Time Machine seems useless if you have a Macbook

Discussion in 'macOS' started by zub3qin, Nov 3, 2007.

  1. zub3qin macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    I have a Macbook and installed Leopard last weekend.
    Time Machine is great in concept, but I almost never "dock" my Macbook on my desk to the HD. Thus Time Machine is probably useless for me.

    1) Does the Macbook have to be attached to the HD when you delete a file, for it to be in Time Machine? In other words, can I be on my Macbook in Starbucks, delete 3 files, and then that evening hook up to my HD... will Time Machine put those 3 deleted files in its database somehow?

    If not, Time Machine is kind of useless for laptop owners. It becomes identical to any other backup system I had with Tiger- in that it only backs up when I think to hook up to the external HD.

    How are others with laptops using Time Machine?

    Anyone think wireless Time Machine (what was originally promised) is still coming, or is that not going to happen?

  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    It will track all changes that occurred while "mobile", then create an incremental backup which will reflect those changes. So, yes, if you go to the directory (using Time Machine) that the files were deleted from, they won't be there - but only from that point forward.
  3. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    I just connect my MBP to my firewire HD once per day (usually for an hour or so first thing in the morning). Time Machine catches up with it's backups then. Personally I find that it works fine for me, but I guess it depends on how you use your computer
  4. CavemanUK macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2006
    Rhyl, North Wales
    Time Machine basically makes periodic snapshots of your system. It doesnt track changes as such. So basically if you do a load of stuff while mobile and plug it into the external drive. Time machine makes a backup of what the machine is like at that point only... if you went to starbucks.. created a file, sat in starbucks for 5 hours and then deleted the file, then Time Machine would have no record of that file ever existing.
  5. mags631 Guest

    Mar 6, 2007
    From Apple's web site, specifically the Time Machine feature page (link):
  6. CavemanUK macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2006
    Rhyl, North Wales
    This is fine. This means you would have 1 (maybe 2) entries per day for time machine.
  7. Arkanok macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2007
    Actually, I have a question relating to this topic too.

    Since time machine does its thing once every hour, lets say I'm using it away from home, and at some point between that 1 hour, a file is created, then deleted almost immediately; before Time Machine even has a chance to take the snapshot. Will that file be recorded, or will it not be, considdering that it didn't even do its snapshot?
  8. Draddy macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2007
    you don't understand the concept of backing up....

    It isn't "saving deleted files" ... it's "smart backing up" your entire computer... TM puts your WHOLE computer on the harddrive, and tracks when certain files were modified/deleted.

    so as long as the file was there before your last backup to time machine, you can delete whatever you want and it'll be there.
  9. aLoC macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2006
    No, there won't be a backup of that file that only existed for a few seconds.

    And Apple's own quote about it remembering which files have changed is not quite accurate either. How it works is, as you work on your computer, Leopard keeps a log of what *folders* you change.

    When Time Machine next runs it looks at Leopard's log of changed folders, and compares them to the folders in the last successful backup, and makes a copy of any new or modified files in them.
  10. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    There is no need to "plug the external hd into the computer for an hour every day". Just plug the HD in when you feel like it, right click (or click and hold) on the TM icon in the dock, and select "Back up now". The incremental changes will save to the external drive and then you can detach the drive and move on with your life. I didn't see any mention of this in the help or docs, but it is there and is exactly what I need for my Macbook Pro.
  11. zub3qin thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1C28 Safari/419.3)

    but how is this different than any other backup program you may have used prior to time machine? plug in the drive, run the program, and do the backup. Why is time machine better for laptops?
  12. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2007
    Bristol, England
    It's advantage for laptops over say carbon copy cloner is that it already knows which files to back up[1], where CCC polls the entire drive and copies changes. This means a backup takes only a few minutes (depending on amount of data changed).
    It's also integrated into the system, more user friendly etc.

    [1] a daemon runs in the background logging all directory changes, this is new in leopard. Time machine looks at the log this creates and simply backs up changes made in the log since last time it looked.
  13. saltyzoo macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2007
    If you unplug your TM drive and create a file then plug it back in and the backup occurs, you will get a backup of your file.

    However, if you unplug your TM drive, create a file, then delete it, and then plug in the dive and a backup occurs, you will NOT get a backup of your file.

    I use it with my MBP. Even a daily or weekly backup (vs hourly) is a whole lot better than no backup at all.

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