How do I use Time Machine?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by SinisteR-33139, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. SinisteR-33139 macrumors newbie

    SinisteR-33139

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    London UK
    #1
    Hi,

    I just bought a MacBook Pro this week (1st ever Mac) and I'm just going through everything and I've seen Time Machine. I've read up on it and I'd like to use it, but when I turn it on it does a scan and then it comes up with a boxing saying "AirPort utility was unable to find any AirPort wireless devices". So I'm not sure what to do now, like can I only use this feature if I have online space or do I need to have another computer on my network? I just don't know so can anyone help me please?

    Thanks in advanced.
     
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #2
    You need to have either an external drive or network drive to back up to. If no external drives are connected to your computer (typically USB or FireWire), then TM will look for a network drive.

    Backing up over wi-fi can be tedious, and USB drives are relatively cheap. Hook one up, open Time Machine, format the drive, and away you go!
     
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
  4. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #4
    Do you have an external drive either hooked up to your laptop or through an Airport Extreme Base Station (judging from the error I'm guessing no on the latter)?

    You need an external hard drive hooked up to the computer to use as the location for your backups.
     
  5. SinisteR-33139 thread starter macrumors newbie

    SinisteR-33139

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    London UK
    #5
    Hi, and thank you for the quick response. So if I get an external HDD and say it's 250GB and I use it for Time Machine, does that mean it'll be dedicated to only Time Machine or will I be able to use it for that and other things like file storage?

    Also a 4GB isn't good enough is it?

    Thank you.
     
  6. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #6
    You can use the HDD for anything else too, as the TM backup will be only stored inside one folder with lots of subfolders, thus there is room left.

    Btw, 4GB of storage space is not enough, but you may confuse HDD capacity (100s of GBs) with RAM capacity (2GB or 4GB or 8GB).

    What is Computer Memory? RAM vs Hard Drive
    RAM vs. Hard Disk
     
  7. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #7
    Not a good idea to mix a Time Machine drive with other data - TM requires its own partition, so you would have to partition the drive in order to have a "mixed use" drive.

    You should figure on 1.5 times your HDD capacity for Time Machine; so a 250 Gb external drive (if used solely for Time Machine) would be big enough to back up a hard disk of around 160 Gb or so.
     
  8. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #8
    Not true. Time Machine can happily coexist with other files even on the same partition. The main reason you often see partitioning recommended is so you can limit the amount of space that Time Machine will use for it's backups. It's absolutely not required, however.

    jW
     
  9. SinisteR-33139 thread starter macrumors newbie

    SinisteR-33139

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    London UK
    #9
    Thanks guys for the help, my only concern now is what "Tomorrow" said. If I have a 250GB HDD that can backup a HDD of only 160GB? My HDD is 500GB how big will I have to go to back that up?

    Thanks again Chris.
     
  10. applefan289 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    I have the same question. I don't see what's wrong with just getting a drive that's equivalent to the size of your computer.
     
  11. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #11
    The 1.5x recommendation is not a technical limitation, just a best practices suggestion. I would recommend getting a 750GB or larger drive, but if you get a smaller one, it will work, it will simply have to delete older backups sooner.

    Of course, you really should base it on the amount of stuff you have or expect to store, so while you have a 500GB drive, you might not ever put more than 250GB on it, so a 500GB backup drive would be fine. Unless you know that for sure, though, it's safer to err of the side of too big. Drives are cheap enough now that it's not too big of a deal usually.

    jW
     
  12. applefan289 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    Thanks...yeah, won't even get close to my 1TB, so got a 1TB external.
     
  13. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    #13
    While you can use a drive that's the same size as your built-in drive, it's better to use one that's bigger, because your backups will go back further. If you use a drive that's the same size as the built-in drive, in the worst case that you fill up your built-in drive, then you can only have one copy of everything on the backup drive, which sort of removes one of the reasons for using Time Machine.

    If you have a 500GB built-in drive, get a 1TB drive for Time Machine; they're cheap enough.

    --Eric
     
  14. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #14
    And while you certainly can partition the external and use it for TM AND additional storage please don't.

    If you do that, any of the additional files stored will not have a back up and will be lost when your TM drive fails. Think about it, your TM files will be fine, since they are still already on the internal hard drive (although you would lose backups from the past...your present hard drive's contents would obviously still exist), but those external files will be gone forever.
     
  15. Jagardn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #15
    Agreed, external file storage is only for files you could really care if you lose, if so, why did you save it in the first place?:D
    I put everything on my Mac and let time machine do its magic.
     
  16. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #16
    An addendum: I have a much larger iTunes library than would fit on my Mac so I store that on an external, BUT it's definitely backed-up on another external via Time Machine.

    Your characterization of external storage doesn't describe how many people use it. It can be archived files or a working drive holding video or images for production folk or just the simple fact that the internal drive is just too small to hold all of the files the user needs to keep.
     
  17. SinisteR-33139 thread starter macrumors newbie

    SinisteR-33139

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    London UK
    #17
    Ok I'm gonna just go for 1TB then might as well. Also when I start using TM will my external HDD always have to be connected?

    Thanx for the help everyone especially Mal.
     
  18. SinisteR-33139 thread starter macrumors newbie

    SinisteR-33139

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Location:
    London UK
    #18
    I just been looking around and I've found a good external but I also found something called NAS (Network attached storage) do you think that would be better to use? It's a touch more expensive but the features of it are really good plus the storage is massive and all my family can use it if they choose to.

    TY
     
  19. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #19
    Time Machine will only backup when the external is connected. It may give you a nag after the external is disconnectred once in a while, but is generally quiet. my wife has backed-up in this fashion in the past. We connected the drive to her computer every month or so. No biggie, since all of her web work is done 'in the cloud' and she has almost nothing critical on her laptop.
     

Share This Page