Questions about time machine back ups.

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Droidrage729, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. Droidrage729 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    #1
    I've had a Mac for about a year now and while I know what time machine does I'm not too sure how it works. I know when I got a new Mac I was able to connect my 3tb hard drive and restore my back up which was super easy I might add. My question is does time machine back up your computers current state or continue to add content to the back up. Like if I delete photos from iPhoto then back up do those photos get deleted from the back up as well? Do I need to manually create a photo folder on my 3tb sea gate hard drive to make sure my photos are saved?
     
  2. Digitalclips macrumors 65816

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    Mar 16, 2006
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    Sarasota, Florida
    #2
    http://www.apple.com/findouthow/mac/#timemachinebasics
     
  3. Droidrage729 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 28, 2012
    #3
  4. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    May 18, 2004
    #4
    one thing you need to keep in mind is that while Time Machine continually creates back ups of your files, eventually your external HD will get filled up.......and then Time Machine will start dumping the oldest files in order to create space to make new back ups, so you'll start losing older stuff. Since you're using a 3TB drive, it might take some time before this happens.

    If you want to back up your photos "permanently forever", you'll want to make copies separate from those that Time Machine is creating
     
  5. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    This isn't quite true from my understanding.

    Yes indeed... Time Machine will delete the oldest backups when the backup drive gets full... but it is ONLY deleting older versions of the individual files... not the existence of those files. This is particularly true for files that change often. For example... if you had a file that you modified every day (simple example... a diary)... then Time Machine would be keeping a copy of each version of that diary back to the origin of its creation... but when the backup drive became full... then older versions of that file might get deleted... but more recent copies of that same file would be guaranteed to still be backed up.

    Hence... to answer the OPs questions... no... you will not start losing pictures that exist in your photo library (or even just in finder folders) unless you chose to delete them at some point (probably a very long time ago).

    I tend to use large drives for my Time Machine backups. I have never had Time Machine begin deleting older versions of my backups.

    /Jim
     
  6. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #6
    since the OP asked

    My point was to warn him that those deleted photos would indeed eventually disappear from his Time Machine back up after it starts deleting old files to make way for new back ups of current files.

    Time Machine will back up what's currently on your computer, so as long as a file continues to exist on your computer HD it will remain backed up....... but it doesn't archive deleted files forever after a file has been removed.............well, unless your back drive is so large it never gets filled up of course.

    Time Machine is fine for back ups, but it isn't really for making permanent archives
     
  7. Droidrage729 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    #7

    Thank you both for the information that's precisely the in depth info I was looking for . I think to be safe in the event things to really wrong I will copy and paste my photos into a separate folder Older on my back up drive. All I care about on the time machine back ups are my photos and videos most of which I only have 1 copy of I could care less about my apps documents even my music could be lost and I wouldn't care as much.
     
  8. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    Yes I missed that point. If the OP was to delete photos in iPhoto... expecting them to stay in Time Machine... then that is really asking for trouble. At that point... the Time Machine is no longer a backup... it is the primary.... and a crappy one at that. As you correctly pointed out... that data can get pruned.

    OP: If you want to have a manual backup... don't put it on your backup drive. Just get another external drive and make a copy... and then store it someplace offsite.

    /Jim
     
  9. noodlehead macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #9
    don't delete if you think you will ever need it

    For most of us, our external time machine HD will fill up eventually. I basically use time machine to help me out if I do something stupid. I usually figure out that I have done something stupid within a few months--maybe a year. So I figure a year back is far enough for me. The key is never delete anything you may possibly need someday. If you need to create archive folders to clean things up, fine. But don't delete until you are sure you are done with a file forever.

    Slightly off topic, but related: I keep two backups--and TM makes it easy: You just choose the different HD in TM preferences after you connect it. I take the second HD over to my friend's house (and pick up his), and periodically, we exchange and update these backup HDs. This HD is not always as current as the one I keep at home (We exchange about once every 2 months) but there are too many stories out there about thieves taking the computer AND the external HD--even if it's hidden away in a drawer--or a house fire, leading to the loss of all your data forever. Large external HDs are relatively cheap nowadays. You can also accomplish this with online backup if you are willing to pay the modest fees.
     

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