View Full Version : Repartitioning External HD

BB Bocol
05-28-2013, 09:11 AM
I'm setting up a new external 1TB Seagate HD to back up using Time Machine. I originally created 3 partitions of 333 GB each but none was large enough to do a full Time Machine back up of my MBP which required 420GB.

Using Disk Utility's Partition tab I reduced the size of one partition down to 150GB to create some space. But I can't seem to get the other partitions to increase their capacity to accomodate the 420GB I need..

Any suggestions? Thanks.

MBP running OS X 10.8.3

05-28-2013, 10:10 AM
If nothing is stored on the drive, just wipe out all partitions and start over. That's the easiest way. If stuff is stored, copy it to a different drive and then wipe it all out.

05-28-2013, 12:08 PM
And just as an FYI: You can store multiple Time Machine backups along with additional other data within a single partition. Using a partition with Time Machine does not preclude using that partition for other data the way most other backup software does.

BB Bocol
05-28-2013, 02:04 PM
Thank you for both replies. I set up separate partitions because I wanted to back up three separate MacBook Pros, one in each partition to avoid confusing Time Machine.

You're telling me I can back up three separate laptops in one partition with no confusion?


05-28-2013, 03:39 PM

You're telling me I can back up three separate laptops in one partition with no confusion?

Yes, you can.

05-28-2013, 03:52 PM
I've been using the same Time Capsule for 6 yrs now and it currently has TM backups for 3 Macs plus additional stuff from one of my Windows machines on it - all in a single partition.

This is not what most of us (incl'g myself) would call best practice. I started doing this right after Time Machine and the Time Capsule came out as an experiment and have never (knock on wood) had a problem and so never changed it.

Every once in awhile - like perhaps 3 or 4 times over the 6 years - one of the Macs will claim it can't find the Time Capsule while the other 2 continue working. A reboot of the TC has taken care of that issue thus far.

05-28-2013, 03:58 PM
In addition to what bobtomay said, backing up three machines to one physical drive, partitioned or not, is putting a lot of backup eggs in one basket, so to speak. If that one drive fails (and they all do, eventually) then you lose backups for all three systems. You could add another physical drive (or more) and RAID them if you are concerned about that.

05-28-2013, 04:40 PM
I should probably note that I also keep a separate bootable backup of the machines where I'm unwilling to have any data loss.

The likelihood that your backup drive and an internal hard drive would fail simultaneously is negligible, but it can happen and why I keep a TM and a bootable clone backup of important data. The next step is keeping an off site backup of your important data.

BB Bocol
05-29-2013, 08:55 PM
Great answers and all very helpful. Thanks

06-02-2013, 09:46 PM
BB Bocol,

If you ever need to do a complete system restore from a Time Machine backup, make sure that after the restore is finished, you click on "Repair Disk Permissions" on the Disk Utility screen (About this Mac-----> More Info-----> Storage------> Disk Utility). I had to do this last night after a botched VirtualBox install.