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Old May 7, 2013, 01:44 PM   #1
RadDave
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Time Machine Missed 5 days of Backups!

Well, today I was trying to install an old Brother Laser printer wirelessly - loaded the drivers on my week old iMac and got to the point of having to plug in an USB cable for the setup process - the computer crashed - after a reboot, I wanted to take the computer back earlier in the day and use Time Machine - to my surprise, the last backup listed was from May 2 - 5 days ago!

Now this is the first time I even wanted to try to revert back and of no use - Time Machine is using a new Seagate 1 TB drive - SO, why did this program misbehave - there seems very little in setup for TM to adjust except for excluding certain files? I did a manual backup which worked fine.

My second question concerns this 'CRASH' - anything that I should do to make sure that the computer is operating as it should - have very few utilities on it @ the moment and have not looked @ the logs. Thanks for any input.

BTW - the Brother is old w/ quirky networking, so just plugged it into my old Dell that I moved to the back room - it's on our wireless network, so I might be able to do some sharing. Dave
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Old May 8, 2013, 04:05 AM   #2
ItWasNotMe
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File a bug report

http://bugreport.apple.com

Personally only started using it since Mountain Lion, sometimes think its more trouble than its worth. Its certainly not my primary backup/archive strategy.

Only seems to update the last backup date/time when its finished 'Cleaning up'.

You will only see this state in System Preferences. Don't rely on using the icon in the menu bar to indicate whether its active or not. The phases shown in preferences include:
1. 'Looking for Backup disk' - icon shows it as inactive
2. 'Preparing backup' - icon shows it as inactive
3. 'Backing up n of m' - this is only state when icon shows its active
- there are some clear sub-phases in this; often a long pause when its done c10% of the initial estimate and an even longer one at c90%
4. 'Cleaning up' - icon reverts to inactive.

Finder shows the target disk as in use in all the phases so IMHO some sloppy UI development.

A few issues I've had:
- Be very wary if you are using external disks as the source; never finishes if having to back up two disks and the second goes to sleep whilst its backing up the first
- system effectively dies if you start two processes in quick succession while its cleaning up (this phase is normally fast except for first backup of the day)
- n and m in stage three above seem random numbers at times, e.g. yesterday spent an hour 'Preparing' started as 'Backing up n of 48GB'; ended by backing up 600MB - who knows what it had been doing in the hour...
- runs through all phases successfully but for some reason doesn't update date of last backup
- target disk gets hugely fragmented after a while, i.e. after a space reclaim or two This lengthens write times - my personal current record is a 47MB file spanning 10905 fragments (not a typing error - that is ten thousand)
- and so on
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:12 PM   #3
flynz4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadDave View Post
Well, today I was trying to install an old Brother Laser printer wirelessly - loaded the drivers on my week old iMac and got to the point of having to plug in an USB cable for the setup process - the computer crashed - after a reboot, I wanted to take the computer back earlier in the day and use Time Machine - to my surprise, the last backup listed was from May 2 - 5 days ago!

Now this is the first time I even wanted to try to revert back and of no use - Time Machine is using a new Seagate 1 TB drive - SO, why did this program misbehave - there seems very little in setup for TM to adjust except for excluding certain files? I did a manual backup which worked fine.

My second question concerns this 'CRASH' - anything that I should do to make sure that the computer is operating as it should - have very few utilities on it @ the moment and have not looked @ the logs. Thanks for any input.

BTW - the Brother is old w/ quirky networking, so just plugged it into my old Dell that I moved to the back room - it's on our wireless network, so I might be able to do some sharing. Dave
Was your HDD direct connected to the iMac, or was it connect to a router or other network device? I've never seen this behavior with a direct connected device.

/Jim
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Old May 9, 2013, 12:17 AM   #4
RadDave
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Originally Posted by flynz4 View Post
Was your HDD direct connected to the iMac, or was it connect to a router or other network device? I've never seen this behavior with a direct connected device.

