Time Machine Backups

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by RdeLassus, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. RdeLassus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #1
    We're looking at getting an external USB HD (3-4TB) to attach to our home router. The plan was to split it into 4 partitions...

    1) My Time Machine Backup
    2) My Extra Storage Space
    3) Wife's Time Machine Backup
    4) Wife's Extra Storage Space

    Well... I never really thought about it until I was doing some reading yesterday. The Time Machine backups would be of our laptops, but what to do about the data on the "extra storage" partitions? I know you can include other drives in your Time Machine backups, but if it's on the same physical drive then that does me no good if the USB HD crashes. Does anyone else have a setup similar to this one? If so, what do you do about backing up your extra storage partitions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. BasicGreatGuy, Jan 6, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015

    BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    In the middle of several books.
    #2
    In my opinion, you (general use) need to have a backup of your backup drive, whatever that may be. Like you said, if the backup drive dies and you don't have it backed up elsewhere, you are out of luck.

    As an example, I have 2 3TB WD MyClouds connected to my router via ethernet. The first drive is used as the main backup. The second one is used as a backup of the first drive, in case it dies. Buying the two devices separate was cheaper than buying a WD Mirror, which is built to do what I am doing separately.

    I also have an external drive that I make a clone of my Mac with every night using Clear Copy Cloner. It is bootable.

    I also make it a habit to test my Time Machine backups from time to time, just to make sure all is working as it should. And if something fails when I need it, I have the CCC backup or the Time Machine.

    I also backup some files to OneDrive, since I have a subscription to Office 365. It gives me unlimited space. My only dislike of it is that the uploading process can be slow if not fickle at times, where I have to start over. I don't use that as much as the NAS, as I have a monthly cap with Comcast.

    Setting up WD MyCloud is easy and is compatible with Time Machine.

    For what you would pay buying 2 external drives, you could get a NAS, whether it be WD MyCioud or something else.

    Something to consider.
     
  3. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #3
    I second the above post - always have a backup of a backup. I tend to do three level backup via SuperDuper only - rotate 2 regularly and every month or so backup to the 3rd and put it away.
     
  4. RdeLassus thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #4
    Sooo... If we got a 4TB USB HD for extra storage and to backup our two 256GB rMPB's we would want to divide it up something like this?

    1) My Extra Storage Space (512GB)
    2) Wife's Extra Storage Space (512GB)
    3) My Time Machine Backup (1.5TB = 256GB laptop + 512GB USB HD x 2)
    4) Wife's Time Machine Backup (1.5TB = 256GB laptop + 512GB USB HD x 2)

    ... and then either backup the Time Machine partitions to another USB HD or online.

    Or does it make more sense to do something like this?

    1) My Extra Storage Space (1.5TB)
    2) Wife's Extra Storage Space (1.5TB)
    3) My Time Machine Backup (512GB = 256GB laptop x 2)
    4) Wife's Time Machine Backup (512GB = 256GB laptop x 2)

    ... and then duplicate the entire USB HD either to another USB HD or to online storage.

    Not sure which makes more sense??? If either???
     
  5. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #5
    I would do the latter. And where permissible, backup important individual files online as well.

    Whatever you do, be consistent. Otherwise, you could find yourself in a bind one day.

    One of the features I like about CCC is that you can set it up to email remind you about a backup, if you drive isn't always attached. It can also email you after successful backups. That is what I do for my external HD backup with CCC.
     
  6. RdeLassus thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #6
    Time Machine Backups

    Is it realistic to backup an entire 3-4TB USB HD to online storage? If so, what service would be a good bet and not cost an arm and a leg.?
     
  7. gc916 macrumors regular

    gc916

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    #7
    I think "realistic" is subjective, but for a viable option for large or small backups, you might consider Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3), using Arq as the backup app. I've been experimenting with this approach for a few weeks, and it works very well for me.
     
  8. mjohansen macrumors regular

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    Feb 19, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #8
    How do you test your Time Machine backup?
     
  9. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #9
    Reboot with Command +R and pick the Time Machine option. Then pick a day and time you want to restore the computer.

    In my opinion, it is good to test your Time Machine backup every so often. If there is a problem (corruption or won't load etc) with the Time Machine setup or file, you don't want to find out the hard way when you truly need it and can't restore, for whatever reason.
     
  10. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #10
    Depends on your internet connection. I have almost 2tb backed up to Crashplan on their unlimited family plan. It took a few months to get it done since I have a 300gb monthly limit on Cox. If you need to backup multiple machines the Crashplan plan is pretty good. It also allows me to access my backed up files from my iPad.

    I don't use a time capsule but I wouldn't partition it up so much since it reduces flexibility. Instead of two areas for your offline storage just have one with two folders, one for you and one for your wife. On my Mac Mini server I have just one backup volume for all backups.
     
  11. mjohansen macrumors regular

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    Feb 19, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #11
    When you pick a day and time you want to restore the computer, it will automatically test to see if the Time Machine backup is intact?
    You don't actually restore from the TM backup?
     
  12. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #12
    It goes through the restore process. I download a small file or create a document one day. And a few weeks to a month later, I will do a full restore to back to that point. That way, if I encounter a problem with the sparse bundle, I can address it, instead of being hit with a loss in a critical moment.

    I have read countless posts on here and elsewhere, where many people had no clue that their backup was corrupt or had some other problem until they needed access and couldn't get it.

    My method may sound a little over-the-top to some here. However, I rather do all I can to prevent unwanted surprises when it comes to my backups.
     
  13. RdeLassus thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #13
    Soooo... wouldn't you lose anything that's been done in the past month if you do a full restore back to that point?

    ----------

    Seems to me in this approach if you were to have a problem with the drive partition, you could potentially lose all data. However, if it were portioned into sections, you would only run the risk of losing that portion of data.
     
  14. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #14

    No.
     
  15. RdeLassus thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #15
    I guess I'm a little confused then... how do you avoid losing the past few weeks worth of data if you do a full restore back to the previous point? Do you then revert back to the current image?

    Forgive me if this is a simple question, I haven't been working on Macs, or Time Machine, all that long.
     

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