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#33417 - 03/12/15 04:28 PM Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Ganbunstein?

This is for someone else, just bought a 1TB iMac. I spec'd a 3 TB TM drive, only because it was $20 more than the 2 TB. It would be very nice to put the contents of the computer being replaced on a partition of the TM drive for easy access. The old computer is such a mess, they will not be migrating but starting fresh. The alternative was pulling the old drive and putting it in an enclosure.


Edited by cyn (03/16/15 03:14 PM)
Edit Reason: Topic moved from "Mac OS X Applications" to the "Mac OS X System" forum.

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#33418 - 03/12/15 05:37 PM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: slolerner]
dkmarsh Offline

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Registered: 08/04/09

I have my Time Machine volume on one partition of an external drive, and it works just fine.
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#33420 - 03/12/15 07:09 PM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: dkmarsh]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
So, what is the best way to copy the current internal drive onto a partition of the new external drive? Carbon Copy Clone?

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#33432 - 03/13/15 04:50 AM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: slolerner]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: slolerner
This is for someone else, just bought a 1TB iMac. I spec'd a 3 TB TM drive, only because it was $20 more than the 2 TB. It would be very nice to put the contents of the computer being replaced on a partition of the TM drive for easy access. The old computer is such a mess, they will not be migrating but starting fresh. The alternative was pulling the old drive and putting it in an enclosure.


You're about twice as likely to need your time machine to do a full disk restore following a hard drive failure or partition table crash than from damage to your data partition or crash of your OS.

So using another partition on the same physical drive is probably a bad idea. The backup is lost as well if your hard drive dies. Unless the only thing you intend to do with TM is fish out files you lost or accidentally deleted, get your TM backup onto another physical drive.
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#33433 - 03/13/15 04:51 AM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: slolerner]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: slolerner
So, what is the best way to copy the current internal drive onto a partition of the new external drive? Carbon Copy Clone?


AFAIK, the only way to copy a time machine backup folder is via drag-and-drop using the Finder. (also, you cannot select anything else when you copy, you must select ONLY the backup folder)
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#33437 - 03/13/15 09:28 AM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: Virtual1]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Just to be clear, I am not transferring any data from their old TM drive. That drive and it's contents are out of the picture. I am starting a new TM drive to go with the new imac they bought. Anything they might need would be on the drive of the imac they are now using. I want them to have a complete copy of the contents of that drive on a partition of the NEW TM drive so they can grab just the things they need off it on an as needed basis and otherwise start fresh. We are doing this rather than a Target Disk Mode to set up the new computer, because the old one has a lot of stuff that doesn't have to be there and is completely disorganized and also practically full. I considered putting their present drive in an enclosure or buying a small drive for this purpose. They want the internal drive on the old computer wiped and in that computer to give it to the kids. I can recommend they buy a small external for this purpose, but the desk there is small. I still need to know what is the best software to copy the contents of their present drive.


Edited by slolerner (03/13/15 09:30 AM)

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#33442 - 03/14/15 08:11 AM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: slolerner]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I appreciate what you are attempting to do but my past experience as well as the past experience of the vast majority on this and other forums would indicate your efforts, however well intentioned, are misguided. Do the recipients a favor. Scrub the hard drive, a single pass erase will be sufficient, then install the OS but do NOT set it up. From that point on it is their Mac and the new user can set it up and configure it the way they want to without being bothered by everything you have done or not done, right or wrong in its history. In the long run everyone will be a LOT happier.
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#33444 - 03/14/15 08:30 AM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: slolerner]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
The two most mentioned cloning apps are SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner ($27.95 and $39.99, respectively), but if you're only looking for a one-shot app, you can try BackupList+ (Donationware), one of many less expensive options. (I use Carbon Copy Cloner, but I did a bit of beta testing for BackupList+ several years back and thought highly of it.)

(If you really want to go basic, I can re-post a Terminal command that V1 originally posted a bunch of years back.)

Edit: ( confused ) wink smile tongue

Edit: Am I missing something, or is it odd that cloning apps are so expensive despite Time Machine? (CCC has actually actually gone from donationware to $40 shareware since TM was introduced.)


