Newb Time Machine Questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by markp99, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. markp99 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #1
    I am slowly migrating my work stuff from my PC laptop to my RMPB (16GB, 256GB SSD).

    The limiting SSD space is a constraint that will require a little trial and error to get right (archive vs active, work vs personal). I also plan to use Time Machine for backing-up my stuff to external USB 3.0 drive(s).

    Just a few quick Qs:

    1. Can I backup just a subset of data/folders using TM?

    2. Can I commingle a TM backup and my manually archived files on the same VOLUME, or should I create a dedicated partition for TM?

    3. How does TM handle infrequent attachment of the external drive?

    4. Will TM be able to distinguish the correct external drive from among many? Example "Work" archive drive (large client databases, etc.) separate from my "Personal" archive drive (LR4 photos, music, etc.) - I do not want to carry personal stuff while I travel for work, but I DO need to carry my Work archive.

    5. The manual external archive files SHOULD also be back-up to yet another external drive. Any suggestions for drive-to-drive back-up & sync?


    Thanks!
     
  2. Vege-Taco macrumors member

    Vege-Taco

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    Arizona
    #2
    1. Can I backup just a subset of data/folders using TM?

    Not at this time.

    2. Can I commingle a TM backup and my manually archived files on the same VOLUME, or should I create a dedicated partition for TM?

    Yes. You can even share the filesystem and use it to backup multiple computers.

    3. How does TM handle infrequent attachment of the external drive?

    Time Machine will attempt to backup files on a set schedule (no control). If the drive isn't present when it attempts to make a backup you should get a one-time error message stating that the drive could not be found. Once you reconnect the drive, you can then manually click the option to start backing up. I'm not sure if it will restart automatically though. Not a biggie, just click the TM clock in the bar and select "Backup Now."

    4. Will TM be able to distinguish the correct external drive from among many? Example "Work" archive drive (large client databases, etc.) separate from my "Personal" archive drive (LR4 photos, music, etc.) - I do not want to carry personal stuff while I travel for work, but I DO need to carry my Work archive.

    Yes. It knows by the name of the filesystem (Time Machine).

    5. The manual external archive files SHOULD also be back-up to yet another external drive. Any suggestions for drive-to-drive back-up & sync?

    I use Crash Plan. It allows for online as well as local backups, all automagically.
     
  3. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #3
    Don't mix them up, dedicate one drive for your TM backups, it does'nt have to be a fast expensive drive either...A WD green or similar will suffice, and they are really cheap.
     
  4. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    I have a dedicated time machine drive on my Mac Pro that is always backing up and I have an external drive that I back up all of my macs on. You can't specify folders, but you can specify partitions. So if you have a work partition and a personal partition you can back those up separately. When you tell your mac to use a drive as a time machine it will always know that is the time machine drive, even if you have a couple of them, you can switch them at will. I actually back my Mac Pro to both drives, the external is much more spaced backups tho.

    The other great thing about time machine is that you can backup your mac, install a fresh new drive and restore it without the need of an install disk or even recovery partition. You can boot right onto the time machine disk and select the restore you would like to perform...so you can actually use this as a ghost image....backup to external, go to next machine, restore, next machine restore, etc.
     
  5. ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #5
    I lost trust in TC; I have two in my shelfs not really working anymore. can't even finish the initial load.
    I store my stuff on an external NAS (QNAP) which get regular backup via classical "rsync" to an external disk.
    Obvious I also don't trust TimeMachine too much. While a nice front end I want the security that I can reach my files at any time; in a worst case from a non-Mac.
     
  6. iMacFarlane macrumors 65816

    iMacFarlane

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Location:
    Adrift in a sea of possibilities
    #6
    Although pretty cumbersome, you can tell Time Machine what you DON'T want to backup, you just don't have the option to tell it what you DO want to back up.

    In the Time Machine options, you can 'exclude' directories from your backups. Obvious one for me was iTunesU videos. About 350GB of data that, if lost, I could just download again.
     
  7. JTToft macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #7
    I just want to correct/elaborate on a couple of answers that have been given.

    - You can select which folders and files you don't want to backup, so you can accomplish this by selecting everything except the data you do want to backup. A bit tedious, but it can be done.

    - Sure you can. But Time Machine will back up to that partition until it is full, so after a while you won't have any space for your files. It is recommended to use separate partitions.

    - Just fine. You do exactly as you please, and Time Machine will adjust. If the drive isn't plugged in, it simply won't backup. Then when you do plug it in, Time Machine will do the backup. There are no error messages, but it does give a warning if over two weeks have passed since the last backup.

    - Yes, Time Machine won't have a problem distinguishing different drives.
     
  8. markp99 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Location:
    New Hampshire

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