1) I want to plug in an external hard drive and then download all of the photographs that I take in RAW format on my Canon 7D camera onto this external hard drive, and then backup these photos onto a second external hard drive. These photos would NOT be held on my MacBook Pro. 2) I then want to backup everything on my MacBook Pro to an external hard drive (but NOT the same external hard drive as the one the RAW photos will be held on).

So is it possible please to set up these two different systems? At the moment I use Time Machine to backup everything on my MacBook Pro - but I need to have two different systems as I outlined above- can Time machine be setup for this or is there a different way to do it? Any help would be gratefully received. Thanks

  • Do you want to use the same external drive for both backups (i.e.: total of two external drives or three)?
    – NoahL
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 1:32
  • No NoahL. What I am trying to do is to have only photos on two external hard drives (one as a backup for the other) and then two other, quite different hard drives to backup everything else that is on my MacBook Pro.
    – Steve
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 10:11
  • It's possible. I'd recommend a third party application like Carbon Copy Cloner.
    – NoahL
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


Yes, Time Machine can do this. All you need to do is connect at least two hard drives to your Mac. One hard drive will be for you to download your raw photos on to manually as you wish. The other hard drive will be your TM hard drive. Because your first HD for your photos is connected to your Mac, it wil also be backed up whenever TM does a backup. Those TM backups will backup what's on your Mac and what's on your photos HD, but you also have the option to select anything you want to exclude from the backup by going into the Options on TM.

  • Thank you T.H. Am I right in thinking then that Time Machine does not have the ability to have 2 different settings automatically - i.e. for one just the photos onto one ext hard drive and one for everything else? Disappointing if I have to do this manually every time. Thank you
    – Steve
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 10:21

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