time machine - just discovered a little practical problem.....

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by maya90, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. maya90 macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2011

    I have a huge external HD for the back-up (2 TB)
    I know that to make room for new backups it removes the oldest files and folders..

    however, this becomes a problem when it removes stuff you backed up a long time ago, that you then no longer have in the back-up drive (or in your computer, because you don't have room for it..) oooooppps....;-)

    is there a way to protect files & foldes from being removed by the Time Machine backup drive?

    thank you....
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Short of just keeping a copy somewhere else, no. That is just how TM works. When the backup drive starts getting full it will begin to purge off the oldest data.
  3. maya90 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2011
  4. tomnavratil macrumors 6502a


    Oct 2, 2013
    Litovel, Czech Republic
    Nevertheless you should also back-up your important stuff off-site / cloud so I guess you can copy files over to a pen drive and store it somewhere safe in case you ever need it.
  5. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    I would get a 2 TB Western Digital external drive from Amazon for pictures and important data.
  6. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Blah... WD use their god-awful Caviar Green drives in their consumer grade desktop external drives.

    I would suggest Toshiba or HGST over WD in this instance.
  7. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    TM should be considered a BACKUP and not an ARCHIVE. There's a difference. Removing files from your main storage drive and expecting them to be in TM is considering it an archive, something it isn't.

    As someone else suggested, keep multiple copies of the files on other drives or in other locations if you want to archive and remove them from your main system. I stress the MULTIPLE COPIES, only one puts the file at risk of loss due to disk failure or destruction.
  8. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    Yeah you could insert anything for WD. My point was any external drive.

    I have a 1 TB WD btw, and I don't have any problems. I like it very much. But then again I've never used anything else.
  9. wct097 macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2010
    Agreed. If you care about your data, you'll have two backups using different "media" and stored in different places. I use a combination of Time Machine, Carbonite, Dropbox, and SVN (with mirrored repositories) to keep my Mac and PC data backed up.

    That said, while someone already mentioned it.... the OP needs a backup and an archive.
  10. charea macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2015
    Why would you delete a file you need? This is very dangerous. A backup is a copy of what you have now, not what you had.
  11. Alameda macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2012
    Sure. Just copy those files to your Time Machine drive using the Finder, then Trash them from your internal drive. Then it's a file on your external drive, and not part of your Time Machine backup.
  12. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    Agree. A backup isn't a true backup unless you can recover from any eventuality. All of my most important and irreplaceable data is backed up using TM and Crash-Plan. I don't back up EVERYTHING to CrashPlan, but photographs that I can never take again ARE backed up there. If my Mac AND my TM drive are both lost to fire, I can sign in to my CrashPlan account and get my pictures and critical data back.
  13. Agent-P macrumors 68030


    Dec 5, 2009
    The Tri-State Area
    Why not partition your hard drive so that one partition is only used for Time Machine backups and the other partition is used solely for storing files and such? That's what I've done with my 1TB drive. One part is for Time Machine and the rest is in exFAT so I can transfer files between OS X and Windows. This way when the Time Machine partition gets full it will only delete older Time Machine backups and not touch the files on the other partition.
  14. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2011
    Southern Cal
    What happens when the time machine dies? You really need 2 copies somewhere, and an offsite backup for the most critical, non-replace items like family photos, etc.
  15. totten76 macrumors regular


    Mar 12, 2015
    Gosh how do you guys use up so much memory?? It's amazing....2 TB is a lot of anything. But honestly how often do you look at the things from the very beginning of your backups? 2 TB doesn't just take a few months to fill....at least don't think it does :eek:
  16. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    One word ... "Versioning". Because of this, I recommend using the largest TM drive that you can afford.

    Also, TM doesn't just backup user data, and it doesn't just save a single version of files either. While keeping that in mind, user data aside, we are at Yosemite 10.10.2 right now. That's two rather large updates that have been pushed out to users since 10.10 was released (i.e.: three versions, so far, of the files that have been changed since 10.10's initial release.) Things will continue down that path. This is not including those users that have been using TM since earlier releases of OS X.

    When you consider all of that, I would be actually more surprised if people never filled up a 2TB TM volume.

    Rule of thumb = If you have a TM volume, it will fill up. The question is "when" that will happen, not "if".


    Hourly backups = Kept for 24 hours (get overwritten every time 24 hours passes)
    Daily Backups = Kept for a month (get overwritten every time a month
    Weekly Backups = Kept forever, or until you run out of disk space on your TM volume.
  17. bits macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2015
    Wrong. If you store your data on TM by Finder, when your TM is full it will never touch your stored files - it will only delete first (older) backup.
    FAT can be useful to transfer files between PC and Mac.

    TM make sense when you have all your data on OS X and just back up on TM.

    For home use I have Time Capsule 3 TB to fresh back up all data form computers; 750 GB USB 3.0 drive to backup after something important - every 0,5-3 months; 1 TB USB 2.0 drive to back up data after fresh install with my apps and all configurations (then after every 3-12 months) and additionally important data in the cloud.
    In this way I can keep the capacity and never lose all data.
    Connect drive 24/7 is the best way to faster destroy it, so I prefer 3 separate drives from different companies and use 2 from time to time. Drives have their life - calculated on the number of hours of work and it's called MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure). Therefore I don't recommended to have all back up drives connected all the time and most important - never buy 2 drives of the same company and with the same series.
    My friend have RAID 1, yeeeah super safety? No, they were of the same series, have worked together all the time and have failed at the same time...

    Yes, I had a lesson. About 15 years ago, my drive broke down with ~20 GB data, but not very important (for grater part I had a copies).
  18. Agent-P macrumors 68030


    Dec 5, 2009
    The Tri-State Area
    Isn't that what I said? I reread my post a few times to make sure I didn't mistype something that would change the meaning. That's the point I was getting at though.

    The latter part of your post also brings up a good point about multiple external hard drives and not leaving them plugged in. I'm the same way, though I don't have quite that many externals at my disposal.
  19. bits macrumors member

    Mar 18, 2015
    You wrote that someone need to have 2 partitions that TM did not touch your stored files - you just need one.
    Of course excluding your case with Windows. If you have only devices that can get to this partition, use one partition.

    I wrote this because someone might think that having one partition TM will remove other files on this partition when there is no space for new back up. TM removes only the old back up, do not touch other files stored on the same partition.

    By the way, for example you have 1 partition 1 tb:
    TM - 800 gb
    other files - 200 gb

    Or with 2 partitions 500 gb:
    TM - 500 gb
    other files - 200 gb

    In the second case, you have 200 gb of free space... and your first partition 500 gb is full and TM removes older copies. This is not optimal ;)
  20. Agent-P macrumors 68030


    Dec 5, 2009
    The Tri-State Area
    Ooohhh, I see where you're coming from. Yeah, that can be a little ambiguous. If I didn't use Windows regularly then I would just keep 1 partition for simplicity.

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