How do Macbook/laptop people plan on running TimeMachine?

zub3qin

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 10, 2007
1,311
0
Time Machine sounds great.
It backs up your system automatically every hour.
This makes sense on an iMac, but for those with Macbooks, how do you plan on using Time Machine?

Do we periodically "dock" the Macbook to a harddrive, and will it know to do its backup then automatically? Or do we need to tell it to backup manually?

It would be nice if the Macbook could when sleeping, or nightly, send via wifi any changed files to the hard drive as part of Time Machine. So you would have a hard drive on the network. The Macbook sits anywhere in your house connected to your network. On its own in the background, the changed files are sent to the HD wirelessly.

I think that the very first backup would need to be done with an attached HD, but all the subsequent backups should be relatively small files, and could be handled wirelessly.

What do others think?
 

rmh

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2007
174
0
Texas
I think that the very first backup would need to be done with an attached HD, but all the subsequent backups should be relatively small files, and could be handled wirelessly.
Agreed. I'll definitely be using a networked HD with my AEBS for backing up my Macbook.
 

taybo20

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2007
214
0
Tempe
I'll probably just hook up my external with a USB and make periodic back ups. I'm not active enough with files to make me maintain a constant connection to the back up HD.
 

pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
4,041
65
Plymouth, MN
I'll probably just hook up my external with a USB and make periodic back ups. I'm not active enough with files to make me maintain a constant connection to the back up HD.
I plan on doing the same. Sadly portable hard drives are a bit pricey and are limited in storage. Lack of internet connection at home makes NAS impractical.
 

xpovos

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2007
512
0
Tennessee
I believe it's somewhere in the features list where Apple mentions that Time Machine will still keep track of changes on your portable Mac when the Time Machine backup drive is not connected. Then, when it mounts, the backup will take place automatically in the background.

If this works as expected, I'll be setting up my network drive (via AEBS) as my Time Machine backup drive for my laptops. AirPort Disk Agent automatically mounts that drive when I connect to the home network, so I'm assuming that any changes I made on the laptop while at work (or wherever) will then automatically be taken care of as soon as I connect at home.
 

mashinhead

macrumors 68030
Oct 7, 2003
2,612
282
most of my multimedia, or itunes files are on an external hd. so i would have to get a second external for time machine. but my current external is wireless. so how does that work. will it automatically backup the files on that drive too even though it isn't part of the startup drive?
 

richard.mac

macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2007
6,299
2
51.50024, -0.12662
i use my MBP as a desktop replacement with a display so ill have my backup drive plugged in all the time and let TM do its thing.

when i go to uni i take my laptop so i have to unplug the backup drive. obviously TM wont be able to do its thing so ill have a gap between backups. when i get home ill just plug in back in and TM will continue doing its hourly backups again on the uni work i just did... so its all good
 

Jookbox

macrumors 6502
Jan 19, 2002
395
0
i plan on getting an external hard drive.. like today. i take my macbook to work everyday, and i'll just have it do it's thing every evening when i get home. shouldn't be a problem.
 

Angrist

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2005
335
0
MI or NJ
I plan on setting automatic wake/sleep times on all my machines for like 4-5am, and back my PBook/iMac up onto the G4 tower.

Ideally I need to replace all 4 HDDs in the Tower and setup a nice mirrored RAID too protect against drive failure. Still haven't found a good way to backup offsite to protect from nasty things like floods and fires .... anyone have a good (cheap) method to do that?
 

DoreanGrae

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2007
185
2
New York, NY
I plan on using the 500 GB Iomega drive that I just bought off of the Apple Online Store ($140, ridiculous deal if anyone's looking for one) hooked up to my AEBS. The way I understand it, TM will work just fine over an AirPort networked drive. It'll kinda suck if it doesn't though.
 

jxflyer

macrumors newbie
Apr 4, 2005
2
0
Re: Time Machine for the portable crowd...

Here's is what Apple saying about this...

Ready when you are.
When your mobile Mac is connected to your backup drive, Time Machine works as you’d expect. When it isn’t connected, Time Machine also works as you’d expect. It keeps track of which files have changed since the last backup and backs them up to your backup drive the next time you connect. On any Mac, if Time Machine is unable to perform a backup, that’s duly noted in its preferences pane.
 

chatoyer

macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2006
173
3
Te Wai Pounamu, New Zealand
I look forward to playing around with TM, but at the moment it will be difficult to get me to switch from my current backup strategy: two external 3.5" firewire drives, one at home, the other at the office. Macbook is mirrored once a day using SuperDuper when I'm in the shower at home, and again once a day just after I've arrived at the office and am getting coffee/gossiping/etc. When I travel, I have a Lacie rugged firewire 2.5" that I use with SuperDuper as well to mirror the MB everyday.
 

JNB

macrumors 604
I look forward to playing around with TM, but at the moment it will be difficult to get me to switch from my current backup strategy: two external 3.5" firewire drives, one at home, the other at the office. Macbook is mirrored once a day using SuperDuper when I'm in the shower at home, and again once a day just after I've arrived at the office and am getting coffee/gossiping/etc. When I travel, I have a Lacie rugged firewire 2.5" that I use with SuperDuper as well to mirror the MB everyday.

Wow. Three separate backup drives? Not paranoid at all, are we? ;)

I have a similar need (on the road five out of seven days, ~40 weeks a year), but as much as I like SuperDuper, the separateness in the way you're managing it just doesn't work for me. I'm hoping that TM does a better job of docked/mobile maintenance.

