Time Machine Last Backup Date

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by mic j, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    My TM latest backup date says 2/27/17. Today is 3/1/17. So I was worried that my TM had not been backing up. When I enter TM, all backups for today (3/1) and yesterday (2/28) are there and accessible.

    Can anyone explain to me why my latest backup days says 2 days ago even though it has been backing up regularly?

    This is on one of my MPB's updated to Sierra.
  2. cruisin macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2014
    Perhaps it only shows the last full backup? Are you using the MBP a lot without it plugged in?

    What happens when you force a backup? Does it complete and change the date?
  3. mic j, Mar 1, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017

    mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    The MBP is used a lot not plugged in but the option to backup when on battery is checked. I will try the forced backup and see what happens. Thanks for the suggestions. I will post the result when I have it.

    Update: When I tried to force a backup, I got an error message that there was a verification problem and a new backup needed to be performed. Guess that explains a lot. It was really strange, when it would go to backup per normal schedule, I would not see the usual "preparing backup", "backing up xx of xxMB". It would just instantly happen and would create a page that could be accessed after entering TM. Could even open a document. So it looked like everything was working...guess not.
  4. Garsun macrumors regular


    Oct 20, 2009
    It is my understanding the Time Machine create two types of backups.
    They are represented by two different colors on the timeline. One of them is a copy created on the same disk drive as the original data and the other color is on the Time Machine backup disk drive.
    The local copie is useful for recovering files lost to human error and the remote copy is useful for longer-term recoveries as well as hardware failures of the local desk. If the removable disk is not available or damaged in someway I believe it still makes the local copies.
    Keep in mind that you can plug in a second time machine external disk and it will maintain a completely separate remote copy for you.
    In my case I keep two external disks.
    I alternate one external disk between my three home computers daily and the other external disk is kept offsite. Every fortnight or so I exchange the local and offsite disks. This maintains a nice reliable backup mostly against human error and the theft/fire of my family's home computers.

    In addition to this, I make a CCC backup every month or so that I also keep offsite. Recovering from CCC is much faster than recovering from Time Machine in the case of a hardware disk failure. The CCC backups alternate between three external disk drives that are petition for each of the home computers. The other nice thing about these backups is that they are bootable directly from the external drive.
    I keep all these at separate offsite locations some of which are out of state.
    So far I haven't lost any data in the last eight years using this mythology. Family photographs are probably the most important data being protected.
  5. mic j, Mar 2, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017

    mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    My system is basically the same as yours. I was not aware of two different colors on the timeline. I will have to look into that.

    Looking at my other MBP TM timeline (running El Capitan), I noticed that sometimes it does the expected hourly backup, but sometimes (like overnight) it skips 4-5hrs (my MBP is is set to never sleep and I keep it open all night), then sometimes it will make backups minutes (3-5) apart, then do few hourly, then a session of quick multiple ones again. I did not expect the interruption overnight or the quick multiple backups.

    Any idea if this is normal behavior or is this an indication of a problem?

    I notice in my TM Preferences that local snapshots are kept. Are those backups that occur every few minutes the local snapshots backups?

    Update: Is this a clue? When in TM, at the bottom of the Finder window there is a path sequence. The hourly backups say: Time Machine Backups>backups.backupdb. Some other Finder windows say: Mobilebackups>backups.backupdb
  6. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005

    It is called "local snapshots." What happens is when you empty the trash it actually moves that data to a hidden folder and you can retrieve it from that Time Machine interface. The article I linked explains more.
  7. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    Thanks for that link. Never knew that some TM backups were local and some were on the external TM drive. I always thought the local snapshots only occurred if the TM drive was not available. The MBP would make a snapshot and then when the TM drive became available, it would copy the snapshot to the TM drive and delete the local snapshot to save space. Thanks for clearing that up.

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6 March 1, 2017