2 Time Machines, 1 MacBook Pro
June 27, 2011 10:22 AM   Subscribe

MacFilter. 2 Time Machines, 1 MacBook Pro - is it possible? Or will it collapse the fabric of space and time?

I have one (1) MacBook Pro, and two (2) external hard drives that I am using as Time Machines, one at work and one at home. I have used the work TM for a few months now, it works just fine.

I just purchased the home TM, took it it home, set it up, it backed up fine.

I went back to work, plugged in the existing work TM, and it started to back up from scratch (i.e. everything). An hour on the phone with Apple, and they say you can't have two different TMs for one laptop. But surely I'm not the only person who wants to do this (have 2 TMs for the same laptop)? Am I? Does anyone else do this, and if so, how?

It seemed like a good idea to have 2 TMs for redundancy reasons.
posted by carter to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
A quick Google search points me to this article by Chris Breen at Macworld.

However, I would advise you to use something like SuperDuper (which costs money) or Carbon Copy Cloner (which doesn't) for one of your backups, since Time Machine isn't always reliable as backup software. Use Time Machine for the "history" function and as an in-a-pinch backup and SuperDuper/Carbon Copy Cloner for a true backup.
posted by griseus at 10:37 AM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Cool, thanks griseus. I was googling around but didn't find that article. I'll give that a try. Weird that Apple said that it couldn't be done.
posted by carter at 10:47 AM on June 27, 2011

I'm getting less convinced that TM is even reliable for the "history" function. Every 3-6 months TM decides that the verification failed on my sparsebundle, builds a new one and starts a backup from that point in time wiping out the existing history. There's even a useless Apple Support page about the issue.
CCC is is donationware. If you depend on it be nice and support the developer.
posted by Runes at 11:06 AM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

SuperDuper is well worth the money. I use it alongside Time Machine and I love it. Having a fully bootable backup ready in case my HD crashes is great. Time Machine is nice if you accidentally delete something, but you need a working computer for it to work. With SuperDuper backups using Smart Update to only copy what changed, I am ready to go. All I need is a FireWire cable and my system is running again. For that matter, I can boot ANY Intel Mac off of my SuperDuper backup. So even if my computer is smashed or stolen, I still have all my stuff.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:16 PM on June 27, 2011

a friend of mine does this pretty much - one of his Time Machine drives goes off-site, and they swap every so often. the first backup after the swap takes a while longer because the set of changes is bigger - as far as TM is concerned, it hasn't backed up the machine in days/weeks rather than in hours. while i'm a big believer in using CCC or SuperDuper! to make a bootable clone of your machine every so often, I believe more in having your stuff physically somewhere else too. that house fire that claims your MacBook Pro isn't going to not burn down your backup (in most cases, at least). (of course, if you're using Backblaze or something, you have the off-site.)
posted by mrg at 1:15 PM on June 27, 2011

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