Thanks HDD gurus

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Eldiablojoe, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. Eldiablojoe macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2009
    West Koast
    First off, my thanks to the HDD gurus that come in here on a near-daily basis and answer the complex, if not repetitive, questions that many of us post.

    Secondly, I have what I hope is a simple question. After reading posts in this thread, and GoldenMacKids treatise on HDDs, I ordered and received a WD My Passport 500GB Mac External HD.

    I've used it for about a week as my Time Machine destination. Here's my question.

    Do I keep the Passport plugged in all the time?

    I can't tell when Time Machine is doing its backing-up, and I haven't figured out how to go into TM and tell it to go ahead and back-up.

    I went into Finder to "eject" the Passport, but when I clicked on it, the Passport is still spinning. When do I know it is safe to disconnect it?

    Thanks again !
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    If it's not plugged in it won't take a backup (obviously). I plug in mine once a day to do a backup; hourlies seem excessive to me.

    The Menu Bar (on the top) icon will spin, there's a "Backup Now" option there as well.

    When it disappears from the Desktop.
  3. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Yes, keep your HDD plugged in at all times for the most optimal Time Machine backup. If you'd like to know the status of your Time Machine, go to System Preferences > Time Machine, and select "Show Time Machine status in the menu bar." This will also allow you to force Time Machine to backup at any given time.

    When ejecting a disk, once it's disappeared from your desktop it is safe to eject.
  4. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    I'm with Miles. Hard drives only have a finite number of hours of life in them (albeit a very large one) and I see no point in wasting the power and hard drive life by keeping it on at all times. As well, by turning the drive off, you can protect it from the unlikely possibility of an energy surge knocking out both your computer and your backup in one go.

    I leave it for a couple of seconds after the drive has disappeared. Sometimes OS X whines at me when I unplug/power down right away.

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