/Jim
Hi Jim - on May 8, there were 8 backups made according to the TM records - just checked @ 1 AM, May 9 and a backup was performed. The Seagate drive is connected to a USB port on the back of the monitor. The only other observation is that the light on the external HD is not always on, but I'm assuming that is power conservation strategy? Not sure but will check the Seagate web site next. Thanks for your interest - Dave
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Old May 9, 2013, 01:54 AM   #5
flynz4
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Originally Posted by RadDave View Post
Hi Jim - on May 8, there were 8 backups made according to the TM records - just checked @ 1 AM, May 9 and a backup was performed. The Seagate drive is connected to a USB port on the back of the monitor. The only other observation is that the light on the external HD is not always on, but I'm assuming that is power conservation strategy? Not sure but will check the Seagate web site next. Thanks for your interest - Dave
I suspect you are right... maybe TM thinks the drive is disconnected if it goes into power save mode.

/Jim
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Old May 9, 2013, 04:11 AM   #6
ItWasNotMe
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If the drive has activity lights...

Try using the Seagate Drive Settings App to turn them off.

Time Machine is not keen on 'other' apps using 'its' drive.

(When on, ann additional process runs that looks at used space and sets accordingly).
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Old May 9, 2013, 10:30 AM   #7
RadDave
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Originally Posted by ItWasNotMe View Post
Try using the Seagate Drive Settings App to turn them off.

Time Machine is not keen on 'other' apps using 'its' drive.

(When on, ann additional process runs that looks at used space and sets accordingly).
Thanks for the additional comments - not sure if the 'Power Save' mode is the problem, BUT? Another B/U was made earlier this morning - just don't know why 5 days were skipped - weird -

The Seagate was the usual PnP w/ no software installed - I'm assuming that the app mentioned above is @ their website? I'm going there now to ask my questions about this issue & will look for any software DLs - thanks again!
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Old May 10, 2013, 03:21 AM   #8
ItWasNotMe
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Originally Posted by RadDave View Post
Thanks for the additional comments - not sure if the 'Power Save' mode is the problem, BUT? Another B/U was made earlier this morning - just don't know why 5 days were skipped - weird -

The Seagate was the usual PnP w/ no software installed - I'm assuming that the app mentioned above is @ their website? I'm going there now to ask my questions about this issue & will look for any software DLs - thanks again!
My Time Machine backs up to Seagate as well (Goflex), has row of lights across bottom edge that are capacity gage that can be used to indicate how much is used. Over and above the earlier rant about how flakey Time Machine can be, it was even worse when the lights were on. Think the software came on the drive but only a Windows version. If applicable to your drive there is an article at http://knowledge.seagate.com/article...S/FAQ/218051en

that describes it and has link. May be similar for other drives.
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Old May 10, 2013, 06:17 AM   #9
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With 10.8 on my 2012 Mini I've noticed TM is not the most reliable. It seemed to be rock solid on my iMac with 10.6, .7 and .8. It'll go along fine for a couple weeks, then crap out. Just this week I noticed that the "spinning arrow" in the menu bar seemed to be on every time I sat down at the machine, but I figured it's backing up every hour, so maybe it's still catching up.

Finally I checked the prefs and it was still "in progress" and the last backup was 15 days ago. I stopped TM, deleted the .inprogress file from the backup disk, and restarted it. It started, then sat there for 30 minutes at "backing up 1.19GB of 116GB" - the counter never moved.

So I stopped TM again - deleted the in progress file and rebooted my machine (it had been 31 days since my last restart). Knock on wood it's been doing proper backups every day since the reboot earlier this week.
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Old May 10, 2013, 06:49 AM   #10
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I assume you have set TimeMachine to make backups automatically. Perhaps you should check that, to be sure.
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Old May 10, 2013, 09:30 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Gugulino View Post
I assume you have set TimeMachine to make backups automatically. Perhaps you should check that, to be sure.
Thanks ALL for the further comments - the Seagate HD is not Goflex; I contacted Seagate and received a prompt email basically 'throwing the ball' back into Apple's court - now there is a firmware upgrade but the disc needs to be checked w/ a DL from Seagate to see what firmware is on the current drive - could give it a try, but doubt that it would help, if applicable?

