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Time Machine With Lion

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.7 Lion' started by peglegjack, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    I clean installed Lion on my 7,1 iMac, and I didn't bring everything back on because I want to keep my system lean and only use what I usually use. If I start a new Time Machine backup, can I still go into the old backup to retrieve files from time to time?
  2. macrumors member

    When you say you want to start a new time machine backup, do you mean just continue time machine doing it's every hour backups? If yes, then of course you can still access your old stuff, that's the whole point of time machine, and doesn't change with Lion.
  3. macrumors regular

    Well here's the thing: I can go into that previous backup to retrieve files, but it doesn't seem to let me use that same backup for my current backup disk. Unless there's something that I'm not seeing.
  4. macrumors member

    What happened when you installed Lion? Did it just stop working, did it give you an error message or something? Personally I'm using a Time Capsule, and for me TM just continued to work.

    When you go in to TM preferences, and click select disk, and choose your backup disk, what happens?
  5. macrumors 68000


    I wouldn't expect time machine to continue backing up as it did before with that disk

    essentially as far as time machine is concerned its a totally different system to the one it has been backing up, so it not going to know what its doing

    it backs up changes to things, not a complete backup each time, so as you have a fresh install it cant do this

    it's like me taking my disk to a friends mac and saying, just use this disc to continue your backup with

    you should be able to retrieve stuff, but to use it to backup, imo, it will need formatting first
  6. macrumors regular

    So basically I can't use my previous backup because Apple may think I'm a pirate. Understandable.

    As an alternate setup, is there a way to make a new backup (I'm using a MyBook Studio 1TB Firewire 800 drive) on the same external while still being able to retreive old files from my old Time Machine backup?
  7. macrumors 68000


    the only way I can see that working is if you can partition the drive into 2, one section for lion backups and one to keep for restoring which is the SL backups

    I just think you have confused time machine by wanting it to carry on working when you have created a whole new system that it doesn't know anything about
  8. macrumors 68020

    You did a "clean" install. As far as Time Machine knows, you've essentially got a new machine. So it's looking for a place to put that new machine's data.

    Time Machine backs up want you want, not what you don't want. It will eventually delete what you don't want as it needs room for what you do want. It sounds like you want archiving, and it's a different "backup" strategy. It's keeping a fixed copy somewhere, not an iterative backup of your current computer, which is what Time Machine does. The strategies overlap; I have a Time Machine backup of my current iMac that holds family photos, but I also keep an archive of the originals offsite.

    If there are things you don't want to keep on iMac because you want it "lean" (whatever that means), then find some space outside of Time Machine to store it so that you'll ALWAYS have it. And you could include that archive in a Time Machine backup as well for redundancy.

    And Time Machine is probably gonna tell you it's starting a new backup. Remember, you did a "clean" install, so you got what you wanted, a chance to start everything over. You can still restore/migrate stuff back to your iMac from that Time Machine backup, but it's probably not as efficient as archiving copies of what you want to keep and discarding the rest.

  9. macrumors regular

    The issue there is that I wouldn't want to go and get a whole new external drive (especially when I have more than enough room on my current drive) for any archiving that I need. I had tried to leave space outside of backup before, but I couldn't port it over without Time Machine, and Time Machine wouldn't detect it.

    To be honest, right now I'm only using 300G of my 1 TB, so it's not a lost cause situation or something where I need to map decisions. My workaround right now is that I have Time Machine turned off to where I back it up when I feel like it, while still being able to go into my archives by clicking on my external in the "Star Wars" part.

    BTW, the "lean" term, while silly, just meant not dragging unnecessary things over that would slow down this almost four year old computer, which is pretty fast for its age I must say. :)
  10. macrumors 68020

    Yeah, with that much room you have to weigh in the time you've spent messing with it; the slow down due to a large number of files is pretty negligible once it's indexed.

    You might wanna check out Back in Time. It's a utility that gives you considerably more control over Time Machine; you can copy stuff, remove it, etc etc.

    The problem with archiving on your iMac is that when the disk goes kaput so does your stuff. I have business stuff, so I obviously have to be more careful, but it helps to have an overall strategy for keeping stuff that's important, and getting rid of junk. Each type of backup, archives, offsite or cloud storage, iterative backups, clones, etc has its benefits and weaknesses, and each are used for different types of data.

  11. macrumors 68040


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