nightly if I had an iMac but from time to time, for back up purposes. Do I need a separate partition for this or can I just make a folder on my hard drive and point Time Machine or Super Duper to it.

    And I guess a bigger question is, for what I'm doing, which is better, Time Machine or Super Duper, or something else?

    I've rambled on I know, but thanks for any advice or tips or pointers.
     
  2. Snowbound macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    #2
    If you just hook it up with time machine, time machine will make backups until it fills your hard drive. You don't need to partition it (as repartitioning it will delete everything on there.) Just plug it in and tell time machine to use it.

    When you unplug it, obviously, time machine won't be making backups.
     
  3. MichaelMidnight thread starter macrumors regular

    MichaelMidnight

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    @Snowbound

    Now when you say "it'll fill up your hard drive," say my laptop has only 48GB of space, will it make backups of it, I mean multiple copies of my 48GB drive until there's no more space? What I'm looking to do, still using a 48GB hard drive as an example, is to allocate 50GB on my external hard drive just for a copy so I can go back to it, in the event that I need to. So like I'll back up every Tuesday so if anything happens during the week after Tuesday I can go back, since I don't envision myself wanting to go back months at a time.
     
  4. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    I think you should do a little more reading about Time Machine, it works a little differently than what I think you are planning for.

    For a short course on it:
    The initial time machine backup with be approximately the current size of the used hard drive space on your macbook. Then, every time you run time machine again, it will backup only the files which have changed since the last backup, keeping older files in their entirety within certain time increments.

    So, essentially your time machine backup will grow over time until it is out of room.

    Now, for what you seem to be wanting to do, that is set aside a certain amount of space for time machine to use, you will have to partition the drive. As far as I know there isn't another way to limit how big time machine will get (although I could be completely wrong there...). If you want to partition the drive you will need to back up all the files on the drive currently (to CD, another drive, or something) and then the drive will be wiped and partitioned into what is essentially two separate hard drives. Then you assign one to Time Machine and use the other partition just like you would any other external drive.

    Without partitioning I think you run the risk of Time Machine taking over whatever empty space is left on the drive over time.
     
  5. MichaelMidnight thread starter macrumors regular

    MichaelMidnight

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    @abiyng87

    Thanks for the clarification. After about an hour after I had posed that question I came across a string of information that basically reiterates what you said about Time Machine and how I want to back up.
     

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