Time Machine Problem - Now for something completely different...

Discussion in 'macOS' started by hob, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. hob macrumors 68020

    hob

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Hi all,

    I'm having a rather unusual time with Time Machine - it's worked perfectly since I did a clean install on my iMac a week or so ago.

    I have 250GB internal drive and 465(a.k.a 500)GB external. Right now, I have a weeks worth of backups. Except for today, when Leopard threw up a message saying that there wasn't enough room on my external to do the backup - it wanted to backup 126GB of data.... this seems a little odd to me...

    Looking at the time machine backup folders, the first is about 129GB and other ones seem to be all sorts of sizes... but there's only 40GB left on the drive now, and all I've done is install a few big applications like Motion and Reason since the initial backup was done...

    Anyone got any ideas as to why it needs to make such a large backup, and where all my free space has gone?! Noone seems to have come across this on the Apple boards...
     
  2. iEdd macrumors 68000

    iEdd

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
    I have no idea, but mine's doing the same thing. It makes me wonder why it's suddenly too retarded to delete old backups to make room. :( I had one "3GB are needed, but only 4.9GB are available", which was odd. Now it keeps trying to put 21GB into an 11GB space and failing, saying I should uncheck things to be backed up. I just wonder why it isn't deleting. It used to. :confused:
     
  3. hob thread starter macrumors 68020

    hob

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    I'm totally perplexed. When did this start for you? Today?
     
  4. Peace macrumors P6

    Peace

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    #4
    Have you been backing up all of your hard drive? System,Apps etc?

    What I do is backup the whole drive first so I have a snapshot of my OS etc.
    After that I exclude the system and apps.What that does is backup all my documents,movies and music.Saves a lot of space.

    Every once in a while I will back up the whole system again.Then go back to just docs etc.
     
  5. IzzyJG99 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    #5
    Budddy of mine ran into this problem. It seems Time Machine wants to copy not just what's on the boot drive but any other internal drives! They need to make a better preference pane for a selection of waht you want backed up and not backed up.
     
  6. iEdd macrumors 68000

    iEdd

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    No, a few days ago actually.

    EDIT: The most annoying thing about time machine is that there are basically no settings. I just want say, one backup a day, not 24.
     
  7. Nugget macrumors 65816

    Nugget

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    Houston Texas USA
    #7
    With Time Machine it's not necessary to put yourself through all this hassle. Time Machine backups are differential backups -- they'll only take up as much space as they need in order to cover the files that have changed. If your system directories haven't changed then your Time Machine backups will not be any larger because it doesn't need to back up those files and directories. You're not really saving any space at all for all that effort and energy.

    You should also wrap your head around the fact that Time Machine is going to completely fill up the drive you've told it to use. When you pick a partition for Time Machine to use it's not yours any more. It belongs to the OS. It's only a matter of time before the volume will be completely full. The larger the drive is, the farther back your backup histories will go, but there's no circumstance where you'll have free space on the volume after Time Machine has had time to do its stuff.

    That said, there are applications (like vmware/parallels/virtual pc) that create gigantic files which can cause Time Machine to prematurely fill up that drive and in the long term will severely limit the amount of history you're able to retain. If you have applications that create giant, monolithic files that undergo a lot of churn and change you should definitely consider excluding those directories from Time Machine in order to maximize the utility you get.

    vmware/parallels/virtual pc, or temporary directories used by your P2P app when you're stealing movies off the internet are common culprits.

    There's certainly no good reason to exclude the relatively static Applications and system directories from time machine, though.
     
  8. John Musbach macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    #8
    I've heard of this, it seems that Time Machine in some cases gives such a message because it's checking that there will be enough space for future backups and it uses the total size of your main drive as the measurement source
     
  9. hob thread starter macrumors 68020

    hob

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    I've given it 500 gigs, I had already "wrapped my head" around that fact...

    It doesn't seem to be acting incrementally, it seems to be re-adding entire files all over again...

    Also, I'm sure this has already been discussed ad naseum, but I think it's stupid that you can't specify files for backup, as opposed to just excluding them - I'd like to pick one or two folders here or there, rather than having to exclude bits on a drive - and then remembering to exclude anything I add that doesn't need backing up...

    Harumph.
     
  10. jbardi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    #10
    You are missing the whole point of Time Machine. It is ONE type of backup solution, not THE backup solution. It is not designed to backup one or two folders, as there are a plethora of applications for Mac on the market for backups such as that, in fact, you can automate it yourself with an AppleScript or Automator Workflow.

    Time Machine is a SYSTEM backup, not an individual folder backup. Use the right tool for the right job instead of complaining about why a screwdriver doesn't make a good hammer, if you get my point.
     
  11. hob thread starter macrumors 68020

    hob

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
    Point taken - just seems to me they could've made it far more customisable...!
     
  12. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816

    Virgil-TB2

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #12
    I have nothing to add to the bickering about customisability, but one reason for running out of space not yet mentioned is the fact that Time Machine backs up files that have *changed* since the last backup. Therefore you want to exclude all the very large files that change on a regular or frequent basis.

    In practice this means video scratch disks and anyone using (that POS), MS Entourage. An Entourage database can easily get over a Gig and backing that up on a daily basis can fill up a Time Machine drive very quickly indeed. Same goes for any large, large files that change like Video projects etc.
     
  13. iEdd macrumors 68000

    iEdd

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #13
    The only thing I want to customise is the frequency of backups. Daily would be nice, I don't do anything that important, needing hourly backups.

    Other than that, TM is perfect. You give it a partition as big or small as you like and it smart updates it to have a complete backup on any given hour by piecing it together when you view it.
     

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