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New MBP - Various Noob-like Questions

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by NoahFuLing, 15 Mar 2008.

  1. NoahFuLing

    NoahFuLing What's a Dremel?

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    So my 2.6ghz Penryn Macbook Pro (200GB 7200rpm, 4GB RAM) is due on Monday or Tuesday, as it had to ship all the way from Shanghai, and I'm using the time to try to make my new Mac life a bit less crazy than my PC life was.

    As time goes on, I'll probably post a few more of my silly questions here.

    I have an eSata/1394a/1394b/USB2 external 750GB drive, which I want to use for backups and file storage. Should I use this drive for my video editing/file repository and have a separate Time Machine drive, or am I OK with sharing the drive? Obviously, space isn't a problem, but I don't know whether it's a good idea or not to have my backups and files on the same drive. Occasionally, I will be using CCC or another product to make an image onto another hard drive that sits in my closet or in a fire safe for that very purpose (we're paranoid, can you tell?), but I'm more concerned about the day to day backups of Time Machine. Considering that it's not the internal drive, that's one measure of safety right there, so is it OK to share?

    Also, if I do end up sharing the drive, should I format the whole drive in OSX File System, or have the file repository part in an MBR/FAT32 section? Will I see a performance hit from formatting in FAT32? I'd just rather not format the drive in two parts, and then go "Dangit, I need more space on this side." or "Man, video rendering off of this disk is SLOW."

    Thanks, guys, and I'm looking forward to finally getting to have my very own awesome Mac! (I can't wait to play with Final Cut Studio, the box alone weighs like 15 lbs (7kg)!)
     
  2. Cupboard

    Cupboard I'm not a modder.

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    One problem with Fat 32 is that you are limited to 4GB file sizes. Also, due to the way it stores files it is slower that other file systems like NTFS.
    Is there any reason why you would want to format it as Fat32?
    My 2 cents.
     
  3. NoahFuLing

    NoahFuLing What's a Dremel?

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    If my Mac tanks, I want to be able to recover the files. Since the only other Mac I have is an iMac G3 (upgraded to a G4), it would probably have to be a PC. Since NTFS is only readable (not editable) by Macs, I'm stuck with FAT32, unless there's some way to read/write Mac-formatted drives on PC. As I seem to remember, this might be possible. So, solutions?

    Worst comes to worst, I get my brother's Mac (he's in NYC) or I go to my neighbor's house and use his MB/MBP/iMac.

    Any thoughts on this, or more importantly, the drive-sharing?
     
  4. Dizman

    Dizman What's a Dremel?

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    Well, backups aren't really going to be that useful if they're on the same drive. The ideal solution would use one external for your video stuff, and another for time machine (maybe some raid too, but now we're getting ridiculous). Or you could get an external raid array and then use time machine solely for the versioning it offers you. But if you already have at least one large external drive and you're serious about backups, I'd suggest two drives.
     
  5. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    I'd avoid FAT32 for quite a number of reasons, not least of which being that a lot of 'special' files/folders that OS X creates simply don't work on FAT32 (or NTFS for that matter) since they have @ signs or something stupid like that in the name.

    You're fine to share the drive between Time Machine and storage, but TM can suck up a lot of space if you're frequently creating/editing/deleting big files unless you explicitly tell it to ignore a certain folder (I have mine ignore ~/Downloads, for example). Whether you WANT to is really your call given your backup methodology, importance of data, and all that, but there's certainly nothing stopping you. I currently have two external hard drives hooked up to my MBP - one is a big storage drive (500GB WD Mybook, HFS+) and the other is a repurposed 320GB drive from my fileserver stuck in an enclosure, triple-partitioned for Time Machine, screwing around with Leopard Server, and the rest for miscellaneous.

    If you need Windows compatibility, buy MacDrive. FAT32 probably won't even work as a Time Machine drive, and will have poor performance all around on OS X.
     
  6. NoahFuLing

    NoahFuLing What's a Dremel?

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    Well, I have a 320GB FireWire 400 that I'm going to clone onto every month or so, which will stay in the closet otherwise, and as it fills, I'll delete older images. The reason I got a 750GB is because I wanted a drive that I could leave attached, instead of multiple drives. However, given what you've said, I'm probably going to just partition the 750GB for now, with 300GB to the Time Machine side of it, and the rest to the data side of it. Later, I'll get another hard drive, put it in another FireWire case, and use that for Time Machine. Since I'm going to be doing a lot of Final Cut Studio stuff, I'll probably set the HDV import folder and project folder as well as the Downloads folder to not back up, I think. Does that size partition/overall strategy sound OK?

    Given this new plan, is it possible to move a Time Machine directory to a new drive, and have OS X back up to there in the future instead? Will it be a major hassle, or is it just fine? I know that you can change where Time Machine backs up to, but does that move what's already backed up? Thanks for all the help guys, I think that when I actually get the Mac, I won't be so stupid. :p
     
  7. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    Seems like a pretty logical approach, and should work well.

    As for moving a TM volume - I can't say for certain, but my Backup drive just has one gargantuan folder called Backups.backupdb (I'm assuming my comp is doing something stupid and not associating .backupdb with a Time Machine icon, as .app folders do for applications). I don't see any reason you couldn't just throw that whole folder on a new drive and be done with it, but I haven't tested. If you check Macrumors forums, there's probably several threads on that exact kind of thing.
     
  8. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    <my browser hates me>
     
    Last edited: 17 Mar 2008
  9. NoahFuLing

    NoahFuLing What's a Dremel?

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  10. Firehed

    Firehed Why not? I own a domain to match.

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    While I don't really use it anymore since setting up Time Machine, I used to use SuperDuper! (and really still should tbh) and would quite recommend it. Paying the $30 for the full version is quite worth it for scheduling and all that good stuff.
     
  11. NoahFuLing

    NoahFuLing What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks for all the help, I used SuperDuper! to make a bootable partition and image on my 750GB, which will eventually be archived to a 320 in the closet. A 500GB is arriving for Time Machine, and you guys have been great. I love this computer already. *strokes aluminum*
     

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