Will time machine work with dedicated internal HDDs?

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Hi everyone,



Like probably the most of you, I preordered Leopard today and I can't wait to get it shipped to me on October 26th.



Now, my initial plans for the Leopard upgrade were to install 2 more HDDs (in addition to the 250gig drive that came in my Mac Pro). One WD Raptor to hold OS X and libraries/apps and one 1tb drive to act as dedicated time machine backup drive.



As I was reading product descriptions today, I noticed Apple talks about "USB/ Wirewire drives and Network Shares" as Time Machine target drives. Now, I'm wondering if using an internal SATA HDD on the Mac Pro as Time Machine drive would also work?



Answers from Leopard beta testers that have been able to test this would be preferable [allthough I'm not sure if this is covered by the NDA? Don't want you to do any 'illegal' stuff...] since I'm relying on you to buy (or not) that huge hdd ;-)



Thanks in advance,

miguy2k



-------------



UPDATE:

OK since i cannot post a reply to this post (god knows why) I'ma push the edit button...



I just found the response I was looking for and wanted to share:



As reported by Macworld here, it will work (despite Apple not saying it explicitely).



Quote:

In its promotional materials for Time Machine, Apple states that Time Machine works with “external hard drives” and servers. In reality, it will work with any non-bootable volume formatted in Apple’s HFS Extended format. That drive can be stowed inside a Mac Pro, attached on the end of a FireWire or USB cable, or even mounted on your desktop from elsewhere on your network. The one big catch is, the entire volume must be devoted to Time Machine—you can’t just stow Time Machine files inside a folder on a larger volume.



Greetings,

miguy2k

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    I am looking for confirmation on this as well. I posted the same question on Mac Roumurs boards and received only one reply stating that it would work on an internal Mac Pro HD, even a partition on the main boot drive. I am not convinced though if any or all of this is true. I ordered a 500 GB HD today so I hope it is true. I won't be able to understand Apple's thinking though if it does not work.
  • Reply 2 of 18
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGrouch View Post


    I am looking for confirmation on this as well. I posted the same question on Mac Roumurs boards and received only one reply stating that it would work on an internal Mac Pro HD, even a partition on the main boot drive. I am not convinced though if any or all of this is true. I ordered a 500 GB HD today so I hope it is true. I won't be able to understand Apple's thinking though if it does not work.



    Your answer lies in http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/timemachine.html and focus on the words "Pick a disk. Any disk.". You will be pleasantly surprised.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    Cheers
  • Reply 4 of 18
    Just looking at how Apple states it though is a bit ambiguous.



    "Pick a disk. Any disk."



    The first but suggests any disk. Yes.



    But they qualify this by going on to say.



    "You can designate just about any HFS+ formatted FireWire or USB drive connected to a Mac as a Time Machine backup drive"



    Now if they put HFS+ formated disk, (coma) FireWire or USB, this would make it clear that an internal would definitely work. The way that Apple has constructed this sentence on the site without the comma restricts the options to FW and USB and leaves out internals and possibly air disks. Lets hope the employee tasked with writing up these features was just having a bad hair day when they were writing this sentence.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Time Machine does allow you to select an internal (SATA or ATA) disk. For performance sake, an internal drive would be the fastest. IF that's how you want to do it, I see no big issue with it. If your computer dies, or your boot hard drive dies then you can always reinstall the boot drive and recover files from your backup drive. Or you can always pull out your back up drive (easy peasy in the case of a G5 or Mac Pro, fairly easy for a G4 tower as well) and put it in another computer or external drive case.



    Firewire drives also work great. USB drives are a bit slow but they also get the job done as transparently as possible.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    royboyroyboy Posts: 445member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Outsider View Post


    Time Machine does allow you to select an internal (SATA or ATA) disk. For performance sake, an internal drive would be the fastest. IF that's how you want to do it, I see no big issue with it. If your computer dies, or your boot hard drive dies then you can always reinstall the boot drive and recover files from your backup drive. Or you can always pull out your back up drive (easy peasy in the case of a G5 or Mac Pro, fairly easy for a G4 tower as well) and put it in another computer or external drive case.



    Firewire drives also work great. USB drives are a bit slow but they also get the job done as transparently as possible.







    And where did you find this information? Apple says:



    Quote:

    You can designate just about any HFS+ formatted FireWire or USB drive connected to a Mac as a Time Machine backup drive. Time Machine can also back up to another Mac running Leopard with Personal File Sharing, Leopard Server, or Xsan storage devices.



    I don't see anything in the above that says you can use an internal drive.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Royboy View Post


    And where did you find this information? Apple says:







    I don't see anything in the above that says you can use an internal drive.



    Edit: Never mind, don't believe me. It's not worth skirting the NDA and risking my ADC account.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    royboyroyboy Posts: 445member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Outsider View Post


    I went to the Time Machine system preference, selected to change the backup drive and chose an internal drive. It was really pretty easy.





    Apple needs to make that a lot clearer. The person doing the writing on their site writes that any Firewire or USB and leaves out internal drive. The writer must not know that Apple makes at least one computer with multiple internal drives. In fact, I believe it is only one: Mac Pro.





    Thanks for the information.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Royboy View Post


    Apple needs to make that a lot clearer. The person doing the writing on their site writes that any Firewire or USB and leaves out internal drive. The writer must not know that Apple makes at least one computer with multiple internal drives. In fact, I believe it is only one: Mac Pro.





    Thanks for the information.