Actually what I want is a simple and transparent yet secure tunnel to the home network and a "cheap" NAS...
 

Stampyhead

macrumors 68020
Sep 3, 2004
2,294
30
London, UK
Here's is what Apple saying about this...

Ready when you are.
When your mobile Mac is connected to your backup drive, Time Machine works as you’d expect. When it isn’t connected, Time Machine also works as you’d expect. It keeps track of which files have changed since the last backup and backs them up to your backup drive the next time you connect. On any Mac, if Time Machine is unable to perform a backup, that’s duly noted in its preferences pane.
Wow, that's freakin awesome. Leopard rules...
 

Matek

macrumors 6502a
Jun 6, 2007
535
1
Huh, i thought the point of time machine was primarily to store CHANGES made to files (kinda like Shadow Copy on windows) and later restore them when you realise you lost/changed/overwrote something. Of course it's cool if you store the backups on an external drive, because it protects you from hard drive faliure, but the main functionality remains when using the internal drive, so I don't see a major problem in using it with a laptop without external storage.
 

Sbrocket

macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2007
1,251
0
/dev/null
Here's is what Apple saying about this...

Ready when you are.
When your mobile Mac is connected to your backup drive, Time Machine works as you’d expect. When it isn’t connected, Time Machine also works as you’d expect. It keeps track of which files have changed since the last backup and backs them up to your backup drive the next time you connect. On any Mac, if Time Machine is unable to perform a backup, that’s duly noted in its preferences pane.
Whoa, I had heard rumors but never tested it myself. That's pretty awesome...why is that feature at the very bottom of the page for Time Machine? That's a major feature in my opinion.

My laptop is always plugged into my external on my desk at night, but its with me 8-10 hours out of the day since I carry it around everywhere. I was just planning on letting it do nightly backups, since that would be plenty. Hrm, maybe I could somehow hook up my external drive to the campus network - that'd be interesting.
 

downingp

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2006
640
3
I just bought a MBP and connected to my wireless network. I am able to connect to the external hard drive via the network perfectly. You guys say you can set up the MBP so it will automatically connect to the external hard drive when I connect to the the network. How do I do this?

thanks.
 

DoreanGrae

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2007
185
2
New York, NY
I just bought a MBP and connected to my wireless network. I am able to connect to the external hard drive via the network perfectly. You guys say you can set up the MBP so it will automatically connect to the external hard drive when I connect to the the network. How do I do this?

thanks.
If you go to the AirPort Disk Utility, you can set the disk to automatically connect with password (assuming you have a password). Save your password in Keychain and it'll auto-connect whenever the disk becomes available (i.e. whenever you're connected to the network).
 

notsofatjames

macrumors 6502a
Jan 11, 2007
856
0
Wales, UK
Actually what I want is a simple and transparent yet secure tunnel to the home network and a "cheap" NAS...
When you find one, let me know!
I think once Time Machine is out in the wild we'll see some of the successful and not so successful wireless drives. Maybe some manufacturer will make a WiFi, bonjour-enabled (for easy set-up), time-machine ready, silent, sexy, Apple compatible, external hard drive... maybe even apple will make it with a bit of luck! one can dream..
 

MrMoore

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2006
392
22
Arlington Heights,IL
Here's is what Apple saying about this...

Ready when you are.
When your mobile Mac is connected to your backup drive, Time Machine works as you’d expect. When it isn’t connected, Time Machine also works as you’d expect. It keeps track of which files have changed since the last backup and backs them up to your backup drive the next time you connect. On any Mac, if Time Machine is unable to perform a backup, that’s duly noted in its preferences pane.

Thanks for the tidbit. I have a MacBook Pro and external firewire drive, but I don't always have it connected. It is good to know I can still use Time Machine.

Of course I never had the need to restore a file ;)
 

downingp

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2006
640
3
If you go to the AirPort Disk Utility, you can set the disk to automatically connect with password (assuming you have a password). Save your password in Keychain and it'll auto-connect whenever the disk becomes available (i.e. whenever you're connected to the network).
Thanks for the tip. I have the external hard drive hooked up to my iMac right now. I then am sharing it over the network. When I open up airport disk utility, nothing shows up.
 

LMO

macrumors member
Jun 8, 2007
92
0
For those of you who plan to use NAS (or AEBS attached storage), do you plan to connect the drive directly for the initial full backup? At network speeds that full backup could take a long, long time.
 

CalBoy

macrumors 604
May 21, 2007
7,849
37
Huh, i thought the point of time machine was primarily to store CHANGES made to files (kinda like Shadow Copy on windows) and later restore them when you realise you lost/changed/overwrote something. Of course it's cool if you store the backups on an external drive, because it protects you from hard drive faliure, but the main functionality remains when using the internal drive, so I don't see a major problem in using it with a laptop without external storage.
Well, the basic idea is to allow both all changes to be viewed, and to give you backup protection. The reason you wouldn't want your internal drive to store the changes forever is notebooks have a limited amount of storage. Professionals who put together large projects might find that their presentations are changed every day, and subsequently, Time Machine would create a new record of each one. If you can imagine a large project X 30 (for one month's worth of changes), you can see that it can add up to a lot compared to the limited amount of storage that notebooks have. Hence, the external drive takes care of that for you.
 
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