11 Replies Latest reply: Jan 12, 2013 3:47 PM by john2b_75
Michael JS Cox Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

I noticed yesterday and today, after replacing my TimeMachine with a new one, that even though I had temporarily turned off the Time Machine backup in my system prefs because I didn't want it running while I was editing a video, it will still backing up. And backing up a huge amount of data. A Google search using "time machine backs up when turned off" as the search phrase led me to: <http://toti.posterous.com/hidden-local-backups-with-mac-os-x-lion-filli> in which I learned that TM is doing local backups to my laptops' hard drive. Don't want this, but as usual Apple is assuming most people would welcome this safety feature and so don't offer (a) information on it or (b) the option in system prefs to turn it off. Anyway, on that page there is a command for the Terminal which will turn off this feature:

 

sudo tmutil disablelocal

 

One could easily be fooled into thinking your computer had less disc space than you actually have due to this feature. Pretty well everytime there is a "smart" application within the ever expanding OS, there is a downside to it. If only there was an "I'm no dummy" mode which would allow users to tailor various features without mucking about in the Terminal, which I know little about and try to stay away from, except for the occasional "fsck -fy" command at startup.


MacBook Pro 13-inch, 2.26 GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • 1. Re: time machine backing up when pref is turned off
    dalstott Level 4 Level 4 (2,530 points)

    If you go to System Preferences/Time machine you can slide the button to off and lock the panel.Then check the show in menu bar box. When you want to use Time Machine you go to the top of screen menu bar and select Back Up Now. This way Time Machine functions only by manual selection.

     

    I have all my Macs set up this way as I too don't want a lot of unknown activity in the background. Now i wish we could get a switch for the automatic save feature in Lion.

     

    Screen Shot 2012-03-07 at 11.28.28 AM.jpg

  • 2. Re: time machine backing up when pref is turned off
    Michael JS Cox Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)

    Agreed, using it manually is sometimes better. However, when I had the Time Machine preference turned OFF it was still backing up...which is what triggered my search for an answer. It seems that if you turn off TM it will still stupidly go about backing up, but onto the laptop's drive. Nevermind that you don't want this feature--to turn it I gather you have to enter that command in the Terminal. I don't know if it worked or not because now I am "officially" backing up to TM.

  • 4. Re: time machine backing up when pref is turned off
    dalstott Level 4 Level 4 (2,530 points)

    If you turn TM off then these snapshots are off also. By using the menu bar manual backup TM is not get turned on and no snapshots are made.

     

    From the links you provided.

    On portable Macs, local snapshots are automatically enabled when you turn on Time Machine. Just like regular Time Machine backups, local snapshots are made hourly in the background.

     

    If you want Time Machine to stop saving local snapshots, open Time Machine preferences and slide the switch to Off. Snapshots will resume when you turn Time Machine back on.

     

    Another Hogg file is the sleep image which Idiscovered with a utility called Disk Inventory X plus there are some similar utilities. You can get a quick graphic summary of the HDD this way and can weed it out so to speak. I have deleted the sleep image but it comes back again so I live with it.

     

    http://www.derlien.com/

     


  • 5. Re: time machine backing up when pref is turned off
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    Michael JS Cox wrote:

     

    I noticed yesterday and today, after replacing my TimeMachine with a new one, that even though I had temporarily turned off the Time Machine backup in my system prefs because I didn't want it running while I was editing a video, it will still backing up.

    If a backup has already started, turning the switch OFF won't stop it.  You have to cancel it.

     

    Also, if you've used a 3rd-party app to change Time Machine's default behavior, it will continue doing whatever it was told -- the OFF switch may not work.  You must use the same app to control it.

     

    A Google search using "time machine backs up when turned off" as the search phrase led me to: <http://toti.posterous.com/hidden-local-backups-with-mac-os-x-lion-filli> in which I learned that TM is doing local backups to my laptops' hard drive.

    That's correct, but not what you were seeing.  Local backups do not appear on the TM Prefs panel; the TM icon in your menubar does not spin.  You don't see them at all, and they take virtually no CPU and make no copies of anything.  They will take up some space, but won't affect performance otherwise.

     

    And, they won't be made if your HD is over 80% full.   Any that already exist will be deleted if your disk gets to 80% (but at a low priority, so will take a while).  If it gets to 90%, the deletions will be done at a higher priority.

  • 6. Re: time machine backing up when pref is turned off
    HossBud Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    I totally just caught mine doing it too, it was not a local snapshot either, it mounted my Time Capsule drive over the network and pushed 9 gigs to it while the pref was off.  I've only noticed this since I upgraded to Mountain Lion.  I guess Apple decided I'm not smart enough to handle it myself....

