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Use Time Machine to back up two internal drives to two external drives

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Eric Nicastro
Use Time Machine to back up two internal drives to two external drives
on May 25, 2011 at 6:56:19 pm

I have two internal hard drives. One is the Macintosh HD (system drive, 1TB) and the second is my Media drive (3 1TB hard drives in RAID 0 for a total of 3TB). I want to use Time Machine, or should say I am curious to know if I can use Time Machine to back up each drive to separate external hard drives. I have a 1TB LaCie drive and a 6TB (but configured in RAID 1 so actually 3TB of useable space) LaCie drive. The Mac HD would go to the 1TB drive and the Media would go to the 6TB in RAID 1. Is this possible or will I have to go with a third-party software?


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Luke Woodward
Re: Use Time Machine to back up two internal drives to two external drives
on May 25, 2011 at 7:30:03 pm

Unfortunately, this would require a third party piece of software. Time machine only allows backing up to one drive.

You can set it up so that multiple drives are backed up to the single backup drive, but only one backup location can be selected at a time.

There may be some software out there that modifies time machine to do that kind of thing, but I'm not aware of any. There are things like Time Machine Editor out there which modify the interval of the backups, but I can't find anything for managing what is backed up and what disk it goes to.

Hope that helps!

Luke


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David Eaks
Re: Use Time Machine to back up two internal drives to two external drives
on May 25, 2011 at 9:22:42 pm

I'm not sure, but I think you could connect one external drive, use it with Time Machine for backing up the system drive. Then remove that back up drive and connect a the other back up drive to use with Time Machine for backing up your media drives.


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Luke Woodward
Re: Use Time Machine to back up two internal drives to two external drives
on May 25, 2011 at 11:39:48 pm

I suppose you could do it manually...

Essentially, the work flow would be:

-Plug in the small drive
-Set it up with Time Machine
-Open up Time Machine options and exclude everything but the system drive
-After the backup is complete, eject and unplug the drive
-Plug in the big RAID
-Open time machine preferences and set it as the backup disk
-Go back into the options and exclude everything except for the data drive (Note that all the data drives need to be in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format or Time Machine wont work with them)
-Once the backup is complete you have both your backups.

Doing it this way, I would keep the non-system external drives backing up consistently as I assume this is where you would store your media and files that would change a lot. Then every once in a while, plug in the smaller drive, switch around the preferences and back up the system again to keep it current.

This sounds like more work than I would want to do, but it could work. If you didn't do system backups too frequently it wouldn't be too bad.


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Eric Nicastro
Re: Use Time Machine to back up two internal drives to two external drives
on May 26, 2011 at 3:07:45 pm

This is something we want to run continuously in the background and not have to keep unplugging and plugging in drives. I didn't think it would work, but I just wanted to make sure. I'll just use Carbon Copy Cloner. Thanks for everyone's help!


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