Saving externals with time machine

Ak907Freerider

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Original poster
Apr 19, 2012
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Ok so I use a external 4tb hdd external as my iTunes and photo storage instead of my internal hdd. Will time machine back up these files since they are a target drive for iPhoto and iTunes? I'm using a 2tb time capsule with a 1tb hdd also attached with the time capsule usb. Also I store my camera footage in a separate file on the 4tb. So is this possable to set up time machine to save internals and externals.
 

hfg

macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
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Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
External drives will automatically be excluded from the backup. However, it is easy to change that by removing them from the "exclude list" under Options in the Time Machine Preferences.


-howard
 

matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
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I guess you can back it up, provide that it connect to your Mac, not network, and it's a Mac format.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong though.
 

Ak907Freerider

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 19, 2012
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External drives will automatically be excluded from the backup. However, it is easy to change that by removing them from the "exclude list" under Options in the Time Machine Preferences.


-howard
Now by doing that will it save files like the internal does where it only saves newly added files not resave the entire hdd again?
 

hfg

macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
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Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
Now by doing that will it save files like the internal does where it only saves newly added files not resave the entire hdd again?
Yes, it will do incremental backups saving modified files with a historical backup of previous versions until the capacity limit of the disk is reached.
 

PatriotInvasion

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Jul 18, 2010
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Boston, MA
Yes, it will do incremental backups saving modified files with a historical backup of previous versions until the capacity limit of the disk is reached.
Unfortunately this is incorrect if the external is ever not plugged in to your Mac and a Time Machine backup takes place. The next time you have the external plugged in and a TM backup is initiated it will try backing the ENTIRE external drive again. It does this because Time Machine only looks at the LAST backup to determine if anything is new. It can't go back multiple backups and see if the external was ever backed up before. This stinks, but confirmed this is the way it works through a lengthy back and forth phone conversation with a tech at AppleCare. Bummer.
 

hfg

macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
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Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
Given that the OP is using a desktop computer (iMac), the external drive(s) should be always attached and the TimeMachine backup he desires will be realized. The issue you presented would be more likely with a portable system where the external drives are routinely disconnected.

However, the issues you pointed out should be kept in mind so as not to disconnect your external drives prior to performing a backup.
 

PatriotInvasion

macrumors 68000
Jul 18, 2010
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Boston, MA
Given that the OP is using a desktop computer (iMac), the external drive(s) should be always attached and the TimeMachine backup he desires will be realized. The issue you presented would be more likely with a portable system where the external drives are routinely disconnected.

However, the issues you pointed out should be kept in mind so as not to disconnect your external drives prior to performing a backup.
Yea, it stinks for MacBook Air or Pro setups way more than an iMac, but there are scenarios where you'd unplug an external HDD say, to transfer data to another Mac or something. Regardless, if Time Machine does just one backup without that drive connected you'll have to re-backup the entire drive again.

One way to avoid this is to turn off automatic backups in Time Machine preferences and just do manual "Backup Now" in the task bar when everything is connected but that strips the main benefit out of Time Machine - hourly backups you don't have to think about.
 

Ak907Freerider

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 19, 2012
281
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Unfortunately this is incorrect if the external is ever not plugged in to your Mac and a Time Machine backup takes place. The next time you have the external plugged in and a TM backup is initiated it will try backing the ENTIRE external drive again. It does this because Time Machine only looks at the LAST backup to determine if anything is new. It can't go back multiple backups and see if the external was ever backed up before. This stinks, but confirmed this is the way it works through a lengthy back and forth phone conversation with a tech at AppleCare. Bummer.
That makes sense, but that shouldn't be a issue. This is a wall powered external, and I have it all neatly zip tied with all my permanent cables for my iMac. I have no plans on disconnecting it ever. I have usb powered externals that I use for moving around. Well this is great news then. Thanks guys I will get this set up ASAP.