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Questions on Time Machine and Hard Drive Partitioning.

I love my iMac, but I feel it’s sluggish at times and I’m not sure if it’s all the clutter that has built up over the years, the amount of free disk space, or if it’s just as good as it’s going to get. So, I’m contemplating erasing my iMac and doing a clean install of Snow Leopard but I do have concerns.

Fist up is Time Machine.

Time Machine

I’ve been running Apple’s Time Machine for years now and it’s backed up everything as far as I’m aware. I’ve done some spot checking and everything seems to be there, but it’s always a little nerve-racking as I don’t want to lose anything important. Have you found it dependable?

Also, how will it understand the new iMac configuration? Will the erased computer be seen as a second computer or will it try to intermingle the changes?

I guess the good news is that if Time Machine fails me for any reason, I also have BackBlaze.

Then there is partitioning.

Hard Drive

Back in the day, I always partitioned my drives because that was the thing to do. But is it needed anymore? Does it really make a difference?

I’ve currently got 160gig hard drive and it’s split into 3 equal pieces. It seemed like a good idea at the time until iTunes grew to be 20gigs and iPhoto too. Now I have my system on one partition, iTunes on the second partition and iPhoto on the third. I can’t help but think that hurts performance.

My gut tells me to trust Time Machine, erase the computer, create no partitions, and just go for it.

What do you think? Is there a flaw in my logic?

1 Response

  1. Sleepydude says:

    Hi Thomas. I have one experience using Time Machine that didn’t go so well. I don’t know if you are setup like I was. I have a generic external drive that I use with Time Machine for my MacBook Pro. I run the backup maually at least once a week. I decided to do a clean install when Snow Leopard came out. I ran an archive and install when Leopard came out and that worked great but I thought it would be good to start completely fresh with Snow Leopard. I felt a little uneasy about it so I ran a backup of iPhoto to disc. I don’t store much music on my laptop. Whatever I have is from my CDs. I have a sizeable collection. I don’t download much. I prefer physical media. Anyway, I had my Mac setup using File Vault. I’m a little cautious since I’ve had two computers stolen. There is one thing you aren’t warned about when using File Vault with Time Machine. You have to have a backup scheduled and you need to be logged out when it runs so it will backup your home directory. I would start Time Machine and go do something. I wasn’t there to see the backup finishing pretty quickly because it was just backing up the system files since File Vault was inacted. Man was I suprised when I imported the files from my Time Machine drive. I lost about six months of files when I wiped my Mac. I didn’t lose anything majorly important. I lost a lot of tech articles. Thankfully I ran a backup of my photos to disc. I would have lost our wedding and honeymoon photos. That didn’t go as I thought either. I burned the photos to disc from inside iPhoto. The negative is that it will not pull them back in like they were. They will not be organized like you had them. You have to backup the one iPhoto file for it to pull in exactly like you had them. I don’t know why Apple doesn’t have that backup option in iPhoto. It is very unApple. I did not have File Vault inacted the whole time I was using Time Machine so I lucked out that I only lost about six month of files. I didn’t have a problem with my email or bookmarks because all that is stored on servers. I use IMAP with Thunderbird and Xmarks for my bookmarks. I hope you’ll fare better with Time Machine than I did. Please let us know how it goes. I don’t have much experience with partitioning. I only have my Mac partitioned to use to Windows.

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