Time machine and other files

Jan 25, 2015
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I am interested in using Time Machine backup facility on my brand new shiny iMac However I have 2 ex hd, one of which i want to use as the backup facility (put the backups on) Time Machine is saying that I will lose all the work on the hd, that is not a problem the problem is will i be able to use the rest of the external hard drive to store work files on as well. In other words can the time machine share its storage area with loads of jpegs psd etc.,This external drive is a terabyte. I understand that Time Machine reformats the drive. Please could anyone help me before I do something I may come to regret.:Confused: :Blushing:


Retired Staff
Dec 22, 2006
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Texas, where else?
Your Mac's Specs
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
The general recommendation would be to format the drive yourself into 2 partitions - use one for your TM backups and the other for general storage. You must realize that anything you place in that general storage area that is not on your internal drive is not backed up unless you're using another drive to back up that data.

I did test an external drive I used for TM when it was initially released and kept TM backups for 2 machines and general data storage (movies, some of my Windows misc data I could afford to lose, etc.) on a single partition. It ran flawlessly for about 6 years until the hard drive itself died.


+1 for what bobtomay said. I also have used the TM volume for storage of other files, but eventually decided that was not what I wanted to do and moved those other files to a second EHD. Now TM has sole access to that drive. My rationale for that was that I didn't want to accidentally put something huge on that drive and force TM to eliminate an older backup prematurely.

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