View Full Version : Setting up Time Machine and External Drives.

3rd March 2009, 04:10 PM
I've just purchased my new 1TB WD My Book Studio. I already own a WD 500gb My book studio which I plan on having constantly connected to my MBP for my iTunes library, file storage and scratch disk. I also want to start using this drive for Time Machine.

The purpose of the 1TB is for a backup of my files on the 500gb drive and also archive some of my Time Machine backups.

Right now I've got 2 partitions on my 500gb which is File Storage and University. I wont be partitioning the 1TB drive so I will have to organize the files in folders in there.
As for the 500gb External drive, should I have 1 partition for Time Machine and 1 for my File Storage (itunes, movies etc). How much space will i need to leave for the Time Machine Partition? I also want to use the File Storage Partition as a scratch disk when I do some of my design work.

Does anyone see any problems with the way I will be setting up my Drives and Time Machine? would having a drive then I use to work off (images, websites, etc.) and Time machine be too much stress on the drive? oh also The 500gb will always be connected through Firewire800 and the 1TB backup drive will be connected through firewire (not always connected).


3rd March 2009, 04:56 PM
I think time machine works best with at least 1.5x the capaicty of the HD you want to back up. Lets say you have a 200GB HD in your MBP which typically runs close to capacity and you wish all the content to be backed up, then a 300GB time machine partition would allow for the initial back up plus quit a bit of incremental back ups. But that doesn't leave a lot of space left for your media and scratch disk.

Your requirements could be less if you only wish to back up a smaller portion of your HD and if you manage your HD carefully (no wholesale shifting of folder structures, exclude constantly changing large files - like torrents etc).

Why do you want to archive the time machine backups? If you give yourself sufficent space on the Time Machine drive then I don't see this as neccessary.

3rd March 2009, 04:59 PM
So are you running Time Machine on the 500GB now? And why would you want to "archive" backups?

You said "just purchased 1TB. I already own a WD 500gb which I plan on having constantly connected to my MBP for my iTunes library, file storage and scratch disk. I also want to start using this drive for Time Machine."

What drive do you want to use for TM??

3rd March 2009, 05:40 PM
i want to use the 500gb drive for time machine but also shared with some storage files.

my OS X partition is only ~145GB since I have a windows 40GB partition mainly just for games. I usually have about 20-30gb+ free on my OS X partition

I'm just paranoid having one of my external drives failing on me so i though i would archive probably once a month? of the current TM back up, when i want to archive again ill just delete the older archive and then archive the most recent TM backup.

i guess i will leave about 250GB for TM and 200GB+ for itunes(i dont have a very big library ~20gb) and scratch. I will temporarily have some videos an apps on there then move it to my 1tb Drive. And then backup to DVD.

I also don't want TM to backup my downloads as I regularly do that anyway and it constantly changes.

3rd March 2009, 06:26 PM
I still think it's overkill.

The idea of Time Machine, similarly with a "mirrored" RAID set up, is to spread risk. The chances of one hard drive failing; not all that unlikely. The chances of two hard drives failing at the same time; near nothing.

My suggestion is to differentiate between data you like, and data that you cannot operate on a daily basis without. For the latter, a mixture of your internal hard drive, your Time Machine hard drive, MobileMe and a re-writable DVD would be spreading your risk so far that the likelihood of data loss would be one in many, many millions.

Also, to simplify this, I would think of your internal and one external as one "volume" to back up.

In my situation, I have my Mac internal and an external drive split into TM, and a general data-that-I-don't-really-need partition. My internal drive is 120GB, and I have my TM @ 160GB. Apart from the standard documents, 1000's of RAW images (maybe you have video footage or audio samples, etc.) are also in the "can't live without" data category. So I import into Aperture then immediately archive the Master files to CD/DVD and file them away safely. After I am finished with the project, I permanently relocate the RAWs to another 2.5" drive, which I don't need to back up, as I already have onto optical disks.

3rd March 2009, 07:57 PM
ok, there is no point in backing up files on the same disk they're stored.

the simplest solution is to use your 500GB disk for itunes/scratch/etc as currently, then use the 1TB drive for Time machine, to backup the internal drive and the 500GB drive.

3rd March 2009, 08:12 PM
oh no, i wont be backing anything up on the partition with my itunes etc. just my internal drive.
i want to keep the 1tb drive offline and not connected nor plugged in and only back up my current TM backup once a month. as for my itunes library being on the same drive as where TM is, i will be backing that up once a month as well when i back up my TM. so i'm basically backing up my 500gb onto my 1tb every month. the TM backup i put on the 1tb will be deleted once i backup the new TM backup during that day.

how does everyone use TM? does it back up every hour for you or only when you want to back up?

3rd March 2009, 08:13 PM
sounds like you're making it more complicated that it needs to be.

3rd March 2009, 08:48 PM
sounds like you're making it more complicated that it needs to be.
Yeah I was skirting around saying that, but I agree.

3rd March 2009, 08:57 PM
Alright, I've decided to make my new 1TB drive as the one I will have my Time Machine backup and other media. I will use the 500GB as once a month archive of of 1TB Time Machine backup and the other media. I will have a 300GB partition for TM on both drives and the rest of the space will go to storage and the backup 2. I really would like to have an offline backup/drive because of the power surges and blackouts that happen here every few months.


3rd March 2009, 09:00 PM
you're still making it harder than you need to.

as i said before. storing data on a backup drive is a) stupid and b) pointless.

what exactly are you hoping all this backup of backups will achieve?

3rd March 2009, 09:00 PM
Remember to get outside on the weekend, yeah?

3rd March 2009, 10:35 PM
what way can i set it all up then and also have a drive offline?
the point of having TM on is if i accidently delete or modify a file that im working on. backup of the back up is pretty much the back up drive. i should now have enough space on my laptop to work with so i wont be using one of the drives as a scratch unless im doing video work which i wont even bother letting time machine backing up.

and yes i already have something planned for the weekend, alanthomasball.......

3rd March 2009, 11:05 PM
you aren't really telling us what you want to achieve, you're still saying how you want to do it - the "offline" drive. what is it's purpose for you?

3rd March 2009, 11:27 PM
to have a back up of important files to me and the os. i always unplug my mbp when i head out. surges or blackouts has already damaged my modem.

i want to have backups offline and also backups of accidental deletion or modification of files while im on my computer.

3rd March 2009, 11:30 PM
sounds to me like you'd be better just using Time Machine.