Using Time Machine w/out a Time Capsule

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Hey everyone, I was wondering... the main advantage of Time Machine is that it backs up your data automatically without you really doing much else since it's wireless. Does anyone use Time Machine with something other than the Time Capsule, and what are your experiences with this? Can you configure Time Machine to just do a backup when you plug the external drive in? Does this work and how efficient is this for you? I'm thinking of getting the Mac version of the Western Digital MyBook Studio as it's way cheaper than a Time Capsule.
Thanks for any replies!!
 

cwa107


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Hey everyone, I was wondering... the main advantage of Time Machine is that it backs up your data automatically without you really doing much else since it's wireless. Does anyone use Time Machine with something other than the Time Capsule, and what are your experiences with this? Can you configure Time Machine to just do a backup when you plug the external drive in? Does this work and how efficient is this for you? I'm thinking of getting the Mac version of the Western Digital MyBook Studio as it's way cheaper than a Time Capsule.
Thanks for any replies!!

Absolutely, you can use Time Machine with any external hard drive - in fact, that's what it was originally designed to do, long before the existence of the Time Capsule. Plug the drive in and Time Machine will backup on its regular schedule. Disconnect it and Time Machine won't attempt to backup. That's all there is to it - there should be no intervention needed on your part.

If you want something that's a little more controlled, try SuperDuper!
 
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I use my Macbook with a 500GB Mybook. I just plugged in the firewire and the Macbook did the rest. Awesome, to have that ability to go back to a certain back up date if need be.
 
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When you use Time Machine to backup to an external drive, does this drive become dedicated to Time Machine?

If no, how much space does it take up? as much space as the hard drive you're backing up, or more?
 

cwa107


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When you use Time Machine to backup to an external drive, does this drive become dedicated to Time Machine?

Well, it depends on how you have the drive configured. It will take up an entire partition if that's how you've set it up. It will take the entire drive if it's just a single partition.

If no, how much space does it take up? as much space as the hard drive you're backing up, or more?

Time Machine manages the space on its own. If you have many times more space than your internal hard drive, it will just keep making hourly backups until its full. When it gets close to full, it will give you the option of pruning the backup jobs (i.e. you can specify that it keeps only the last several days, weeks or months worth of changes).
 
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I don't have a Time Capsule and I use Time Machine daily to backup everything on an external hard drive.
 
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Thanks all for your great responses. I think I'll go ahead and buy that WD MyBook :)
 
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What if I just got a flash drive and plugged it in and used that for Time Machine? like and 8GB one.
 
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What if I just got a flash drive and plugged it in and used that for Time Machine? like and 8GB one.
No. Time Machine wants to backup most of your entire hard drive by default. In my experience, the external drive should be about twice the size of the hard drive you're backing up. This permits multiple versions of files to be retrieved. For example, you modified a file and screwed it up, then Time Machine runs and backs up the mistake. So you want the version from last week. Time Machine is designed for just this sort of thing, but it needs extra space to do this.
 
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Well could I configure time machine to simply backup two folders?

Homework and Webdesign would be the 2.

since nothing else on my computer is more important than those two and those together multiplied by 20 wont ever even reach 2gigs so it'd be pointless to buy like a 300G Ex-HD.
 

Tao


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I believe you can use TM to backup single folders, but you'd have to play with it....

Like the other person stated try superduper this would work fine for your uses.
 
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Well could I configure time machine to simply backup two folders?

You can configure Time Machine to exclude named folders from its backup so you just list everything apart from your two folders.
 
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When it gets close to full, it will give you the option of pruning the backup jobs (i.e. you can specify that it keeps only the last several days, weeks or months worth of changes).

Not on my version it doesn't. It just tells me when it is about to delete earlier backups with no option to select which.
 

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