Can you explain this Time Machine issue?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Tumbleweed666, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #1
    I have a file I alter once about a week, each time I alter it I save it as a new one, with a date included in the name.

    So I have a series of files something like

    xxxxx march 13.numbers
    xxxxx march 07.numbers
    xxxxx march 01.numbers
    etc.

    This morning when I updated and saved the march13 file I accidentally saved it as xxxxxx march 13, not xxxxxx march 20 which it should have been.
    No problem, go into time machine and retrieve the march 13 file I thought.
    Its not there. Its not there from just before the save to any time it should be there !

    Luckily I was able to retrieve it as I also have a once a week online backup so I went into the last one of those and retrieved "xxxxxx march13" which proves it did exist, it has a creation date of march 17 but if I look at TM for march 18 its not there - why isn't it in my time machine backup?

    All the other files in that folder are as expected so the only thing that makes any sense to me is that TM hasn't been backing up over the past week or so but TM error logger shows no errors.
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    If you move the mouse along the bars at the right side of the screen, it'll show you the date each backup was made.
     
  3. Tumbleweed666 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
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    Near London, UK.
    #3
    Yep, and that's how I was able to go back to dates such as 18 March (and daily before and after) when apparently backups were being made - it just appears to be this particular file that was omitted for some reason - and if this file, why not others? Its very strange.

    FWIW I have put the xxxxxx march 13 file that I downloaded from the online backup into the folder it belongs in, did a TM 'forced' backup, and it shows up in there as you'd expect, eg its in TM as of 'now' but go back an hour and it isn't.
     
  4. pilot1226 macrumors 6502a

    pilot1226

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Just a quick question about Time Machine since I'm running Tiger and I've never used it (yet) -

    Do you leave these TM ".numbers" files on your Mac HD, or do you burn them to a DVD in order to conserve disk space? It sounds like you have an online backup option as well. Is this something through a free provider, like Mozy, or something through .mac?

    TM is, essentially, the OSX equivalent of System Restore for Windows, yes?
     
  5. Tumbleweed666 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #5
    Not really, no, because system restore uses up space on your HD and IIRC only affects system files, not user files (I could be wrong on that). The files in question are not TM files as such (Numbers = Mac spreadsheet app as it happens) but are being backed up by TM whereas I think windows system restore just backs up changes to things like the registry and other OS files??

    So TM backs up everything (minus your exclusions) to a separate disk so there isnt a need to burn to a DVD to save space - If I needed to do that I'd buy a bigger, or another, disk.
    There is an Apple TM disk you can buy, which is very expensive (IMO), I use a 1Gb USB connected disk exclusively for TM. So I have the original files on my HD, and then the copies on the TM disk, and then again on the online service. Once in a while I also do a full clone of the main Mac disk to another USB connected HD as well. Not that I'm paranoid or anything ... :D

    I happen to use Jungle Disk for online backup which uses Amazons backup service, but as you say there are many others, I have no experience with them. The Amazon one isn't free but it only works out to maybe $10 a month for me so I can't be bothered to look for something cheaper to save maybe $5a month when I know this works. Maybe I could even get it for free now, but its in and it works.
     
  6. pilot1226 macrumors 6502a

    pilot1226

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    Neat, I'll keep that in mind. Mozy gives you 2GB of data for free, but they charge if you want more. I have just a few "essential" things on there with them in the result of a catastrophic loss.

    I like the idea that someone linked elsewhere on the forum, using TM to backup to two separate ~1TB external HDDs, with one being left at work. Every month or so you switch, just in case you do experience a catastrophic loss.

    I also agree that the "time capsule" is a little expensive for what you're getting (Airport Extreme + External HDD).

    Unfortunately I can't find OS 10.5 anywhere anymore so it's going to just have to wait until I grab a new computer, I guess. Waiting on the 27" iMacs to get upgraded to hopefully trickle down the i5 and i7's to the base model. And a better video card, because the ATI HD 4850 is garbage.
     
  7. Tumbleweed666 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
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    Near London, UK.
    #7
    One issue with that idea is, if that had been me, with two TM drives, neither would have had my missing file on it. Thats why I use 3 separate backup methods.
     
  8. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #8
    Yeah, I wish I could answer that. Maybe Time Machine couldn't read the file? That's all I can think of.

    A few automatic backups should have happened since you posted. Is it still working?

    That's right. System Restore is also much easier to restore settings from than Time Machine. Mac OS X has no real equivalent. It may be harder to screw up, but I wouldn't mind a feature like that on OS X anyway.

    I agree. I guess it's not too outlandish as a NAS system, but more than I'm willing to pay, anyway.

    Either you mean 1 TB, or you have a lot of files on your exclude list.

    A bit of paranoia is a good thing when it comes to backups. A guy who posted here a few months back had a backup drive in a household safe with a hole drilled for the cable, periodic burned DVDs stored offsite, an online backup service, and another backup drive in a bank safe deposit box. Now that's a bit too paranoid.
     
  9. Tumbleweed666 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #9
    :D oopsy. Yep 1Tb

    Yes, though its hard to see why. Even if I'd left it open for a few days there has been plenty of time for it to be backed up by TM. And I was able to open it up in order to edit it. Its almost as if it forgot to back it up, and obviously my worry is, what if it forgets some other file thats more important?

    TM does seem to be working normally now and as I say, no relevant errors posted that I can see. (there is one currently that wasn't there yesterday but it appears to be a one-0ff to do with a firefox .js file)

    Its worked well on this machine before, restoring a whole lot of mail files I accidentally nuked.
     

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