Time Machine Backing up Huge Amount Continually

Discussion in 'macOS' started by bugfaceuk, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. bugfaceuk macrumors 6502

    bugfaceuk

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    #1
    I'm all out of ideas. 3 days ago Time Machine started backing up gigabytes each time (every hour) even if I leave the machine sitting there doing nothing, with nothing running.

    Is there any way I can find out WHAT it is backing up that is so large, or changing so often? It's been fine since I installed Leopard, and I haven't installed anything new in weeks. All I've been working on is a pet flash project, that doesn't even size to a megabyte right now.

    Stumped.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #2
    do you have Parallels or VMware installed by any chance? a virtual machines hard disk is a single file so every time you use Windows or any other OS inside your virtual machine Time Machine's background process notices this file has been modified and backs up the whole file.

    the first step you should do when setting up Time Machine if you have Parallels or VMware installed is add your virtual machine to Time Machine's exclusion list. the virtual machine for Parallels is in ~/Documents/Parallels and for VMware ~/Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/Virtual Machines.
     
  3. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #3
    ok 1st of all, check how much HD space your using. my imac took about 3 days to backup ~130gb of data. the inital backup seems to take forever even though i had the computer connected via 1000mbps ethernet.

    2ndly go into activity monitor and check out your network speed. (last tab). if nothing is happening then maybe there is something wrong, if its going at whatever speed (mine seemed to go at around 300-900kbps) then its getting there.

    the 'time machine' setting in system prefs will also tell you if its backing up or whatnot.
     
  4. bugfaceuk thread starter macrumors 6502

    bugfaceuk

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    #4
    Good suggestion, I do have them installed, but I keep them on a removable drive, and haven't been running them in the last week or so... so it's not that... but you are right, it must be some application like them doing something like that.

    Thanks for the suggestion
     
  5. bugfaceuk thread starter macrumors 6502

    bugfaceuk

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    #5
    Thanks for the post,

    Time Machine has been running since I installed Leopard in November, and has only just started behaving like this (I had 20Gb free on backup volume on Thursday, 1Gb now), it's not backing up over a network but to an external drive I make sure I plug in once a day.

    I do have a few folders excluded using the Time Machine preferences, but I've not changed these. Problem is I don't know, for example, which file is so damn big.

    Thanks again for helping... any other ideas?
     
  6. kap91 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #6
    This has happened to me too. Try deleting the previous backup manually by browsing to the location in the finder. Then do a manual backup. This has sometimes worked for me.
     
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #7
    that is completely odd. i guess its things like these that tell me its a good idea to backup mine manually. eheh.

    sorry, i cant think of any other ideas, im stumped.
     
  8. bugfaceuk thread starter macrumors 6502

    bugfaceuk

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    #8
    Sounds like a plan, should I delete the "Latest" folder also?
     
  9. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #9
    no keep that its just an alias which points to the folder which was last modified. takes up no space.
     
  10. bugfaceuk thread starter macrumors 6502

    bugfaceuk

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    #10
    OK, will do... here goes nothing!
     
  11. bugfaceuk thread starter macrumors 6502

    bugfaceuk

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2005
    #11
    Many thanks to all who posted assistance here, I followed the steps outlined below, and can now report success. Backup behavior is now correct, I've performed a trial restore to blank machine to confirm (after carbon copying the machine just in case).

    - Turned Time Machine Off
    - Deleted the "In Progress" file that was lurking in the backup directory
    - Deleted all the back-ups going back a week just to be sure, leaving the latest directory untouched
    - Emptied Trash (Option Click to delete locked files)
    - Turned Time Machine Back On

    Everyone should note, that this is not an Apple sanctioned process, and that your mileage may vary (including trashing your backups). I recommend using another solution like Carbon Copy until you can confirm that everything is OK.

    I've lost a week of back-ups, but I probably could have lost less if I had been prepared to actually do some digging to find out the exact day things went south.

    Once again, thanks for all the suggestions, symptoms fixed, would love to know what the cause was!
     

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