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ero87

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 17, 2006
1,196
1
New York City
Hi,

When Time Machine begins to back stuff up, my computer slows and i feel my external hard drive working. How can i make it only do backups once a day, or something like that?

Thanks :)
 

thebassoonist

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2007
500
1
Davis, CA
::bump:: there's gotta be a way to do this...

Yeah, I'd actually like to have it back up my computer every 30 minutes. I know that sounds insane, but I have an MBP and the external drive is not usually plugged in (since I'm at school) and if I don't like having to wait 59 minutes for the next update some nights. I hope it can be done!
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,583
7
The Kop
There is. There is a file that holds the magic 3600 number. its a plist somewhere. I will have dig around.

details here

If you think Time Machine backs up too often (or not often enough) for your liking, navigate into /System » Library » LaunchDaemons. There you'll find a file named com.apple.backupd-auto.plist. Open it in your favorite text editor, and look for this section:
<key>StartInterval</key>
<integer>3600</integer>
Change the 3600 number to some other time interval in seconds, and you'll have changed Time Machine's backup interval.

edit: nice link ;)
 

gr8tfly

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2006
5,326
89
~119W 34N
Yeah, I'd actually like to have it back up my computer every 30 minutes. I know that sounds insane, but I have an MBP and the external drive is not usually plugged in (since I'm at school) and if I don't like having to wait 59 minutes for the next update some nights. I hope it can be done!

You can start an incremental at any time by clicking on the Time Machine Dock icon and selecting "Backup Up Now".
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,583
7
The Kop
hmph i do not have the com.apple.backup**** file...

where is it/ why dont i have it??? :confused:

/System/Library/LaunchDaemons

I haven't verfied it myself though. Perhaps it only gets created once you setup tme machne(?)
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,586
96
London, United Kingdom
/System/Library/LaunchDaemons

I haven't verfied it myself though. Perhaps it only gets created once you setup tme machne(?)

i have looked in there numerous times, searched in spotlight and done a :apple:+F to search for it to. its not on mine. i have time machine turned "ON".
wierd.... i was so looking foreward to changing to backup times
 

flick

macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2006
7
0
DoFoT9, spotlight nowadays won't find system files, and finder won't either unless you tell it to. Do apple-f, click "kind" --> "system files" then click "don't include" --> "include."
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,586
96
London, United Kingdom
DoFoT9, spotlight nowadays won't find system files, and finder won't either unless you tell it to. Do apple-f, click "kind" --> "system files" then click "don't include" --> "include."

lol that was a good 2 years ago!!!!! i now only do manual backups. thanks for the input but :)
 

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Mar 15, 2005
3,890
268
You will probably still find the external drive starts up for other things though, delaying your system, for example, spotlight indexing, etc.
 

thecodeman

macrumors newbie
Jan 26, 2011
5
0
Western MA
Nice work xUKHCx

Thanks, xUKHCx, that was simple and direct. Now just need to multiply...

Has anyone used the free software editor? I hesitate because it requires turning off the TM software itself...and I don't really want to risk corrupting the backups on the disk.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,586
96
London, United Kingdom
Thanks, xUKHCx, that was simple and direct. Now just need to multiply...

Has anyone used the free software editor? I hesitate because it requires turning off the TM software itself...and I don't really want to risk corrupting the backups on the disk.

by turning off, do you mean flicking it "OFF" through system preferences? if so, just do it. i do this daily. it will not corrupt your backups.
 

tj2001

macrumors regular
Dec 7, 2003
185
0
Florida - USA
TimeMachineEditor

After seeing Keeper's link I was curious because it dumbfounds me as to why Apple left out any sort of Advanced options for Time Machine.

Needless to say TImeMachineEditor is great for controlling timed back-ups! Simple, easy, and effective; great little application to use!

I even tested it by setting up a schedule and watching the Time Machine preference pane and it activated on beat with my schedule and I then used Time Machine to restore some files to check the integrity, all was smooth!

I'd rather not have to use any other software for back-ups, but patching and using small utilities to fill in the voids is quite odd. What back-up software is most popular and works?
 

