Question about external hard drives.

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by definitive, May 12, 2009.

  1. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    I was thinking of getting an external hard drive (or a raid 1 setup) for backup. What I'm wondering is if it's possible to do this:

    Have Time Machine back up the entire system on to the drive (or raid), and also add files to it from a different computer that wouldn't interfere with the stuff that's already on there from Time Machine.

    Would this be ok, or would the drive only be able to do one or the other?
  2. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    You can use a drive that has Time Machine backing up to it like any other drive. Just make sure you don't run out of space.
  3. GregE macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2007
    You might want to partition the drive or RAID array and use 1 partition for your TM and another partition for your other computer to store stuff.
  4. Thiol macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    Partitioning has advantages, but is not necessary. Just don't put anything in the backups folder.
  5. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    I would recommend against partitioning as it adds work, and wear to the slider (read/write armiture) of the HD

    For example
    2 partitions, 2xthe work/wear, risk 1/2 the life (MTBF)
    3 partitions, 3xthe work/wear, risk 1/3 the life (MTBF)
    ... etc.

    HDs are so cheap anymore, please consider getting another.

    However, sammich is correct, you can store files on a time machine volume outside the backup file without interference - as long as you have space. And Time Machine files only increase in size with every incremental backup.

    The best solution would be a RAID like a Drobo, there you can get up to 4 disks behaving as one, so you get 4/1 the life (MTBF)
  6. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    Vogon Planet Destructor
    You have few options,
    Using a RAID 1 like
    Or getting the enclosure only from OWC

    It has builtin RAID 0 and 1, FireWire 800/400 and USB with 3 year warranty.
    You can also get a FireWire RAID 5 4bay

    I prefer RAID 5 eventho the enclosure itself is a bit expensive but RAID 5 will get me high performance and reliable protection and I only lose 1 drive ccapacity insted of RAID 1 (50% capacity)
  7. GregE macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2007
    Thanks I didn't know that. I only recommended it so he wouldn't fill up the partition his TM was on with other stuff.

    I had looked at the Drobo but went with a RAID enclosure. My main reason was if something happened to the Drobo device, I could always put the hard drives from my RAID array in another enclosure and get to things quicker since I wouldn't have to wait for a new Drobo enclsure to show up.

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