Backup the Time Machine backup

Discussion in 'macOS' started by tenmiles, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. tenmiles macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2010
    I have one Mac and my goal would be to backup to one location, then have backups of that backup that could be recovered from. The backups of the backup would then be kept offsite. So this is what I'm trying to do and how it doesn't quite work so if anyone knows how to fix it, or even if there's a completely different idea that would be better, I'm all ears.

    I currently have Time Machine set to backup to a network share (SMB) that exists on a Fedora 12 machine. What I would like to be able to do is backup the backup so that I can store it off site.

    What I've tried to do is create two network shares and they exist in the folders .../time_machine and .../time_machine_2. To copy I do something like (on my Fedora box) cp -R .../time_machine/* .../time_machine_2/ (I make sure to disable backups on TM on my Mac before I start)

    Then I point my TM to the share on .../time_machine_2 and 'Enter Time Machine', but it gives me an error. I can fix this by doing a backup and then entering TM, but it doesn't seem like that should be necessary and hints to me that something is wrong.
  2. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Is your problem backing up using TM to your linux share or making a further copy of a successful TM backup on the linux box?
  3. tenmiles thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2010
    It would be intuitive to me that if I try to clone my backup into another directory and share (with SMB) the same way then TM should pick up right where it left off. But instead I get errors saying it can't find it if I try to 'Enter Time Machine'. If I do a backup it does an incremental just fine and then it works, but that doesn't seem right to me.
  4. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    There was a data structure analysis recently by someone, I think it was guy who codes Super Duper, and his conclusion was that cloning an OSX system via a disk copy is very hard to do right.

    You're almost certainly getting some niggling file copy issues. If you carry on the way you're going now, make sure you regularly test restoring files and systems, just in case it all goes south when you need it.

    Myself, I used to run two Time Capsules, one at home and one at work, and my laptop backed up to both of them. My new job doesn't have a Time Capsule, but I am getting a second disk for my home Time Capsule (any cheap USB external will do) and on a monthly basis telling the Time Capsule to do a full copy to the second disk.

    For you, you could try having two Time Machine drives, and swapping them over. Make sure they have different names. You'll have to tell Time Machine in System Prefs to use the new drive each time you swap over, which may be a hassle. Marco Polo is an effort towards automating this, but the dev may need your help.

    Some people have experimented with hacking about and swapping over two drives with the same names, but I don't trust going off-piste at all when it comes to backups. I've had several backup systems fail on me.

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