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TattooedMac

 
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Member Since: May 19, 2009
Location: Waiting for a mate . . .
Posts: 7,730
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Mac Specs: 21" iMac 2.9Ghz 10.9.4 13"MBP 2.9Ghz i7 Yosemite 10.10 ~ iPhone5 iOS 8 ~ iPad Mini iOS 8 ~ ATV3 6.1

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You cant use TM as a bootable HD if your fails. If you really want to be safe you need to make another partition on your ext and make a bootable clone using either Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper.

TM is good to retrieve files when you need them but it isnt bootable.

When your HD fails with either of the others you can boot from the Ext and use you MAc without a problem until you can replace your Internal.

Personally i like and use SD as my clone and as a separate backup.
It really is a must in this day and age.
Hope this helps some

Cheers

EDIT: if you got anymore specific questions please ask away

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