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Time Machine and backing-up
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Dracut, MA, USA
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Nov 27, 2017, 05:39 PM
I have been using Time Machine and Time Capsule for many years and am currently at a point where I have filled my TC and a 4TB Seagate drive with backup from my iMac , and 2 other family laptops.

I currently am using a second 4TB Seagate drive for backup and am unsure what to do with my 2TB TimeCapsule as well as the first 4TB Seagate drive. Should I archive them? Where and how? Or can I simply erase them . . . . and how do I safely do that?

I looked online for these answers without much luck. Backing up on a Mac is not discussed much online it seems. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California
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Nov 27, 2017, 08:04 PM
A TimeMachine hard drive can be erased and used as normal for other purposes. It's not a "special" drive, if that's what you are asking.

Few people discuss TM because it mostly "just works". You can run into problems though if you need a bigger TM drive than say, a TC came with. Or worse, if your machine has multiple volumes, and you need a TM space bigger than any HD currently on the market.

iFixit has guides on how to replace the TC internal drive, say to a bigger one. Considering Apple's habit of going for compact size instead of cooling capacity, definitely go for a 5400 or 5900 green drive.

If you need more than 14TB, then you need a RAID array for backups. A NAS is the best option, though there are others. Like USB multibay drive enclosures.
Harvey  (op)
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Nov 27, 2017, 09:39 PM
Thanks reader50 for that very clear and helpful explanation.
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