Time Machine Back-up issues

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ProstheticHead, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. ProstheticHead macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #1
    So here's the deal.

    I just bought a WD 320gb external drive since the 120gb in my MBP wasn't going to cut it. I created two partitions on the external drive, one 120gb one set aside for Time Machine and the rest I set aside for all my extra space. Now, the trouble is, Time Machine seems to view my home folder as using up 178.11gb of space and is thus discluding it from the backups due to the bizarre size. Is there any way for me to get it so Time Machine will include my home folder without it attempting to back up all 178gb for no reason?

    It says the total capacity of my home folder is 222.94gb, my suspicions are that for some reason it is including the OSX partition of my internal drive AND the entire chunk of empty space on my external drive.
     
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    Tell it to ignore the second partition on the external.

    Then restart Time Machine
     
  3. ProstheticHead thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #3
    Besides the obvious way of going about that, is there something I'm missing? I have it ignoring my Boot Camp partition, I have it ignoring itself, I have it ignoring "External HD" (which it only reads as being 17gb since I just have my music folder on it currently), but it is also ignoring my home folder which it lists as 178.11gb.

    I'm not sure how to make it understand that my home folder is actually very small.

    EDIT: Does Time Machine not like it if an external drive has multiple partitions? Because I don't really want it to eat up my entire external drive with the back-ups it makes. I'd like to have some space to store larger files.
     
  4. ProstheticHead thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #4
    Update

    So after reading as many posts as I could on the forums, I have come to understand (I guess) that Time Machine is just a space whore that knows no restraints and is too stubborn to share a hard-drive.

    Now I just have to debate whether it is worth it to use it and allow it to extract manifest destiny on my entire external, or worth it just to back up my stuff manually and be done with the whole stupid thing.

    Unless someone else out there knows otherwise...
     
  5. crees! macrumors 68000

    crees!

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Location:
    MD/VA/DC
    #5
    I would not recommend using a TM drive that is the same size as what you're backing up from. When TM needs more space it will delete older files to make room for newer ones. So with a "small" drive you won't have much history to go back upon. I have an 80GB drive in my laptop and would want a 250GB or 500GB drive just for TM.
     
  6. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    The big problem here is: Why is TM seeing the home folder as 180GB, when the drive is only 120GB?
     
  7. ayzee macrumors 6502a

    ayzee

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #7
    From my "short" experience with Time Machine I gathered that it wanted a whole drive to itself, to which it can be used for nothing else.

    You could try the program SuperDuper instead, which backs up your entire Mac as an image file. Havent tried it myself yet, but its highly recommended on this forum. You will need a dedicated partition on your external drive for this, in order for the image to boot.
     
  8. ProstheticHead thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #8
    Exactly. I still can't seem to figure that out.

    So would you suggest not using Time Machine then? Other than a sort of cool graphical display, I'm not finding any real incentive to use it when I can just make back-ups manually...
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    First off, Time Machine needs quite a bit more space than the space used by the data you want it to back up. If you want to back up a 120 drive then the TM dive needs to be about 180GB. Because TM keeps hourly, daily and weekly past versions. So add up all of the space you are not excluding and multiply by 1.5 or 2 and that is how big the TM drive should be. It can be smaller but then you defeat the point of TM.

    Why would you want to store other data in the TM drive. It will not be backed up. Backing up data to the same drive is notmuch of a backup is it.

    You really have to work out a backup plan. If you care about the data (meaning you need it to last for 20 years) then you need a plan that at the least follow these two rules (1) Data is always stored on at least three different media and (2) data is always stored in at least two geographical locations.

    For many people the data on the internal drive is "copy #1". The data on the TM drive is "copy #2" and then yo have a hard drive you keep off-site (say at the office) that holds a third copy and you rotate the drive with one at home. This means three external drives used for backup.

