Good alternatives to Time Machine

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by Zaroff, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. Zaroff macrumors newbie


    Sep 23, 2016
    Hi all,

    Anyone knows of a viable, practical and efficient alternative to TM?
    This is THE worst piece of backup software I've ever had the displeasure of using, and I'm basically fed up wasting so much time with it. I don't mean only the snail pace of the backup itself -that is, when it works, but I can't keep count of the times it got stuck, frozen, or basically not working at all. What a piece of crap.

    Any suggestions welcome...

  2. jdasikainen macrumors 6502


    Mar 4, 2016
    Bald Knob Arkansas
    carbon copy cloaner will make a full bootable backup of your drive you could use that
  3. Zaroff thread starter macrumors newbie


    Sep 23, 2016
    Thanks for the suggestion. Ideally, I'd aim for something that backups more or less continuously, as TM theoretically does, incrementally.
  4. Floris macrumors 68020


    Sep 7, 2007
    I haven't had any issues with TM myself. Works, and even helped me recover a family system with it. When does it freeze or crash on you if you dont' mind me asking?
  5. Zaroff thread starter macrumors newbie


    Sep 23, 2016
    Hanging mid-backup, freezing, plain not starting, getting stuck on preparing backup even though the last one was one hour ago, the works. I'm just fed up wasting time troubleshooting it over and over again.
    Extreme solution is regularly wiping out the backup disk and starting from scratch. Maybe I'm unlucky but TM has, for me, always been a piece of crap.
  6. Floris macrumors 68020


    Sep 7, 2007
    I don't have those issues. I know it's preparing for backups while it did some recently. But it's a live constantly making updates system. It's not a scheduled 'lets do it once at midnight and only then use 1% of the cpu..' solution.
    That it doesn't start, or hangs or something.. i dont have those issues.

    When it doesn't work, it doesn't work. CCC is a good alternative. One thing I do is simply not rely on TM. I have multiple backup solutions. Including using TM on 2 physical drives. and both drives also get manually copied files to them. All drives are encrypted of course. And Once a season I backup one more time manually and leave that drive at an offsite location where I know people won't touch it. Just in case i get robbed or place burns down.

    Once a week I move my projects to the manual drive, and copy it again to the other one. And in the meantime TM is just updating both external drives. I hope I never have to use any of these 3 drives. restoring from a fail sucks, no matter how you do it.
  7. fisherking macrumors 603


    Jul 16, 2010
    ny somewhere
    time machine works really well for most people, so you could consider finding out what's actually the problem for you. meanwhile, carbon copy cloner is a great app (it's what i use on my macbook pro); on my macbook, am only using crashplan (online backup); first backup takes forever, thereafter, like time machine, it's regular, incremental.

    but seriously, you might want to investigate your TM issues...
  8. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Time Machine works really well in my experience with local disks, and with the AirPort Time Capsule. Only issues I typically see are with unsupported devices, e.g. 3rd party NAS and the like.

    I'm running Time Capsule and also CrashPlan on all my Macs.
  9. 1madman1 macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2013
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    Acronis True Image? Never tried the OSX version, but it used to work well in Windows.
  10. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Data Backup by Prosoft. Does several types of backups, from versioning to clone.
  11. DotCom2 macrumors 68040

    Feb 22, 2009
  12. zen macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2003
    To head off all of the "well, TM works for me" posts, I have to say I have exactly the same experience as the OP. So any suggestions for alternatives are warmly received here :)
  13. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    The only real issue I've had with TM is on a relative's system the backup drive fills up and it fails to overwrite the old data. Annoying...
  14. shoehornhands macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2014
    You can build a home / personal file server for a few hundred bucks (or with spare parts if you happen to have them lying around), run something like FreeNAS or RockStor on it, and install as many hard drives as you want in a RAID config (you can have 2, 3, 4+ drive redundancy if you want). Then you can simply work directly off the server from any computer in your house, and everything is saved instantly / you're always backed up.

    This provides you with all sorts of additional options / functionality as well. For example, you can setup periodic snapshots of all your data / files, so you can retrieve a file / your data as it was at some point in the past. You could also install something like Plex and use the server to stream movies, TV shows, music, to any device on your home network (i.e. like your own personal Netflix).

    Anyway, just something you might want to check out, as it's a far more robust solution for data backups, and you can do all sorts of additional cool stuff as well.
  15. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2014
    TM has worked flawlessly for my three macs at home for years now. If you are having problems with TM then possibly try either formatting your existing TM drive and starting over, or, buying a new local drive or TimeCapsule to start over.

    Backblaze or CrashPlan are great for set-it-and-forget-it offsite backup, and CCC or SuperDuper! are great for local backups as well. Personally, I would never get caught without 1) TM, 2) Cloud, and 3) local clones. These are all necessary yet separate components of a wise backup plan.
  16. rugmankc macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2014
    CCC can be set to hourly--

    I use CCC and CrashPlan

    Time Machine too plus manual drag and drops to my externals of certain files.
  17. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015

    You could try QRecall. It has much more robust feature set compared to Time Machine.

    I got fed up with Time Machine bugs and switched to QRecall.
  18. 5aga macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2003
    Gig City
  19. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    Interesting as I've had no problems using TimeMachine backing up a 3 TB fusion iMac, 256 GB MBP, and a 128 GB MBA. Used it for file restores multiple times and it's never hung up. I'm curious if you have custom or bad permissions or if you have a corrupt file that would cause TimeMachine to hang up.
  20. jasnw macrumors 6502a


    Nov 15, 2013
    Seattle Area (NOT! Microsoft)
    I've also given up on TM and use CCC with a daily cadence on my main user directory into an external drive that has a different sparse image for each day of the week. That allows me to catch something I accidentally deleted some time in the past week. I don't really need an hourly backup, but you would probably rig this up to run hourly using CCC. I also run a full system CCC backup monthly. Unlike TM, I've never had a CCC backup fail me.
  21. Zaroff, Sep 29, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016

    Zaroff thread starter macrumors newbie


    Sep 23, 2016
    Thanks for all the replies!

    I'll opt to try some of the options, like CCC or QRecall, and see what gives. I don't do anything esoteric with TM, I just set it up to backup to a Time Capsule, maybe part of the problems I'm having are due to the capsule and not entirely to TM itself, but I can't tell.
  22. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    I'm using a synology NAS and TM has been working great. I would highly recommend it actually. Sucks the OP is having issues.

    My only other back up is one I do manually every month or so just to protect important files on an external HDD that I keep in a safe.

    On occasion I notice my TM back up moving rather slow (it will back up ~3 gb of new data every day) but I ignore it and it completes on its own. It's kind of like a watched pot never boils situation.
  23. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "Ideally, I'd aim for something that backups more or less continuously"

    Unless it's mission-critical for business, why does one really need "continuous backup"…?

    Just wonderin' ...
  24. ahostmadsen macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2009
    I know this is yet another unhelpful "TM works for me" answer. Yet, I want to reinforce that TM works like a dream for me. It has saved me from severe data loss several times (I also have online backup as further security). Actually, it's one of the main reasons I stay with Mac rather than a Surface. Windows just has nothing even close to TM. My wife, who runs Windows, has lost important data several times -- we thought we had backup, but because of the complexities of Windows, we did not. TM just works (but not for you, obviously).
  25. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Sometimes that last little bit of data (the data you lose from not backing up very often) is some of the most important.

    I'll often dip into my TM for that random file I had on my desktop for a minute. Or a previous version of an app/driver that was in my downloads. An unmodified version of a document, photo etc.

    All reasons it's nice to have a back up system that operating very often. Maybe not continuous but near it.

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