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Thread: Time machine

  1. #1

    getuptogetdown's Avatar
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    Time machine
    I have a large external hardrive...formatted to FAT32 or whatever it is. It's 250 gigs and my MBP I'm ordering is also 250 gigs. I also own another, portable, 250 gig hard drive. This is what I want to do:

    I have a windows based PC so on my large external hard drive I want to have various files from that (pictures, documents, music, etc.) which will take up about 90 gigs out of the 250. I want to use the rest of the space on Time Machine so my mac is backed up.

    On my portable hard drive I wanted to store all of the same picture, documents, music, etc. so they are transferable between machines.

    So my questions are:

    1. is it worth backing up my music and images on both hard drives or just on the portable one and keeping the larger one just for time machine??

    2. If I did that, would 250 gigs be enough space for time machine even though my computer is 250 gigs?

    This is my first mac so any other info on this topic would be great!

    Thank you

  2. #2

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by getuptogetdown View Post
    I have a large external hardrive...formatted to FAT32 or whatever it is. It's 250 gigs and my MBP I'm ordering is also 250 gigs. I also own another, portable, 250 gig hard drive. This is what I want to do:

    I have a windows based PC so on my large external hard drive I want to have various files from that (pictures, documents, music, etc.) which will take up about 90 gigs out of the 250. I want to use the rest of the space on Time Machine so my mac is backed up.

    On my portable hard drive I wanted to store all of the same picture, documents, music, etc. so they are transferable between machines.

    So my questions are:

    1. is it worth backing up my music and images on both hard drives or just on the portable one and keeping the larger one just for time machine??
    I would keep the music and images on both... if one drive goes bad, you'll still have a backup on the other.

    2. If I did that, would 250 gigs be enough space for time machine even though my computer is 250 gigs?
    It'll be fine. Time Machine doesn't quite backup everything, but it does backup quite a bit. It basically backs up once an hour, every hour. It keeps the hourly backups for a day. The next day, it starts over but keeps one of the prior day's backups as a "daily" backup and keeps dailies like that for a week. Then after a month, one weekly backup per month, etc. It goes on like that until there's no more space and then it just deletes the oldest monthlies as needed. You won't have as many backups as someone with a larger drive, but unless you have a gawdawful lot of stuff in your user folder, it'll do. You can always have TM exclude certain folders. I have it only backing up my User folders since those are all I'd worry about changing on a daily basis. You could keep "a" manual copy of /Library if you wanted, and /Applications so you don't have those copied unnecessarilly often.

    This is my first mac so any other info on this topic would be great!

    Thank you
    Hope you enjoy it! Holler back if you have any questions about anything.

  3. #3

    Jaygray's Avatar
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    #1 sounds like a personal decision. Only you know how valuable your files are. I'm not sure if you're asking if you should backup, or if you're asking if you should make multiple backups of the same files.

    The amount of space TM requires to make a backup is determined by the amount of data on your HD, not it's total capacity. Will you use the full 250gb of capacity? Some people could use a computer for years and never put 100gb on it. It this case, 250gb would be more than enough for TM.

    Somewhere, I read that you should ideally have a TM drive with a minimum of 1.2 times the capacity of the HD you are backing up. More realistically, I would base this figure on the total amount of data you think the machine will contain rather than it's total capacity.

    I would guess that if you don't go over 175-200gb of data, a 250gb backup drive would work fine for years.

    Initially, TM basically makes a copy of your HD. After that it continues to make incremental backups of only the files that have been changed. It does this continually until it runs out of space (which could take a really long time). Once the backup drive is completely full, it then starts to delete the oldest backups as needed to make room for new ones.

    Without knowing any other details, I would recommend trying out the 250gb drive with TM and it will most likely work perfectly. However, I would devote the entire drive to TM and not fill it up with other data.

    When I first starting using TM, I was concerned about how fast the drive would fill up. Now that I've used it for a while, I realize that it could take months or even years. I don't even think about it now.

    Just try it and see what happens. If you decide to do something different later, then you just delete the files off the USB drive and start over. You can always switch over to a larger backup drive at any point in the future.

  4. #4

    getuptogetdown's Avatar
    Member Since
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    15" Matte Macbook Pro 2.5Ghz 4gb RAM 250gb HD, 60gb iPod Classic maxed, iPod shuffle
    Thank you so much for the information and help! Now when it backs files up does it slow down the comp much? Does it get in the way? Or do you not notice it??

  5. #5

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by getuptogetdown View Post
    Thank you so much for the information and help! Now when it backs files up does it slow down the comp much? Does it get in the way? Or do you not notice it??
    Surprisingly, I don't notice it at all. I backup to an internal drive, so it's probably a bit faster and less intrusive than you may experience.

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