Should I use time machine if I just need more room on my laptop?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by brittanyfaith, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. brittanyfaith macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    From what I have gathered, time machine purely backs up all of the data on your laptop onto a hard drive. Which means it is additionally kept on another storage space.
    But I only have 9 GB of space left on my MacBook Pro. I'm not sure how much I originally had, but I do know that I have over 54,000 photos on my computer, around 5000 songs and a lot of movies.
    So I figured I should buy a 1 TB external hard drive to free up the space on my laptop, and have all of my photos or movies easily accessible if I needed them.

    But I am confused as to whether or not I should be using time machine. Please help!
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Time Machine is a backup application. It makes a "carbon copy" of your data each time it runs. You seem to be looking for an external storage option, which is different from a backup. External storage just increases the amount of data you would, in theory, backup with Time Machine.

    So yes- you should still use Time Machine if you want to backup your data.
  3. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Do not, I repeat, do not backup your stuff with Time Machine and then delete the files from the computer, expecting to be able to access them. They will eventually be deleted from the backup drive as well. Time Machine is not made for that purpose.

    Your best bet is to get a larger internal hard drive, but if that's not an option for some reason, get an external hard drive to move your stuff onto, and then a second drive to backup the internal and the storage external drive onto.

  4. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Google for "move itunes library" or "move iphoto library" and carefully move stuff off to an external drive.

    This is how Time Machine helped me with a full hard drive...

    1 - Connect an external hard drive and create a new TM backup to that drive. If backup hangs or is slow be sure to close any finder windows open on the backup destination drive and turn off spotlight indexing of the backup destination drive. Allow the backup to complete.
    2 - Turn off power
    3 - Remove your old hard 160GB drive and insert a bigger 500GB one (may require a #0 phillips and a torx screwdriver)
    4 - Boot from OS X DVD
    5 - Partition the new drive MacOS Journaled and name it Macintosh HD (or whatever you like)
    6 - Install OS X on the new partition
    7 - Restore the TM backup you created in step 1 to the new hard drive
    8 - Point TM to a new location so if you ever want to "start over" you can go back to the same TM backup you used to migrate to the new drive.
    9 - Delete the old backup sparsebundle when you are comfortable that everything works on the new drive.
  5. Jagardn macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    I just upgraded my wife's Macbook from a 160 to a 500GB drive yesterday. I just erased the drive as MacOS Journaled and named the device. I skipped step 6, the OS install wan't even necessary. I was also still able to use the same sparsebundle for her backups. I may still remove her sparsebundle and make a new one next week, although I don't really think its necessary.
  6. r0k, Jun 2, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011

    r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Just unlucky, I guess. I also had to blow away 10 gig of library/mail and preferences/ to get working after the upgrade. YMMV

    I wanted a fresh install because of my constant companion the beachball. About an hour after the upgrade, I was running FF 4 again and along came the beachball. FF 4 is gone now and with Chome I don't see that freakin' beachball. I still plan to pop in the 4 gig of RAM when it comes in the mail.

    BTW iWork and LibreOffice/OpenOffice are a lot better than Office 2011 which is a lot better than Office 2008, unless you need to exchange data with somebody who uses Office 2010PC or 2011Mac. Then you might run into situations where you need Office 2011.

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