How does Time Machine work?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by conch575, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. conch575 macrumors 6502

    conch575

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    #1
    I don't get how time machine works.. Do I have to use a special Apple external harddrive thingo or can I use anything?
     
  2. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

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    #2
    ...supposed to be any external HDD and use the "time machine" in OS X...
     
  3. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #3
    Any volume formatted HFS+ (aside from your startup volume and drive) will work.
     
  4. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #4
    any hard drive formatted in HFS will work great :) the general thing is to try get a HD that is 1.5times larger then the disc you will be backing up - gives you more space and stuff..

    (dont go LaCie haha)
     
  5. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #5
    My own rule-of-thumb has been 1.5 to 2x.

    For the OP: The more space you have available, the "further back in time" you can go. The amount of time, of course, depends on how many and how large the files are which change. Time Machine saves the hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for everything older than a month. You can also tell it which files to exclude (things like certain caches, virtual hard drives, etc.,).
     
  6. conch575 thread starter macrumors 6502

    conch575

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    #6
    Oh cool, thanks everyone makes sense now. Why would you need hourly backups for? I get weekly and monthly but not hourly, it would always have to be plugged in (the external harddrive that is)
     
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #7
    fair rule, makes sense really. especially if you are changing a document(s) quite frequently.


    personally i HATE the automatic backup. im not in a situation where i need to bring back files from 20 minutes ago (i dont make changes to documents, if i do then i will save it under a different name). i manually backup, it saves space and time. my backups are mainly performed before i update the OS to the latest 10.5.* versions. :)
     
  8. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #8
    eh just to be safe i guess, a lot of people make by-the-minute updates to their documents and they might want to go back..

    you dont have to plug in the external HD, if its not plugged in it wont backup. simple
     
  9. Quillz macrumors 65816

    Quillz

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    #9
    Time Machine is essentially a glorified version backup scheme. In other words, every other or so, your machine is backed up and becomes, say, "version 1." The next hour, the next backup becomes "version 2," etc.

    Over time, you build up a lot of backups and thus can go back as far as possible to recover any deleted data.
     
  10. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #10
    also important to note:: files that havent changed since the last backup arent updated - they are just linked to. :)
     
  11. conch575 thread starter macrumors 6502

    conch575

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    #11
    SO it's a good idea to enable it? Or just back up another way?
     
  12. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #12
    I have both Time Machine and bootable image backups (regular, sorta). As for the automatic hourly - originally, I was against it. But, it's so seamless I figured I'd give it a try. Just yesterday, I had some syncing problems with my iPhone and needed to go back to the iPhone's backup from before I had the sync problems (iTunes was removing apps apparently because it felt like it, but that's another story). All I needed to do was open the Backups folder, go into Time Machine, and roll back to an hour where I knew I had a good backup (it was just the previous iPhone backup from a sync earlier in the day). In about 10 seconds I had replaced my newly inaccurate backup with the good one and was on my merry way restoring my iPhone.

    If I had only relied on backing up only my own data and periodically doing the image backups of the complete drive (they are time consuming), I would had a much older copy of the iTunes backup and not felt as confident using it (it would have worked, but how much recovery after would I need to do manually?)j

    For the ridiculously low price of drives these days, why not do both? Also, Time Machine is zero configuration (except for some fine tuning later with exclusions).

    1TB externals regularly around $90 (USB2). Even the 1TB Dual FW800 Seagate Freeagent Desk Mac has been $139. That for Firewire 800, too.

    To backup a 320, a 750 is plenty, but I have 600 set, and the rest for an emergency boot volume, and some secondary media storage. I do have the Freeagent FW800 1TB, but that's going to be video work and other media only. It's a great deal, though - quiet and very fast on the FW800. Sorry - good a bit side tracked... Ooooh. Shiny! ;)
     
  13. Zazoh macrumors 6502a

    Zazoh

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    #13
    You have no doubt not encountered a hard drive failure or stolen equipment.
     