Emil-Denmark

macrumors newbie
May 30, 2011
1
0
Thanks guys. This tip was much needed. Reduced the backup HD noise and slow down to once every 3 hours using the plist trick above.

When I tries to change the interval, it says that I don't have permission to that. Can anyone please help me out? This Time Capsule is killing me with a few things.

Emil
 

dakwar

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2010
322
17
Thanks keeper and tj2001. TimeMachineEditor seems to be working really well on my MacBook running 10.7.2 so far (2 days).

EDIT (Update on day 8): Seems like I spoke too soon. TimeMachineEditor is working really well in that it is preventing Time Machine from running every hour. I have TimeMachineEditor set to run Time Machine once every 24 hours and that indeed is what it does. However, Lion's Time Machine is further capable of backing up the system on the local drive (given there is enough space on it) when the Time Machine drive (in my case an external WD drive) is not available/plugged in; it then transfers these local backups to the external drive the next time that drive becomes available. Before installing TimeMachineEditor, Time Machine indeed did this every hour so that at any point I could enter Time Machine and browse the backup history, even when my external drive housing the backups wasn't plugged in - Time Machine would show me only what was backed up locally on my system. Since installing TimeMachineEditor, backups seem to no longer be made (on the local drive) unless the external drive is plugged in.

Anyone found a way to change the Time Machine backup interval in Lion that does not prevent local backups from being made when the Time Machine drive is not available?
 
Last edited:

fletchni

macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2011
2
0
Nope, sorry!

No,

There is no way that I know of using Time Machine editor (or any other external tool) with local snapshots. Time Machine needs to be turned on in order to create the local timeshots, and it does this as one job.

It actually creates local snapshots (as disk space allows) while doing the hourly backup. If you're not connected to a network or your back up disk, then it will just run a snapshot locally. But Time Machine must be turned on.

Another reason that I have stopped using TimeMachine Editor is that it does not have an option to respect battery power. Time Machine does, and so it will not backup automatically if I am not connect to mains power.

Have you tried the option with the Plist file? (But once again, even if it works you will only get local snapshots at the new interval you set). I did try once with Snow Leopard over a year ago with the Plist option, but never got it to work.

I would be very happy with 3 hourly backups!!!

Long and short, I don't think there is a solution, and this is an example of Apple Culture in not providing more comprehensive options (which in the bigger picture is actually good, but frustrating when using a slower machine over a wireless network every hour).

Sorry, I can't really help!
 

dakwar

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2010
322
17
Thanks for the reply!

When I was running 10.6 I had used the plist method and it was working well. I've since had to do a clean install of 10.7 and didn't want to mess around with the plist file, in the hopes that I could fine a less intrusive option. Well, I'll give the plist method a try.

Just changed StartInterval in /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.backupd-auto.plist from 3600 to 172800. Will report back at some point as to how the system is behaving.

EDIT (Update 5 days later): Was experiencing serious issues with Word 2011 (14.1.3), EndNote X4 (4.0.2), Lion (10.7.2) and my 1.5-year-old after market hard drive (Load Cycle Count reporting at just over 502,000) - .docx files kept turning corrupt, drive verification kept reporting errors (that i didn't write down and can't remember now), iTunes songs kept skipping half way through, amongst others. The issues I imagine were unrelated to Time Machine. Went back to a clean install of 10.6.8, with 14.1.0, 4.0.2 onto a new Seagate Momentus XT 500GB (ST95005620AS) updated to firmware SD28. Things seems to be okay for now (3 days). Will stick with this for a few months as I finish writing my thesis and until I defend.
 
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Minicube

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2011
158
1
I can't believe Apple leaves out such basic functionality in Time Machine. Hide the option to control backups if you must have a dumbed-down interface, but at least leave the option somewhere for the rest of us.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,586
96
London, United Kingdom
I can't believe Apple leaves out such basic functionality in Time Machine. Hide the option to control backups if you must have a dumbed-down interface, but at least leave the option somewhere for the rest of us.

well, apple does aim for simplicity. something that just works - backs up every hour is far far more reliable than giving end users a choice

;)
 
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