Using Time Machine with external HDD and MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by JarScott, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. JarScott, Apr 23, 2014
    Last edited: May 3, 2014

    JarScott macrumors 68040

    JarScott

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    At this current point in time I do not have a back up for my MacBook Pro (I know, shock, horror...don't judge). Anyway, I fully understand it's time to change this fact but I'm unsure as to how to go about it. I have a Retina MacBook Pro with a 256GB SSD and I'm thinking about buying a 500GB (will that be enough?) external hard drive to use as my Time Machine back up. However, I understand that Time Machine works effectively when it is set to back up automatically in which case it can take daily or even hourly back ups of your machine. But, I don't want to have an HDD plugged into my MacBook 24/7 just to allow me this. What would be the best advice on how and when to back up a MacBook Pro with Time Machine?

    Update: I purchased a 500GB USB 3.0 Toshiba portable hard drive and have set up Time Machine! I've decided I will be performing a back up once a week as this seems to be the most practical of options. Thanks for all your help!
     
  2. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    #2
    You can use Time Machine whenever an opportunity arises to plug in the external hard drive (and yes, based on 256GB SSD, a 512GB hard drive is plenty). You just need to plug it in for an hour or so to do the first backup, then time machine will back up whenever the hard drive is attached..
     
  3. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #3
    To avoid plugging in backup disks I simply hook it to the back of my AirPort Extreme. Local (USB Connected) hard drives are great so long that you remember to plug them in.
     
  4. JarScott thread starter macrumors 68040

    JarScott

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #4
    Okay, thanks for explaining this to me. I guess it's just a case of remembering to attach the hard drive regularly.
     
  5. mihirkamat macrumors newbie

    mihirkamat

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    NJ
    #5
    You could either buy a new 802.11ac airport extreme and connect a usb disk to it, or (preferred) buy a time capsule. they're a little expensive, but worth it. backups that you have to remember to do are not nearly as good.

    i've had one for ~ 2 years and it's been very reliable.
     
  6. mihirkamat macrumors newbie

    mihirkamat

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    NJ
  7. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #7
    Buying an Extreme or time machine is a waste of money if you already have a USB drive for backups. As already stated plug it in occasionally and you will have all the backup you need.

    Unless you are doing critical work on a minute by minute basis you should be fine.
     
  8. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #8
    When TimeMachine tries to do its routine backup and the drive is not connected, you will get an error notification which you can ignore. When you get a chance, connect the hard drive and use the time machine menu to "backup now". Try not to disconnect the drive while TimeMachine is doing a backup. The status is available in the menu. If you have to disconnect, make sure to use the finder to eject the drive before pulling the cable.
     
  9. Barney63 macrumors 6502a

    Barney63

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Location:
    Bolton, UK.
    #9
    I'm sure I've read that they recommend your backup drive should be 3x the size of the drive it is backing up.
    You can pick up second hand Time Capsules on ebay quite cheap.

    Barney
     
  10. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #10
    In my experience Time Machine will nag you every ten days or so if you have not completed a backup, so you do not have to worry about forgetting.

    A.
     
  11. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #11
    I don't think thats right, unless you want to keep years of history.

    The minimum drive size is a little more than the amount of data stored on the internal drive. To make it easy, the backup drive should be at least the same size as the internal drive. Doubling the size is a very conservative estimate for home use. Time Machine just throws away older currently deleted files when it runs out of space. Do you think you will ever need that document you deleted two years ago? :)
     
  12. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #12
    The recommended is 1.5x your storage capacity.
     

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