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External Hard Drive/Time Machine 101

Update:10-11Source: network consolidation
I was using a 500 GB external hard drive with my MacBook Pro. I cloned my hard drive to the external hard drive, then used the remaining space to store videos, images, etc. When my aging MacBook Pro finally crashed, I was able to boot up the cloned drive and work with it.
I now have a new MacBook Pro with a bigger hard drive (750 GB, I think). I also bought a 2 terabyte external hard drive (My Book for Mac), planning on doing the same thing - cloning my hard drive, then using the remaining free space to store extra stuff.
However, I discovered that my new external hard drive is much more sophisticated than the last one. It gives me the option of using Time Machine or automatically copying all my files to the external drive. So I'd like to go back to square one, find out what my options are and figure out the best strategy.
First, if I use Time Machine to back up my files, will they effectively create a clone that I can boot up? (I've never used Time Machine before.) If so, then I'm thinking I might not partition my new hard drive. Instead, I would just let Time Machine back up my files. If it creates a 1,200 GB clone, then I could copy videos and images to the remaining 800 GB of hard drive space.
If Time Machine doesn't create a bootable clone, then I'll probably just do what I've been doing - use a program like Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my hard drive, then use the remaining space to store graphics. However, I wonder if I could still get by without partitioning my new hard drive. With two terabytes, it seems like it might be more efficient to just leave it unpartitioned and copy things into it as needed.
Any tips?

The Best Answer

Time Machine does not create bootable clones. It does not even create a bootable backup. If that's what you prefer then do not use Time Machine.
If you use Time Machine then you must allocate at least twice as much space for the backups than the capacity of the drive you are backing up. A 2 TB backup drive would be suitable for a 1 TB main drive or smaller.
If you plan to create a bootable backup, then partition the backup drive with one partition the size required for the clone. Then use the other partition for you additional storage neeeds.