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How can I tame Time Machine?

3612 Views 37 Replies Latest reply: Jul 29, 2009 6:51 PM by Scott Radloff RSS
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
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    Jul 28, 2009 12:28 PM (in response to Larry McJunkin)
    Larry McJunkin wrote:

    Odd you should mention this. When Time Machine first came out I asked SuperDuper tech support about this and they assured me there would never be a problem with SuperDuper accessing the drive at the same time as Time Machine.

    That said, I'd rather it didn't happen either, though perhaps an unnecessary step. How do I assure the two apps aren't accessing the drive at the same time? I've already got them both up and running on two separate partitions, but I've turned both off until I get this answered. Thanks.


    I wouldn't worry about it. I use CarbonCopyCloner myself, similar to SuperDuper, and it's scheduled to run an update of a full clone of my entire system every morning, while I'm still snoozing, to a separate partition on my TM disk. TM runs a backup at about the same time, of course, and there's never been a problem.

    That's probably the best way to do it, since there isn't much for TM to back up after waking from sleep.

    While I wouldn't intentionally run a large TM backup at the same time as anything else that would do major I/O to the same disk, the only harm would be slowing both processes down while banging away on the disk. Any disk that can't handle that isn't going to last long anyway.
    iMac G5 1.8 GHz PowerPC, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 28, 2009 12:47 PM (in response to Larry McJunkin)
    Larry McJunkin wrote:
    . . .
    it doesn't have a way of segregating out just the My Documents date to keep up to date. One of these days I should probably switch to iBackup or Data Backup which would let me keep only the folders I wanted backed up.


    Take a look at CarbonCopyCloner, at http://www.bombich.com/software/ccc.html

    It's donationware, so you can try it for a while before sending them some $$ so they can keep it up to date.

    It's primary use is, as I use it for, to maintain a full, bootable clone, but it's easily limited to specified items, as you want to do. The inclusion/exclusion process is very clear and simple. Since you're using TM, you probably wouldn't want it to keep previous copies of things you've changed or deleted, but it can do that as well.

    And/or, if at any time you want to do a full clone, perhaps to take off-site, you just have to set up another task with it, also a simple process.
    iMac G5 1.8 GHz PowerPC, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • grtgrfx Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    Jul 29, 2009 6:16 PM (in response to Kappy)
    Well, THAT's obviously not true. TM can't be making incremental backups and adding to disk usage if the files are removed from the backup drive. Re-backing up 45GB of data when you've erased 45GB of data still equals only 45GB of transfer, not 90, and if nothing changes within the hour, nothing else ought to be copied. While he may be misusing the product, removing and replacing the same files isn't the same as doing consecutive full backups. If it's not already on the drive, more space won't be consumed in a new initial backup.
    '08 2.66GHz Intel twin Dual-Core Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.7), 6GB RAM, 2.6TB HD, BT, NVidia 8800GT, Boot Camp w/Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 29, 2009 6:43 PM (in response to grtgrfx)
    grtgrfx wrote:
    Well, THAT's obviously not true. TM can't be making incremental backups and adding to disk usage if the files are removed from the backup drive.


    Under normal circumstances, yes. But Kappy's whole point was, the backups were corrupted, probably by the deletions with the Finder.

    The theory (not officially confirmed or denied) is, the backup copies became "disconnected" from their multi-links, but the space they used was not released. Thus they were "stranded," not deleted. The next time the originals were changed, or a deep traversal occurred, TM didn't find the "stranded" items and backed them up again, storing the new backups in new places.

    This seems to be confirmed by the amount of space recovered: *"I repaired the Passport (took about an hour), then deleted all instances of /TechTool Protection/My Passport/ on Time Machine using the "correct procedure' in item 12 of the FAQ. The end result was I gained back 174 GB of on the 300 GB Passport drive (Time Machine)."*
    iMac G5 1.8 GHz PowerPC, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Scott Radloff Level 6 Level 6 (14,490 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 29, 2009 6:51 PM (in response to grtgrfx)
    grtgrfx,

    Actually, Kappy is probably correct. Don't forget that Time Machine uses multi-linked files when it makes and maintains backups. Deleting a given file from a Time Machine backup using the Finder does not automatically mean that the data for that file is removed, not in the world of multi-linked files. The relevant disk space will not be "freed" until each and every hard link pointing to that data is removed, from each and every backup that contains said file. In fact, this is exactly why one must use the Time Machine interface exclusively to remove backed up files, and why the only option in doing so is to "remove all backups of this file."

    By using the Finder, Time Machine becomes as confused as the user as to whether or not said file exists in any form within any backup. And so, Time Machine will initiate an entire new "full backup" of every file on the source, including the data for all these files, upon its next execution. In this way, erasing your theoretical 45 GBs (in fact, any amount of data) will result in the addition of as much data as exists on the source. If the source is 90 GBs, 90GBs will be added to the backup. If it is 900 GBs, 900 GBs will be added. And so on.

    Scott
    17" Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
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