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External Hard Drive

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Hello MacCast Members,


I have a white, G-Technology external hard drive and I use it to back up my Macbook Pro. (Through Time Capsulesmile.gif). I just wanted to know if anyone out there used their hard drive for anything else? For example, I've heard of people using their external hard drives to back up their massive music collections or even massive movie collections. If I chose to do something like this, could I use the same external hard drive? If so, how?


Thanks Again,



Edited by Garvice

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You are on the verge of a HUGE discussion.


I have several external drives - about 3 TB worth (and, always have had).


I use some for cloned backups (using SuperDuper) and I use some just to put stuff on.


And, for the last year or so, I've used one as my Boot drive. My internal died quite awhile ago, so I just booted from my clone and have been using it since.


Anyway - to use the external you currently have for other purposes, you would need to wipe your Time Machine backup and partition it.


Since I have never really used Time Machine, I'm a bad reference for how to do what you desire.

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my primary source of drives is old laptop drives that have become too small for production. these are basically one step away from being recycled so they can do jobs that you wouldn't normally buy a drive to do. these get put into a cheap external case. while not free they certainly are inexpensive. here are some things I use external hard drives for:


OS X installer drive. moving the DVD image to a hard drive can reduce the time it takes to do the installation of OS X by half. this happens as the drive read speed is roughly 2X faster than the DVD. I've also found that DVD drives in older MacBooks are prone to failing. they either just don't work or they bonk in the middle of the install. the hard drive never fails. I have drives for 10.7, 10.6 and 10.5. because there is extra room on the drive I've put the latest Combo installer, iLife, iWork and other Apple upgrades to help a reinstall go faster.


there are files related to business that get backed up to a drive and that drive goes home with the owner. it gets updated once a month at least.


all of my shipped projects live in more than one place. there's a Project server and a hard drive with this archive.


there's a hard drive attached to the Project server called Bad Radio. that drive is usually close to full and gets upgraded as older bigger media gets retired. everyone in my offices puts music there. iTunes sharing on that Mac streams it. shuffle is usually a bad idea.


a boot drive. there are times when a Mac won't boot. pulling this in, powering up while holding down Option will allow this to get selected. once the Mac is running you can see what the problem is. Tech Tool, Disk Worrier, and Disk Recovery 3 live on here. usually none of these tools work as the drive is failed more often than not.


when I worked for Giant Corporation I kept an external drive with my current work on it. while I never feared for my job I did see how people that did get axed have zero time for gathering. in all cases somebody escorted you back to your desk, you got your things, they took your badge and then you were shown the door. people don't get to touch their computer so no parting shots, mass delete or retaliation is possible. anyway, the files that I cared about were always backed up and already out of there.

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