Imagine I do backups using Time Machine at home just like everybody else. But as I travel often and of course also work on the road I also need to have a mobile backup solution. I thought about the following:

One partition of my external hard drive has the same size like my internal hard drive (e.g. 500GB). I use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my internal hard drive daily. The second partition of my external hard drive backups all changes starting from last cloning on; only if manually activated when I leave home for a longer time.

Is this possible?

1 Answer 1


In Mountain Lion and greater, you can create multiple separate backup disks with Time Machine. Get an USB external HD for traveling, and use that to backup your Mac whilst on the road. When at home, you can do a backup to another HD, (USB or otherwise,) which stays there permanently. I take this external HD when I travel. It is wicked fast, and demonstrably rugged, as I have dropped it several times with no ill effects. You can also use this disk to make a CCC clone, if that is your preferred backup method.

Note: It is not a wise idea to have a backup partition, (CCC, TM or otherwise,) on the same drive you're backing up. If the HD itself goes poof, you've lost the backups you need to restore your system.

  • Thank you. I thought about this HD too. But I think you misunderstood me, I want to use the technique I described in the question to always have an instant bootable system (nightly updated) and additionally - on the same external HD but on a second partition - a backup with all changes since last night. Is this possible and if yes, how?
    – luke
    Feb 17, 2014 at 20:56

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .