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I'm experiencing files size problems with my Time Machine when using VMWare Fusion. Why?

153 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Feb 7, 2013 5:41 PM by Linc Davis RSS
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Feb 7, 2013 3:24 PM

I have VMWare Fusion installed on my MacBook Pro. Time Machine runs hourly. If I haven't turned on the VM, the backup size is realistic. If I so much as turn the VM on, then off, the file backup size is over 36 GB. Why?

Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (108,135 points)

    Virtualization software creates a large virtual-disk container that is constantly changing, so it has to be backed up every time Time Machine runs. That will quickly fill up any backup destination.


    You should exclude the virtual-disk file(s) from your Time Machine backups. To do that, click the Options button in the Time Machine preference pane. Back up the files on the virtual disk from within the guest system, using a native backup application.


    A compromise solution is to create a "snapshot" of the virtual machine in the virtualization software (not a Time Machine snapshot.) That will give you a single large file that never changes and only has to be backed up once. All the subsequent changes will be stored in a new file that's initially much smaller, but will grow over time. You should still exclude that file from TM backup. If you ever need to restore the VM from Time Machine, you'll have a working setup, which will make it easy for you to restore the rest of the data from within the guest system.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (108,135 points)

    Yes, but you still have to back up the VM in some other way, using Windows backup software.


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