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Topic # 92545 1-Nov-2011 11:56
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My iMac internal drive just failed and I stupidly was not running a backup system.  Luckily the files have been recovered. 

But now is the time to run a daily backup solution.

I just want to protect my data, but the opportunity to revert to earlier versions of the OS / files would be nice, so I am considering running Time Machine.  However I am not going to pay over $300 for a Time Capsule.  I am running Lion.  Internal HDD is 500GB.

1. Can I run Time Machine with a generic USB drive?
2. Do I have to partition / format it in any special way?
3. How large does the generic drive need to be to run time machine?  (My internal HDD is 500GB).

If this doesn't work out will just run daily automatic backupos on a 500GB generic USB drive.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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  Reply # 539844 1-Nov-2011 12:02
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1. Yes, any USB or FireWire external drive will work.
2. Just needs to be formatted in the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format so that Lion can recognise it, which you can do in the Disk Utility app once it's plugged in (if it's not already formatted for OS X).
3. Go for the biggest you have/can afford - the bigger your hard drive the more snapshots will be saved and the more extensive your backups will be. You'd probably want at least 1TB for your setup.




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  Reply # 539846 1-Nov-2011 12:05
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automaton:

I just want to protect my data, but the opportunity to revert to earlier versions of the OS / files would be nice, so I am considering running Time Machine.  However I am not going to pay over $300 for a Time Capsule.  I am running Lion.  Internal HDD is 500GB.

1. Can I run Time Machine with a generic USB drive?
2. Do I have to partition / format it in any special way?
3. How large does the generic drive need to be to run time machine?  (My internal HDD is 500GB).

If this doesn't work out will just run daily automatic backupos on a 500GB generic USB drive.

Thanks in advance for your help!


1.Time Machine will work fine on a Generic External USB HDD (Firewire makes it faster, but regular USB is fine)
2. Nope, Other than being a regular HFS formatted drive you don't have to do anything special
3. Making it the same size as your internal is a good insurance policy, but Time machine is fairly efficient,

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