Edited by artie505 (03/14/15 09:02 AM)
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#33445 - 03/14/15 09:28 AM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: joemikeb]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
I appreciate what you are attempting to do but my past experience as well as the past experience of the vast majority on this and other forums would indicate your efforts, however well intentioned, are misguided. Do the recipients a favor. Scrub the hard drive, a single pass erase will be sufficient, then install the OS but do NOT set it up. From that point on it is their Mac and the new user can set it up and configure it the way they want to without being bothered by everything you have done or not done, right or wrong in its history. In the long run everyone will be a LOT happier.

I'm sorry I'm not being clear. They have a new iMac that they are using out of the box. I picked out a new 3 TB external drive. I would like to just copy everything from the internal drive on the old computer onto one partition of the new 3 TB drive so they can pick things off as they need them, like pictures, etc. Have that small partition mounted all the time, as well as the other partition that is their new TM drive.

So, as far as I understand, it is ok to use a partitioned drive for TM, I can use CCC to copy the internal drive on the old computer onto a small partition of the new external drive, and then they will be using the other partition of the new external drive for TM. The old TM drive that went with the old computer is going to hard drive heaven because it is already corrupt anyway. The drive on the old computer is then wiped, a new system installed, and it goes to the kiddies at home. Right?

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#33447 - 03/14/15 02:22 PM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: slolerner]
dkmarsh Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Originally Posted By: slolerner
So, as far as I understand, it is ok to use a partitioned drive for TM, I can use CCC to copy the internal drive on the old computer onto a small partition of the new external drive, and then they will be using the other partition of the new external drive for TM. The old TM drive that went with the old computer is going to hard drive heaven because it is already corrupt anyway. The drive on the old computer is then wiped, a new system installed, and it goes to the kiddies at home. Right?

Correct.

If the point of copying the existing internal drive onto a partition on the new external drive is to make available user data without the complications of migration, you may be able simple to copy rather than clone the data in question. If you want existing apps to be available also, you'll need to clone instead, if any of the apps originally required an installer.

But the process of starting off with a clean slate and adding old material by copying as needed is a perfectly reasonable approach. I've employed it not only for new Macs, but for OS X upgrades as well.
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#33449 - 03/15/15 11:44 AM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: slolerner]
joemikeb Offline

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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
My mistake. blush However I admit to being allergic to partitioning because you almost invariably end up with the space you desperately need in the other partition not to mention repartitioning often does not work as well as we might like when it becomes necessary.

Time Machine backups are sparse image bundles which are as effective as partitions in separating different data sets, but have the distinct advantage of being able to grow or shrink on demand. The only limit on their growth is total drive capacity. The only disadvantage of sparse image bundles in the scenario you described is that like any dmg they don't mount automatically and have to be explicitly opened. They are worth considering as an arguable superior alternative to partitioning.
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#33450 - 03/15/15 12:34 PM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Time Machine backups are sparse image bundles which are as effective as partitions in separating different data sets, but have the distinct advantage of being able to grow or shrink on demand. The only limit on their growth is total drive capacity. The only disadvantage of sparse image bundles in the scenario you described is that like any dmg they don't mount automatically and have to be explicitly opened. They are worth considering as an arguable superior alternative to partitioning.

I understand sparse image bundles, but I don't understand how you think slolerner should implement them in this instance. (Edit: Are you saying that Time Machine's data can coexist with an unrelated sparse image bundle on the same partition?)

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
...I admit to being allergic to partitioning....

As one of the few local exponents of partitioning, I'll pass along a happy ending... I just discovered that I need to run at least OS X 10.7 to run this year's TurboTax...precisely the eventuality against which I always maintain one relatively small, empty partition...to be able to run parallel operating systems without buying a new external.


Edited by artie505 (03/15/15 12:36 PM)
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#33451 - 03/15/15 12:38 PM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: joemikeb]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Yes, I have had that awful experience of having to get rid of partitions and it is a headache. The advantage in this case is that the amount of data on the old computer's hard drive is a known quantity so I can make that partition to fit (The old computer has a small internal drive.) Then the rest is TM. BTW, I think I can make the partition that has their old computer's data 'read only' and then there won't be any problems with any files on that getting deleted by mistake.

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#33452 - 03/15/15 03:51 PM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
Are you saying that Time Machine's data can coexist with an unrelated sparse image bundle on the same partition?)

In a word — YES. My Time Capsule has three sparse image bundles coexsiting happily on it.
  1. TM backup for my computer
  2. TM backup for my wife's computer, and
  3. TM backup for our server
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#33453 - 03/15/15 04:01 PM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: joemikeb]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
LMK what happens when the disk is full. First in, first out? shocked

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#33454 - 03/16/15 07:13 AM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: slolerner]
alternaut Offline

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Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: slolerner
First in, first out?