  14. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #14
    a bootable image is a great idea, i have a small partition on one of my external FW drives that is bootable - my old MBP hd is still bootable too :)

    i guess thats a case where its a great feature! being able to go back easily is very handy.

    good point!

    also good points. i am thinking of purchasing an external USB drive to backup my TC. might be an idea i reckon :)

    not to direct boot drives no (apart from dads failure), i regularly backup important information (assignments etc) to my other HDs. to backup all of my data wouldn't be cheap.
     
  15. pesc macrumors regular

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    #15
    Not even compared to losing it when (not if) your HD dies?

    Maybe most of your data isn't worth much?
     
  16. JoeDRC macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I haven't looked into third party back up solutions that much, but Time Machine (for me anyway) is convenient, easy to set up and easy to navigate and retrieve files. I also love it when the desktop drops down and you "go back in time"

    When I work at my desk my external HDD is always plugged in and I just let Time Machine work in the background. And it backs up as soon as I plug in my MacBook if I happen to of been using my MacBook away from my desk.
     
  17. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #17
    If you have a drive to use, just enable it and forget. It only runs if the drive is plugged in.

    Time Machine can also work over wireless networks - Airport Extreme Base Station "Airdisk" can be made to work (and other NAS devices), or another Mac running Leopard and sharing a drive, and of course Time Capsule.
     
  18. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #18
    That's my setup too. When home, my MBP is hooked up to a string of Firewire drives - one being my Time Machine partition.
     
  19. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #19
    buying the enclosures + 4TB of hard drive space, would cost a good $600-$700. its money i dont have being a uni student. i backup my important data all the time, the rest i just pray nothing happens to.
     
  20. ELab2 macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Why not if you don't mind me asking? I'm looking to get one that has both Firewire 800 and USB compatibility and I've read pretty good reviews of the LaCie.
     
  21. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #21
    I have the Seagate FreeAgent Desk Mac FW800/USB2. Fry's has had it for $139 over the last month or two. Very quiet and, of course, fast with FW800.
     
  22. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #22
    yea sure, asking questions is great!

    personally i have had a bad experience with LaCie HDs (however, i also have an external DL Burner and its great!)

    • the most inconsistent thing about LaCie is that they purchase the cheapest HDs at the time, so you dont know what brand you will get! obviously i got hit up with the worst brand (Maxtor).

    • the LaCie model i currently have is pathetic with its software (its one that you need to login with). when i have a file open from it, say iTunes or a movie and the HD spins down when i pause it - if i go to play it again the computer will GSOD (grey screen of death) because the HD is to slow to catch back up. this gets VERY frustrating!

    • my model has an ethernet port to plug into a port on TC, but of course it doesnt work! logging into it is a pain in the butt and when i can finally get in it doesnt show my files, only the "login" part of the partition.

    anyway, not all LaCie models are like this im sure, but as i said - you never know what model of HD you will get unless you pull it apart..

    that seems like a fairly good deal!
     
  23. mlts22 macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    In general, I try to go for the drive with the least amount of features for my Time Machine backups. A lot of drives offer fingerprint security, Ethernet support, wireless backups, but all I want for a drive that is so critical is just the ability to store files, and store them reliably.

    I also recommend that people don't just rely on a Time Machine backup. Time Machine is an excellent tool to use for "oh crap" stuff, be it accidentally deleting a file, erasing a hard drive, or whatnot.

    This is where I highly recommend an offsite tool like Mozy or Carbonite which offers unlimited space for a small fee a month. Should something happen to both the Mac and the Time Machine hard disk, one's stuff is still recoverable. Both services offer use of a keyfile so one can store the keyfile somewhere else (perhaps as an E-mail attachment in an inbox), and all the data sent to the service would be encrypted.
     
  24. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #24
    do you purchase pre-built drives or do you make your own??
     

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