Two different backups via Time Machine?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ScandinavianSerendipity, May 5, 2018.

  1. ScandinavianSerendipity macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2018
    Hi there!
    I have a bit of a hard drive problem: I have been using a 1TB external hard drive for backup of my Mac and for storage (two different partitions). For the backup I've been using Time Machine manually, so with automatic backup turned off.
    The thing is that I've just purchased another external hard drive (2TB), which I would like to use partly for storage backup from the 'original' external hard drive and for computer (internal hard drive) backup - and then for some extra storage but that's not relevant. Three partitions in total.

    Now, because this is tricky (for me at least) I've tried to visualise what the future constellation could look like - see attached picture.

    So my question is this: Is it possible to run two different backups via Time Machine?
    Backup 1 would be from the Mac computer to partition 2 on external HD 2.
    Backup 2 would be from external HD 1 to partition 1 on external HD 2.

    I find that manual use of Time Machine would be great for both backups. I would like to avoid having to 'make my own system' and manage/keep track of what I have and haven't backed up from the storage unit.

    I've read shortly about 'rotating disks' with Time Machine but that wouldn't be relevant here, as I see it. What I'm trying to do is not one source and two different destinations, but two different sources and two different destinations...
    Any input is much appreciated - thank you!

    Attached Files:

  2. GoodHealthIT macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2017
    The answer to that question is yes, but not in the manner that you want. Both backups would need to be done from the mac via Time Machine.
    If you want just one backup from the Mac and then another from the backup drive to a third drive, you will need to look at alternative products
  3. ScandinavianSerendipity thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2018
    Thank you - are there any specific products that you would recommend?
    Preferably something either free (but still reliable) or fairly cheap.
  4. liya1201 macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
    Your "Backup 1" can be done by Time Machine but I don't think Time Machine can do the "Backup 2" if your "external HD 1" is not a startup drive. For "Backup 2", you would need a backup app such as Carbon Copy Cloner or others.
  5. techwarrior macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2009
    I believe that while TM can backup to two different disks, it is an all or nothing proposition. In other words, everything that gets backed up to D1 also gets backed up to D2. It would be nice to be able to set different properties for each destination drive, but then Apple tends to try to keep things simple for the "average" user.

    By default Time Machine puts all external drives in the exclusion list (Options in the TM Settings). For external drives, or even internal partitions that are not Mac format, they are grayed about and cannot be removed from he exclude list. Same with TM partitions. Any Mac formatted external drives you want included in the backups can be removed from the exclusion list.
  6. hobowankenobi, May 7, 2018
    Last edited: May 7, 2018

    hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2015
    on the land line mr. smith.
    If you really want to get granular on what, when, will need a different tool. Tons out there.

    Some of the most popular commercial:

    • CCC
    • SuperDuper
    • Get Backup Pro
    • ChronoSync
    • Tri-Backup

    There are some good free tools too:

    • Synkron
    • arSync
    • backupList+
    • backaroo

    the list goes on....others will list their favorites.

    Generally the commercial tools are better/easier/less buggy, are updated regularly and require less fiddling and monitoring, not to mention the possibility of support if you have a question or problem.

    I think Get Backup Pro may be the best value at $20. Some of the others are more feature rich, but at double the price (or more).

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