Time Machine / Multiple Drive Question

Discussion in 'macOS' started by kirkbross, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. kirkbross macrumors 6502a

    kirkbross

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    I'm about to buy a Mac Pro and I'm wondering...

    Can Time Machine back up data from multiple working drives to a single, massive Time Machine drive, or does it require an equal number of partitions or drives dedicated to Time Machine?

    And / or, can you get tricky with Time machine and have it back up different drives to different Time Machine drives or volumes according to a custom config of the user's choosing?
     
  2. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2003
    Location:
    /usr/local/apps/nag
    #2
    You can set what it will and won't backup in the options panel in the time machine system preferences panel. So yeah, you can back up a lot of drives to a single backup drive, I believe. (I have it set up to not backup an external, for instance.)
     
  3. kirkbross thread starter macrumors 6502a

    kirkbross

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    I'll have these drives:

    150GB Raptor -- OS and Apps (mainly Pro Tools)
    150GB Raptor -- audio
    320 Stock drive -- misc storage
    1TB Seagate -- Time machine

    I'll want to back everything up and was wondering if Time Machine backs everything up using its own system of organization [or] does it literally create clones of all new data.

    I should probably watch a tutorial on Time Machine or just wait until I get my Mac Pro in a few weeks.
     
  4. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #4
    It clones the organization, all under a directory whose name depends on the date and time of the backup.
     
  5. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #5
    On the backup drive, TM creates the following folder structure:

    Backups.backupdb ->
    -----computername-folder ->
    ----------datestamped-folder ->
    ---------------harddrive1-folder
    ---------------harddrive2-folder
    ---------------harddrive3-folder
    ---------------harddrive4-folder

    This also goes into it:
    http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/mac-os-x-10-5.ars/14

    -Kevin
     
  6. bilbo--baggins macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Is there any way Time Machine can backup * to * multiple hard drives? eg. in a Mac Pro you can fit at least 4 hard drives - it's not going to be difficult to have too much data to fit on 1 x 1TB drive (especially if you want to keep old backups for a long time).

    One solution could be to do a software RAID 0 of 2 x 1TB drives - but that would be risky for a backup solution. I'm not even sure if Time Machine supports software RAIDS?

    Presumably the only way around this (other than an external hardware RAID solution?) would be to exclude some stuff and have it backed up separately with a different backup application?
     
  7. keeganxt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #7
    Hate to bring a thread back from the dead, but I can't seem to find an answer to this anywhere.

    So like this thread, I've found from many sources that say you can indeed backup multiple drives on a machine to one single time machine backup. But how does the recovery take place when the time comes?

    I've found one thread asking the question on another forum but no responses. The guy stated that when one of your "media" drives, other than your system drives dies, he tried to recover data from the time machine back to the system drive and could not figure out a way to do so.

    So what do you do if this happens, do you have to purchase a new internal "media" drive, name it the exact same way and then open up time machine and bring back all the media?

    Is there some kind of tool to bring back the entire "media" drive? Similar to how you would reboot the machine with the OSX disc and recover from the time machine backup of the system drive.

    Anyone with any ideas or experience with this? Thanks ahead of time!
     
  8. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #8
    I have experience backing up to multiple destination drives and I while I haven't done it yet, I have reason to believe backing up multiple drives and restoring to them should work just fine.

    Underneath, OS X is Unix. Everything you have mounted is represented by a path that starts with / on Macintosh HD. For instance, a folder called Photos on an external drive called Biggie would look like /Volumes/Biggie/Photos. Even a network drive called NetPix would show up as /Volumes/NetPix when mounted. This means that when you restore, the data TM backed up from Biggie should go back there as long as Biggie is mounted when you are doing the restore. Please note that by default, TM does not back up external drives. I recommend "cherry picking" folders you care about on external drives so TM doesn't back up stuff you don't really need. This is part of the reason / doesn't get backed up. If / got backed up, then everything shown in /Volumes would get backed up by default, which is not desirable 99.9 percent of the time.

    Unfortunately, the story is murkier for backing up TO different destinations. I back up to 3 destinations. I back up to a LaCie firewire drive, a Western Digital usb drive and a Time Capsule. Every time I want to change destination I must turn TM off, go in system preferences and pick the new destination and turn TM back on again.
     
  9. keeganxt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #9
    I'm concerned with working with internal drives...if one of our internal media drives on a mac pro dies and using your theory, we should just have to reinstall a replacement drive, name the volume the same as the last one and then what? What is the process to get just that media? Can I access just that volume from the time machine backup and drag and drop it over or do I have to do a full system restore basically rebuilding every drive on the machine (system, media 1, media 2, etc) from the time machine backup?
     
  10. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #10
    Hold on a sec. I'm not saying you can simply restore from a TM backup and bring everything back because I've never done it exactly that way. While I have every reason to believe it should work, I just don't know from experience.

    When I replaced the 160 GB HDD in my Macbook with a 500 GB SSD/7200 RPM "hybrid", I turned off backing up to the Time Capsule and ran a backup to my external firewire drive. I then popped in the new HDD and during the OS X install I told it to migrate from the TM backup on that drive. This means I never really tried a restore from a TM backup, only a migration. Everything came back with the exception of mail.app which I had to "start over" by deleting 10 gig of downloaded email and let it re-download it all again.

    I then noticed it was TM to back everything up again so I shut down TM, went out and renamed my old sparsebundles so TM couldn't find them and it created new ones for subsequent backups. If I want something back from one of the old TM backups, I can get to it using "show package contents" in finder. What is more likely is I will simply delete the old backups and forget about it. You have to turn off Time Machine and then mount the volume you would normally back up to. Then you browse to the file containing all your backups and after picking "show package contents" you see a lot of folders with dates and you can drag and drop files out to your heart's content.

    I should also mention that I also use crashplan. It allows me (if I want to) to back up any connected drive to an off site server. I prefer not to send terabytes of stuff so I only back up the stuff I would need to get back if an asteroid took out our subdivision. Movies and music are not included but I'm still "in the market" for a way to back up roughly 200 Gig of photos and about 100 Gig of home movies. I'll probably just throw them on a usb disk and keep it over at a friend's house.
     
  11. 63dot, Jun 15, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011

    63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #11
    Time machine isn't bad, but it's still a gimmick compared to manually backing up material or professional backup software or services (which can be very costly by comparison for some users).

    As a computer tech for individuals all the way up to large companies over the years, businesses that have to absolutely rely on their backups won't trust it to user level software like time machine. While it may be good, time machine does goof from time to time, not unlike a lot of stuff in MS Windows.

    I think where Apple dropped the ball past Tiger was when they tried to get too fancy with time machine. I have people do backups manually, or to a schedule back onto exterior hard drives (USB or firewire) and it's the only safe way to cheaply back up data. When it fills up, buy more hard drives or dump info from past you know is useless.

    Whatever you do, if it's very important information like financials if you run a small business, don't trust a cute little Apple like time machine if you are running a business or are doing an important research project. If it's for fun stuff not as important or time sensitive, time machine is OK. If you have questions, PM me.

    Another great resource (five or ten dollars a month) is having online backup without too many bells and whistles.

    Also Google all the problems that can, and have, occurred with time machine. Doing too much too often with time machine is akin to having somebody try and make a full length Hollywood movie on iMovie and use a five year old iMac.

    Anyway, this link below about time machine is kind of funny but something all us professional techs run into with time machine, but also with other choice things like (old USB hubs, Windows ME and Vista, Windows "security" deemed useful by Microsoft, numerous Dell products, etc. ;) )

    http://adam.merrifield.ca/2007/11/30/time-machine-a-giant-leap-backward/
     

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