4 Replies Latest reply: Jul 10, 2009 12:18 PM by Pondini
Garpster Level 1 (0 points)
I just got a MacBook with Leopard, and therefore Time Machine. I am in the process of backing up my computer for the first time, and it is taking 14+ hours. I am doing it wirelessly, but when I had my old computer (Powerbook G4) I could backup the entire thing in about 6 - 8 hours (wirelessly: in that case I just dropped the entire drive onto my Time Capsule and let it do it's thing.

Is this standard for TM? Is it doing more than just 'copying' the files, and that is what is taking so long? After about 14 hours I am still not even 50% done. I am only backing up about 50 gigs (software, photos, musics, and mostly MWword documents).


Powerbook G4
  • V.K. Level 9 (56,110 points)
    yes, this could happen on the first backup. to speed it up you can try connecting using an ethernet cable rather than wirelessly. that will work much faster.
  • DY-E Level 1 (20 points)

    I've worked out another way to help with the first backup using Time Machine / Time Capsule. My logic is like this...

    -The first backup backs up everything. On a BIG hard drive, that's a lot of data.
    -But the first backup actually need-not backup everything.

    So, tell Time Machine to backup less, the first time around. Go to Time Machine (within System Preferences), then click on Options...

    Add almost everything to the 'not backup' list. Leave, say one folder such as "Library". You'll get a warning dialogue about whether you want to skip system files etc. I'd suggest just leaving those included.

    Once you've done that, the next backup should run soon after. It may still backup 6-10 GB (depending what is left on your HD to backup). But that sure beats the 100 GB or so that's probably actually on your HD.

    Now, let Time Machine / Time Capsule backup that full selection first. Don't interrupt it (leave your computer on + in range).

    Once that's done successfully and completely, go back into the Time Machine preferences, and take off some of those extra 'do not back up' areas off the list. Ultimately, you want to backup just about everything (including Apps, System, Users etc.). Consider only de-selecting a few areas at a time, so that you can get each subsequent backup done OK, without interruption.

    The subsequent backups shouldn't take nearly as long as if you did the whole HD in one hit.

    Once you've removed all the extra items from your "do not back up" list, your backups will then run across the whole HD as normal, on a regular basis .

    Hope that helps speed up someone else's long Time Capsule backups!
  • neurolancer Level 1 (0 points)
    i like this plan but hit a bump in the road:
    i had already started a 100 GB backup session.
    perhaps ill-advised, i stopped the backup and excluded just about everything.
    upon restarting time machine, i see that it now wants to back up 75 GB.
    if i run out of time (just about to go out of town) and have to interrupt it again, i'm toying with the idea of deleting the sparse image and starting over upon my return.
    your thoughts?
  • Pondini Level 8 (38,740 points)
    That will work, but only to divide the work into segments. The total time for all the segments will be the same as doing it all at once, since the same amount of data must be transmitted.

    Connecting via the Ethernet cable, per V.K.'s post, is the only way to reduce the total time.