Time Machine - Are applications really worth it?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by c1phr, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. c1phr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    #1
    This has probably been asked before, but I haven't found it through Mroogle, nor an up to date answer on Google.

    I have about 160gb on my external drive partitioned off for time machine backups (I could maybe push it to 200) and thus far have been pretty much been backing up just documents. I don't backup music or movies on my mac, those are all done on the NTFS partition from my windows desktop and another redundant copy is sent to my server box.

    I have an applications folder currently weighted at about 32gb, and my Developer folder at ~10gb.

    Do you think it would really be worth it to backup these folders, or just reinstall all my applications in the event that anything happens? My developer folder is Xcode 4, so redownloading it from the App Store does take a little bit, and Steam and Adobe CS5 are the brunt of my Applications folder.

    I suppose this question doesn't have a definitive answer, but what do you guys do as far as application backup?

    Thanks
     
  2. WillEH macrumors 6502a

    WillEH

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #2
    If you need the space get rid of them, if not keep them. The only reason I back up is for music, photos and Rome: Total War saved game files. I can just re-download the applications as you said if anything happens. But it's really your own personal choice. It's hard for other people to answer for you. :eek:
     
  3. c1phr thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for the answer. I figured about the fact that people can't answer for me, I guess I was looking more for what other people do, but didn't realize it till the end of my post :p

    One other thing that I just remembered though, what about the "Library" folders? The one in the user folder and the other one in the root of the drive? Should they be backed up as well? From what I've seen, they are similar to the "AppData" folder on Windows, but mine are 31gb (in the user folder) and 13gb (in the root), which is why I was hesitant to back them up originally.
     
  4. WillEH macrumors 6502a

    WillEH

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    Feb 8, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #4
    I'm no mac expert, so don't take my answer at face value. But as far as I know. You should keep the Library folder with a back up. If it's so big, it's obviously something important or you just have a lot of applications. Maybe someone who is a bit more experienced with the actual workings of back ups can give you a better answer. But hope my first answer gave some advice.
     
  5. c1phr thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    #5
    Okay, thanks! I'll backup the one in the user folder for now with my applications and such, and I'll expand that partition to 200gb as soon as I can find my Gparted disc. I'll wait on the one in the root for now.
     
  6. WillEH macrumors 6502a

    WillEH

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    United Kingdom
    #6
    Always a pleasure :)
     
  7. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    I backup everything. Just think if you come home one day and you've been burgled. Your Mac + discs gone.

    I always keep an external backup with me.
     
  8. mstrze, Mar 18, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011

    mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #8
    I also backup everything...which includes my external iTunes Library drive...every hour, as is default for Time Machine.

    I always cringe a bit when I hear someone is using a partition of a disc to store the Time Machine backup. Might I ask what else is on that drive and is it backed-up somewhere...or is it a backup of another user/drive? (I 'cringe' cause I always consider the other partitions on those drives unprotected/not backed up...not always the case, but often enough.)

    I always use a fresh (i.e. empty) drive for Time Machine...currently a 1.5TB that cost me around $100. You could get a 500GB for much less these days. NO real reason (in my opinion) to pick and choose what files to back up.
     
  9. Hastings101 macrumors 68000

    Hastings101

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    K
    #9
    If I used Time Machine I wouldn't bother with the applications. You can download those again at any time.

    Right now all I do is copy my photos & music onto a flash drive as a back up. Not nearly as useful as Time Machine, but those are really the only files I care about.
     
  10. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, USA
    #10
    I back up everything on four Macs to a couple of dedicated TCs. I like keeping it simple.
     
  11. lkirkup macrumors newbie

    lkirkup

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    #11
    You are very wrong my friend.
    Many times useful applications licensing arrangements change.
    As an example "shape collage" has now become so popular that the author is charging for the app. The latest version from his website comes with a lovely watermark over the final product that can be removed by purchasing it. But thanks to time machine I have a copy of it before the watermarked and free to use.
    This is just one example and people could come up with many more.
    With the cost of external HDD's becoming so cheap there is really no excuse for not doing a complete system backup with time machine.
     
  12. PatrickCocoa macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    #12
    You're Starting From the Wrong Place

    Go out and spend $200 on a 3TB USB 2 hard drive. Plug it into the back of your Mac. Accept the Time Machine option. Stop worrying about what to backup. Go on with your life.
     
  13. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #13
    I clone the system drives (multiple computers here) so I can do an easy restore from backup in the case of catastrophe, but I also use Time Machine for it's short term memory so I can restore from mistakes.

    Drives have gotten so inexpensive, especially compared to the cost of the systems and the value of the data, that not keeping redundant backups of everything just doesn't make any sense.
     
  14. c1phr thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 8, 2011
    #14
    The other partition on the drive is my Windows backups, which is where all my images and music get backed up. Music is backed up redundantly in 5 different locations, images in 3-4, documents are generally 3 local, 2 remote. I don't bother going with a different drive because I only plug in my drive every few days, and even then, the really important stuff gets saved in multiple different locations ASAP.

    Really, while I do keep important stuff on my Mac, it's not enough to qualify buying another drive yet, where I can just partition my drive that I'm already using for backups and get by.



    I do plan to eventually look into a separate drive, but I want to try and find one that transfers over FW800, will probably get a GoFlex when I get the money together. For now, I have the entire system backed up (with the exception of things like the system guides and things that I already have backed up that I've stated above)

    Thank you all for your input, I really appreciate it!
     
  15. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #15
    If you are only plugging in the drive every couple of days, then use CCC or SD (paid version) that can do smart backups. These are fast, faster than TimeMachine will do it. TimeMachine is really intended for drives that are always connected, otherwise you lose its benefits over a cloned drive.
     
  16. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #16
    I think this is a great option. Like you said, in the event of a catastrophic hard drive failure, you can always boot from the clone and you don't need to worry about the programs.

    If you're worried about backup space, then the User folder and the library folder.
     

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