Reformat Backup Drive?


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 31, 2012
Edmond, OK
My iMac came with the 500g hd. I've bought a 1 Tb drive for backing up. Would it be more beneficial to partition the bavkup drive into 2?
Nov 28, 2010
Depends on your usage, some do it, some don't. You could use the second partition for other data (which will not get backed up of course) or even a bootable partition with a clone of your 500 GB HDD (one partition for Time Machine, one partition for the clone).


macrumors 6502
May 7, 2012
Little Rock, AR
Time Machine will save old copies until it runs out of space before deleting. Putting a smaller partition can help you reserve space so TM does not eventually use the entire disk.


macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2012
For my own computer I do not partition, I keep separate Time Machine backups on separate physical disks. But for family and some customers who do not care about historical backups (only the current backup), I partition one disk and alternate Time Machine between them.


Because Time Machine destinations eventually corrupt themselves. And once they do you're better off reformatting the volume and starting over. If you have just one disk for Time Machine, and it's big enough to partition into two volumes, you can have two independent Time Machine backups, and periodically blow them away. One strategy is to keep one of them enduring historically for as long as it will allow until it craps out with errors - and the second one keep relatively fresh, i.e. reformat the volume every 1-3 months. Another is to alternate formatting the volumes, which means you never have a particularly long history of backups - maybe just a few months worth.