Questions about Time Machine.

Discussion in 'macOS' started by roadbloc, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I realised yesterday that since getting my Mac six months or so ago, I have never backed up. I heard the backup utility was called Time Machine... but I have some questions about it before I use it.

    1. What does it backup? Just the files in your home folder or your entire system, operating system, apps and user settings? Can you choose between the two or a setting in-between the two?

    2. Can you backup onto any hard drive or do you have to have a time capsule? Is it possible to backup onto an iPod?

    3. Is it possible encrypt your backup and/or put a password on it?

    4. Does it compress your files into one file or is it just an automated way of copying and pasting?

    Thanks for your answers in advance. :)
     
  2. BobZune macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    1. It backs up everything on the system disk (partition), Operatign system apps and user settings (but you can not boot from it - need the OS X DVD for that). You can EXCLUDE specific folders if you like, in the TM Options.

    2. You can back up to any harddrive, properly formatted (GUID partition table and HFS+ format). Backing up to iPod may be possible with some hack, but I won't recommend it if you value your backup at all.

    3. Not easily - this has no built in support in TM. People have done it (or posted so), again, do you want to trust a hack for a back up?

    4. It doesn't compress files that I know of, but it is more than copying and pasting. If first back up is 15 GB and you changed only a 1 GB file between backups, the second backup will only be about 1 GB, btu if you look in the directory, it will look like it has ALL files - but that is made with hardlinks trick.

    More at http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2007/10/mac-os-x-10-5.ars -- start on page 7 FSevents, page 14 for TM if you are technically inclined.
     
  3. roadbloc thread starter macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    it backs up your entire hard drive, though you can select what folder to exclude from backing up. For instance, Adobe recommends excluding the folders where you store your images.

    Yes, any hard drives and technically I suppose even your iPod provided you have enough space. Given that the strength of TM is its ability to provide hourly incremental backups. an iPod doesn't make it an ideal choice since those incrementals can eat up space rather quickly.

    I don't believe so and I also believe its a risky move to encrypt your backup. The last thing you want is the inability to restore/recover files if something goes south.

    No compression is being performed.
     

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