4 Replies Latest reply: Oct 29, 2007 2:34 AM by A Mitchell
Tikibirds Mac Level 1 (0 points)
We just purchased a 750 gb fire wire hard drive and want to create 2 partitions - 1 for our duel processor G4 and the other for a new mac book pro ultimate.

Is it possible for TimeMachine to differentiate the 2 partitions for each computer? There seems to be a question as to TimeMachine needing the entire hard drive as the destination volume (2 Apple Store techs - at 2 different locations - informed us that due to the way that TimeMachine backs up the data it needs a non-partitioned hard drive per computer to be able to back up successfully, and will not recognize partitions - it sees only one volume. Therefore, Apple does not recommend backing up to partitioned drives - they recommend a separate back-up drive for each computer.

Thank you.

Could someone please clarify this before we go broke buying hard drives - in total we have 5 computers (we bought the family pack) and need to duplicate the suggested, preferred set up given above.

MacMini, Duel Processor G4, Mac Book Pro Ultimate, 2 Duel Processor G5s, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • Cabal Level 1 (10 points)
    Not really sure what the techs said and why. I actually ran a demo of Time Machine and On-The-Fly Disk Partitioning on my laptop.

    After upgrading, for the sake of a demo I went into Disk Utility and repartitioned my MacBook Pro internal drive into two equal partitions. Once partitioned I was able to select the 2nd partition as by Time Machine backup, excluded my system files, told it to back up immediately, and it worked.

    Time Machine even asked if I wanted to select a different partition on the same device, so it knew what I was up to.

    It worked, so I don't see why your idea shouldn't.

  • Adrick Level 1 (5 points)
    I had the same dilemma - 3 macs backing up to one external drive. In the past each mac had it's own partition to back up to, however I decided with Time Machine to reformat the drive and use it as a single partition. My thinking was that it's a better use of the space rather than me deciding how much space each mac will use over time. As it turns out Time Machine neatly creates a separate subdirectory for each mac. You certainly don't need a separate drive for each mac, unless space becomes an issue.

    Likewise, I can't see any problems with the drive being partitioned. Time Machine should view each partition as a separate drive and allow you to choose whichever one you want to use for whichever mac. However, I think this approach doesn't really let you take full advantage of the available space.
  • jdelima Level 3 (515 points)
    The Apple guys who told you that are morons. Sorry but they are. Time Machine only cares about partitions, not drives. You can have a few TB of drive space but if all you have are 5GB partitions across it TM won't bother. All you need is to make sure that you have enough space on a single partition you wish TM to use.
  • A Mitchell Level 1 (100 points)
    Time Machine works fine with partitioned drives. When you plug in the drive, the partitions are shown and you simply select the partition TM is to use. If you have three machines and three partitions on your backup drive, each machine can select a partition on the same drive and work without problem. You're only limited by the amount of data/number of backups that each partition can store.