Time Machine/External Hard Drive Inquiry

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Izzy35, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. Izzy35 macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2010
    My Macbook is full and I purchased a WD Passport so that I can clear out space on my Macbook hard drive. I don't necessarily need a back up of my ENTIRE system, I don't believe. I just really need to make sure that pictures, music and documents are always saved and secure. I want to have access to all the contents that would be moved to the Passport, especially my photos, in order to edit, save or share with other people.

    I will not be keeping the external plugged in at all times so wanted to know, 1) Is Time Machine really for me? 2) If I did use Time Machine, since it seems like an efficient way to save your files, would I be able to go into my files and manipulate them and use them FROM the Passport? 3) If I used Time Machine and had to access a file on the Passport, can I plug it in to any computer, Mac or PC, and do so? 4) I read somewhere about partitioning and allotting a portion of the Passport space for Time Machine backups and the other partition for the dragging and dropping and accessing my files...Is this smart?

    ANy help is appreciated, thanks!!
  2. Laurencia7 macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2009
    Hey Izzy,

    I just reinstalled with time machine, and trust me you want to keep the whole system on your backup. Backup at least once a month, I don't keep mine plugged in either, but keep it up to date. Be careful with the 1TB WD Passport, it got terrible reviews on crashing. Depending on the size of your internal drive get a good reviewed external, I went with the 500gb seagate, it got great reviews. If the external gets full, it deletes old backups, but it asks you first.

    As far as I know, you cannot work off the external drive. It is just for storing and restoring files. But you can delete them off your main drive and then when you need to work off them just find the date they were in and restore them back to your original drive and edit them.

    1) Yes, Time machine will be good for you. 2) No, just restore them back into your original drive and then work from them, it's very easy. Go to your local apple store and ask the basics on time machine. 3) Yes and No, Pc doesn't read the format the drive is set to when you format it under time machine for mac. Some externals come formatted, but it is really easy to format the drive. Once you do, any mac can read it, but pc can't.
    I am not sure if the partition for dropping and time machine is kosher, but if you find out let me know. There are tutorials on Youtube to help you format your drive, if you need help finding them let me know.

    Time machine will not only keep your files safe but your whole system, in case your hd crashes, which happens you can have your whole mac backed up it's very good back up plan. Or even if you replace your internal mac hd, like I did today. Soooo simple to reboot your system just as you left it.

    Hope that helped.
  3. Izzy35 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2010
    Thank you so much for taking the time out to answer/explain/help me out! Much appreciated. I have found alot of answers to my questions through helpful people like yourself.

    This is what I did. First off, my WD Passport isn't the 1Tb, it's the 650GB one. I made 2 partitions on it, 1) to be used with Time Machine and the 2nd to be used for my pics and music....the 2nd partition however, I can go in and out, using and accessing the files however I want without interfering or corrupting the Time Machine files. I had the choice of formatting the partitions to FAT32 so both a Windows PC AND a Mac would recognize the drive, but decided on just formatting it to the Mac format. I don't use WIndows enough to use that format and be bothered with its limitations.

    I think I'm ok for now and may go out and just buy a 2nd drive bc I am deathly afraid of hard drive failures and me losing all of my pictures and music.

    Thanks for all of your help! :)
  4. Laurencia7 macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2009
    Glad I could help, wish I knew how to partition my drive, but I think it's better just for me to have one time machine drive. I have so many, that it gets confusing. I think everyone is afraid of hd failure, I have had it happen once to me, but I just check the bad reviews weighed against good on amazon, and see whether the good ones out weigh the bad.

    I have had a WD 120 GB drive for 4-5 years now, and though it is huge, still works well. Though sometimes they can be noisy. And if you need to upgrade your internal HD, it's actually quite easy to do...that way you don't have to keep running out of space ;)
  5. Izzy35 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2010
    Whatever works for you is great!! No need to complicate things more than they have to be :)

    If in the future you do want to partition though, maybe to use the same drive for different purposes, etc. It is very easy to do. Just go into the Disk Utility application on the MAC and select the drive on the left hand side, that you would like to partition. Then along the top, go into the "partition" tab and that's all. It's VERY easy to do and very self explanatory. Just bare in mind, in case you do ever do it, in order to partition, it erases whatever is on the drive already so back it up first!!!
  6. Laurencia7 macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2009

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