Question about doing a ONE TIME backup with Time Machine + How to?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by DK777, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. DK777 macrumors newbie


    Jun 8, 2016
    When you backup your OSx with Time Machine does the external drive need to be completely empty and dedicated as a time machine backup or can you backup an OSx onto a 2TB drive that already has 1TB used on it? I have no interest in doing continuous backups with Time Machine, just one. I just reinstalled my OSx and all my plugins so I want to do one backup of it with everything installed clean before I move forward and start working.

    If so, does anyone have a good guide on doing a one time time machine backup then disabling backups so it wont do another one? Im sure its easy but ive never done it before.
  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    You can put the TM backup on that drive if it's formatted properly. I think that it's better to have a dedicated drive for this...not sure if that's an Apple suggestion or if it's derived from user experience. If the drive is being used daily for other files there's a chance the TM backup could get corrupted. If you're not running TM subsequently then you won't find out until it's time to restore.

    As to doing just one backup...when the backup is done you can just turn TM off in System Preferences>Time Machine.
  3. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    While you can do this as suggested by BrianBaughn I am not certain it is the best idea, Time Machine is designed to be used regularly.

    I would suggest making a clone instead which would be exact copy of the drive and more likely to work as you wish. You can add a partition to the external drive with Disk Utility and then restore internal drive to it. Although it would be smarter to have a dedicated external drive for the clone because if the drive fails you lose all information, not just the clone...

    If you are doing clones regularly it might be a good idea to invest to SupeDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner.
  4. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    I use TM to switch systems. I've done this at work and at home. I take a disk and make a TM back up from the source, and then on the source boot-r and restore from TM. I've usually used empty drives, but recently did this with a drive that had other things on it - worked fine. But in your case if it were me I would get a 1TB drive (about $50) and make it a dedicated TM for that machine. Make the backup one time and then put it aside. At some point in the future you can probably use it to make a "fresher" backup. CCC and others work well, too. I just find using TM works easily.
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I recommend that the OP try CarbonCopyCloner instead (free to download and use for 30 days)...

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