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Brett3rThanU
Mar 19, 2013, 08:22 AM
So my normal time machine backup kicked off the other day and is still going as I'm typing this message. It's already grown to 14.5GB and it's still growing. Nothing major changed on my system so I have no idea why it's this large. It doesn't even give an estimate of the size so I have no idea how long it's going to go for. Any idea what could be going on here?



justperry
Mar 19, 2013, 08:32 AM
As long as you give next to no information no one can answer your question.

Brett3rThanU
Mar 19, 2013, 08:38 AM
Does time machine do full backups every so often? To my knowledge time machine does incrementals once the initial backup is done. Time machine has been doing incremental backups for weeks now, each size not more than 100MB depending on what I recently did/installed on the system. Now time machine appears to be doing an incremental backup yet it's at 14.5GB in size and still going. Not sure exactly what more information there is to give?

sammich
Mar 19, 2013, 08:45 AM
I get this when I'm downloading/updating Steam games. I don't use steam often and I ran all the updates for all the big Valve games. When the first TM backup started, it grew from 100MB, and grew all the way up to about 30GB.

It was always about 90% 'completed', so it would be '9.0GB of 10.0GB backed up'. Both numbers increased.

Brett3rThanU
Mar 19, 2013, 09:03 AM
Hmmm I don't have anything downloading or updating currently.

benwiggy
Mar 19, 2013, 09:47 AM
Does time machine do full backups every so often?
No.

If you are worried about the size of your backups, then there are utilities that can show you exactly what TM just backed up, such as Time Tracker from Charlesoft.

The same info can also be revealed with a small shell script.
http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20080714124323976

Fishrrman
Mar 19, 2013, 10:13 AM
What you are discovering is just one of the shortcomings of using T.M. as your backup paradigm.

There are others that are worse. You realize that you can't boot from a T.M. backup?

Suggestion:
Consider using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create a bootable backup clone. It will not "grow" in size. You can archive older versions of your files if you desire (CCC). You can even clone the recovery partition (CCC).

You won't realize the importance of having a backup clone around until that "moment of extreme need". Far too many posts from others on this forum, who have such moments, and in the turmoil, discover that they can't access their T.M. backups.

With a cloned backup, you just connect it, turn on the Mac, hold down the option key, and keep holding it down until the startup manager appears.

Then, select your backup, and you're booted again -- and from there, you can "attack" the problem-at-hand. Try doing that with T.M. ...

talmy
Mar 19, 2013, 10:44 AM
Go into the Time Machine preferences and have it ignore folders you don't want to back up. That's the best way to trim it down. In my case I have it ignore my Parallels Virtual Machines (for which any change will cause a 20GB backup!) and the download folders.

Regarding the suggestion to make clones using CarbonCopyCloner (or SuperDuper! or even Disk Utility) -- that's a good plan but IMHO it doesn't replace completely the functionality of TimeMachine which also gives crude but effective versioning. If you really care about backups you should have several different methods and at least one kept off-site.

benwiggy
Mar 19, 2013, 11:07 AM
There are others that are worse. You realize that you can't boot from a T.M. backup?
That's no longer true.
Holding down <alt> at startup shows a TM backup drive as a bootable option.

Weaselboy
Mar 19, 2013, 11:18 AM
So my normal time machine backup kicked off the other day and is still going as I'm typing this message. It's already grown to 14.5GB and it's still growing. Nothing major changed on my system so I have no idea why it's this large. It doesn't even give an estimate of the size so I have no idea how long it's going to go for. Any idea what could be going on here?

Did you by chance install the 10.8.3 ML update from a couple days ago? If you did, the next backup is going to be large due to all the changed files from the update.

Mike in Kansas
Mar 19, 2013, 11:26 AM
What you are discovering is just one of the shortcomings of using T.M. as your backup paradigm.

There are others that are worse. You realize that you can't boot from a T.M. backup?

Suggestion:
Consider using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create a bootable backup clone. It will not "grow" in size. You can archive older versions of your files if you desire (CCC). You can even clone the recovery partition (CCC).

You won't realize the importance of having a backup clone around until that "moment of extreme need". Far too many posts from others on this forum, who have such moments, and in the turmoil, discover that they can't access their T.M. backups.

With a cloned backup, you just connect it, turn on the Mac, hold down the option key, and keep holding it down until the startup manager appears.

Then, select your backup, and you're booted again -- and from there, you can "attack" the problem-at-hand. Try doing that with T.M. ...

You should have both - TM for a nice automatic hourly backup plan that also allows you to go back and find documents in old locations, in prior versions, or with changed names; CCC or SD clone for catastrophes, HDD or SSD failures, OSX upgrade rollbacks, etc. It's really not "one OR another", but "both". No sense saying one is better than the other - they serve different purposes.

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So my normal time machine backup kicked off the other day and is still going as I'm typing this message. It's already grown to 14.5GB and it's still growing. Nothing major changed on my system so I have no idea why it's this large. It doesn't even give an estimate of the size so I have no idea how long it's going to go for. Any idea what could be going on here?

Did you change a folder name or boot disk name possibly? Something as simple as changing the name of something with lots of GB in it can sometimes cause HUGE TM backups. One of the limitations of TM...

ianwuk
Mar 19, 2013, 06:00 PM
What you are discovering is just one of the shortcomings of using T.M. as your backup paradigm.

There are others that are worse. You realize that you can't boot from a T.M. backup?

Suggestion:
Consider using either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to create a bootable backup clone. It will not "grow" in size. You can archive older versions of your files if you desire (CCC). You can even clone the recovery partition (CCC).

You won't realize the importance of having a backup clone around until that "moment of extreme need". Far too many posts from others on this forum, who have such moments, and in the turmoil, discover that they can't access their T.M. backups.

With a cloned backup, you just connect it, turn on the Mac, hold down the option key, and keep holding it down until the startup manager appears.

Then, select your backup, and you're booted again -- and from there, you can "attack" the problem-at-hand. Try doing that with T.M. ...

I use CarbonCopyCloner, I was not impressed with Time Machine for backups.