Back up but not delete?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by john120165, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. john120165 macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2013
    I want to copy pictures and short videos off my camera and mobile phone to my mac mini, then after I've played around with them back them up to an external disk. What I'd really like to be able to do is then delete them from the mac mini to save space but not delete them from the back up itself. I just want to keep adding files to the backup as I go along.
    Ive got time machine running but as far as I can see if I delete the file from say my pictures it will then not be copied to the latest time machine backup, but may be available on previous ones.

    Iv'e also got iPhoto on the mac as well with all the pictures in there I want to keep, should I or can I just back that up instead?
  2. Tumbleweed666, Dec 18, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013

    Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    As long as the file is on the Mini for the Time Machine default backup time, which is every hour, the backup will remain in TM once you delete the original. You said "if I delete the file from say my pictures it will then not be copied to the latest time machine backup, but may be available on previous ones." well the point with TM is that its already been copied to the backup (as long as one hour has elapsed) . The only time this would be an issue is if you made some edits and then immediately deleted it (though why would you do that?), the version with the edits wont have made it to TM.

    Way around that is perhaps never delete until at elast an hour, say wait until the next day, then you know they were backed up.

    Its easy enough to test. Copy a bunch of files to wherever you normally would on the Mini,make changes if you want, wait at least one hour, then delete them.
    Then go to that location in Finder, then enter Time Machine, you should be able to go back in time to find them, or you can do a search. The only issue would be if you cant recall the name or the exact date you could be doing a lot of searching.

    In which case you can set something like Carbon Copy Cloner to run every so often and incrementally backup, or use dropbox or similar (you can have dropbox sync to a local drive as well as the net so I recall), so you'd end up with one folder, lets say "iPhone pictures" where you would know the file would always be and there woudl just be one location you woudl look in for videos, one for pictures etc.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium


    Feb 20, 2009
    This is what's called "archiving" old data.

    In my opinion (others may disagree), you're best off using a separate drive for this function.

    Also, do not encrypt the data or keep it in anything than "finder format". If there is sensitive info, lock the drive up physically. If you encrypt it, chances are that a few years from now you'll want something from the drive and may have trouble getting to it. I would like to emphasize (and again, others will disagree) -- DO NOT use Time Machine for your archives. Use "plain old finder format".

    Also, if you create an "archival drive", you must also put together a BACKUP of the archival drive. You NEVER want to have archived data on only one drive -- at least not data that is important to you.

    If you have access to a DVD burner, it might also be worthwhile to burn a copy or two of the most important files (along with storing them on hard drives).

    For even more security, keep one of the archival drives "off-site" -- somewhere away from where the computer is. This helps ensure that you won't lose the drives in a fire, theft, etc.
  4. pezdaddy macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2012
    As I understand it time machine is not a true backup for archiving purpose. Eventually, as the disk fills up, older time machine backups get deleted to make room for new ones.
  5. john120165 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2013
    I thought i read something about doing an open archive but when I ream my mac os x essentials study guide that points me towards an open disk image instead. I thought I read something on the net about open archiving but can't find the article. I think it was along the lines of archiving but you cold drop and drag stuff in there until you decided to finalise it.
    Its all very confusing.

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