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My MacBook Air only has a 128Gb HD so I have a 500Gb external HD which I have my iTunes folder on (as I have over 200Gb of music and videos). But I would like to also use the external `hard drive for Time Machine. Will that work?

Will it use up all the remaining space, leaving me no room to add new media?

Should I (and can I) partition the external hard drive without losing my files?

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Time machine will use "up to" all the partition. So at the beginning there is going to be free space remaining. This free space will lessen with the time. When the partition is full, TimeMachine will delete the oldest backups.

So yes I would suggest a partition and yes the Disk Utility will allow you to partition your hard drive with a low probability of data loss. (When formatting there is always a probability of dataloss but it's really low).

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If there is anything in iTunes that you want to backup, you should buy an additional drive instead. You don't want to have both the data and the backup on the same physical drive. Personally, I'd get another drive rather than mess around with repartioning drives that are not backed up.

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    Normally I would do but I'm currently on a year-long backpacking trip and trying to keep my luggage to an absolute minimum. I have all my music backed up at home so it's not too much of an issue. – voidstate Nov 2 '13 at 16:24

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