Time machine question

nemac

Registered
I finally convinced my wife to switch to an apple. She now uses a MacBook Air and I have been using the mbp for some time now. I have a 320 gig USB external drive that I use for time machine backups. My question is this. Can I use the same USB drive to backup two machines or do I need separate backup drives?

TIA

Javier
 

DeltaMac

Tech
Yes, you could use one external for Time Machine backups for two different Macs.

But - you need to have enough space to completely back up BOTH Macs, plus extra space for the rotating backups that let Time Machine work properly.
The rule-of-thumb that I usually hear is 1.5x the size of your internal storage for the Time Machine backup drive.
So, for example, if your MBPro has a 250GB hard drive, then the 320 GB is a fair match for that.
If your new MBAir has a 128GB drive, then about 180 GB additional would be good for that.
So, if you have a 500 GB external, that should work fine with the two Macs in my example.
 

nemac

Registered
OK Great. Now I have another question regarding time machine backups. I also have a NAS system with 1.8T. I use it to take monthly backups of my windows machine. I am not sure that I can just get rid of those backups. Anyway, would I need to reformat the entire NAS for Mac OS X in order to use it as a Time Machine backup disk? I have created a folder that I can mount on my Mac's to store files but I can't select that system as a time machine backup disk.

TIA

Javier
 

DeltaMac

Tech
Time Machine does not allow backup to a network volume, such as an NAS.
Only directly connected drives are allowed - although you can use a Time Capsule, but the software on the Time Capsule is what allows it.
Also, even a locally connected drive should be formatted MacOS Extended.
This support article should help you decide what to do.
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1427

Other backup solutions that you could consider (if you want to use that NAS for the Macs, too):
Carbon Copy Cloner
SuperDuper!
and other solutions such as cronosync
Some good info here: http://www.techradar.com/news/software/applications/best-mac-backup-software-6-apps-tested-1043977
 

nemac

Registered
Thanks again. I will take a look at both articles and make up my mind as to which option to take. Now that we have two Macs at home, I need to be proactive and make sure we don't loose any of our data. Even though it would only be pictures and movies plus a few documents. My wife would be upset if she lost any of our memories after I finally convinced her to switch from Windows.

Javier
 

jbarley

One more, for the road!
Last edited:

nemac

Registered
Sorry but I have to jump in here.
I use both a Synology DS107e NAS and a LinkStation mini NAS (at different times) for Time Machine backups.
Both work flawlessly I might add, and I back up 4 household Macs to these NAS drives.

Would you please tell me how you did this? I have mounted the folder from the NAS system and tried to select it as the time machine backup drive. Needless to say, the folder does not appear as an option for time machine. When I mount the NAS system, I use the "SMB" option after I use the "connect to server" option.

TIA

Javier
 

jbarley

One more, for the road!
Would you please tell me how you did this?
As DeltaMac mentions, it is important that the make and model of your NAS supports Apple Time Machine.
If it claims to support TM then all I can suggest is you carefully read and follow their instructions as the method for doing the TM bit is different for each manufacturer.
 
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