advice for time machine

Discussion in 'macOS' started by casatadley, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. casatadley macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2010
    I wonder of anyone who uses time machine can help me.
    I am running snow leopard and have recently successfully set up time machine with an external hard drive (or so I thought)
    However I'm not sure it is working properly. It doesn't seem to read changes when it does a 'small back-up' and then every now and then does a complete back-up from scratch and deletes all previous back-ups except the first.
    I have a tiny 45 gb of stuff on my laptop hard drive and the storage disc has a capacity of 160 gb. Although I know that time machine needs space to work, I can't see that space is the problem.
    If anyone has any ideas I would be really grateful, cos at the moment its not doing what I think it should. Ie one long back-up to start and then little changes to any documents that have been modified or moved.
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    One way Apple recommends to figure out what is going on is to pick "Enter Time Machine" and verify if there are many dates and times available. Don't click on them, just look to see if they are there. If you see multiple dates, it means that TM thinks it backed something up on those dates. If you see only one date, it means TM failed. Usually if TM failed, it puts up an exlamation mark in the status icon.

    Let's assume for a minute that TM is always failing. This could be caused by a corrupted destination folder. Pick the destination file and open it with disk utility to see if it is corrupted. If you try to repair the file and it takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r, there is no need to let it finish. Stop the repair and move on to plan b. Plan B is to delete the file. You might be able to recover something from it in a pinch, but it is safer to simply start over. If it is corrupted, you might as well delete the corrupted file and let TM start over from scratch.

    I find the Time Machine user interface to be rather slow and too much about eye candy and not enough about quickly seeing what is going on. My method is to go behind Time Machine's back and look (ONLY LOOK) at what's in the backup destination folder...
    Browse to your backup drive in Finder. Pick the folder where your backups are stored. It should be called something-or-other.sparsebundle. Right click and pick "show contents". Browse inside this folder. You should see dates for backups that were done. Click on one of them and look inside for files that were modified.
  3. illy123 macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2010
    What happens when you enter the time machine? What dates does it give you?

    TM will delete certain backups (hourly, then daily, then weekly) after a certain time - I *think* it keeps monthly backups.

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