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Old Nov 27th, 2012, 12:10 PM   #1
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External drives with Fusion drive

I'm planning to buy a new iMac with fusion drive, but I just saw the question in the FAQ


"Can external USB, FireWire, or Thunderbolt hard drives be added to Fusion Drive?
An external drive cannot be used as part of a Fusion Drive volume. Fusion Drive is designed to work with an internal hard disk drive and internal flash storage."

Could this mean that I can't use an external drive for backup? I won't get the fusion if I can't.

I can't find anywhere in Apple support to get a further explanation.
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Old Nov 27th, 2012, 12:33 PM   #2
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No, they mean you can't use an external drive as a part of the Fusion drive.

There are no issues using your own external for backup.
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Old Nov 27th, 2012, 12:36 PM   #3
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found the answer to my question

I just called Apple support and asked about the external drive. Apparently it means that you can't insert a second drive, but you CAN use Time Machine to back up to an external drive. The tech said they wouldn't have included Time Machine if you couldn't do that.

Thinking about it, it makes sense.

Badly worded FAQ.
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Old Nov 27th, 2012, 12:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by since84 View Post
I just called Apple support and asked about the external drive. Apparently it means that you can't insert a second drive, but you CAN use Time Machine to back up to an external drive. The tech said they wouldn't have included Time Machine if you couldn't do that.

Thinking about it, it makes sense.

Badly worded FAQ.
Well, the wording makes sense - you can't add an external drive to a Fusion drive. Doesn't say you can't use it with one.
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Old Nov 27th, 2012, 05:45 PM   #5
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It strikes me that you and Apple are talking at cross purposes.

The Fusion drive is two separate drive mechanisms acting as one volume. There's a smaller faster solid state drive and a bigger slower mechanical hard drive. Low level Apple software shuffles bits between the slow and fast drives. It's pre-configured and invisible to the user.

This has nothing to do with external hard drives, network drives, Time Machine, etc. You can add as many external drives as you like (within the limitations of OS X), including Time Machine volumes and whatever other storage you want, using USB, Thunderbird, Firewire, Ethernet, whatever. None of them will become part of the Fusion drive volume. They will be mounted as external disks.
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