Limited Time Machine backups

Discussion in 'macOS' started by jawzzy, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. jawzzy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    Hey all, I was wondering if it was possible to have Time Machine backup only my home folder (or some other individual folder) without all the system files.

    I only have an 80 GB external drive and I would like to have the whole travel-back-in-time effect, but with only a couple of folders.

    Unfortunately, there is an "Exclude" option but no "Exclude All But..."

    Any solutions?

    P.S. Before anyone says it, I cannot afford another drive. Storage is cheap, I know, however, as a poor college student, I cannot afford it. My budget is $0. :)

    Many thanks to all!
     
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #2
    Can't you add everything but the Home folder to the exclude list?
     
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #3
    I don't see what's so hard about excluding the contents of /Library and /System.

    Time Machine even asks you if you want to do that when you pick them.
     
  4. jawzzy thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #4
    Well it seems like there are a lot of files, including invisible ones, that would still be backed up. From where I'm sitting, it looks neither clean nor easy. There is no easy solution?

    Also, it seems to be stuck on "Calculating Size" for my system folder. Is something wrong?
     
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #5
    If you choose not to backup /System, Time Machine will ask you about not backing up the UNIX a.k.a hidden files as well.
     
  6. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #6
    this is what i have done^^^

    its backs up only the home folder plus any third party applications you have installed.
     
  7. jawzzy thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Location:
    New York
    #7
    Hmmm...I see. So if I said OK to that prompt and I have it excluding "System Files and Applications" only, what will it include? My Applications folder? Just my "Me" folder? My Desktop?

    I notice that Time Machine's Total Included is 59.1 GB, whereas my Home folder is 66.2 GB. Is this difference from some system files that are being excluded from Time Machine?

    If my computer were to crash and I had to restore this data to a clean install, what stuff that I originally had on my computer would be lost?

    My settings (i.e. dock, background, etc.)? The Dashboard?
     
  8. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #8
    the backup is smaller than your home folder because time machine isnt backing up files and settings that you did not install i.e. that where already on your user account when you first logged in so they are considered part of the system by time machine. time machine also doesnt backup caches and other stuff that it doesnt need. all that would most likely add up to the difference in size.

    also have you installed any other large apps other than the included apple ones? if so the time machine backup should be larger than you home folder as using the "do not backup system and applications" will also backup third party apps in the main applications folder which isnt in the home folder

    if you do choose this setting to backup with time machine and you had a hard drive failure it would still restore all your settings, widgets, music, photos etc as they are in the home folder. but you would have to install the system again. if you chose "include applications and settings" then i think you dont have to install the system again after a failure. i may be wrong though! sorry for the huge post!
     

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