Setting up a new external HD

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by dannnyh, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. dannnyh macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2005
    Manchester, UK
    I'm going to purchase an external Hard Drive for my iBook. I've never used one before and would appricate some advice about the best way to set it up?

    My plan is to have 1 partition of 60GB to mirror my HD and the rest to store Music, Photos, Movies etc and have iTunes, iPhoto etc access them from the external.

    What I need to know is how to make that set up. I understand I use Disk Utility to make the partitions but i'm a little unsure about the rest of it.

    Do I need to install my OS on to it? If so how do I do that?

    Anything else I should consider when setting it up?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Why would you want to mirror or back up your internal drive when a lot of valuable data will be on a partition on the external drive? You're far better off storing everything on your Mac and using the external as a backup, using either Time Machine or any number of free backup utilities.

    You don't need to install the OS on it at all. When you first plug the drive in, you'll probably get a popup asking you to format the drive. Click yes, and it will open Disk Utility for you.
  3. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    Using superduper to create a bootable mirror image is a great way to make sure you can still work if the internal drive fails. Just make sure the external drive is Firewire if you want to have a bootable drive on the ibook.

    As to the external for music, videos etc., unless you've upgraded the internal ibook drive they are too small to store a lot of media files. An external drive fixes this problem, however, there is still the issue of backing up the media partition. :)

  4. skybolt macrumors 6502a

    Feb 20, 2005
    Nashville, TN, USA
    Your idea is the exact way I have mine set up, but your 60g external is too small. I have a 250g drive, one partition of which is the same size as my internal drive and the other is whatever is left over. I use CCC to clone to the smaller partition, and keep my music and photos on the other (See and for instructions). This works perfectly.

    Now, to address what Blue Velvet said about having valuable info on an external. I do what is described above, but twice. I have a second external that I keep at my work and have the exact same scheme on it. I update the home external weekly, and bring the work external home monthly. I figure the chances of my office burning down the same day/night as my home burning down are slim to none -- so I would be covered. It is good to have a backup at home for restoring, holding large files, etc., but a REAL backup in case of tragedy needs to be someplace else.

    Just my two cents!
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    I understand that fully, which is why I have an automated bootable network backup both here at work and at home, using Retrospect on daily and weekly scripts. ;)

    Personally, with the system the OP describes, I'd be backing up my photos and tunes as well by first dealing with the main problem of insufficient capacity on the laptop.

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