what size external for time machine?

offwidafairies

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 5, 2007
582
0
Melbourne, Australia
Hi,
Does Time Machine need a hard-drive the same size as the internal drive? Or does it need to be exponentially bigger? Or should I just get as big as possible? I have a 160Gb MacBook Pro and am wondering whether to buy a 160Gb external for TM or a 250Gb. I need to get a mobile drive as Im travelling - therefore 250Gb is as big as I would go and there is quite a big price difference between the 2. Im only buying it to use with TM. Thanks
 

DMoose

macrumors newbie
Oct 7, 2007
23
0
I am also interested in this question..
I am ordering a 1TB iMac shortly, but only own a 250GB External drive.

How effective could time machine be i wonder..
 

Bow Rekk

macrumors member
Jun 22, 2007
97
0
UK
Also, could it be smaller?

I have a 32ish gig backup partition on my external hd which I have been using with the worst backup software ever written until I just got sick of it and copied over folders... Hopefully time machine will be able to replace this. I am on a macbook pro with 120gig hd but I still have almost 80 gig left and I don't plan to really use much more as I have the external for audio.

Cheers.
 

emptyCup

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2005
1,482
1
Hi,
Does Time Machine need a hard-drive the same size as the internal drive? Or does it need to be exponentially bigger? Or should I just get as big as possible? I have a 160Gb MacBook Pro and am wondering whether to buy a 160Gb external for TM or a 250Gb. I need to get a mobile drive as Im travelling - therefore 250Gb is as big as I would go and there is quite a big price difference between the 2. Im only buying it to use with TM. Thanks
Time machine needs a drive at least as big as the data that is actually in use. If only 40 GB of your 160 GB drive is in use than you could use any size drive larger than 40 GB. After the first backup Time machine only stores changes. The more extra space you have, the further back in time you will be able to go.
 

Ugg

macrumors 68000
Apr 7, 2003
1,991
16
Penryn
You also might want a partition to store different projects too. I would say get the 250. You can't ever have enough storage.
 

OldSkoolNJ

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2006
381
0
I would almost always tell my customers buy what ever your budget allows. As we all well know it will always come in handy. As far as back up is concerned this is an incremental backup time machine will do. So as time goes on the space needed will exceed the amount of space used on your main hard drive. The bigger you go the longer you will be able to keep backups around.

Kevin :apple:
 

offwidafairies

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 5, 2007
582
0
Melbourne, Australia
Geez that's a really expensive backup. But I guess I need to ask the question, how much is my data worth? And Time Machine looks awesome. I had a 120Gb HDD fail on me with 6months of editing gone in an instant. I was new to computers and had I been more experienced, should have noticed the speed changes and whirring and time it took to start up in the weeks preceeding. Since then, I realise the importance of backing up everything. Although, I admit I have still lost small amounts of work from corrupted files since. Ah well....
 

Boika

macrumors regular
Jul 4, 2007
121
0
I have a 750GB external HD for my future macbook pro which i will be ordering in about a week, i wont be able to lug my external hd around with me, so after a day at uni when i come home and plug in the external HD will time machine backup everything i had did in that day or will it only log changes that are made when its plugged in? And also how fast and effective is an external hd used through firewire 800 when plugged in to a cinema display that it then plugged into a macbook pro? i will be doing video editing etc, will this lag much? Thanks.
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
17,843
8,725
Colorado
I would almost always tell my customers buy what ever your budget allows. As we all well know it will always come in handy. As far as back up is concerned this is an incremental backup time machine will do. So as time goes on the space needed will exceed the amount of space used on your main hard drive. The bigger you go the longer you will be able to keep backups around.

Kevin :apple:
That is good advice and I agree completely. I found an article that might help you decide.

http://www.macworld.com/2007/10/features/leopard_time_machine/index.php
 

Twinsbb17

macrumors member
Oct 31, 2006
85
55
Woodbury, MN
I wonder if one will be able to pick and choose which files Time Machine backs up. I have 300GB of legally ripped movies but I don't want my 1TB external drive to copy everyone of them to back up. I mean, if one gets deleted accidently, I can re-rip 'em. Sure if the whole hard drive goes capput, even if i had backed them all up with Time Machine, they'd be lost anyways.

