Ques. for TC + Notebook owners

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by xpovos, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. xpovos macrumors 6502a

    xpovos

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #1
    Do Time Machine backups to the Time Capsule still take place automatically when the laptop is running on battery power?

    Using my external USB drive, Time Machine won't backup automatically when I plug the drive in if I am not also running the laptop on AC power. If I want a TM backup when running on battery, I have to manually choose the "Backup now" option.

    I've read conflicting information on this. Apple's Web site states (in the "Ins and Outs of Backup" or whatever it's called) that the machine needs to be plugged in for backup to initiate automatically; however, Engadget and others imply (but don't directly say) that this isn't the case. Apple's wording, in context, might just apply to the initial (long) backup. But given TM's behavior with USB drives, I don't know.

    I want a Time Capsule, but if it's still required to have the laptop running on AC power in order to get fully automatic backups, then I don't think TC is worth my money when, for just a little extra effort and a little less elegance, I can setup wireless backups to an AFP share plugged into another Mac in the house.

    Thanks for input. :)

    Edit: I found an answer to my question on Apple's support forums. Unfortunately, the laptop does have to be plugged into a power source for backups to initiate automatically to TC. When my laptop is plugged in, it's sitting on my desk 6 inches away from my USB external hard drive. I guess I won't be getting a Time Capsule. Seems to defeat the purpose of Time Machine being a fully automatic, zero-thought backup solution, since if you want a backup while running on battery power, you still have to think about backups.
     
  2. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #2
    I'm sure you are probably finished with this thread at this point but if you think about it in a way it makes good sense for the notebook to be required to be plugged in for power for automated backups.

    If you are on low battery power and TC begins an automated backup it may suck up a lot of life from your battery and if you are really low on battery the notebook will go to sleep if it runs out during a backup.

    This is probably why it makes sense for the user to have to press the backup button while using battery or plug in the notebook for automation. Look at the big picture.
     
  3. xpovos thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xpovos

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #3
    In another post a few days ago, somewhere in these forums, I mentioned that it makes sense from that point of view, so I agree with you on that point.

    I still think it defeats the philosophy of Time Machine where notebook owners are concerned, because in this way it doesn't have many advantages over older, more traditional backup software. You still have to (somewhat) keep the need to backup at the front of your mind.

    Possible solution: write in an option for Time Machine to allow backups when on battery power if battery strength is at or above a certain user-defined threshold. Gracefully terminate a backup in progress if battery strength falls below a certain threshold.
     
  4. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #4
    That would be a great idea. The problem hasn't hit me yet because I just hooked up my 1TB TC last night and I have an iMac so it does all the backups on it's own. I think it will bug me as well once I get a notebook and can't rely on TM backing up my notebook drive while on battery. You're right, it's not really something you should have to keep in mind to do that's why I have my dot Mac sync set to automatic. Let's hope that Apple sees this issue and addresses it.
     
  5. swmr macrumors regular

    swmr

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Penn State
    #5
    I never really noticed that. I think I move my laptop around a lot considering I have only owned it for one week and it has not left my house yet. I do most of my backups manually thought because of the location of my MBP. If I am at my desk working on something I need to save, I do a backup when I am done. Other than that, my computer is mostly asleep, or away from the desk and not connected.
     
  6. deniser macrumors 6502

    deniser

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    Cornwall, England
    #6
    I did read in the apple literature. If the TC backup is interrupted for any reason it will resume from where it left off when everything is running again. So if your battery dies or there was a mains power failure there should not be a problem
     

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