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Question pretty sums it up - should I expect any problems having an external USB hard drive with 2 or more partitions and using one of those partitions as my Mac Time Machine backup (formatted HFS+ of course)

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No problem, I have just split 2TB drive in 2 pieces, the important thing is to format the volume you want to use for Time Machine in HFS+ –  Sarge Borsch Jun 30 at 10:09

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I don't think there should be, except, of course, the drive space issue.

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There should not be any issue. In fact, I have always partitioned my Time Machine drives in order to keep the size of the Time Machine backup at bay, or to use the same disk with multiple Macs.

There is a known issue in OS X Mountain Lion 10.8–10.8.3 (rdar://12184052) regarding the feedback of Finder during the ejection of a Time Machine volume on an encrypted and partitioned hard drive: when you eject the volume by clicking on the ejection icon in the Finder sidebar, it will take up to a minute until the volume is unmounted, even though the icon of the volume may disappear from the sidebar much sooner. During that period, you will see in Activity Monitor that a process named UASysAgent eats up 100% CPU. When that process disappears, it is safe to disconnect the volume in my experience.

Since I have never used a non-partitioned Time Machine drive, I don't know whether this issue is specific to the partitioning of the drive, but I highly doubt it.

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The only problem I've seen is if you need to boot from it. I stored a bootable copy and the TM backups on the same external disk, which was fine until my internal HD went bang and I need to boot from the external hard drive. TM performance became painful and I had to turn it off.

Ideal to have an external HD for each purpose if you can afford it.

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mainly I was thinking of a a Time Machine backup and then a Fat32 system my window boxes could share w/ the Mac for general external storage –  Matt Sep 2 '10 at 18:08
    
As long as TM can see a mac native partition, it should be fine. –  alimack Sep 6 '10 at 14:23

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