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"tmutil" claims many files are different, but Time Machine doesn't back them up?

156 Views 1 Reply Latest reply: Nov 16, 2012 3:43 PM by Linc Davis RSS
GaryKing Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 16, 2012 1:34 PM

I was trying to use the "tmutil" utility in Terminal to diagnose a Time Machine problem I had. This utility is used to compare two Time Machine snapshots to see what files are different between the two.


When the utility is run like this: "tmutil compare", it will compare the current files with the latest backup in Time Machine, and show the different files. For some reason, when I run this, it shows hundreds of files in the /Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/ folder (it hangs after a few minutes halfway through the files in this directory and never seems to finish). Okay, so I figure that if I run Time Machine again, these would get backed up then. But I run a manual backup, then run "tmutil compare" again, and these files are still listed there.


What's going on here? I'd like to clear "tmutil compare" if possible because at the moment, it isn't really useful if it only just lists files in the Microsoft Office folder and nothing else.

iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), 3.2 GHz Intel Core i3, 16 GB RAM
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (108,120 points)

    If you have more than one user account, these instructions must be carried out as an administrator.

    Launch the Console application in any of the following ways:

    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)

    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.

    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Console in the icon grid.

    Make sure the title of the Console window is All Messages. If it isn't, select All Messages from the SYSTEM LOG QUERIES menu on the left.

    Enter the word "Starting" (without the quotes) in the String Matching text field. You should now see log messages with the words "Starting * backup," where * represents any of the words "automatic," "manual," or "standard." Note the timestamp of the last such message. Clear the text field and scroll back in the log to that time. Post the messages timestamped from then until the end of the backup, or the end of the log if that's not clear.

    Post the log text, please, not a screenshot. If there are runs of repeated messages, post only one example of each. Don't post many repetitions of the same message.

    When posting a log extract, be selective. Don't post more than is requested.

    Please do not indiscriminately dump thousands of lines from the log into a message.


    Some personal information, such as the names of your files, may be included — edit that out, too, but don’t remove the context.


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