Using MBP as Time Machine Disk for Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by macaroni steve, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. macaroni steve macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2008
    I have an idea that I'm not sure is possible to execute. I don't want to leave my MBP running but rather tuck it away behind the desk in target disk mode.

    I'm wondering if there's a way to use the MBP as my Mac pro's time machine drive (in target disk mode) AND use that backup as my MBP's system drive. Basically, I want my laptop to be a clone of my desktop, so that I can simply grab the MBP and I know that everything is the same.

    Any thoughts? or alternative methods I could look into. Not interested in using a cloud sync software like Dropbox as It will only sync particular folders and not clone a system.
  2. macaroni steve thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2008
    Or is there a way to sync them between a shared drive where both the MBP and Mac Pro use the same time machine volume?
  3. Daffodil macrumors 6502


    Jun 7, 2011
    In a sunny state of mind
    As long as your computer recognizes the MBP as a writeable disk, I see no obvious reason you shouldn't be able to use it as your time machine...

    Until I got my TM set up, the computer would ask for every new disk plugged in something like "Do you want to use this for time machine?", so a pretty quick check would be connecting them, then if something doesn't automatically pop up, go to Preferences>Time Machine>Select Disk and see if lets you select the MBP.

    As far as syncing them with a shared drive, I think that'd be more tricky...
  4. macaroni steve thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2008
    Yes, Me neither. It should recognize it just fine. My question is whether I can use that Volume as my MBPs working drive - so that essentially I have a clone of my desktop's HD
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    A Time Machine backup is sort of a database of files, it's not a working boot volume. You can't boot from a Time Machine backup.

    You could have a Time Machine backup on a MBP's drive, but I think you'd need to partition it, but mebbe not. If not, you still couldn't access the Time Machine backup of your Mac Pro without using something like Back in Time since that isn't the MBP's backup.

    You're thinking, I guess, of a clone. But that wouldn't work either. The system software to boot a MBP is different than the software to boot a Mac Pro, except in a recovery disk or something, but that isn't what you want.

    So, in short, having "everything the same" is impossible. Even if you moved some data file to the MBP, and then changed it, it would no longer be the same and you would be forced to figure which of the two versions was the one you wanted. Time Machine does versions of a single file in a single place; syncing is all about reconciling two versions of the same file into (usually) the most current one.

    You need to come up with a better strategy that meets your needs. Like a server/client model, or using the cloud. Or using file syncing software.


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