How Time Machine Saves Files?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by cfs, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. cfs macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #1
    Hello Forum,

    I am going to buy an external HD this weekend so I can begin to use Time Machine (TM).

    However, I have a questions:

    1. If I use TM and then go visit my in-laws who also have a mc, could I just take my external HD, connect it to thier computer, and transfer all my photos to them? If not, Why?

    Please help me understand.

    Thank You,

    CFS
     
  2. logana macrumors 65816

    logana

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #2
    Have not done it but you may well encounter permission problems - why not just copy all your photos to the external and then copy them from there to your in-laws Mac (no Time Machine required)

    How many photos are we talking here ?
     
  3. cfs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #3
    I'm not sure how many photos. I am just trying to figure out how TM saves stuff.

    For example, does TM save files in the same format as it would if I dragged my whole Microsoft HD icon into the external HD?

    -CFS
     
  4. logana macrumors 65816

    logana

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #4
    No - Time Machine files are saved in backupdb format so that won't help. Time Machine can read the format and thing like Superdooper and CarbonCopy can make use of them.

    If you are talking a few hundred then you would be quicker to just copy them to the external.

    Does your in-law's Mac run leopard and do they use Time Machine ?
     
  5. cfs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #5
    yes.
     
  6. logana macrumors 65816

    logana

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #6
    ok - Time Machine appears to use the internal Mac address to recognize different computers - so if you use Time Machine on your machine and then take the external disk to your in-laws you won't be able to use Time Machine on their Mac to access your backups.

    I have not tried it but Time Machine can be used with several Macs and one external. The only way round would this would be to use the Migration Assistant to restore your in-law's machine with your backups but somehow I don't think you will want to do that.

    The easiest, simplest way is to copy all your photos to a folder on the external and then drag them on to your in-laws Mac when you get there.
     
  7. cfs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #7
    Which leads me to my next question:

    If my imac Aluminum dies on me in the future and I choose to buy a macbook or receive a hand-me-down with Leopard or higher (the future), does this mean I cannot use TM to put all of my files back on a computer?

    Sorry for the basic questions, but I researched all I could to understand before posting.

    Thanks,

    CFS
     
  8. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #8
    Ok, correct me if I'm wrong but:

    1) I'm under the impression that if you are using Time Machine with a directly connected drive (USB/Firewire), then TM simply creates a directory structure mimicking your systems directory structure. If you are doing TM backups wirelessly then it does the sparse bundles and I don't know about those.

    For example, browsing my TM backup drive which is connected to my Mac Pro via FW800....the structure is this:

    /Backupdisk/Backups.backupdb/machinename/mimicked file structure

    So I can manually browse the file structure and copy files from it.

    2) As for permissions, I just checked my files on my backup disk and it lists:

    For most folders:
    root: read only
    staff: read only
    everyone: read only

    For files owned by me, like my iPhoto library:
    me: read only
    staff: read only
    everyone: read only

    So this makes me think that anyone can read the files. I seem to remember a recent podcast talking about TM security and them mentioning that the actual backup files are not protected if someone should gain access to the physical drive.

    -Kevin
     
  9. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #9
    I know TM backups and using the TM interface is tied to the MAC address of the system. However, I don't know if when you boot from a Leopard install DVD and use the option to restore from a TM backup, whether it matters.

    If it does allow the restore, I'm almost certain that once in the new Leopard install, you'll have to start TM over again.

    -Kevin
     

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