Will Time Machine restore my virtual machine?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by Mike-G, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. Mike-G macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi.

    I will soon be upgrading to a SSD in my macbook pro. I have restored from time machine backups several times before, but I haven't recently started using a windows xp virtual machine (in virtualbox) to run some vehicle diagnostics software and I am not sure how it will behave.

    Will it back up and restore ok? Or is there something I need to do to get it to work?

    Thanks.
     
  2. twistofmatt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    #2
    As long as that folder is not excluded in the Time Machine preferences it should back up. But here's what I would do. Right before you change the drive, pull a copy of the VirtualBox files to make a copy of it. I know from experience that a virtual machine can fill up a Time Machine drive pretty quick, as any changes to the VM will cause Time Machine to back the whole thing up again, not just changes, since it sees the VM as just a file.
     
  3. MLJH macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2015
    Location:
    Newbury
    #3
    I restored from a Time Machine Backup while using Parallels Desktop 11 and the virtual machine was there but the programs I had installed inside the virtual machine were not.
     
  4. twistofmatt macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    #4
    I don't see how this is possible. VM's are just files. I wonder if the VM got backed up before the software was installed.
     
  5. MLJH macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2015
    Location:
    Newbury
    #5
    Once I finished installing all programs I told Time Machine to back up. I don't see how that was possible either.
     
  6. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    #6
    I'm new to Mac and haven't used it yet but if I were in your shoes, I'd clone the drive as an additional measure. Carbon Copy Cloner has a thirty day trial period. You can include the recovery drive.

    http://bombich.com/
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #7
    The issue, is many people exclude the VM folder because it causes TM to backup that folder constantly and it causes the backup storage to be eaten up, i.e., multiple copies of a large VM container file.
     
  8. hallux macrumors 68020

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #8
    This is the reason that all the data I use in my VM is in an encrypted container on OS X and then "shared" with my VM. The only stuff in the VM is the OS and apps so I just exclude it from any backups since it's real easy to get back - just reinstall the OS and the couple apps I use.
     
  9. Mike-G thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Eating backup storage won't be an issue. I never back up this laptop as it is not my main computer and I don't really have data to lose on it. I plan to do a local backup on the HDD that is in there and then put it in a USB caddy and restore it to my SSD.

    I will not be wiping the HDD until I am happy with the SSD restore. So I will have a copy of it if I have any trouble. I might also stick a copy on my external drive just incase as well.

    So it seems time machine will do it fine and this will be very straight forward.

    Thanks for your help guys!
     
  10. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #10
    TM can't back up a VM that is in use, but it will back up a resumed or suspended VM just fine. However, beware of memory usage — it can grow very quickly as TM makes copies of changed files. I'd recommend you to exclude the VMs from the backup and only backup data (e.g. by using mirrored folders or something similar).
     
  11. Mike-G thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    I will make sure the VM is shutdown when it's done. It will be only one backup, so storage won't be an issue.

    Is cloning the drive better/faster at all? I have never done it before.
     
  12. RichardScarry21 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Location:
    Missoula , Montana
    #12
    If you have a Time Capsule, it's about the same in my experience. I've done three or four restores using my Time Capsule and they took on average about 2.5 hours. Using a clone, it was slower at around 3.0 hours but it was USB 2.0 using a SSD.
     

Share This Page