Time Machine backing up WHOLE drive EVERY time!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by shreddy, May 7, 2009.

  1. shreddy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi,

    I upgraded the hard drive in my MBP (4,1 Mar '08) this weekend from a stock 5400rpm 250Gb to a 7200rpm 320Gb WD Scorpio Black...

    I used Time Machine to restore the system onto the new drive - via a new 1Tb external drive which I first prepped for network use via my AEBS but hooked up via FW800 to do the first backup before upgrading the hard drive.

    Laptop is fine - everything pretty much seems as it was - but Time Machine isn't. Every backup appears to be of the full hard drive contents (have only excluded the Parallels folder)! My otherwise empty 1Tb drive now has nearly 300Gb of backups of a 140-150Gb disk!! Here's the du stats from inside the /Volumes/Backup of../Backups.backupsdb/..MacBook Pro :

    144080500 2009-05-03-000434
    142168476 2009-05-03-090644
    142754912 2009-05-03-093113
    35032544 2009-05-07-025139.inProgress]
    3rd May was when I did the hard drive update so it was already doing the full drive backup right away, I had originally thought it was something to do with swapping out the hard drive but that's not so. I haven't been able to complete a backup since as its also incredibly slow. Left the laptop plugged in overnight and it had only completed ~30Gb in about 5-6 hours - over FW800! The drive is OK - I can copy over large files and that goes super fast as you'd expect.

    Anyone seen anything like this? How do I resolve this? Ideally I'd like to keep at least the first backup from before the drive upgrade. Should I (can I?) move this onto another drive then reformat and start again?

    :confused:
     
  2. ltldrummerboy macrumors 68000

    ltldrummerboy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #2
    This sounds like quite a problem. Are you running 10.5.6?
     
  3. shreddy thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Yes, running 10.5.6, and all updates installed I believe.
     
  4. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Singapore
    #4
    hmm if you can cope with not having all your previous backups saved then you should probably format the hell out of that (zero out the data) and start backing up again.
     
  5. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #5
    That is the normal behaviour of Time Machine. Each single backup looks as if it is a complete hard drive. In reality, only changed or new or deleted files are actually stored on your backup drive. Try this: After the next backup, do a "backup now" in Time Capsule. And another one. And another one. You will find that you have what looks like three more 150 GB backups on your external drive, but they don't actually take up any space.

    Just saw you said you didn't manage to finish a complete backup: That's not good. When you interrupt a backup, Time Machine doesn't exactly know what's backed up, so the next time it checks your complete hard drive to find what needs backing up, and that takes ages, and you don't let it finish, so the next time you have the same problem again. Let it finish once. No matter how long it takes.
     
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #6
    yes thats true, you can still navigate the whole hard drive by choosing any hard drive - thats because they are all aliases to the original file.

    the WHOLE hard drive is backed up every month, virtually using up hundreds of gigabytes at a time. thus why i backup manually.
     
  7. shreddy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Hmm... well in that case surely the drive shouldn't be showing that 1/3 of it is full after 3 backups?! If the machine thinks there is that much stuff there and once it think its full... well it seems that there won't be much history in the backups! Or will finder start showing "-407Gb free" ;)

    It did finish the first three backups, before I did the upgrade. It hasn't managed to do a new backup since then, even overnight isn't enough time. I take the laptop out with me every day so I'll have to hook it up and see what happens at the weekend when I can leave it connected from Fri night to Mon morning.

    I still don't see why it its so slow - this is running over firewire 800 after all - and the first complete backup completed in some 4-5 hours! Why is the machine taking its sweet time now?! Roll on the weekend - I want to know what happens already! :p
     
  8. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #8
    its not that the hard drive/interface isnt slow. its that the computer has to check and store a database for each item. things like
    • date created
    • date modified
    • file size

    etcetc. that takes time to do, even on a fast MP you wont see it going very fast. it also runs as a low priority task so that would push it a bit down the cpu usage list.
     
  9. shreddy thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    I think I'll try and 'renice -20' on it too then - the backupd process, right?!
     
  10. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #10
    not sure what that is sorry :| unless your referring to the 'nice' priorities..
     
  11. shreddy thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Yes, just that - "renice -20 PID" should make that existing process the highest priority. Hopefully that might make things faster.
     
  12. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    Home
    #12
    Initial backup via ethernet, rather than wirelessly? Can help with the speed of Time Machine
     
  13. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #13
    You have Parallels

    The parallels VM shows up as one single file, so every time you change it (ever time you open it) Time Machine will back up the entire file again, thus eating your space like crazy.

    The solution is to exclude your parallels VM from the Time Machine backup and back it up manually.

    As for each backup looking like the full disk, this is normal and a trick of the file system, it is NOT backing up the entire disk each time.
     
  14. shreddy thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Not going via the network atm, plugged in directly to the drive via the firewire 800 port. As DoFoT9 pointed out, its probably slow due to building a database (although I thought that would be what it does whilst sat there "Initialising"?)
     
  15. shreddy thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    I think I mentioned I've excluded the Parallels folder? If I didn't say so, well, I have!

    And with the 'du' stats above, doesn't du exclude softlinks and counts hardlinks only once? So when it says it's using 330Gb or however much, then it really is, no? Or is there a better way to tell what the actual space used is?
     
  16. shreddy thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    Well, eveything seems back to normal! Plugged in the drive to the MBP on Friday night, upped the backupd process priority, and by Saturday morning it had finished doing the full backup. It's now happily doing incrementals over WiFi. Also the TM hard drive is still showing some 640Gb of 1Tb free - it hasn't changed significantly, which is interested, and what we'd expect. Still, I'd only really expect half that much to be used but hey if it keeps working, I'm happy!

    Thanks folks! Seems that if you have a painfully slow TM backup going then sudo renice -20 could be just the ticket! :)
     

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