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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Question about this Time Machine thing....

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Member Since: Jun 19, 2010
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So I have a 1tb drive in the iMac. I am also using bootcamp. The drive is split 70/30 in favour of the mac, & I have very little extra programs or files in either partition yet.

So, if I purchase a USB powered 1Tb drive, and leave it permanently plugged into a usb port, I assume it will back up my mac part. But will it also back up the windows part?

I dont mean 'intimately' back it up, in great detail, and it I know it also wouldn't back it up if I were actually using windows... But if I am mainly on the mac side, would it back up the bootcamp partition at the same time (Almost as 'Extra Information) or not?

In other words, if I had a crash, and used time machine to go back to before the crash, would the files on the bootcamp partition also go back to that point in time, or would they be lost?

Finally, considering I dont intend to KEEP lots of files on the iMac, unless I am actually working on them, and all finished work would be saved to separate disc anyway, is getting a 1tb drive, and leaving it connected all the time overkill? Or is a 500GB enough?

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Time Machine will not back up the Bootcamp partition, you will need separate windows backup software for that. A lot of people use Super Duper and Carbon Copy Cloner to make clones of their drives. I don't use them, but they may make an image of the entire drive including the bootcamp partition, but someone that uses them will have to answer that.

As far as the size of the drive goes, I read somewhere that the drive you use for Time Machine should be at least as big as your main drive, but I don't know if that is a must or not.

I also keep most of my documents on a separate drive, and use the main drive for applications and mainly working documents, with backups on my storage drive. I have a 1TB drive in the iMac, a 1TB drive used for Time Machine and a 1TB drive as my storage drive. Both externals stay connected all the time. Some may say it's overkill to have 3TB of storage, but it's what works for me as I often work with large scene files in various 3D applications.
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Member Since: Apr 18, 2010
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Originally Posted by Chef_eam View Post
As far as the size of the drive goes, I read somewhere that the drive you use for Time Machine should be at least as big as your main drive, but I don't know if that is a must or not.
I do believe it is. If it isn't a requirement, the drive should at least be big enough to house all files currently on your system. After all, Time machine will make a copy of the files on your disk. for this reason, the initial backup will be of the same size as your disk at that time. Any next backup will only register changes, so will require less space.

I personally advice to use a disk LARGER than the disk you use in your Mac, since that allows Time Machine to create multiple backup-points. This way, if you lose an older file, you can still retrieve it by going back to an older backup. The newer backup may already have dumped this file as well. (Note that Time Machine will at some point start discarding old backups to make place for new ones if the drive fills up.)
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