All I'd need Time machine to back up is System files, iPhoto Library, my 60gigs of iTunes music, documents, and misc short movies in my movie folder.
 

vendettabass

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2006
894
0
Wellington, New Zealand
I wonder if one will be able to pick and choose which files Time Machine backs up. I have 300GB of legally ripped movies but I don't want my 1TB external drive to copy everyone of them to back up. I mean, if one gets deleted accidently, I can re-rip 'em. Sure if the whole hard drive goes capput, even if i had backed them all up with Time Machine, they'd be lost anyways.

All I'd need Time machine to back up is System files, iPhoto Library, my 60gigs of iTunes music, documents, and misc short movies in my movie folder.
same here! (well 20GB of music) I have a 500GB HDD in my iMac but only a 250GB External... I'd really love to use Time Machine though :(
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,686
3,378
Hi,
Does Time Machine need a hard-drive the same size as the internal drive? Or does it need to be exponentially bigger? Or should I just get as big as possible? I have a 160Gb MacBook Pro and am wondering whether to buy a 160Gb external for TM or a 250Gb. I need to get a mobile drive as Im travelling - therefore 250Gb is as big as I would go and there is quite a big price difference between the 2. Im only buying it to use with TM. Thanks
Usually I'd say go for the largest you can afford. There are some situations where you can go with less: Obviously, if you only use 40 of your 160GB, you won't need that much space on Time Machine. And if you have huge amounts of data that are available from somewhere else, you don't need Time Machine for them. For example, you might have some DVDs copied to your MacBook. There is no need to back them up in Time Machine, because you can just copy them again. Or you might have things like music + videos that are usually kept at your desktop computer and you copy them to your laptop; that doesn't need backing up.
 

joeloud

macrumors newbie
Oct 22, 2007
23
0
Los Angeles, CA
I have a 750GB external HD for my future macbook pro which i will be ordering in about a week, i wont be able to lug my external hd around with me, so after a day at uni when i come home and plug in the external HD will time machine backup everything i had did in that day or will it only log changes that are made when its plugged in? And also how fast and effective is an external hd used through firewire 800 when plugged in to a cinema display that it then plugged into a macbook pro? i will be doing video editing etc, will this lag much? Thanks.
That's a very good question. At least, I was wondering the same thing. I mean, as I understand how Time Machine works, it'll duplicate everything, and create new copies as they are changed. So... if you create a file while it's not connected, and then sync up, or whatever it does, it should duplicate the file. Now, if you were to create a file, then accidentally delete it before hooking up the external, I'm not sure what would happen.

The question came to my mind when I was thinking about my MBP, and how I only have 1 external drive right now and it's typically connected to my with MP. I was considering getting another 2.5" external for the laptop, and it made me wonder what use Time Machine would be on a laptop if the external HAD to be connected ALL the time. That just isn't always practical to take it out and plug it in (even less convenient if you get a HD that needs external power). I'd bet the Apple guys thought of this, and there's probably someone here who knows how this would work.

Edit: I missed your question about effectiveness of plugging into a cinema display. AFAIK, the Cinema Displays don't have FW800 connections, only FW400.
 

offwidafairies

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 5, 2007
582
0
Melbourne, Australia

tyr2

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2006
801
83
Leeds, UK
I wonder if one will be able to pick and choose which files Time Machine backs up.
You can exclude directories from the Time Machine backup. Just configure it in System Preferences. I have my 'Movies' folder excluded along with a few others.

Now, if you were to create a file, then accidentally delete it before hooking up the external, I'm not sure what would happen.
You'll lose the file.

When you reconnect the drive it will automatically sync all changes that have been made whilst the drive has been disconnected but there's no backup until you reconnect the drive.
 

offwidafairies

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 5, 2007
582
0
Melbourne, Australia
When you reconnect the drive it will automatically sync all changes that have been made whilst the drive has been disconnected but there's no backup until you reconnect the drive.
guess we need to not delete anything while the TM drive is not connected. doesnt seem like a big deal
 

thebassoonist

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2007
500
1
Davis, CA
I have a 160GB internal hard drive. I got a 500GB Iomega external hard drive (the one on their website) from TigerDirect and it works really well. I have a ton of extra storage, but it's nice.
 
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