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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?" :)

External hard drive

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Member Since: Aug 06, 2010
Location: Sarasota Florida
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I just got a new external hard drive for my laptop. 1.5 Terabytes!! My first PC had a hard drive size of just 500 KILO bytes (if i remember correctly). Amazing.

Anyway.....Time machine came up and I backed up everything just fine and let it do it's thing. I also set it up so that Downloads went there.

Lately I've been reading that time machine just keeps going on and on until it fills up the hard drive.

My question is this...should I and can I partition the external hard drive to give time machine a specific part of it, say 250 gigabytes, so that it won't just over run the whole hard drive or is this just not a problem at all?

Thanks for all your patience with all the new user questions!
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That's what I did. TM does keep going until the drive is full, then it deletes the oldest backup (It does warn you about that), to make space for more. I use Time Machine Editor to slow down the backups to twice a day, noon and midnight. I don't need my data backed up as frequently as TM does it naturally. If it were in an office, or in a business context, it might be more important to be backed up more frequently, but I use it for disaster recovery only, so twice a day is plenty for me.
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Like jakerich said, it's totally okay to partition your TM HDD. If you are storing other information on your drive besides TM backups, and you want a fixed amount of space dedicated to those other things, then a partition is necessary. If you find it unnecessary to partition and set a fixed size for other information, then you can go about your business as usual and delete older TM backups manually when you need more space for other things.

With an external that size, your should not have an issue though.

To answer your questions directly then;
Yes you can partition the drive
And you don't necessarily need to, unless it makes you feel more comfortable.

If someone is being helpful, use the reputation system on your left!
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And as a recent switcher I was delighted to discover how easy it is to partition an external hard drive using Mac OS's Disk Utility. Simply a piece of cake. The only hard bit was deciding which format to use for the new partition.

I ended up plugging in a second external hard drive and putting both a Mac and a Windows partition on it, since we still have a couple of Windows computers in the house.
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