Time machine backup with external boot drive

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Swm1982, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. Swm1982 macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2013
    Hi all,

    I use an external SSD via thunderbolt to boot my 2011 imac, I use this drive for the OS / apps and some files and folders, but my internal HDD is my main storage drive. I can still boot from my internal HDD if I need to.

    My question is, how will time machine work with this setup? Will it only back up my internal drive, or will i need to make 2 backups? Can't get my head around this one!

  2. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    I imagine Time Machine machine won't allow you to specify the drive you booted from as the drive to back up to but maybe I'm wrong. It's not like I ever tried it.

    My concern in your case would be that Apple recommends that Time Machine backups be on a single partition disk that is dedicated to them. I got this from Apple support on more than one occasion when I was having issues with Time Machine that were in my case later resolved by switching to a different brand of disk and following their advice: one partition and nothing but Time Machine backups on that disc.

    They do not make this plain as I recall when you consult Time Machine's help system or look for info online and I was critical of that when I spoke to Apple support but they maintained it is not a good idea to do anything other than what they recommended.

    So, you might want to keep that in mind if you run into any problems.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009

    Switch from Time Machine to CarbonCopyCloner (or SuperDuper).

    You will then have full control over the "source" and "target" drives for your backups.

    You will also be able to create a fully bootable backup, as well (can't do that with T.M.).
  4. Swm1982 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2013
    Nice one, thanks for the replies.

    I used CCC when I got the SSD, I'll give that a go. Do you think it will be ok to partition and use the same drive to back up the internal and external? (using CCC instead of time machine)
  5. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008
    easy under the time machine preferences under options make sure your SSD external is not on the excluded list and it will back up to your time machine drive easily.
  6. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Yep TM won't care which drive you boot from and it'll backup both drives, assuming you have a 3rd drive (or a Time Capsule) that you're backing everything up to.

    I have an internal Fusion drive and an external array, and all of that is backed up by TM to a large disk in an external SATA dock.

Share This Page