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Backup disks you can use with Time Machine

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Question: can I back up an external hard drive to another external hard drive using time machine?

I have photos on an external hard drive and would like to back it up to another external drive. Can Time Machine do this? If so, is there a reference that will help me get started?

MacBook Pro, OS X El Capitan (10.11.6)

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Answer:

1. It depends on what format that drive is in.

2. Open the Time Machine pane of System Preferences, click on Options, and if possible, remove it from the exclusion list.


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Mar 17, 2018 10:23 AM in response to HooFly In response to HooFly

Potentially, yes. Time Machine (TM) can back up your MacBook Pro's (MBP) internal drive and any drive directly attached to it. It can back these up to either a Time Capsule (TC) or to another local or network drive.


So, to help with some step-by-step directions, how are you performing backups now?

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Mar 17, 2018 2:06 PM in response to HooFly In response to HooFly

You would be better spending a bit of money on a 3rd party backup software like Carbon Copy Cloner or super duper and you can set it to create a clone of the external disk with incrementals once a day or even less frequently if you are not updating often. Leave Time Machine alone as it is fragile enough without messing with its settings every day.


The advantage of the clone is files are directly accessible without needing to be restored by Time Machine.. ie both drives are identical clones of each other.

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Mar 17, 2018 10:23 AM in response to HooFly In response to HooFly

Potentially, yes. Time Machine (TM) can back up your MacBook Pro's (MBP) internal drive and any drive directly attached to it. It can back these up to either a Time Capsule (TC) or to another local or network drive.


So, to help with some step-by-step directions, how are you performing backups now?

Mar 17, 2018 10:23 AM

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Mar 17, 2018 10:24 AM in response to HooFly In response to HooFly

I have photos on an external hard drive and would like to back it up to another external drive

Yes....IF......


1) The photos external drive is connected directly to your Mac via USB, FireWire or Thunderbolt and formatted in Mac OS Extended (Journaled)


2) The "other" external drive is your normal Time Machine target drive for your Mac's backups


If both conditions above are met, click on the Time Machine "clock" icon at the top of the Mac's screen

Click on Open Time Machine Preferences

Click on Options

Click on the photos external drive to highlight it

Click the - (minus) button at the bottom of the list to remove the drive from the list of items that are excluded from backups


Time Machine will back up your Mac normally and now back up the photos external drive

Mar 17, 2018 10:24 AM

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Mar 17, 2018 10:26 AM in response to Tesserax In response to Tesserax

Thank you. Ive just about filled my TB drive in the MACbook, so I'm trying to migrate all photos off it to an external. The Macbook is backed up using a routine Time Machine backup. This is a new drive for photographs and I have two identical drives to run as primary and back up. It appears to be working by excluding the MAC HD from the Time Machine back up. I'll run the traditional back up as a separate process.

Mar 17, 2018 10:26 AM

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Mar 17, 2018 2:06 PM in response to HooFly In response to HooFly

You would be better spending a bit of money on a 3rd party backup software like Carbon Copy Cloner or super duper and you can set it to create a clone of the external disk with incrementals once a day or even less frequently if you are not updating often. Leave Time Machine alone as it is fragile enough without messing with its settings every day.


The advantage of the clone is files are directly accessible without needing to be restored by Time Machine.. ie both drives are identical clones of each other.

Mar 17, 2018 2:06 PM

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Question: can I back up an external hard drive to another external hard drive using time machine?