Time Machine Q's

Discussion in 'OS X and OS X Apps' started by Bulakbol, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. Bulakbol

    Bulakbol Active Member

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    I recently started doing backups via Time Machine. God knows how thankful I am for doing this because my hard drive crashed 2 weeks ago and if not for Time Machine, all my data would have been gone.

    I monitor what Time Machine is doing and I noticed that it takes too long to do a backup. I am connected via router by the way so this could contribute to the problem. It took 8 hours when I did my first backup. Now I see that Time Machine would back up every hour, which is good. I see that in some hours it would do back ups and a few megabytes worth of data is being saved into my external drive. In some hours it would backup as much as 31GB worth. This one would take around 4 hours to finish. I am not sure why it does this since I have not introduced a bunch of new files into my system.

    I also noticed that it starts deleting backup files from a week ago since my external hard drive is already full. I am using a 500GB Lacie drive and I am confused as to why it consumes that much space when it only does incremental back ups. I only have about 67GB worth of data in my hard drive and I don't back up my MP3s, pictures and videos.

    :slanted:
     
  2. gaol

    gaol PhilMUG Addict Member
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    Do you have Windows via Parallels? Time Machine by default backs up the windows.hdd drive everytime you open it, and hence can eat up your back up storage space very quickly. The size of this file is the number of GBs you specified for Windows to use. If Parallels uses the (separate) BootCamp partition, this is not a problem.
     
  3. Bulakbol

    Bulakbol Active Member

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    Yup, I have Parallels. I checked the file size and it is indeed 31GB. So Time Machine would back this up everytime? Geez, my 500GB would not be enough. Even a terabyte would not be enough I think. Thanks for the reply by the way, I appreciate it. :)
     
  4. Chito Limson

    Chito Limson Unfrozen…
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    I suggest you start deleting backups that you don't need, i.e., just those made on weekends, assuming that you don't need the daily backups. I myself have turned off Time Machine because it doesn't do incremental backups. I just do it manually to optimize my hard drive capacities. For me, Time Machine is just eye candy and is not so useful…

    Just an example: After calculating directory/folder sizes, it came up with this:

    Applications: 7.1 Gb
    Library: 7.2 Gb
    System files & applications: 9.5 Gb
    Total included: 51.0 Gb! - that's one fcuked-up math!
     
    #4 Chito Limson, Apr 14, 2008
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2008
  5. PatrickGaerlan

    PatrickGaerlan Super Moderator
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    You can just tell Time Machine not to backup the folder which contains your Windows Parallels image. Time Machine does incremental backups, it only copies the files which have changed since the last backup. Although Apple still needs to make more improvements when it comes to customizing Time Machine's settings, I still recommend it for users who do not want to worry about backups, and it's a life saver when you need another version of a file that you've already overwritten.
     
  6. rbenzon

    rbenzon Super
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    Among the biggest culprits of Time Machine obesity are volatile files--databases, logs, et al. Imagine a 10GB database that gets backed up again just because you added a 1KB record! The same is true for logs.

    As mentioned above, you can: 1) turn off TM entirely; 2) use TM selectively; or 3) do a hybrid, TM for automated backups, then manual or some other backup utility for the occasional archiving of crucial volatile data.

    Hope this helps!
     
  7. gaol

    gaol PhilMUG Addict Member
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    Yup, that's the culprit and Patrick is right, just tell Time Machine not to backup the folder containing your Windows Parallels image. Aside from saving space, this would also speed up the hourly backups considerably.

    I also have a Lacie 500Gb drive to backup 250GB (around 40-60GB free, and a separate 32GB BootCamp partition) in my MBP and I've used Time Machine since December. I still have around 200Gb left on the Lacie. I also have a 7GB Windows Parallels image which previously ate up backup space.
     
    #7 gaol, Apr 14, 2008
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2008
  8. Bulakbol

    Bulakbol Active Member

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    Would it work if I back up my Parallels image once to make sure I have a backup of the system then turn it off after? I'm just worrying that if my hard drive would crash again then I would need to reinstall Parallels and Windows and all my Windows based softwares again. I use Windows for Microsoft Money. Although I can back up the Money file separately, setting it all up again would be a pain.
     
  9. PatrickGaerlan

    PatrickGaerlan Super Moderator
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    Just copy your Parallels image manually to the external hard disk (in a separate folder, not in the Time Machine disk image). If you use Time Machine to back it up once then set Time Machine to stop backing it up later, I'm not sure if TM will proceed to delete copies of that folder from it's backup.
     
  10. Bulakbol

    Bulakbol Active Member

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    Oh yeah, once the external drive becomes full it will delete old files and might delete the one with the Parallels image. Copying it in another folder would be the best option. Thanks Patrick!
     
  11. Bulakbol

    Bulakbol Active Member

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    I encountered a few more problems with Time Machine. It was backing up but I needed to stop it. It gave me an error message which said something like it was trying to backup 755GB worth of data which is definitely too large for my 500GB external HDD. I wonder what it was trying to backup when my internal drive is only 160GB hehe. Anyway, I thought it was a glitch or something so I triggered the backup process again. This time System Preferences stopped responding. I could not do a force quit, nor eject any of the disks. It gives me an "unexpected error" error message. This happened to me several times in the past and it seems to be connected to Time Machine. I also would not be able to stop Time Machine at this point. The only way out of this mess is to do a hard reboot. Normal restart will not work. What could be going on in here?
     
  12. PrettyinPink

    PrettyinPink New Member

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    Hi,

    I also have a question on time machine. If i backup my mac now with time machine then erase something from my mac, on the next backup, with time machine erase it too?

    Thanks!
     
  13. PatrickGaerlan

    PatrickGaerlan Super Moderator
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    @prettyinpink, it won't erase it unless it runs out of space in the backup drive. That's the point of Time Machine, you can retrieve files that are no longer in your Mac.

    If you want to erase a file from your Time Machine backup, simply activate Time Machine, go to the file, right-click on it and select "Delete All Backups of...".
     
  14. PrettyinPink

    PrettyinPink New Member

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    Thanks Patrick Gaerlan. By any chance related to Jeff, Love and Kenneth Gaerlan who lived in Makati few years back?
     
  15. marckieMD

    marckieMD Member

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    i using time machine manually, i only backup my documents so it consumes less hard drive space :)
     
  16. Theus

    Theus PhilMUG Addict Member
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    does TM (automatically) back-up external drives as well?? i was surpirsed to see this morning that i only have 80g's left of my 500g external. back-up size yesterday was only 240g, i just noticed that my other external was turned on during last night's back-up (that's the only reason i can think of for the bloated size, but i doubt this). weird.
     
  17. PatrickGaerlan

    PatrickGaerlan Super Moderator
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    I don't know them personally, but I think most Gaerlans are related :)
     
  18. suavecito

    suavecito PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Sorry to hijack this thread but i also have a TM question. Mine does ok but when my MBP sleeps and the time i wake it, there will be a popup window that says TM backup error. That only happens when i leave my computer on sleep overnight. But it does a backup normally after it wakes up.
     
  19. Rain Man

    Rain Man Member

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    How do you go about backing up files from CD/DVDs through TM? am using an MB.
    Thanks anyone.
     
  20. Psynic

    Psynic Member

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    By default, TM does not backup external drives. You'll need to manually enable it. Perhaps you modify large files frequently (ie Parallels or VMWare Fusion images for example). TM will make multiple versions of these large files and that can eat space up quickly.

    You can go into the TM application and manually delete the old versions to free up some space.

    Hope this helps.

    Mike
     

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