Time Machine and Backup

Discussion in 'macOS' started by colenbjw, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. colenbjw macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2007
    So you think you're a Leopard expert? Know much about Time Machine?

    I'm on the edge of moving to Leopard, and Time Machine is the main motivation. Actually, backups are the main motivation - something I'm only doing sporadically now - but as my My Pictures directory is spilling out over and filling up my external 500gb drive, it's starting to get a little scary.

    So - here are my Time Machine questions:

    1 - (Easy) - Can you use Time Machine to back up and keep track of changes on an external (USB 2 or NAS) drive? That is, the external drive is an 'active' drive (I realise I'd need a second drive for TM).

    2 - Can the Time Machine drive be connected through the network (i.e. my current drive is sometimes connected by USB or through the ethernet cable)? It would be great to come into the office and have time machine working automatically, whether the drive is connected directly or not... OR would I need to have it connected to an actual (2nd) computer running Leopard/TM that's connected to the network? (I read something about that on apple.com).

    3 - Does TM have the ability to use two separate HDs for backups? i.e. Is it possible to have two NAS drives (one at home, one at the office) and have TM keep up to date backups in both places (i.e. a nice redundant backup scheme!?)

    In writing this, I realize most of my questions are related to backing up through the network on a relatively 'dumb' network attached drive... The reality is that I've got a MBP with an external drive that I'm currently using for photo storage, and I'd love to be able to make backups "just work". My thought is that I could keep all the 'negatives' on that drive, and anything 'in work' on my MBP's internal drive, and TM should be able to keep track of everything... So, can anyone speak to TM's ability to handle this kind of thing?

    Thanks for your thoughts!
  2. saltyzoo macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2007

    Currently it has to be directly connected to the machine being backed up.

    No it can't do that.

    Time machine keeps a "high water mark" of when you last backed up and will back up any files that have changed since that time. You can't have multiple "high water marks".
  3. colenbjw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2007
    Thanks, saltyzoo - I think I understand...

    So, what the software engineers need to do is allow TM to use a drive attached to a network, accessible through VPN. Then we'd be able to have time machine running literally anytime there's an internet connection available... Though presumably there would be a pretty high bandwidth requirement!
  4. saltyzoo macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2007
    It's my understanding that LAN/WAN backup was available with Time Machine in the beta versions, though I never ran it so I don't know. I'm also not sure if that means they will make it work in the future, or if they disabled it due to unreasonable / uncontrollable bandwidth issues.
  5. colenbjw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2007
    Interestingly, from apple.com/macosx/features/timemachine.html:

    It's that last sentence that's got me intrigued - I wonder if it would in fact be possible to have a "go-anywhere" time machine solution... Any thoughts or practice? Or is time machine still too young and this would be pushing it too far...
  6. VoidBoi macrumors regular

    Feb 5, 2007
    Time machine works perfectly over my network. My main computer backs up to a FW drive connected to it. When my laptop's on the same network, it automatically mounts the same FW drive over AFP and backs up to it too.

    You can also edit the /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.backupd-auto.plist to change the regularity of the backups. Mine run at 6am every morning. :)

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