Time Machine always backs up ENTIRE iPhoto library

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Tearabite, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Tearabite macrumors regular

    Tearabite

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    #1
    My iPhoto library is around 20GB.. any time i touch iPhoto, Time Machine backs up the entire 20gb library the next time it runs.

    Is this normal?
     
  2. smirk macrumors 6502a

    smirk

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    #2
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    It's not normal. How can you tell it's backing up the entire library, though?
     
  3. Tearabite thread starter macrumors regular

    Tearabite

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    #3
    Initially i could tell by the size showing in the Time Machine status, but to confirm I'm using TimeTracker app that confirms that EVERY TIME (even if i dont touch iPhoto) Time Machine runs, it is backing up all ~20GB of the iPhoto library..
    More info: The iPhoto library is on an external drive and shared between two users on the machine. "ignore permissions" is set on the volume per http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1198
    The volume is also set to hidden, using Onyx, but even when unhidden the same thing happens..
    I've tried resetting Time Machine PLIST, but that didnt change anything.

    Could it be a permissions issue?
     
  4. smirk macrumors 6502a

    smirk

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    #4
    I'm not familiar with the sharing of an iPhoto library between two users, but yeah -- I wonder if permissions are being changed on the library each time the user changes. Unless someone else has an idea, maybe as a test you could run iPhoto as user #1, quit iPhoto, do a Time Machine backup, then run iPhoto as user #1 again, quit iPhoto, and do another Time Machine backup. Did the entire library get backed up again?

    Also, is the volume formatted as HFS+?
     
  5. wpotere, Jan 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012

    wpotere Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    #5
    It is normal...

    The iPhoto library is a single file containing all of your photos (small database). If you open the file, you have touched it and thus the Time Machine service sees it as needing to be backed up. If you don't want to do this, you can exclude it from the backup.
     
  6. Tearabite thread starter macrumors regular

    Tearabite

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    #6
    Well now that i've fixed it, i'm going to have to go ahead and disagree with you on that one.

    I found two things: Even though i set "ignore permissions", it was not 'sticking'. Ran a permissions repair and now it sticks.
    I also found that when the drive was hidden, it was always backing up the whole thing if i went into iPhoto (even without changing/touching anything).

    After repairing permissions and unhiding the volume, Time Machine is now backing up the iPhoto library as expected : regular backup is normal (small only changed files).. open iPhoto, browse around, close iphoto, next backup is normal/small. Open iPhoto and add pics or edit something, next backup only grabs the pics and associated files that changed.
     
  7. wpotere, Jan 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012

    wpotere Guest

    Joined:
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    #7

    Not the way I have ever seen it work. It is a single file and unless Time Machine mounts the database (I guess it is a possibility) it will backup the entire file. Glad you got it working but since I don't have a Mac in front of me I can't really check it. I can when I get home though...

    It is very possible I am incorrect on this as I was thinking about how it backs up VM files. Since it can't really mount those any time they are touched they get backed up. Thinking about it now, I don't think I remember my photo library getting fully backup more than once, even after I added some photos. They must mount the file.
     
  8. Tearabite thread starter macrumors regular

    Tearabite

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    #8
    Maybe yours isnt working right either?!
    if you 'show contents' of the library file, then open time machine, you can even go back through all the revisions, etc, just like any other folder.
     
  9. wpotere, Jan 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012

    wpotere Guest

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    #9
    Yeah, I just edited my post above. I think that does actually hit the contents of the file thus I stand corrected. ;)
     
  10. smirk macrumors 6502a

    smirk

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    #10
    The iPhoto library isn't a file, it's a bundle, which is a special kind of folder. It is represented by a single icon as a deterrent to users, to keep them from mucking with the contents.

    Glad you got it working!
     
  11. wpotere Guest

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    Oct 7, 2010
    #11
    Yeah, I remembered that after the fact.
     
  12. VTGH macrumors newbie

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    Feb 6, 2012
    #12
    Tearabite... I stumbled across your thread while researching the exact same issue I am facing with iPhoto 11 on OSX Lion 10.7.3. I too had setup my iPhoto library on a shared sparse disk image per the Apple Support link you posted. My incremental Time Machine backups are ~ 60 GB everyday... 59+GB are coming off iPhoto i.e. it's backing up EVERYTHING EVERYTIME.

    I tried your suggestion of running a Permissions fix (via Option + open iPhoto) and that didn't do anything for me. Not sure how you hid/unhid the volume using Onyx, but that was the next thing i wanted to check, if you can share some more details on how that was done.

    For now I've excluded the sparse disk image from my TM backups else it runs forever and ever over my Wi-Fi to the NAS.
     
  13. smirk macrumors 6502a

    smirk

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    #13
    Ok. You are storing your iPhoto library inside of a disk image file, which obviously is a single (huge) file. So any time the disk image changes, Time Machine will back up the entire file, which in your case is many gigabytes. Setting aside the debate on whether or not you should house your iPhoto library inside of a disk image, what you want to do is exclude the disk image file from Time Machine, but include the mounted volume (the volume that mounts when you double click the disk image file). I'm assuming here that Time Machine will back up a mounted volume. If so, this should take care of it. But keep in mind that your photos will only get backed up if your disk image is mounted when Time Machine kicks off a backup.
     
  14. VTGH macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    #14
    Yes, I've already excluded the disk image file from Time Machine as of yesterday and i've looked at all the incremental backups since. They seem to ignore the mounted volume so not sure this is how it would work. My disk image is mounted when TM backups are running.

    The Apple KB solution was written 3+ yrs ago so its possible things have changed since. Agreed, that the disk image is a single file unlike the sparse bundle which would probably give better flexibility to backing up photos in increments? I'd rather not have to store iPhoto inside a disk image, but I need to share the common library across different accounts and this seems to be the only way Apple allows you to accomplish that; it needs a location where permissions are ignored.
     

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