    I'll confirm TM's use of internal ATA, SATA and external eSATA. If 3rd party driver code employed this will eliminate being able to restore complete TM backups via the DVD Installer Utilities menu as Apple has stated can be used on the Leopard 10.5 web page. However, this can be resolved by placing the TM backup device into a slot that does not require 3rd part driver code... and I'm talking about PowerMac and Mac Pros here.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    royboyroyboy Posts: 445member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Outsider View Post


    Edit: Never mind, don't believe me. It's not worth skirting the NDA and risking my ADC account.



    It's not a question of believing you or not, it's that Apple has not been very straight forward with their directions on Time Machine as related to the use of an extra internal drive. This question keeps popping up over and over, so I'm not the only one who is not sure about it and can't find the answer on Apple's website.



    And I wouldn't want you violate your NDA with Apple.



    From what I've read from others posting here, an internal hard drive can be used, but why does Apple not clearly state that rather than keep using just the terms Firewire and USB. Maybe they are in a mindset that all one needs is an IMac and an extra internal hard drive would not even be a choice.
  • Reply 11 of 18
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Royboy View Post


    And where did you find this information? Apple says:







    I don't see anything in the above that says you can use an internal drive.



    What makes you think Time Machine probes for either eSATA, iSCSI, Fiber or other bus architectures and prohibits internal SATA?



    The damn thing looks for available OS X HFS+ volumes to use.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    royboyroyboy Posts: 445member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    What makes you think Time Machine probes for either eSATA, iSCSI, Fiber or other bus architectures and prohibits internal SATA?



    The damn thing looks for available OS X HFS+ volumes to use.



    Because of this statement from Apple:



    Quote:

    You can designate just about any HFS+ formatted FireWire or USB drive connected to a Mac as a Time Machine backup drive.



    Where does it say what you just quoted?



    Quote:

    The damn thing looks for available OS X HFS+ volumes to use.



    I have not seen that anywhere except that you said it. Show me where you are getting the quote from!
  • Reply 13 of 18
    Wow folks. I think that TM will work with an internal drive and probably with many other HFS+ drives ass stated by information supplied by other posters (much appreciated.



    I think that whoever wrote up the new features on the Apple site was in a rush and and just didn't make it clear enough.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    royboyroyboy Posts: 445member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGrouch View Post


    Wow folks. I think that TM will work with an internal drive and probably with many other HFS+ drives ass (Freudian slip?) stated by information supplied by other posters (much appreciated.



    I think that whoever wrote up the new features on the Apple site was in a rush and and just didn't make it clear enough.





    I think you are right. Also, there is only one Apple computer, which represents only a small percentage of Mac sales, that can have an extra internal drive. I guess they figure that people who would buy a Mac Pro are not the ones who would be reading about Apple computers on Apple's website.
  • Reply 15 of 18
    Ass !!!



    Opps
  • Reply 16 of 18
    Ok, well I was wondering the EXACT same thing because I have a similar setup.



    I decided to just ask the the Apple support online. Here's the convo:

    Quote:

    The chat service provides Apple customers with responses to their questions about Apple products and solutions.

    You are now chatting with 'Josh'

    Josh: Would you like help with your shopping?

    Visitor: yes, I just purchased Leopard to install on my Mac Pro and was interested in getting another HD to use with time machine

    Josh: I'm happy to assist with that.

    Visitor: However, I'd like to stick away from an external...I'm assuming an internal drive would work fine, but all the ads and everything else always mention an external so I just wanted to make sure

    Josh: A external drive is required.

    Visitor: there's no way to set it up on a second internal? I've already got 3 externals I use for other backups and really don't have any room for another external, but I'm only using 1 internal drive right now

    Visitor: so I thought I could install one, and use it just for time machine

    Josh: Excellent question, a external hard drive is required.

    Visitor: Will any external hard drive work?

    Josh: One moment while I research that for you.

    Visitor: no problem

    Josh: Any mac OS supported hard drive will work.

    Visitor: ok, thanks for your help





    So I asked twice, they're claiming you have to have an external drive. It doesn't make any sense, especially if any external drive will work. Has anyone tried to confirm yet? I bought an internal to use as the time machine drive, but don't want to open it till I'm sure. I won't be able to install Leopord until tomorrow anyway.



    Thoughts?
  • Reply 17 of 18
    Hi Kernel,



    Josh here..... Only kiding





    You got to remember that the support team are instructed to give stock answers which are not always useful. These chaps may not be geeks and may not realise that certain things are possible.



    I can confirm that the internal 500 GB I got for my Mac Pro works. How well it works is another matter as I have just got TM up and running while still trying to unpick the usual nots (certain apps needing attention, repairing wrong permissions....).



    By the way Repair permissions takes ages, longer than even Panther and the progress bar only display the perpetual barber pole graphic. Apple has some work to do there and to be honest they probably need to do some more work overall. Be prepared for a leap of faith as Apple has dropped some useful features that were in Tiger. For example one that has started to disappoint me: search view is no longer available so you don't get files sorted into categories in the search window. Instead you get big icons with a slider to adjust there size.



    There are a lot of other little things but I am not going to clog this thread by discussing them now in this thread. Besides I want to go back and fiddle a bit more ........with Leopard
  • Reply 18 of 18
    Cool, I just wanted to confirm before going through all the trouble. I understand they have standard responses, but this isn't even a very complicated or technical question. I was going to be surprised if it didn't work, because that would mean they intentionally blocked it which would be dumb.



    Anyway, thanks.
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