WD Passport Partition?

I was planning on buying (2) WD 4 TB passport drives for backup. I was planning on having 1 to be for Time Machine Backups, and the other drive to be for Carbon Copy Cleaner.

I had another idea that I was curious about and wanted to hear from the group.

Could I just purchase only 1 WD 4TB passport drive. Partition the drive (2TB each). Run CCC to a partition and run Time Machine to the other partition.


Your plan to partition a hard drive into two partitions for backups needs a second look. Keep in mind that although your system sees two separate volumes, one for each backup they are in fact only one physical disk drive. If anything happens to the hard drive, be it external damage or internal damage (hard drive crash, electrical failure), you will lose two of your important backups at the same time. It would be better to run the backups on separate physical disk drives.


Yes and no. Only if you have multiple drives doing that sort of set-up. There is the risk that any single drive failure will take out both types of backups.

OTOH I do just about that but I have 3 separate places that are doing Time Machine backups, 1 on the Synology NAS server, 1 to a dedicated 2 TB Passport, and 1 to a 4TB passport that is also a daily bootable backup of my main machine and my partition on the NAS server.

I have another set of 2 drives that each get the bootable BU and the NAS Partition backup once a month or so and get swapped out to an offsite location and also a media rated fireproof safe here.

More drives are better.

Initially, I was backing up my Time Machine Backups to my Synology NAS. But I find that I spend more time trying to fix them, because there’s usually some connection issue that happens regularly.

The idea for my 500gb macbook pro…

  1. 2TB or 4TB Drive for Time Machine
  2. 2TB or 4TB Drive for Carbon Copy
  3. Backup to Backblaze/B2

The Synology currently does

  1. B2
  2. Crashplan
  3. I still need a 3rd and 4th local. But stuck on this process. I have about 6 TB out of 8TB being used up. Assessing to invest in another Synology? Or get an 8TB MyBook and have it back up to that locally.

As Barry pointed out, if your backup drive crashes you lose both the CCC partition and the TM partition. That’s less than ideal. The odds are low that your main drive goes down at the same time as the backups (though a bad enough electrical spike could do that) but it’s something I’d never do.

If you intend to use both backup solutions I’d have one drive permanently attached for Time Machine, and then periodically attach/detach the CCC drive as a protective measure.

(And if you don’t have a drive off-site in case of a fire or theft, I’d strongly recommend also using an offline backup service like BackBlaze’s $60/year for unlimited storage [of files of drives directly connected to the Mac].)

I would look at the 3-2-1 principle here:

3 backups
2 on different media
1 offsite

I think you’ve got most of it covered. Why would you need a 4th?

I talked to CCC about partition an external drive. They suggested NO. That was about 3 - 4 years ago. You could send a ‘pre-sale email’ and asked them.

I have heard of lots of problems but knock on wood, we’ve never experienced anything like that except when adding additional routers to our system and needing to get all the IP address straightened out.

Wonder why? I’ve been using partitions for all my CCC bootable backups and I do test them and so far no problems.

Because the clear inference from the question is that the partition not being used for backup would not itself be backed up properly. (If it were backed up to the other partition and the drive failed you’d lose the data.)

OK, In my situation though I’m using all partitions as backups of other devices or partitions.

Then it shouldn’t be a problem… except to the extent that if one drive fails multiple backups disappear.

I do exactly that but it’s only one part of a complete strategy. I use the partitioned when traveling mainly so I have both types of backups with me. I also have other drives dedicated to either time machine or CCC backups but they usually stay at home. I’m also backing up to an online service too.