How Good Is Time Machine for Backups?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by iThink Apple, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. iThink Apple macrumors 6502

    iThink Apple

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    #1
    Hi,

    Happy Easter to all!!! I wanted to know if Time Machine was a good way of backing up my stuff. Could someone explain to me how it works? TY :)
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  3. lamboman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #3
    Simply put, it works well. The initial backup will copy over all of the data on your drive, then any backups after that (every hour) will backup any changes only.

    If your system dies, it is possible to restore it completely from a Time Machine backup. Also, if you get a new system, it is of course possible to migrate to a new system using a Time Machine backup.

    Seeing as you're posting this in the MacBook Pro section of the forums, if you take your system out of the house, I think Time Machine starts making local "backups" in preparation for its next sync with its backup drive. So even if you're out of the house for a few days, you will still get your backups, provided nothing is wrong and you have sufficient hard drive space.
     
  4. iThink Apple thread starter macrumors 6502

    iThink Apple

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    Aug 27, 2011
    #4
    Thank you all!! So I guess its a good form of backing your stuff with Time Machine. TY
     
  5. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #5
    I also like to have a clone disk available. Use SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner; this will make a bootable clone disk. This allows you to recover a lot faster than time machine.
     
  6. iThink Apple thread starter macrumors 6502

    iThink Apple

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    Aug 27, 2011
    #6
    Thanks but as long as I recover its fine! :)
     
  7. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #7
    I use time machine as my backup. There have been times when I have had to restore something from my time machine backup and that is very easy to do also. So time machine gets a big thumbs up from me. Another excellent backup program you could investigate is CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner).
     
  8. jackc macrumors 65816

    jackc

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  9. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    #9
    You can turn automatic backup on time machine off and only manually backup with it. That's what I do. I backup about once a week or whenever I do something I wouldn't want to do twice if I was to loose my data.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    I think you'd do much better if you used CarbonCopyCloner to create and maintain a clone/backup of your internal hard drive.

    CCC will create a backup that's BOOTABLE (you can't boot from a Time Machine backup), and it's an exact copy of your internal drive (exact as the last time you backed up).

    Because it's an exact copy, the files on it are in POFF (plain old finder format) -- just turn on the backup and "copy over" whatever you're trying to recover. I have seen report after report after report on MacRumors from users who, in a moment of extreme need, are trying to access their TM backups and...... can't.

    If your internal drive fails completely (hardware failure), you won't be able to boot from your OS -or- from the "recovery partition". But with a CCC clone, you can be back up and running in the matter of a couple of minutes.

    My opinion only, but a clone from CCC (or SuperDuper) will prove far more useful to you "in that moment of need" than will a TM backup....
     
  11. Dweez macrumors 65816

    Dweez

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    #11
    This is what I do as well. Time Machine backups plus a bootable CCC clone done once per week.
     
  12. azentropy macrumors 68000

    azentropy

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    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    Surprise
    #12
    I like time machine but wish it was much more customizable. This tool helps, but I would like to see options like this built in along with being able to exclude certain directories or even schedule differently depending on directory or volume.

    For instance I use VMWare alot, so every time it backs up it ends up backing up my vmdk drives which are 10+ gigs. So not only does backups take a long time over WiFi (using Time Capsule), the drive fills up really quick and can't really be used for anything else.

    Also would like the option of choosing how much of the Time Machine backup device to use, how far back to keep backups etc.
     
  13. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #13
    I know it's a workaround but you could make a partition simply for VMs.
     
  14. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    #14
    I don't understand. TM allows you to exclude any directory.

    Then simply exclude them.

    I use a combination of TM and SuperDuper to back up onto a single 1TB external drive. SD gives me a "current" bootable partition on that drive while TM just backs up my Home folder. Time Machine backs up multiple versions of my documents for the last 6 months - quite handy.

    All I do is plug in a USB cable once a day or so and allow the two apps to do their thing.

    Edit: Not sure if VMware lets you put its virtual disks in another directory like Parallels does (which I use).
     
  15. azentropy macrumors 68000

    azentropy

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    Location:
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    #15
    Sorry I should have been more specific - yes you can exclude them from a default setting but then they never get backed up at all automatically. I just want to exclude them from hourly but still be able to do an automatic backup every night. TimeMachineEditor allows you to change different intervals, but not different intervals with different data sets.

    And yes there are other options (although many are pay), but I was directing the response specifically at Time Machines short comings.

    I've played with different options such as excluding the directory that contains my vmdks but then having a script that copies them over nightly as a cron job to the TM Drive, but I constantly run into issue of the TimeCapsule drive being full. I also had one copy to a different directory nightly that Time Machine does back up, but then I'm using double the space on my SSD drive for those.

    Again, just wish TM had more customizability.
     
  16. Medic278 macrumors 6502a

    Medic278

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    Feb 1, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #16
    I use Time MAchine and it works really well. For what you want it to do it will serve you well. I back up my iMac MBP and MBA all with time machine and have never had a problem. I had to use time machine to restore my MBP after apple replaced the HDD and it was an easy pain less process that was pretty quick.
     

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