A simple question. Does the Time Capsule allow you to make multiple disk images for the same computer? I am thinking about getting a Time Capsule. It is not that I care much about backup it is just that I would like to be able to do a fresh install of the OS without much trouble.

My Macbook Pro has a hard disk of size 250 GB. My scenario I would like:

1: Make disk image of my current installation (OSX Lion)

2: Reinstall OSX and install programs and make a new disk Image.

3: Use rest of the space for backup of my current installation and sharing of other files.

So in essence I should now have two disk images on my Time Capsule and whenever I do a reinstall of OSX I can choose which image I want to use. Is this possible?

Also: If I am running dual boot with XP will this make a difference?

  • Yes I have and it is not very clear to me. All I can read is how amazing TC and TM is because it does a backup of your computer automatically. But that is not very important to me. Other asks if you can make backup of different computers but in my example I only use one computer. It is not cheap so I want to make sure it does what I need before I buy one. – Mads Jan 30 '12 at 21:06
  • Where do you plan on putting the disk image? – soandos Jan 30 '12 at 21:20
  • Do you need the Time Machine functionality or would it work for you to just create a "static" disk image? I'm not too sure about the specifics of Time Machine here, but if you just want to keep some images around, you can easily do that with Disk Utility or CCC. – slhck Jan 30 '12 at 21:42

I believe you can do what you want.

Your time machine backup disc images are just images files, under a "Data" directory.

I assume you can put other files/directories on the disc, which of course will use up disc space, but otherwise should be fine.

I have not tried this, though, so YMMV.

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  • Time Machine backups are not just disk images, and they are comprised of files, folders and hard links. Also, they are bound to hardware IDs of the Mac they were made from, thus it could be problematic to shuffle them around. The main question is whether Time Machine would (after reinstalling) just start a new backup or continue with the old one. – slhck Jan 30 '12 at 22:27
  • Yes, inside the high-level disk image (which is all you see in Finder), there are indeed files, directories, ... -- Just as an "App" is really a directory tree. But my point is still valid. He is not changing CPUs, and I believe his backups may "just work". – Lee-Man Jan 31 '12 at 18:50
  • The CPU doesn't have anything to do with Time Machine's association to a Mac. It's the MAC address and the GUID of the disk. As far as I read it, the OP wants to keep an image for his old installation even after reinstalling OS X and continuing to use Time Machine, but with another backup. What do you mean by "just work"? – slhck Jan 31 '12 at 20:57
  • I'm sorry I mixed up CPU ID vs MAC Address, but same difference: he is not changing any of those things (nor the disk GUID). By "just work", I mean he will be able to access his backups after he updates his OS, since the backup format has not changed (AFAIK). – Lee-Man Jan 31 '12 at 22:01
  • Yes, that's why I fear the backup will just continue to write to the old location, which is probably not what the OP wants. Any idea how to circumvent that when using Time Machine via Time Capsule only? – slhck Jan 31 '12 at 22:02

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