What is the appeal of time machine?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Soulweaponry, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. Soulweaponry macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    #1
    I just don't get it. Maybe I just don't know enough about it, but I tried backing up my MacBook a couple times and I started thinking...this sucks for backing up and archiving. If I'm looking for a certain picture in iPhoto, I would have to go through back up after backup just to find it. Wouldn't it be easier to drag and drop into a certain folder and save that externally to a hard drive? Or is backing up with time machine primarily used for apps and app data?

    I'm...confused. I need to be enlightened! What is time machine good for? Why is using it better than simply dragging and dropping stuff into folders?
     
  2. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #2
    Well, the TC also provides wifi, and four Ethernet ports as well as backups.

    If you want a different backup policy, maybe an external HDD using Carbon Cloner or similar.

    I don't find it hard to locate files in my TC backups, but I don't go in there very often.

    It's also connected to an AirPort Extreme and takes care if all my wifi needs very well.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #4
    Back when Apple released Time Machine there were few backup solutions. Its a simple but effective tool to back up your data. There's really nothing more to it.
     
  4. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 14, 2007
    #5
    Actually there is a lot more to it.

    It's a hell of a lot easier to find and restore your data visually, especially useful in iPhoto or Aperture.

    You can cut and paste between live and any previous versions going back in time in Pages, Numbers & Keynote - and any other app that uses the framework.
     
  5. Soulweaponry thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 13, 2010
    #6
    That was actually really helpful! Thanks. So if I'm understanding correctly, time machine isn't so much about saving things for easy viewing as it is backing up "just in case" type scenario where you might lose something and need to find it? I've always been the type to just plop my pictures into a few folders and save those onto an external drive so I just have a bunch of photos and albums to scroll through. Maybe I just need to learn how to use time machine a little better before I form an opinion.

    I'm also afraid that a bunch of junk I DONT want might end up getting saved and take up precious space on my hard drive. I don't care about old email being saved. Can I just do select applications? Like just iPhoto and final cut?
     
  6. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #7
    You can exclude any folder or file from the Time Machine options screen. I don't backup x plane for example as it comes in at a hefty 300GB. You choose what you want backed up.
     
  7. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #8
    Time Machine backs up continuously (every hour). So if you've forgotten to use the easy method of dragging a folder for a month and your hard drive crashes, the data is gone. With Time Machine, all the data apart from the last hour is there, even if you never thought about it.

    It keeps old versions around as far back in time as the size of your backup drive allows. So if you deleted a file last week by accident, you go to the backup of the week before that and restore it.

    When your hard drive crashes, or when you buy a new Mac, you can restore the complete last Time Machine backup and you have everything back unchanged.

    And two new feature for the paranoid: Time Machine can backup to _two_ separate drives. So if your computer gets stolen, _and_ by total bad luck one of the two backup drives dies before you replace the computer, you _still_ get all the data. Time Machine also does encrypted backups, so a thief stealing your backup drive can't read your data.

    ----------

    3 TB external drive cost me £80. Why would you care about space for old emails?

    The only thing that I exclude are directories with temporary files that I know are going to be deleted soon after.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    No question that true to apple form, they've integrated that with their other apps, but the original intent was to give Mac users a backup utility. It does have less options then other backup apps, but for must users (including me), its a great app.
     
  9. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #10
    The absolute essential feature: It backs up even if you do nothing. The best backup solution is worthless if you don't use it. With Time Machine, you don't have to do anything after the initial setup to use it.
     
  10. imanidiot macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    If you ever have a hard drive fail, you'll immediately grasp the appeal of Time Machine.
     
  11. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 28, 2012
    #12
    I run back ups manually because the continuous mode was a performance suck on my iMac.
     
  12. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

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    Apr 25, 2012
    #13
    Except remember to plug in the drive. On a MBP, you're likely going to have to remember to do that, though the 10-day reminders are nice.
     
  13. Bear macrumors G3

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    #14
    Do you have x plane backed up somewhere or whould you have ot re-download it again if your drive failed? How much of that 300GB changes from running it?

    I would probably backup up xplane also since it only needs to copy the 300GB once to the Time Machine drive, That way if you need to do a restore, x plane is part of it and you don't need to reinstall it again.
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #15
    Try CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper instead.

    Either will create a bootable clone of your internal hard drive.

    No "over and over" copies of the same files.

    CCC can also "archive" older versions of files, IF you tell it to.
    CCC can also create a clone of your recovery partition on your backup drive.
     
  15. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #16
    I use both TM and cloned bootable back up solution. Time Machine I use to recover from user errors. If I've deleted or edited or overwritten a file by mistake I can easily recover that file (or photo) using TM. I have a 2012 Mac Pro, and have dedicated an internal bay to the TM and I never feel any impact on system performance with it.

