Time Machine Backup Question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Bart H, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. Bart H macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    #1
    I am fairly new to using my iMac and have been backing up weekly to an external HD via Time Machine.

    I am thinking of getting a 32G USB stick to be able to take a copy of my most recent Time Machine file with me when away from home as off site security. My TM files have been averaging 20G. This would be an alternative to a facility like Dropbox. I would plan to copy from my TM HD onto the USB stick following each backup.

    Can anyone see any fault in my scheme? In the event of a data loss I realize I would have to copy by hand instead of using TM.

    Thanks,
    Bart
     
  2. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Yes, for starters, a human is involved.

    /Jim
     
  3. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #3
    The average 20GB Time Machine backups you are seeing are only the "incremental changes" your computer has seen since the last backup ... it is not the whole backup (which is accumulated on the backup disk). Thus, it is not likely that capturing a single one of them on a USB flash drive is going to be of much use to you in the event of a problem while away from the backup disk.

    However, if your entire system image is less than 20GB (pretty small!), then you could make a bootable "emergency" USB drive which would get you going again (although slowly). You can use Disk Utility to create this, or a cloning program such as CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner) or others.

    For maximum protection when using Time Machine, you should just leave it enabled all the time so it can perform hourly incremental backups which only take a few minutes, rather than waiting a full week to activate TM for your backup.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #4
    Using multiple disks with one offsite is a good idea, but I would implement differently. Time Machine can make multiple disk backups since Lion. I would make one backup to your external drive like you are now for home, then a second Time Machine backup to the USB key to take offsite. This way when you bring the USB key back home to update it, all Time Machine would need to do is copy over the updated/changed files and not the whole 20GB. Much faster.
     
  5. uptownnyc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    #5
    Take a look at Crashplan. You can either pay for their hosted offsite storage, or if you have a family member or friend you can either give them a drive to backup to, or just take some space on one of their remote drives for your off-site backup. It operates in the background, and works very very well. If you use a friend or family's space you don't need to pay for the service, and you can fully encrypt the contents so nobody can poke into your data.
     
  6. Bart H thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    #6
    Time Machine Backup Question

    HFG: My TM update files are far smaller. I did a get info on the whole file to come up with 20G. I only use the computer for email, reading blogs and news, and some Word work. I don't have the need to run my external HD 24/7.

    Weasel: Thanks. I am on Snow Leopard but plan to upgrade to ML over Christmas.

    NYC: Thanks for the tip on Crashplan

    Thanks again to all,
    Bart
     
  7. mchoffa macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    #7
    A small ultra portable external 500GB drive is what I use for off site. It fits in my pocket (about the size of a 2008 smartphone). You can probably get the same type in 1TB now. I back up to this drive every couple weeks.
     
  8. Bart H thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    #8
    Time Machine Backup Question

    Well, I went ahead and purchased a 32GB stick, but when I tried to copy across to the stick from my Time Machine backup HD it said the new stick was not in the correct format.

    The stick came with software which I installed, but did not call. Should I have done that?

    I am still on Snow Leopard. Do I need to upgrade to Lion/Mt Lion in order to in a way to support multiple TM drives, or is there some way to format the USB stick to accommodate the copied TM file? I am thinking about upgrading over the holidays.

    Thanks,
    Bart
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    You should not need to install anything from the USB drive. Just format the USB key to Mac OS Extended in Disk Utility then it will work.

    You will need Lion or Mountain Lion to do actual multi-destination Time Machine backups. But even with Snow Leopard you can still just manually copy the Time Machine backup to the USB key like you mentioned.
     
  10. spinstorm macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    #10
    I need help with Time Machine.

    I ordered a new 27" iMac and I want to back up my HD using an external 2TB drive but it gets to around 300GB and then freezes.

    My iMac is effected by the faulty drive problem so I am entitled to a change but I want to back up first.

    Any ideas?
     
  11. TwoBytes macrumors 68020

    TwoBytes

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #11
    +1

    A whole system backup faster and portable
     
  12. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #12
    If you are only using the flash drive with OS X, then definitely format it before using it. Some thumb drives, Sandisk "Cruzer" I think, have some programs on them which are protected and can't be deleted, even with repartition and reformat. Not only does it take up flash space, it also mounts an extra disk on the desktop whenever you plug it in to use it. You can go to their web site and download a utility to remove the offending software package.
     
  13. MatthewAMEL macrumors 6502

    MatthewAMEL

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #13
    Time Machine will only backup disks that are locally attached and in HFS+ format.

    You need to use Disk Utility to format your stick.

    BTW- the memory used in USB sticks is notoriously unreliable. Make sure your data is in another location.

    Use the 3-2-1 rule for data.

    I also recommend Crashplan. No user input required.
     
  14. Bart H thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    #14
    Time Machine Backup Question

    Weaselboy:

    Thanks. I think I successfully formatted the USB stick, but now when I try to copy it says "Wrong case sensitivity"

    What should I do next, please?
     
  15. MatthewAMEL macrumors 6502

    MatthewAMEL

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #15
    Sounds like you formatted your stick as 'case sensitive'.

    Reformat it as HFS+ (journaled, case-insensitive).
     
  16. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #16
    Did you format the USB as case-sensitive? You should format the plain Mac OS Extended (the first choice in the Disk Util drop down. It should not be case-sensitive.

    I'm wondering... did you by chance format the original TM external as case sensitive and now the USB needs case sensitive? Pop the TM disk in and look at it in Disk Util to see what format it is.
     
  17. Bart H thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    #17

Share This Page