Time Machine with Fusion/Parallels: Exclude Your VM!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by cavemonkey50, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. cavemonkey50 macrumors 6502

    Aug 9, 2007
    Allentown, PA
    I'd thought I share an important find with Time Machine. If you use VMWare Fusion or Parallels, it's important you exclude your Virtual Machines directory or some weird stuff can happen with Time Machine.

    First off, the slightest change (which basically means using a VM) causes Time Machine to rebackup the entire VM. So, if you use your VM once a day, every day Time Machine will backup the entire VM image, thus wasting valuable space on the Time Machine drive.

    Second, if Time Machine is backing up your VM when you try to use it, at least with Fusion, the entire VM session crashes. I'm not sure if the same thing occurs in Parallels or with the latest Fusion beta, but it's something to think of.

    Just thought I'd share my finds. Hope this helps someone.
  2. petvas macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    Thanks for the tip. I guess Time Machine wont be any good for Vms...
    Well, I have Chronosync and sync between my Macbook and iMac, so I dont really need Time Machine for all my files. I just have it enabled for the ability to go back in time and restore files.
  3. dborja macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2007
    Northern California
    Thanks! Good tip as I'm using VM Fusion. It does make sense that TM will try to back up VM every time you use it - since it does get "touched" each time...
  4. Fusecast macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2007
    How do I exclude Parallels VM

    How do I exclude Parallels Virtual Machines directory from Time machine? Where are the parallels Virtual Machine directories loccated on a mac?
  5. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    the vm is inside the parallels folder which is in your documents folder.
  6. GNice macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2007
    Yep...a few of us learned this the hard way and discussed awhile back. Backing up your VM will fill up your external HD VERY quickly.
  7. TexasiMac macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2007
    I just bought my iMac last week and have been learning everyday. I stumbled across this post and realized what a great idea it is to not back up the Parallels VM. I tried to exclude it and everything in my documents folder is grayed out. I have system folders and applications excluded, is this because those are already there why I cant exclude the VM in documents?

    Also, for the past week everything was being backed up and when I noticed how quickly my 400 gig was filling up is when I started excluding things. Since for a week everything backed up, now system and other things are not, if I have a crash, the system and everything will be backup until the day I started excluding right? I guess what I am asking is if I wanted to I could maybe on the first of each month go through and delete all my exclusions, let the computer do one full backup of everything, then go back and do my exclusions? That way at least I have a full backup each month?
    Does this make any sense?
  8. itickings macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2007
    If everything in your documents folder is grayed out, you probably excluded the documents folder completely.

    ...until the drive is full and TM removes the oldest items, or if it isn't the weekly backup that is kept.

    Makes no sense at all. TM only backs up modified and new files. If you don't install new applications or update Leopard, they won't be copied again after the first time. The reason one should exclude VMWare Fusion or Parallels VMs is that they are huge files which are modified basically every time VMWare or Parallels runs. That doesn't happen to normal applications or system files.

    I have the following in my exclusion list:
    2. VMs for Parallels
    3. Folder for things I currently work on which I don't want to consume my TM drive

    This keeps the free space on my TM drive extremely stable. It only decreases when I install new applications, system updates or add/modify documents, and the decrease is of course the same size as the new application or whatever the change was...

    If you run out of TM space quickly, use Spotlight or a smart folder to find files matching "Last modified date is within last 1 days". That should give you a hint about what to exclude.
  9. Fuzzbear macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2008
    Illinois, USA
    Ok, now that the VMware fusion Beta is out, and fusion is now getting backed up with time machine again, can anyone help me locate the files im supposed to exclude.

    According to all the searching ive done people say i should exclude the following directory

    ~/Documents/Virtual machines

    The problem is that the "Virtual Machine(s)" folder everyone is talking about doesnt exist on my machine. Is this because im accessing my bootcamp partition instead of an actual VM? time machine was makeing a 7GB backup as soon as i had Fusion up and running.
  10. fa.ce macrumors 6502

    Oct 8, 2006
    Do you use Chronosync to sync also Vmware Fusion large files ?

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