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Partition new HD or not?

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  • Partition new HD or not?

    I have a new iMac 27" 2.66ghz Intel cor 15, OSX.6.2, 4gb ram with an internal 1Tb HD. Separately I have about 3 tb external storage. I have installed Final Cut Express 3.5, Live Type and Sound Track; plus the standard software that comes bundled with the computer.

    The external HDs are 2 800mbs hot swap enclosures with 5 hot swap drives of different sizes. I also have 4 other external 400mbs HDs. My thought is to hook the 800 speed drives to the new iMac, and continue to use the 400 speed drives with my old iMac G5.

    I have never partitioned a hard drive. How do I do it? How do I use it?

    Is it proper to partition the internal 1 TB drive and use one sector for "time machine" back ups. I like that because it does not userp any hot swap drives for that purpose. Of course, it also means that the back up disc is subject to whatever computer crash or drive failure comes along to wreck my game. But my old external drives are more apt to crash than the one in the computer, I think.

    I can use an external drive for scratch and another to import QT files into the browser of FCX. If I put time machine back ups on any one of the hot swap external drives, it pretty much limits that hot swap enclosure to that function, and then I do not have any way to import completed QT projects into a current FCX project, because the other drive enclosure is holding the scratch drive.

    I could buy another 800 enclosure, but I am trying to avoid more drives, and more expense. Another possibility might be to set time machine to back up only on demand, and then keep one hot swap disc for back ups only, and back up at the end of each daily session.

    What is right with this picture?


  • #2
    I don't see any reason for doing that.
    Eric Peterson (AKA, "Zwick")
    Person in charge
    Content creation/Education


    • #3
      ANY drive can crash. Whether you believe one is "more apt" or not doesn't matter. Having your Time Machine backup on the same physical disk as your system is pretty much a waste of time and drive space.

      According to the Technogeek, "You are balancing the future of your data integrity on the head of one spindle. That is not a backup. That's a copy. And then remember Murphy's Law."

      So what he's trying to say is don't do it. Don't use your internal drive for Time Machine.

      Drives these days are cheap. If the expense is really that much of an issue for you, you could get a SATA dock for $50 and buy a bare SATA drive to use for Time Machine.

      The Technogeek also asks how much you data is worth? You may have never had a catastrophic drive failure to know how devastating that is. The expense is minimal compared to the time spent rebuilding a system and any data lost that can't be easily reinstalled or recreated or reingested. Especially today when drives are really so very inexpensive compared to even two years ago.



      • #4
        time machine


        I have lost drives in the past and of course it drives me nuts. Part of my immediate problem is that two hot swap 800 boxes daisy chained fill my single firewire 800 port. Where do I put a back up drive without compromising the speed of the 800s? (I also have 4 400mbs external drives.)

        Is a USB drive fast enough for backups. Maybe that is my best route for time machine. Is time machine a good back up program. It is on my computer, and I have used it on another computer that I have at the office. I filled it up (250gb) and after that it still did back ups, but it was weird what it dumped to go forward. Is there a rationale for maintaining time machine back up drives properly?

        The other question still stands, what is the best use of the 1 tb drive built into the computer. Of course it will stack up a huge bunch of programs and project files, but it is a bit tough to imagine that there wont be alot of ancient history hanging out on a 1 tb, internal drive.

        Maybe I just do not have enough experience with mega storage methodologies.

        Thanks for the input.

        Last edited by mxholt; 01-03-2010, 04:06 PM.


        • #5
          Internal 1TB system drive should be personal data, OS, and apps.

          External FW800 1TB drive for your Final Cut Scratch Drive (media drive) for project files and media files and such.

          Second FW800 2TB drive or USB 2TB drive for Time Machine. If you go with FW800, you'll want to turn Time Machine OFF while editing video to fee up the FW bandwidth. If you use USB for Time Machine, you may want to turn it OFF when editing video still, just to fee up CPU and hard drive time. When TM is running, it's accessing everything all the time, eating up resources. Never have TM turned ON when editing video, just a good habit to get in to.

          It's all as simple as that. Don't partition anything, there's no need for it, it doesn't help. You don't want to do anything different from this.

          And yes, TM will fill up the available space it has, and then continue doing appended backups, trashing the oldest versions to make room for newer versions, it does this non-stop while it's turned ON. You want to be sure it has enough room to hold both your system dive and media drive, as if you lose either, you're up the creek. Unless your media is not worth the expense, and you can afford to lose it, or you system drive is expendable and you can build it from scratch. But as cheap as drives are today, I'd get a 2TB to cover both system and media drives together.
          Last edited by BenB; 01-03-2010, 05:31 PM.
          Digital Media Instructor for
          Louisiana State University & Delgado College