Sharing External Harddrive

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Nick521, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Nick521 macrumors member

    Dec 5, 2010

    I have a MBP and just ordered a new iMac. I have an external HD that I use with TimeMachine for the MBP. Can I use the same external HD to backup the iMac with TimeMachine? How do I go about that?

  2. Nick521 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 5, 2010
  3. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Since it should be a goal to backup up continuously, with no human intervention... the most logical way would be to put the drive on your network.

    With just an iMac... you can leave it continuously connected. Because of the mobility of your MBP... it makes more sense to have it on the network... and then both machines can access it for backup.

  4. Nick521 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 5, 2010
    Thanks! Do I need to partition the external HD?

    Also, please forgive the question, but can I put the drive on my wireless network? If so, how?

  5. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    If your wireless access is on the same network as your iMac, then you can wirelessly backup your MBP too. You don't need to partition the disk unless you want to limit the maximum "growth" of either backup set. Time Machine backups will slowly grow to consume all the disk space they have available, they they will start discarding older versions of files which have been updated. That could "starve" the other backup sets for disk space.

    If you want to use your iMac as a Time Machine server with either a internal or external disk, you will need to leave it turned-on all the time that a backup request might be coming from a remote computer. I think you will also need to be running the "OS X server extensions" to share a drive for Time Machine usage, but this is only a $20 upgrade for Mountain Lion.

    You can also get a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device to serve as a whole network backup. There are many brands and sizes of NAS to choose from. The Apple "Time Capsule" is commonly used for this and WiFi. If you have a Apple "Airport Extreme" for your WiFi, you can add a USB disk to that for backups too.

    The only way to use a directly connected disk drive (USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt) with several computers is to physically eject, unplug, and move the disk to the other computer. Your Time Machine backup sets will be named for the name of each machine, so will not conflict.

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