01-03-2009, 06:01 PM #1
- Member Since
- Jan 03, 2009
(This will be long for the purpose of clarity, but I hope answering my question won't take as much time as reading it. I've also posted it on the apple support boards but got no real solution there.)
Yesterday I changed my 2004 iBook for a new Macbook Pro and I would like to know what is the best way to set up the MBP.
The use I will give this computer is minimal, I imagine, compared to the use other people give a MBP. I normally just use the computer for Office and text documents, music/movies/pictures (no editing), light web browsing, and Mail.
But of course all of this information is valuable to me and I need to have a backup of it somewhere.
For the moment I cannot buy an external hard disk.
So these are my two purposes: 1) to make the OS run as smoothly as it possibly can, and 2) to keep a backup of my files.
After reading many different suggestions online, I concluded that a good thing for my purposes might be to partition the startup disk into two volumes. In the main partition (let's call it "P1", 160GB) I installed the OS, Leopard 10.5.6. I have left the second volume empty ("P2", 72GB). I have not yet transferred my files to the Macbook.
Now, I did this but I still don't quite get how partitions work, so please excuse my ignorance. My questions are:
1) What is the best way to organize my files:
A. Keeping them in P1, and keeping a separate copy of them in P2?
B. Keeping them only in P2?
Can P2 be left without an operating system? In other words, can I simply drop all my folders and files in it? (I have trouble imagining 'where' the files are, in what structure. I can open them without trouble with the applications installed in P1, right?)
Or do I need to install an operating system in P2 for those files to be really accessible, in case something happened to P1?
Installing an OS and having a copy of all the files in P2 seems a bit dumb, doesn't it? It would literally mean having a duplicate of my main volume.
Or is there a possibility, for example, of installing a program in P2 that would protect that backup and make it accessible in case something happened to P1? (accessible from the same Mac, or from another Mac, or from a PC).
Ideally, this program would also allow me to boot the computer in case of an emergency, or work along with another program to boot the computer?
2) As I mentioned, I already partitioned the disk. But it now seems logical to me that if I can have in P1 only the OS and all the programs, I don't really need it to be 160GB, no? Maybe 30GB would be enough? This, assuming I can have all my files in P2. So would this configuration be best for keeping the OS tidy and my files safe?
So it seems I can resize the partitions with Disk Utility. But is this safe? Or will I have to re-install everything? I've read the support file Mac OS X 10.5: About resizing disk partitions, but I am not sure what "Master Boot Record Partition" means.
In other words, if I go and drag the line up so as to get a 30GB P1, and a 200GB P2, will this erase all information on P1?
3) I also haven't been able to understand what use, if any, I could give to Time Machine. Is it only designed to work with an external drive? Or could I use Time Machine to back up things to my secondary volume?
Thank you very much for reading, and I would really appreciate any help you can provide.
01-03-2009, 06:21 PM #2
- Member Since
- Dec 22, 2006
- Texas, where else?
- 15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
Sorry, to put a damper on your thoughts here. My personal opinion is that the use of two partitions on your boot drive is of no use at all. If a mechanical failure occurs to the drive, the entire drive fails. You could lose all your data ... on both partitions. A back up made to the same disk is not a back up at all. A proper backup can only be made to a separate disk.
My suggestion would be to restore the drive to a single partition. You can do this in Disk Utility simply by enlarging the existing partition to the full size of the drive without the need of re-installing.
Then, until such time as you can afford a back up drive, use your iBook for keeping duplicate copies of your sensitive files.I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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