Amateur question, but could some one explain to me what exactly Time Machine does?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Suno, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. Suno macrumors 6502

    Suno

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    Dec 12, 2011
    #1
    I know if I make a Time Machine backup, I have the option to restore from it when I do a fresh install of OS X.

    What confuses me is this -- What exactly does it restore?

    Let's say I'm having problems with my Mac. I can't locate the source of the problem, all I know is that it's some cumbersome file located somewhere in the depths of my Mac that's giving me a hard time. It's not worth my time to deal with it, so I decide to backup my applications, documents, photos, etc., and do a fresh install of OS X.

    If I chose to restore my [freshly installed] Mac from my previous Time Machine backup, I know it would restore my applications and whatnot, but would it end up restoring this cumbersome file from my previous Mac? Also, does it restore settings?

    > For anyone interested in why I'm asking. I play League of Legends, and something on my Mac is interfering with the ping. When I play on my Windows laptop on the same network, I can play flawlessly without ping problems, but my Mac consistently gets ping spikes. I think a certain file/application/setting on my Mac is interfering. I'm hoping a fresh install of OS X and a careful observation on applications will fix the issue.
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #2
    It will restore the entire operating system, settings and all your files and apps located in the default locations or where you've pointed TM to back things up.

    You can learn more at Apple Support - Time Machine.

    Do you have any clue as to what this cumbersome file is?
     
  3. Suno thread starter macrumors 6502

    Suno

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    #3
    So basically, it defeats the point of a fresh install because it'll put my computer in the exact same state that it was in at the time of its last backup?

    What if I just want to restore the applications and files (photos, documents, etc.), but not the settings and all the other customized things?

    I honestly have no clue what it is. I've asked on Reddit, googled my problem, emailed Riot support, and even posted on League of Legend's Mac support forum. I'm not the only one who seems to be having this problem, but no one seems to know the solution.
     
  4. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #4
    Have you tried to repair permissions? Have you tried to make a new OS X user profile and see if the ping issue still exists? You can also get Little Snitch to see what app is using your network.
     
  5. Suno thread starter macrumors 6502

    Suno

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    #5
    I have for both, to no avail.

    I'll try Little Snitch though, it seems like an interesting program that might sniff out the problem.
     
  6. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #6
    If you do a fresh install, during setup the Migration Assistant gives you the option of migrating using Time Machine as a source. You can then select how much you want to migrate - such as user data, applications, and or system files. If you select all, it will only restore system files that aren't part of the normal install - like 3rd party drivers.

    If you wanted to restore back to before you had trouble, you can use the Recovery Partition to do a complete restore from Time Machine - from any point in time. You're not limited to just the most recent.

    Time Machine works that way for individual files too, from within OS X. When you launch Time Machine (should be a dock icon, or you can "Enter Time Machine" via the menu bar), You can open a folder, then use the timeline to find a backup of a particular file (it'll also automatically skim through a folder and stop when there's been a change). Time Machine also works from within an app, such as Text Edit, Pages, etc. Then the interface allows you to side-by-side compare document versions.
     
  7. gorskiegangsta macrumors 65816

    gorskiegangsta

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #7
    To answer your original question, the "migration/restore from backup" menu will allow you to pick and choose what you want to "restore". You'll be able to deselect "network and other settings" from the menu. Alternatively, if you backup frequently, you'll be able to restore to an earlier "pre-problem" date, and then restore the remaining newer files manually, on a folder-by-folder basis.



    Not necessarily. Should you choose to do a complete restore, you'll be able to choose an earlier date to restore your OS/Files/Apps/Settings to.

    You can absolutely do that, as described above. The downside is that it'll require some manual restoring once in the OS, by opening Time machine, navigating to the directory where the lost and/or modified file(s) were, picking a backup date, selecting any or all files you wish to restore, right clicking and choosing restore.

    The best strategy is doing regular (weekly, or every other day) backups so that once a problem surfaces, you'll have an easy way to do a complete restore to an earlier (pre-problem) date, and then manually restore the remaining newer (if any) files. From my experience (and I have plenty, restoring my own as well as friends' Mac machines) that'll require the least effort.
     

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