TIme Machine Install Question

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by hyram, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. hyram macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #1
    Ok... I've searched for this and haven't seen that anyone has tried it this way (yet), and I'm new to the whole Time Maching thing so please bare with me.

    Is it possible to ihave Time Machine use a disk that is already being used for storage without loosing the data that is already there??? So I guess I'm asking two questions: 1. Does TM format the target HD, and 2. Can TM play nice and share a HD??? I suppose I could partition it, but I don't really want to do that either.

    And a bonus question... what format does TM use??? Can you recover files without using the TM program???

    TIA,

    hyram
     
  2. devburke Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #2
    I think it does reformat the HD, so make another copy of those files first. But once it’s on there, you can put other stuff on the drive too. At the base of the drive, there will be a folder called Backups.backupdb. That’s where all the backups are stored. You’re free to put anything else on the drive as long as it’s outside that folder.

    And yes, you can restore things without going into the Time Machine program, by browsing this folder. However, the Time Machine program can do things that browsing the folder can’t. If you’re just browsing the Finder, the only real difference is the presentation, but you can also launch Time Machine while in programs like iPhoto, Address Book, or Mail to see previous versions of those programs, which would mean browsing cryptic system files through the Finder doing it the other way.
     
  3. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    Oct 29, 2006
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    #3
    TM will only reformat if it needs to. TM requires HFS+, so if you have a Windows formatted drive (NTFS, FAT32), it will prompt you before erasing the drive.

    If the drive's already formatted HFS+, you can use the drive for both TM and general storage, without erasing the general data already there. Of course, anything else stored there will limit the size of the TM backup (which means it won't go as far back in time).
     
  4. hyram thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #4
    Thanks for the replies. gr8tfly... I like you answer better than devburke. Sorry deburke :) I'm not too worried about the size, the drive is a 7TB RAID5, it's about 1/3 full of video at the moment, kind of the reason why I don't exactly want TM to do a format. I'm just wanting to get a backup for all the other stuff.

    One more question: is it possible to have two different installations of SL (same machine) backup via TM on the same disk??? They would obviously only backup when that particular install is being run, but I'm almost betting that this would totally confuse things.

    hyram
     
  5. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #5
    Nope, should work fine. In your Time Machine partition, in the folder "Backups.backupdb", there will be a folder created for each "machine" you decide to backup. I would suggest creating a suitably sized partition for Time Machine. Generally, about 2x the maximum you think you use. For instance for a 320GB drive, a minimum would be 640GB. As it stands now, I'm only using 150GB, so there's a "loong past" I'm creating for myself.

    All the other external partitions and drives will be excluded by Time Machine, but you can modify this list in the Time Machine Preference "Options" button.
     
  6. hyram thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #6
    Thanks gr8tfly, I 'll give it a try as soon as I can find the time.

    hyram
     

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