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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Internal and external storage strategy for mini

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Member Since: May 16, 2011
Posts: 1
maczo is on a distinguished road

maczo is offline
This is my plan for my mac mini:

- keep the internal HD at 320GB with OS and app things on it only. It should be underutilized with tons of free space for OS and so be fairly fast.
- get one external 2TB FW-800 HD for the home folder including iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie collection of files. (I have got a large collection of SD family video files.)
- get another 2TB FW-800 HD for time machine and a small partition to keep copy of the OS hard drive.

I will do some iMovie editing, nothing pro, from time to time.

I was also thinking about one 3-4TB ext. drive instead of the two independent enclosures but I think having two separate enclosures is less likely to loose all the data (in case of some enclosure power failure ).

Will it do the job? Any better way? (I would like Mac Pro and keep HDs inside but it is too expensive.)

Do you recommend getting a 3rd HD to be stored offsite or in some fire safe? Or alternatively store the 2nd ext. HD in a fire safe and plug it in once a while for time machine sync up?

Any comments are appreciated!
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Member Since: Jan 23, 2009
Location: Born in Scotland, Worked in Scotland then England, Now live in Wales
Posts: 867
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Mac Specs: 2010 27" iMac 16GB RAM, SSD & 1TB IHD (Mavericks) + 2013 27" iMac Fusion SSD & 3TB IHD, 32GB (Maver

IWT is offline
I can comment on some of your questions, but others more worthy and experienced will no doubt deal with the "bigger" issues.

I admit to being almost "pathological" about backups because loss of an accumulated experience of 30+ years' material would be near catastrophic for me.

So this is my meagre contribution:

Treat your mac mini IHD in the way I use my iMac SSD - store the OS, applications and personal folder (the bit that mustn't be moved.

Move your Documents and libraries (iPhoto, Aperture, iMovie etc) to a dedicated 2TB EHD. (Call it EHD1)

A second dedicated EHD2 (like you said) could be used for Time Machine, but as you have things configured above, TM will only back up your IHD, I think - not your EHD (others will correct me if I'm wrong).

What I would do would be to purchase a third EHD, partition it into two - purchase SuperDuper! and clone the IHD to one partition and the iPhoto etc EHD1 to the other partition.

That way, you've two back up systems working in different ways. Moreover, SuperDuper! makes the partition containing the OS reboot-able. Very handy.

I'm not a great fan of off-site storage or fire safes in a domestic situation. Others may disagree, but you can't ever be risk-zero!

Finally, I must state that I have no connection with the IT industry and no financial or any other interests in SuperDuper! or any other company whatsoever.

These are my simple thoughts. The more learned will take things further. I do very much want to compliment you on taking backups seriously.

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