    I also do a automatic nightly cloned (and bootable) back up to a set of external HDDs - with one always in a safety deposit box. This is my catastrophic hardware failure back up.

    Keep in mind that the Time Machine application can use an external HDD connected to a generic router... you don't need to use the hardware sold by Apple. This means that a laptop connected to your home's wifi network can use TM without you needing to remember to do anything.

    Another thing to keep in mind... normal back ups are not a good way to archive files. With an average back up system, if a document (or image) becomes corrupted (without you noticing because you haven't needed to open it for awhile, for example) you are making copies of the corrupted file.... potentially overwriting a good copy with the bad. A truly robust back up includes making copies of your data onto media that you can't or won't overwrite and then storing that media.
     
  16. Hirakata macrumors 6502

    Hirakata

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    #17
    The below link might interest you. I use it to run TM once a day at 3am. Works great.

    http://timesoftware.free.fr/timemachineeditor/
     
  17. Nunyabinez macrumors 68000

    Nunyabinez

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    #18
    I'm kind of obsessive when it comes to my data. I use time machine, I have my important documents saved to the cloud (and therefore synced between all my machines) and I do a monthly Super Duper back-up of my drives.

    Each has a different strength. I like time machine, because I can find old versions of documents that I changed, or if I deleted a file and need to track it down even months later, I can usually find it. Also, when I get a new computer, I can use my time machine to install all of my programs and files on a new machine with minimal effort, even if it was from an iMac to a MBP or vice versa.

    Cloud services allow me to keep my machines all in sync, and Super Duper allows me to restore a whole drive when there is a physical crash.

    ----------

    I can testify to this. I had some files get corrupted and went to my "back-ups" and found that they had been corrupted some time back and I had multiple back-ups of useless data. Really sucked since I was trying to be responsible, but wasn't smart about it.
     
  18. smirking macrumors 6502a

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    Silicon Valley
    #19
    The problem you're having has more to do with the way your photos are presented to you in iPhoto than the way Time Machine backs up. You're trying to use Time Machine as a versioning tool instead of a pure backup tool. It happens to also work ok as a bare bones versioning tool, but not when what you're trying to restore has its own data storage structure like iTunes and Aperture.

    You might need to do both... use Time Machine and also keep things in folders and let Time Machine backup that folder.
     
  19. bingeciren macrumors 6502a

    bingeciren

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    Sep 6, 2011
    #20
    I also run my TM backup once a day at 3am just like you do. I was using a similar program, namely the TimeMachineScheduler to accomplish that.

    I think the TimeMachineEditor is far better in comparison to the one I was using, particularly for scheduling the backup time so easily and precisely.

    Thank you very much for your post.
     
  20. mabhatter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 3, 2009
    #21
    The appeal is that it WORKS!
    Other backup systems on Windows do a crappy job of restoring stuff and not tearing it up worse. If your computer wipes out, You can buy a new Mac at the store and get all your stuff back just like it was in a few hours. I've used it to upgrade and replace dead drives several times. Added to an Airport express so it's wireless, it's a truly great solution.
     
  21. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #22
    Are you sure? I've never noticed any Mac slowing down during a backup. Maybe you should remove the Time Machine icon from the menubar.
     
  22. smirking, Feb 24, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014

    smirking macrumors 6502a

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    Silicon Valley
    #23
    Do a search in the Apple support forums for people having Time Machine problems and you'll find tons of people who get bricked systems whenever TM starts running. There's usually a reason for it though and it's not always Apple's fault. Two very common ways TM becomes Time Killer is if its dealing with corrupted backups or a corrupted TM preferences file and when you have something that rewrites a lot of data like a directory structure backup utility.

    I've run into both. I had TechToolPro installed on my system and it was generating Gigabtyes of volume recover information every day. The storage size never changed much, but it resulted in unseemly backups that rarely weighed in less than 1Gb even when I hardly did anything on my computer.

    Time Machine should not be grinding your machine to a halt unless something is wrong or you have some unusual backup tasks that you're asking it to do.
     
  23. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #24
    Just last week I had to migrate from a near-dead 15" Macbook Pro to a 21" iMac. Ensure that I had run TM one last time on the MBP then attach the drive to the iMac and restore/migrate. After a few unattended hours the iMac was booted looking just like I left off with my MBP.

    I'm extremely impressed with the ease, stability, and thoroughness of Time Machine's backup and restore.
     
  24. eljanitor macrumors 6502

    eljanitor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    #25
    Before Apple introduced time machine there were only 3rd party back up programs to that you could buy and use. Apple included time machine free of charge as part of the OS and it unlike Windows back up it is searchable, and that you can restore your Mac to incase you ever need to. You can also set up time machine to back up over a network, vs locally. Windows started offering a back up option and to this day it backs up as a disk image only, and for so many other resons sucks to no end and sometimes doesnt restore your system properly, or at all.
     

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