Does Time Machine only save the changes?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by FubsyGamr, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. FubsyGamr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    #1
    Hey guys!

    So, tomorrow I will be selling my iMac. I have had an external HDD hooked up with Time Machine since the very day that I turned on the computer (maybe 3 months ago).

    Even though the iMac is going, I still have a MacBook Pro. I would like to keep my latest backup (basically a copy of exactly how my iMac is right now) so that I can access movies/music/photos from the HDD.

    I'm just wondering...to free up space on the HDD, can I delete every backup except for the most recent one? Or does the most recent backup only have the newest changes?

    Basically...what would you guys do? The best way to hang on to all of the files on the iMac, using the HDD that I've been using as a Time Machine backup this whole time?

    Thanks for any/all help!
     
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    Yes, TM only saves the changes in the most recent backup.

    If you want to just have a copy of everything that's currently on the iMac, erase the TM drive and use something like Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the drive to the external. You will lose the ability to go back and get files you deleted a while ago, but you will have a copy of everything on the iMac.
     
  3. eljanitor macrumors 6502

    eljanitor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    #3
    Well you see time machine lets you do allot of things that say carbon copy clowner doesn't. Now if you just want a full bootable copy, yes use something like CCC. it will make full back ups at your request. So I hope you have a huge hard drive if you want to save many different variations.

    However Apple did it again when the made time machine. They made an amazing back up program that suits pretty much everything the average person needs, and then a little more.

    And then theres this Time machine :D http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3dhSnEtdWw
     
  4. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    The OP needs a copy of every file from his iMac put onto an external drive ... because the iMac is dying. CCC, or similar, is going to be the best option.
     
  5. FubsyGamr thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    #5
    So, what if I just wiped the HDD and then copied over Documents, Music, Photos and Movies from my home folder? Would that work?
     
  6. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #6
    That would work too, you should just clone the entire USER folder, as the Library folder includes your emails from Mail or other eMail clients, but a Time Machine backup will work too.
    For instance, if you ran a backup yesterday and a backup now, you will have access to the complete data of the last backup (now), that is what TM is there for. But TM only saves the changes, but that doesn't mean, you can't restore or get access to the complete data. TM does that, so less storage would be needed, but on the user's end, the files look like separate takes taken at each backup.
    Time Machine FAQ
     
  7. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #7
    Every single backup in Time Machine is always complete. To delete backups, "Enter Time Machine", go to any date in the backup, and in the Finder Window in the Tool popup menu you will find an item "Delete Backup".
     
  8. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    Yes, this would work too, but only if you do it ^^^ way ...

    Now ... if you were to go into finder and navigate to the TM backups on the drive, deleting them would not leave a complete backup ... as each and every folder is not a complete backup of the drive, the TM app makes a complete backup from the combined incremental backups.
     

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