  • 7. Re: time machine backing up when pref is turned off
    john2b_75 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    My MacBook does this too. No amount of turning on and off the Time Machine in Preferences has any impact on its behaviour. F-ing annoying. I even reinstalled Mountain Line after rebuilding the drive with Disk Warrior - still the same - argh! My Time Capsule drive is stuffed (indexed to death) and even Disk Warrior can't fix it, so when TM tries to back up, after 24 hours of grinding away it fails still only halfway through. Becasue I use a TC as my WAP, I have to manualy cancel backups every time they start. *** Apple?

  • 8. Re: time machine backing up when pref is turned off
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    john2b_75 wrote:

     

    My MacBook does this too. No amount of turning on and off the Time Machine in Preferences has any impact on its behaviour.

    Have you ever used a 3rd-party utility, such as Time Machine Editor, Time Machine Scheduler, or the like, to alter Time Machine's behavior?   If so, that's the problem -- those set up a completely separate schedule.  Use the same app to set it back to the defaults or OFF.

     

    If that doesn't help, it's possible the preferences file (where the ON/OFF switch, among other things, is stored), is damaged.  Try a "full reset" of Time Machine, per #A4 in Time Machine - Troubleshooting.

     

     

    My Time Capsule drive is stuffed (indexed to death) and even Disk Warrior can't fix it,

     

    If your backups are corrupted beyond Disk Utility and Disk Warrior's ability to repair, nothing can.  Erase the disk via the Disks tab of Airport Utility, and let Time Machine start fresh (via Ethernet cable if at all possible). 

     

    Actually, take the time to select a Zero-Out, not the quick erase -- if that fails, you know the TC's HD is failing.  If not, it's probably ok.

     

    But the disk being full and/or corrupted has nothing to do with Time Machine starting backups.

     

     

    after 24 hours of grinding away it fails only halfway through.

    With what message?

  • 9. Re: time machine backing up when pref is turned off
    john2b_75 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    First, thanks for your reply, much appreciated.

     

    No I have never used a 3-party utility for backups or preferences.

     

    My backup disk isn't corrupted, but Disk Warrior fails during the process of trying to resolve crosslinked files. I don't really know why and searching the error message doesn't reveal any useful information.

     

    The TM fail message is something like "Time Machine could not complete the backup" but I am not about to spend another 24 hours to check!

     

    I found another thread(using different search terms) which suggested deleting the com.apple.TimeMachine.plist file and rebooting, which I have now done. I now have a "Time Machine Not Configured" message, so I guess it has fixed the problem of not being able to turn off backups. (ATM the TC drive is not installed so I could use DW on it.)

     

    I am still hopeful of not losing my backups (trying to recover emails after a problem with Mail). The last resort is erasing as you suggested and thanks for the tip on zeroing.

     

    It's a couple of days of my life I could have been doing something more useful - argh!

  • 10. Re: time machine backing up when pref is turned off
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    john2b_75 wrote:

    . . .

    My backup disk isn't corrupted, but Disk Warrior fails during the process of trying to resolve crosslinked files.

    Time Machine backups have hundreds of thousands, or millions, of those.  If DW fails, the backups are likely corrupted.

     

    The TM fail message is something like "Time Machine could not complete the backup" but I am not about to spend another 24 hours to check!

    You don't need to.  See #C2 in Time Machine - Troubleshooting.


    I found another thread(using different search terms) which suggested deleting the com.apple.TimeMachine.plist file and rebooting, which I have now done.

    That's what #A4 does.

     

    I now have a "Time Machine Not Configured" message, so I guess it has fixed the problem of not being able to turn off backups.

    Correct.

     

    (ATM the TC drive is not installed so I could use DW on it.)

    Do you mean you've removed it from the TC?  If so, do you have an enclosure you can put it in?  That makes it into an external HD, much easier to repair with Disk Utility and/or DiskWarrior.

     

    If not, you can still use DiskWarrior on your backups.  Neither it nor Disk Utility see the TC's disk directly, but if you mount the sparse bundle disk image your backups are in, they can.  See #A5 in the above link.

  • 11. Re: time machine backing up when pref is turned off
    john2b_75 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I tried using DW on the space bundle disk first, but it wouldn't work (can't remember why). So now I have the TC drive in a Lacie external drive case so I can work on it. I tried booting from DW on both my MacBook Pro and my old MacBook - same result. I have rebuilt the indexing on all my other drives in the process so all my machines are running nicely now

     

    I think I am going to have to put the drive back into the TC, reset the TC, and lose my old mail, with various account settings, passwords etc - argh. I do keep them in a vault in my iPhone as well, but that corrupted recently

     

    Thanks for your help!