    I know, the above is a hassle so few people bother So I'll bet that in 50 years there will be very, very few 50 year old photos. Almost all will have need lost to poor backup plans within 20 years of being shot. To bad because I kind of like the 100 year old photos my grandmother still has

    Time Machine make INCREMENTAL backups. Most home computer users when they make backups simply clone the data over top of the last backup because incrementals are hard to understand. The value of TM and the reason to use it is because it make incremental backups and recovery from same accessable to more people. Any incremental backup system is much safer. One example: Lets say you have a good backup. Now un-known to you iPhoto screws up and corrupts 1,000 of your images. Youo don't check every image every day so you don't know this. Then you make a backup. What happend? Your only copy of those 1,000 files just got over wrten with 1,000 corrupted files and you will not know this, maybe for weeks. When you discover the problem it will be to late. Whould have been nice if you had only writen the changes to the backup disk then you 'd have a change history of every file. If you give Tm a large enough disk you can keep months and months of history.

    The value of TM is that it does ties it's best not to over write your old data with a new backup. It saves the old backup for as long as it can, given the amount of space yo provide it with. I just bought a 1TB drive for $170. That's cheap. Not reason to buy a smaller drive. Just give TM a terrabyte what do you save buy going smaller $50?

    Disk failure is not the #1 cause of lost data. Operator and software error is. After that natural disasters the threft of the equipment. So we use incremental backups and off-site copies of data.
     
  10. ProstheticHead thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #10
    Alright, I'll answer your questions:

    For one thing, I've given Time Machine 120gb (exactly) due to the fact that my initial system is only 111.46gb, 31.58gb of that is a Boot Camp partition that I really don't care about, leaving 79.88gb of actual system space. 120gb is 80gb multiplied by 1.5.

    The things I wish to store in my TM drive are things such as my iTunes library, movie files, and other such bits of nonsense that could be easily replaced (using Senuti on my ipods that store them, or by inserting my DVD library back up) and are generally just a large waste of space on my internal hard-drive that I could put to better use with applications and such.

    I want Time Machine itself to keep back-ups of my Home folder, my pictures, and my system due to the fact that I get tired of burning off new DVDs of my pictures every couple months.

    I do not, however, want Time Machine to have free reign over my external hard drive, gluttonously filling it to its heart's content. I want to limit it.

    My main issue is this though: Why is time machine viewing my home folder as 178gb when it is clearly not?

    As for geographical locations, that's why I bought a laptop! In the event of a fire I grab it and jump out the window! ;)
     
  11. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #11
    You don't by chance have a large part of your iTunes library on an external - linked by an alias, do you?

    If you do, that may be where it is getting the 180GB. Whatever is actually in your home folder + the actual files from the aliases.
     
  12. ProstheticHead thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #12
    Nope. I just turned off FileVault, then turned it back on, and suddenly Time Machine views the home directory as 131gb instead of 178gb.

    I've decided just to call it quits with all the Time Machine shenanigans and just use my external for whatever I see fit, including manual picture / document backups.
     
  13. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #13
    Sorry to hear you are giving up on TM. I've had my share of problems with it but I do have it working quite well. I use a Time Capsule for backup but I also have a WD 500 gig usb drive "lying around". I have used the WD as a local backup volume for TM and whenever I plug it in, TM starts churning. I wish there was a way to permanently delete a volume I've used before but changed my mind about. I plan to plug the 500 Gig WD usb drive into the Time Capsule and use it for file sharing. I have found that TM can share a drive. On my Time Capsule, I store downloaded music in a "music" folder. There is a folder on the drive for each machine I'm backing up. I haven't run into any problems "sharing" the drive.

    You might consider turning your 320 gig drive back into one partition and simply creating a folder for stuff you want to keep on that drive. Time Capsule will not overrun the drive quickly. Because it does incremental backups, it doesn't grow out of control. It's working reasonably well for me and I CAN put other files on the volume being used for Time Machine. I wouldn't give up on TM just yet if I were you.
     

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