what size external for time machine?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by offwidafairies, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. offwidafairies macrumors 6502a

    offwidafairies

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #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
     
  2. DMoose macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    #2
    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..
     
  3. Bow Rekk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    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.
     
  4. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #4
    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.
     
  5. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #5
    You also might want a partition to store different projects too. I would say get the 250. You can't ever have enough storage.
     
  6. OldSkoolNJ macrumors 6502

    OldSkoolNJ

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    #6
    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:
     
  7. offwidafairies thread starter macrumors 6502a

    offwidafairies

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #7
    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....
     
  8. Boika macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    #8
    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.
     
  9. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #9
    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
     
  10. Twinsbb17 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Location:
    Woodbury, MN
    #10
    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.
     
  11. vendettabass macrumors 6502a

    vendettabass

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Location:
    Seoul, South Korea
    #11
    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 :(
     
  12. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #12
    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.
     
  13. joeloud macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #13
    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.
     
  14. offwidafairies thread starter macrumors 6502a

    offwidafairies

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #14
    swapping external drives with TM

    Thanks for the article - it is helpful.

    Now I'm wondering if I buy a new external HDD in the future can I swap it and use TM with that? Could I simply copy the folders from the old external across to the new one and TM will work?
     
  15. Nick12945 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #15
    Yes, you could do that.
     
  16. tyr2 macrumors 6502a

    tyr2

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #16
    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.

    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.
     
  17. offwidafairies thread starter macrumors 6502a

    offwidafairies

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #17
    guess we need to not delete anything while the TM drive is not connected. doesnt seem like a big deal
     
  18. zakatov macrumors 6502a

    zakatov

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    South Florida
    #18
    The correct answer is that any file created and deleted between the hourly backups (even if the TM drive is connected) will slip thru and be lost to the black hole.
     
  19. thebassoonist macrumors 6502a

    thebassoonist

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Davis, CA
    #19
    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.
     
  20. offwidafairies thread starter macrumors 6502a

    offwidafairies

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #20
    i dont tend to delete things within the hour of creating them, luckily. maybe just move them to the trash at worst :rolleyes:
     

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