Again: yes, the difference with partitions being that the images can be resized more easily, potentially delaying the moment when older data will be scuttled in favor of the new. But in this respect having more than one TM/image on a single volume may cause undesired consequences as well, affecting the practice to ‘set & forget’ should that be an issue.
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#33456 - 03/16/15 08:30 AM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: slolerner]
Ira L Offline


Registered: 08/13/09
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: slolerner
Yes, I have had that awful experience of having to get rid of partitions and it is a headache. The advantage in this case is that the amount of data on the old computer's hard drive is a known quantity so I can make that partition to fit (The old computer has a small internal drive.) Then the rest is TM. BTW, I think I can make the partition that has their old computer's data 'read only' and then there won't be any problems with any files on that getting deleted by mistake.


Don't forget to leave some extra "overhead" space on the old drive partition. Space that would be used during the processes of copying, moving, etc.
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#33458 - 03/16/15 08:56 AM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: alternaut]
joemikeb Offline

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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
confused Alternaut the comments in the link you posted are causing me some confusion. confused

Originally Posted By: http://pondini.org/TM/4.html
There are three reasons for this, for a drive connected directly to your Mac:
  • Time Machine will, eventually, fill all the empty space available to it before it begins deleting old backups. When multiple Macs are "competing" for the same backup space, there might be room for several months of backups for one, but only a few weeks for another. This is especially likely to happen if you start backing-up a new Mac to a drive that already has a lot of backups from another Mac. Time Machine on the new Mac will not delete backups from the other Mac(s), so when it needs space for new backups, it will delete the oldest backups from the new Mac instead.
  • If you ever want or have to delete all the old backups for one Mac and start over, you can just erase the partition via Disk Utility; if there are other Mac's backups there, they would be erased also. If you replace one of the Macs, Time Machine on the new one won't delete the backups from the old one. And sometimes it's advisable after certain problems.
  • You can't copy one Mac's backups to a different, larger drive or network destination; you can only copy the entire set.

  1. Why would there be any difference if the drive is directly connected to your Mac or on a networked drive such as a Time Capsule? A mounted volume is seen by OS X the same as any other volume whether it is on a local HD, a networked HD, a dmg, a sparse image, or a sparse image bundle. It is just another mounted volume available for access.
  2. I fail to see any benefit to partitioning in the first scenario. Partitioning will simply cause the larger and presumably older TM data set to overflow first. That may or may not be a desirable outcome. If that statement is intended as an argument for every computer to have its own unique TM drive then I would agree, but the argument is not well made.
  3. I agree that it is easy to erase a partition and I have never attempted to erase the contents of a sparse image bundle. However I have deleted one of multiple TM sparse image bundles on the same drive and that is just as easy, albeit more time consuming to delete an entire sparse image bundle from a drive (and empty the trash if it is a directly connected drive).
  4. Why can't you copy one Macs TM backup to another drive at some point in the future? confused I have done so and it worked perfectly. Granted it can take some time to copy a large sparse image bundle from one disk to another, but it works the same as copying a dmg or sparse image. OS X/Unix treats the sparse image bundle as a single entity and even drag and drop works — or at least it has for me but maybe that is because no one told me it could not be done so I just did it.
Admittedly my experience has primarily been with networked drives either in a Time Capsule or attached to a Time Capsule, but other than making the process slower, I don't see what particular difference that would make.


Edited by joemikeb (03/16/15 08:58 AM)
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#33459 - 03/16/15 11:07 AM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: slolerner]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: slolerner
LMK what happens when the disk is full. First in, first out? shocked


I think that's how my memory works ...
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#33463 - 03/16/15 12:39 PM Re: Is it ok to use a drive partition for Time Machine [Re: joemikeb]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
confused Alternaut the comments in the link you posted are causing me some confusion. confused

I'm sorry to have put you on a wrong foot, particularly as I have no quarrel with any of the points you made, to the contrary in fact. In the case slolerner is dealing with, however, there is only one (external) drive and one Mac with certain backup requirements. Until that changes, that means limited options, regardless of whether you deal with partitions or images on the external. Given slolerner's question about TM overflow, I just reiterated some things to consider, like the space competition point made in the link I added. The fact that the drive in the example is directly connected (vs. a networked drive) isn’t germane to that point, and perhaps unnecessarily confusing.
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