Question about Time Machine

elfy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 26, 2011
332
3
Glasgow, Scotland
I've never used Time Machine but have just got a 3TB drive mainly to accommodate my DVD collection (400-500 DVDs) which I plan to rip and encode for Apple TV. I thought I might partition the drive and use it to back up my MacBook Pro via Time Machine.

If I set up a 1TB partition for Time Machine, am I right in thinking it should be big enough to keep two backups at a time of my 500GB MacBook Pro drive? And can I set it up to then back up say, once a week?

Sorry if this seems like something obvious. Still trying to get my head round how Time Machine works.
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,876
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1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
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Sorry if this seems like something obvious. Still trying to get my head round how Time Machine works.
Nothing is always obvious at first, so don't fret over it. Anyways, The first backup will be all 500GB. After that, back ups will only contain files (or settings) that have changed. In other words, subsequent back ups should be a few KB large. That is unless you change lots of files.
 

elfy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 26, 2011
332
3
Glasgow, Scotland
Cool. Thanks.

So I could theoretically keep quite a few backups on 1TB, how many depending on how many changes I make between backups?
 

elfy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 26, 2011
332
3
Glasgow, Scotland
Thanks for your help. I figured 1TB would be enough for my DVDs, with another 1TB for future DVD rips. And it sounds like 1TB should be enough for Time Machine backups.

Thanks again. :)
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,313
10,053
California
Cool. Thanks.

So I could theoretically keep quite a few backups on 1TB, how many depending on how many changes I make between backups?
Just one point of clarification. Your Time Machine backup size has nothing directly to do with the size of your internal drive. If you have a 500GB, but only have 150GB of data on it, the Time Machine backup will only be 150GB, then some space will be used for storing versions of document/data changes after that. So allow 1.5 to 2X times the anticipated disk space usage for Time Machine and that will give you plenty of room for some older versions.

There is no hard rule for this. The more space you allocate the more versions you can store.

Another option would be just to use one large partition and put the DVD rips in a folder so you can be flexible either way and not have to repartition later if your decision turned out to be off.
 

lamerica80

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2008
594
278
I would like to stick my head in and recommenced you get a separate external for TM to avoid potential problems with the partitions in case you need to do a full restore. In case your mac HD breaks down that TM is all you have and its best to keep that drive clean of other stuff.

I would personally not be comfortable putting a bunch of media on my TM drive, partitions or not. Its for backup only.

A 1gb drive will do fine for a 500gb harddrive and they arent expensive.
 

elfy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 26, 2011
332
3
Glasgow, Scotland
Just one point of clarification. Your Time Machine backup size has nothing directly to do with the size of your internal drive. If you have a 500GB, but only have 150GB of data on it, the Time Machine backup will only be 150GB, then some space will be used for storing versions of document/data changes after that. So allow 1.5 to 2X times the anticipated disk space usage for Time Machine and that will give you plenty of room for some older versions.

There is no hard rule for this. The more space you allocate the more versions you can store.

Another option would be just to use one large partition and put the DVD rips in a folder so you can be flexible either way and not have to repartition later if your decision turned out to be off.
Sorry I should have said, the 500GB internal drive is pretty full. Usually running at around 400-450GB.

I would like to stick my head in and recommenced you get a separate external for TM to avoid potential problems with the partitions in case you need to do a full restore. In case your mac HD breaks down that TM is all you have and its best to keep that drive clean of other stuff.

I would personally not be comfortable putting a bunch of media on my TM drive, partitions or not. Its for backup only.

A 1gb drive will do fine for a 500gb harddrive and they arent expensive.
Do you think I could get away with a 750GB drive? Already got one doing nothing. :)

I should say, I plan to get another 3TB soon to back up the first. I'll be storing that at a separate location.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
30,313
10,053
California
Do you think I could get away with a 750GB drive? Already got one doing nothing. :)
It depends on the kind of work you do. If you are creating multiple versions of 8GB video edits each day, then any drive can fill up quickly. But if you are just adding some music and photos here and there and editing some documents, 750GB is more than enough.

Just to go give you a feel, I have a Macbook Air and I am using about 60GB of space. My four month old Time Machine backup has only grown to 73GB. Much of that happened after the update to 10.9.1.
 

elfy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 26, 2011
332
3
Glasgow, Scotland
It depends on the kind of work you do. If you are creating multiple versions of 8GB video edits each day, then any drive can fill up quickly. But if you are just adding some music and photos here and there and editing some documents, 750GB is more than enough.

Just to go give you a feel, I have a Macbook Air and I am using about 60GB of space. My four month old Time Machine backup has only grown to 73GB. Much of that happened after the update to 10.9.1.
Yeah it's just day to day stuff really. I might go down that route then.
 
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