Timemachine Duplicates?

MBX

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 14, 2006
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383
Hi

My mail inbox & sent file are together about 3gb. Now i assume that everytime few more emails are mb's are added to these inbox & sent files, timemachine will backup a new version of these files.
after a few weeks i might have 10 x 3gb of unecessary duplicates.

It's a pity that apple didn't include some more options like "backup this file only every 10th time" or "backup and replace same file" for particular files.

What do you suggest?
 

MBX

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 14, 2006
1,799
383
Replaces?

How then is it possible to retrieve the file as a different version from a different time then as previously promoted/ described by apple?

Like: timemachine backups an image today. 2 day later i take the image and apply a stupid filter in photoshop and save it down. timemachine backs it up.
but then i want to retrieve the previous image and you say it's not possible because it was replaced?
 

saltyzoo

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2007
1,065
0
I think the OP has it accurate.

There's not much you can do short of managing your folders more to keep them from getting so big.
 

projectle

macrumors 6502a
Oct 11, 2005
513
36
If you are using Entourage, then you are absolutely right that you will have 10 copies of your 3GB mailbox.

If you are using a client like Apple's Mail App, Opera or Thunderbird, when a backup is performed, it will add the new messages to your existing messages through hard linking on the filesystem. In this case, it will only add the few KB of the additional messages of each e-mail.
 

Peace

macrumors Core
Apr 1, 2005
19,546
4,206
Space--The ONLY Frontier
If you are using Entourage, then you are absolutely right that you will have 10 copies of your 3GB mailbox.

If you are using a client like Apple's Mail App, Opera or Thunderbird, when a backup is performed, it will add the new messages to your existing messages through hard linking on the filesystem. In this case, it will only add the few KB of the additional messages of each e-mail.


I'm wrong and this post is correct.
 

MBX

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 14, 2006
1,799
383
If you are using Entourage, then you are absolutely right that you will have 10 copies of your 3GB mailbox.

If you are using a client like Apple's Mail App, Opera or Thunderbird, when a backup is performed, it will add the new messages to your existing messages through hard linking on the filesystem. In this case, it will only add the few KB of the additional messages of each e-mail.
oh cool then, i use thunderbird so i'm glad to hear that it's linked like that.
 

Virgil-TB2

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2007
1,143
1
oh cool then, i use thunderbird so i'm glad to hear that it's linked like that.
The issue is that pretty much everyone on the planet *except* Microsoft uses the Unix convention of files and folders for mail.

In Entourage, MS puts everything into one big database which if it fails, screws up *all* your mail. The giant database is also why it takes forever to import/export or save/move an Entourage installation.

The only real solution is to exclude Entourage from the backup, which is a delicious irony in that if Entourage doesn't change soon, it won't be used on Apple computers much at all! Faced with all the excellent choices out there, why would any Apple user choose the only mail program that cannot be reasonably backed up by the system? :D
 

MBX

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 14, 2006
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383
i just did a tm-backup again today and i see it did actually duplicate my thunderbird account. again 3gb instead of just adding the recent emails since last time.

any idea why?
 

netnothing

macrumors 68040
Mar 13, 2007
3,674
304
NH
i just did a tm-backup again today and i see it did actually duplicate my thunderbird account. again 3gb instead of just adding the recent emails since last time.

any idea why?

If you go into Finder and look at the dates on the folders and files for your Thunderbird profile, are they changed?

-Kevin
 

MBX

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 14, 2006
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If you go into Finder and look at the dates on the folders and files for your Thunderbird profile, are they changed?

-Kevin
you mean local harddrive or timemachine-harddrive?
 

yippy

macrumors 68020
Mar 14, 2004
2,087
3
Chicago, IL
Does Thunderbird have individual files for each email or one big email file?

When you say it duplicated the 3Gb, how did you confirm this? By checking the free space before and after the backup or by checking the size of the mail folder in the latest backup.

If the later, it is NOT accurate. Time machine "hard links" files so the same file appears in each backup without being an alias but only the space for one copy of that file is taken up. So just because the folder is 3Gb does not in any way mean that TM re-copied all 3 of those gigabits into the backup.
 

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Mar 31, 2004
2,715
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A geographical oddity
The following sections of the ars review of Leopard explains, extremely well, how all this works (if I understand your duplication concern).

Time Machine
FSEvents

The quick summary is that it looks like there are duplicates, but the apparent duplicates all point to one file.
 

MBX

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 14, 2006
1,799
383
Does Thunderbird have individual files for each email or one big email file?
yes it's a big inbox and a big sent file only (no individual files for each emails)
 

MBX

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 14, 2006
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383
oh by the way, does anybody know if timemachine also backs up contents that are in trash?

i tried to find the "trash" to put it in the "exclude" but couldn't find.
 

Cattywampus_

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2006
511
21
The following sections of the ars review of Leopard explains, extremely well, how all this works (if I understand your duplication concern).

Time Machine
FSEvents

The quick summary is that it looks like there are duplicates, but the apparent duplicates all point to one file.
Thanks for that Arstech article. I just started using TM last night. Have exluded my Parallels VM's from the backup list :)
 

QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
9,237
1,245
Colorado Springs, CO
If the later, it is NOT accurate. Time machine "hard links" files so the same file appears in each backup without being an alias but only the space for one copy of that file is taken up. So just because the folder is 3Gb does not in any way mean that TM re-copied all 3 of those gigabits into the backup.
Exactly. It'll look like it backed up 3GB because it's showing you the hard links. Unless it actually took forever while backing up it just backed up the changes (deltas).

However, last I remember Thunderbird uses the mbox format which I thought was a large database like Entourages'. I could definitely be wrong though.
 

diamond.g

macrumors 603
Mar 20, 2007
6,361
321
Virginia
Does TM have DB hooks? IE can it backup a database while running? If so, then Thunderbird and Entourage backups should be incremental. If not, then dang that stinks. MS uses a database because not only does it allow the mail system to be proprietary but it also allows separation of reads and writes. Which increases performance. It also allows you to store once version of attachments and have multiple people see it (dunno if any other mail system does that). I think it also allows for consistency checks to be made (if db is corrupt then roll back to non corrupt system), not sure if that is possible when all mail is stored as files.
 

scuac

macrumors member
Mar 2, 2008
87
102
Exactly. It'll look like it backed up 3GB because it's showing you the hard links. Unless it actually took forever while backing up it just backed up the changes (deltas).

However, last I remember Thunderbird uses the mbox format which I thought was a large database like Entourages'. I could definitely be wrong though.
I just finished migrating from WinXP to Mac OS Leopard, and part of that move was all my Thunderbird e-mail. Now, I have been using my MacBook for quite some time as my secondary machine, but after some erratic behavior from my desktop I decided to finally complete the move.

Anyway, to the point of the message, before I moved TB the TM backups where a breeze, only a few seconds to backup a few MB per hour. Since I moved my TB mail, it takes several minutes to backup, every time about 1.2GB.

I can now confirm that it is indeed backing up the entire mail every time if you received a mail on that account in the last hour. My main account alone is about 750MB and it gets backed up every time because I do receive lots of emails (2 or 3 per hour), and I have email dating back several years. I do compact my inbox regularly but it is still huge.

I must say I am disappointed, but not surprised. After reading how TM works it makes sense. So, who is it at fault here? TB for saving everything in a monolithic file, or TM for not handling small increments on large files? I think that given the trend in most other email clients (except MS of course), TB is at fault. I guess I could manually archive all emails older than a year. It wouldn't take a huge effort, but it is a pain if I ever need to go back and look for something.
 

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