Time machine SSD boot question....

Discussion in 'macOS' started by jharvey71884, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. jharvey71884 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #1
    So for the last year, I have been booting my iMac from an external 256GB SSD plugged in by USB 3.0.

    I'm changing my desk setup around and am not going to have one my externals plugged in all the time anymore. It was the one I was using for Time Machine.

    I'm in the process of backing up my SSD now, to my internal iMac hard drive, which never gets any use. It literally had 900 GB out of 1TB free. I got the machine and immediately started booting to SSD.

    Do you see any issues with this? External SSD boot backed up to the internal drive?
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    I would consider backing up from an external SSD to the -internal- hard drive to be "the preferred backup solution". Yes, you want to do that.

    This way, you ALWAYS have a second, immediately-accessible copy of your "primary installation" for ready use if needed.

    I do this myself.

    Something else I do:
    Since the internal hard drive is so much larger than my boot SSD, I have partitioned the internal drive into several smaller partitions.
    The first one is equivalent in size to my external boot SSD, and this gets my CCC cloned backup.
    The others are partitioned as needed.

    I also backup to additional external drives, as well.
    You can't have "too many backups"!
     
  3. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #3
    The main issue I see is that if your Mac fails for some reason, your internal backup drive could go down with it. You’d have to open the Mac up to recover your drive. Something to keep in mind, because if you ended up getting rid of it after that, your time machine backup drive would still be inside.

    It certainly is an unconventional setup, so it’s likely not a very tested or supported backup arrangement. I used to have a spare HDD as an internal backup on my Mac Pro, but I still had a separate internal boot drive and an external backup as well.
     
  4. jharvey71884 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #4
    Good call on losing it if iMac craps out on me. Might change my thinking on the subject.
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    "Good call on losing it if iMac craps out on me. Might change my thinking on the subject."

    No. Don't change.
    Consider:
    Your primary drive already IS an external drive (an SSD). If the Mac suddenly dies, just unplug your primary SSD from the old Mac, plug it into the new one, migrate the data, and keep going. Because it's your primary boot drive, it will be "up to date" -- no need to reach for "a backup".

    Having the backup on the internal drive protects you against THE SSD's FAILURE. If the SSD has problems, you just boot from the internal (as most folks do anyway).

    The fact that the Mac might fail, has no relevance at all to this strategy. None.

    Of course, it wouldn't help to make and keep a "second backup" at some location other than your house. An "off-site" backup protects you against things like theft, fire, etc.
     
  6. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 68000

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #6
    Perhaps just encrypting the internal backup would be enough?
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    If you encrypt the internal backup, and the SSD fails, and you have trouble remembering your password... you'll be "up the creek"... ;)
     

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6 February 24, 2018