Time Machine as internal drive? Opinions?

netnothing

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Original poster
Mar 13, 2007
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So my Time Machine drive (which was a 2TB WD in an OWC external enclosure via FW800) died this morning.

Went out and picked up a new WD 3TB drive at Best Buy. Of course, with my luck today, the OWC enclosure has the older firmware and only supports up to 2TB drives. So I swapped one of my 2TB internal storage drives (used for just random storage) and put it in the external and my new Time Machine drive in the Mac Pro.

Would like to get peoples thoughts on whether keeping it internal is a good or bad idea? Best I've heard is that if something happens to the computer....the internal drives can be fried whereas the externals would be ok?

Thoughts?

-Kevin

PS. And yes...I do have multiple backups on different drives, both internal and external.
 

blevins321

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Dec 24, 2010
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If you have redundant externals, I don't see a problem with having an internal one. There is a risk of a surge frying the SATA directly-connected drives, but I don't see it as a huge risk since you have extras.
 

ColdCase

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Feb 10, 2008
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Well your initial backup should be faster as SATA is faster than FW. No downside except that all the drives are in one place, even with a FW external drive they are in the same room. On my server I've backed up to one of the internal drives for several years.
 

ashman70

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2010
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I guess it really boils down to how important backups are to you. If you are satisfied with a single internal drive for TM, then I guess that's your solution. If I were to go that route, I would also have an external drive as well, so two backup drives for TM, that way, if something happened to one, I have a second backup. Also, the advantage of an external drive is you can unplug it and stick it in a drawer or on a shelf and plug it in weekly to update.
 

ColdCase

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Feb 10, 2008
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Are you sure two backup drives are enough, three drives may be better as well as an online service :) That way you don't have to be in a hurry to replace a backup drive when one fails....
 

netnothing

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Original poster
Mar 13, 2007
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Thanks for the opinions.

I guess my biggest concern is....how much higher risk is it....to have your main backup drive in the system, with your data drives.....as opposed to having the main backup be external. I guess it really comes down to the likelihood of something happening to the computer and directly attached drives.

My Time Machine drive is my primary backup....in that, it has the most recent set of data. I do other backups, clones....but they are done more on a weekly basis.

When this drive failed....I said, no worries, since my data drives didn't fail, and I had backups from a week ago. I was able to quickly get a new drive in place and get backups running again.

Yes, I should look into online backups as well.....what do people like nowadays? Crashplan?

-Kevin
 

ColdCase

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Feb 10, 2008
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Six one way half dozen the other. How many times have you had corruption on your internal drive due to a computer or cable problem, and how many times on the external drive? There are more things that can go wrong externally. My experience is that internal is safer as its native SATA (not as many protocol translators, fewer connectors in the path). The down side is that you are taking up an internal bay for a low utilization drive.


Now you may be worried about physical separation, but I don't think I've ever had more than one internal drive go bad at a time. Have you?
 

netnothing

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Mar 13, 2007
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304
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Six one way half dozen the other. How many times have you had corruption on your internal drive due to a computer or cable problem, and how many times on the external drive? There are more things that can go wrong externally. My experience is that internal is safer as its native SATA (not as many protocol translators, fewer connectors in the path). The down side is that you are taking up an internal bay for a low utilization drive.


Now you may be worried about physical separation, but I don't think I've ever had more than one internal drive go bad at a time. Have you?
Thanks. I'm not real worried about taking up a drive bay.....I have (3) - 2TB drives + this new 3TB drive in the four bays....plus my boot SSD in the optibay.

I really only use the first two drive bays for my real data....the other two were just storage drives to dump data and scratch. So moving one to the external isn't an issue.

Think maybe I'll stick with it internal for now. Who knows....I might need to get Thunderbolt externals when the new Mac Pro's come out :D:D:D:D

-Kevin

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