Change capacity and Time Machine

I have a Mac Pro and run OSX 10.6.4. I have a Drobo with a 4x1TB single partition, max capacity of 16TB, and 1.19TB Used and 1.50 TB Free. I backup the four internal HDD (excluding iMovie Events, etc) to Time Machine on Drobo which is the only current use. However, I bought a new HD camcorder and realize I will need some external storage, since these files are HUGE.

It seems to me I should add 2-3 x 2TB HDDs to Drobo to get a good current capacity for both Time Machine and for storing my video files. In addition, I am thinking it would work best with two partitions. Is this recommended and can I do so without losing my Time Machine backups? How?


The only worry free way to partition a drobo after the fact is migrate your data off of the drobo then reformat the drobo using drobo dashboard to the appropriate volume sizes or reformat drobo again to one large 16tb volume and then use disk utility in osx to split that volume into two partiions. One for time machine and the other for your video files. Then migrate your data back over to the drobo.

Why do you want to store your video files separately forom your time machine backup? Why not have time machine backup your video files as well?

Also if your planning on editing HD video directly off of the drobo, i think you will find the performance somewhat lacking. You would be much better off using a dedicated scratch disk with a higher throughput than the drobo offers.

You bring up some great points. You helped clarify what may be a reasonable solution. It seems like I can temporarily replace/install one of my 2TB drives as an internal drive and copy the Time Machine files to it, once I find out how to do that. Then add 2TB drive(s) to Drobo, reformat Drobo with Disk Utility and create partitions, and finally hopefully copy my Time Machine files back to the TM partition. From what I’ve read so far, it is not straight forward and fairly risky.

I don’t want to use Time Machine as my storage for videos, because they can be rolled off (deleted) from Time Machine when TM has to start deleting backups to make space.

I would use Drobo only after I have completed working with the videos on my internal work drive and merely archive it to the Drobo video partition.

Yea it’s not the most straightforward process but it can be done. I recently went through a similar situation repurposing my drobo from live storage to be my time machine disk. The risk is minimal but depending on the amount of data you have the process can take quite a while. If you’ve never moved a time machine backup around the best way seems to be using disk utility to just make a clone of the time machine disk to another disk. This method takes longer than just dragging the files/folders over but it’s a block level copy so it ensures your new time machine disk is exactly the same as the old preventing time machine from thinking that it needs to re-backup data that is has already backed up or becoming corrupted.

If you are familiar with disk utility the process is fairly straight forward however if you are not there is a pretty good step by step walkthrough here
They have you erase the destination drive first which isn’t completely necessary as the destination drive will be erased during the restore process anyway.

Good luck on your disk shuffling!