Using Time Machine on a partitioned HD

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bpm30, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. bpm30 macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2012
    Hey everyone,

    I recently upgraded my iMac's internal HD from 500GB to 1TB. I also have a 1 TB external HD that is partitioned into two drives, one 700 GB and the other 300. I used to use the 700GB partition for my time machine images, and the 300 GB partition for extra storage. Now that I upgraded my internal HD to 1TB, I realized I cannot partition my external for time machine anymore.

    However, I am unlikely to go over 500 GB on my internal HD anytime soon. If I have let's say, 250 GB of data used on my internal HD out of a max of 1TB, could I still use only 700GB on my external for Time Machine images? Or do I need at least 1TB of storage, regardless of how much of the internal hard drive is used up?

    Thanks a lot!
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    It is possible to store regular files on a partition that is being used for TM. I never bother partitioning drives any more. I do suggest you have a target volume that is as least as big as the volume you are backing up because you never want to have to deal with "moving" your TM backup to a larger device at an inopportune time. It's better to do that sort of thing according to plan.
  3. Meyvn macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2005
    Do you have a backup for the external hard drive? Otherwise, using part of it for external storage is unwise. It just puts that data at risk. You should, if possible, store all your data on your main hard drive, and use the external to back all of it up.

    It's easy to move to this model using Disk Utility without erasing the already-backed-up portion on the '700' side of the drive. Just open up Disk Utility, on the left choose the name of the external drive (NOT the name of the partition), go to the 'Partitions' tab on the right, and (after you have moved any files on the '300' side back to the main internal drive, of course), and you can delete (not erase; delete) the smaller-sized partition.

    After you've done that, there should be three little drag lines in the bottom-right corner of the other partition. You should then be able to enlarge it to the full 1TB size, without having lost any of your backup data.
  4. bpm30 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2012
    Thanks Meyvn. I definitely have enough space on my internal drive to not use my external, but I tend to use my external to move files between different computers. It acts kind of like a giant USB stick.
  5. Meyvn macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2005
    I understand. We all have our limited resources. I don't own a USB flash drive either, and often end up using SD cards to move things around.

    But if that's the case, then look no further than r0k's statement; you can still store files on Time Machine partitions just fine.
  6. bpm30 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2012
    Thanks for your help.

    Over time, wouldn't the external HD be completely filled with Time Machine images going back further and further in time? If so, wouldn't I eventually have no space for additional storage?

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