I'm reassured that several others have had problems w/ Time Machine - I'm not trying to be difficult, but when these BU options seem to work, I've tended to ignore the process for days if not weeks (i.e. on my past computers); in the last couple of days, backups are being made.

Concerning the 'settings' of the Time Machine - ON & OFF and choice of HDs seem to be the major ones - tried to look for an 'automatic' option or an option to alter the schedule, but could only find exclusion criteria that could be applied - please let me know if I'm missing seeing another options menu - thanks!
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Old May 10, 2013, 10:58 AM   #12
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I've used Time Machine Editor in the past to setup a schedule to backup 4 times a day (noon, midnight, 6am, 6pm) instead of every hour since this is a home machine and nothing changes while I'm at work.
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Old May 10, 2013, 11:24 AM   #13
ItWasNotMe
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Originally Posted by RadDave View Post
Thanks ALL for the further comments - the

Concerning the 'settings' of the Time Machine - ON & OFF and choice of HDs seem to be the major ones - tried to look for an 'automatic' option or an option to alter the schedule, but could only find exclusion criteria that could be applied - please let me know if I'm missing seeing another options menu - thanks!
There a many, many options if you are comfortable with using the command line in terminal. Search the web for 'tmutil' and choose the right meaning.

For example; you can set Time Machine to not back-up a file, but to back-up any copy that is made. Useful if you have a large volatile file that would quickly fill your TM disk and only want infrequent snapshots
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Old May 10, 2013, 02:02 PM   #14
Gugulino
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When you have set TimeMachine to ON, then it makes backups automatically every hour. In fact I confused automatically with ON.
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Old May 10, 2013, 06:30 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by fhall1 View Post
I've used Time Machine Editor in the past to setup a schedule to backup 4 times a day (noon, midnight, 6am, 6pm) instead of every hour since this is a home machine and nothing changes while I'm at work.
Well, when opening Time Machine (TM), I see few options to alter the 'automatic' BU program - are you dealing w/ another version of TM, am I missing something, or are you talking about using the terminal program, i.e. tmutil? I could even live w/ incremental backups once or twice a day and complete backups less often - just don't see those options?

Concerning the tmutil program in the terminal, I looked @ the manual, and indeed there are a LOT of options, but I tend to avoid the terminal except for simple needs - so, not a great choice for me. Thanks again all for further comments & suggestions -
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Old May 11, 2013, 02:28 AM   #16
ItWasNotMe
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I could even live w/ incremental backups once or twice a day and complete backups less often - just don't see those options?
After the initial back-up, Time Machine only ever takes incremental - see, for example "About the first backup to an external drive" in http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1427
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Old May 11, 2013, 05:12 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by RadDave View Post
Well, when opening Time Machine (TM), I see few options to alter the 'automatic' BU program - are you dealing w/ another version of TM, am I missing something, or are you talking about using the terminal program, i.e. tmutil? I could even live w/ incremental backups once or twice a day and complete backups less often - just don't see those options?

Concerning the tmutil program in the terminal, I looked @ the manual, and indeed there are a LOT of options, but I tend to avoid the terminal except for simple needs - so, not a great choice for me. Thanks again all for further comments & suggestions -
I'm talking about a third party program
http://timesoftware.free.fr/timemachineeditor/
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Old May 11, 2013, 09:50 AM   #18
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I'm talking about a third party program
http://timesoftware.free.fr/timemachineeditor/
Thanks for the comments - I was aware that the TM backups were incremental to save HD space; just took a look @ the link provided and will read more closely - Dave
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