5 Replies Latest reply: Jul 7, 2010 8:28 AM by snugla
snugla Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Is there a way to use the time machine backup function to backup to an online service??

If not...what are the best practices/options when your Time Machine backup disk is full?? Can you add additional backup disks, or are there better ways to deal with this situation??

Thanks in advance....
  • William Boyd, Jr. Level 6 Level 6 (10,515 points)
    snugla wrote:
    Is there a way to use the time machine backup function to backup to an online service??


    Welcome to Apple's discussion groups.

    No. Time Machine will not backup over the WAN.

    what are the best practices/options when your Time Machine backup disk is full??


    If your backup disk meets the recommended 2-3 times the size of the data you're backing up, you shouldn't have to do anything at all. Time Machine should automatically trim older backups according to the schedule noted in the Time Machine panel of System Preferences.
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,715 points)
    As William says, Time Machine will automatically delete your older backups when it runs out of room. But assuming you're on Leopard, it won't do that if you have the +Warn when old backups are deleted+ box checked in Time Machine Preferences > Options.

    See #C4 in Time Machine - Troubleshooting (or use the link in *User Tips* at the top of this forum), for details.
  • snugla Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the feedback William and Pondini. I guess my confusion is I don't fully understand the Time Machine backup methodology.

    My Time Machine disk is reporting full...which means it's deleting "old" backups as it creates the "new" backups. My question/confusion is...am I losing any important data in the "old" backups...or is that info also a part of the new backups it creates?

    In other words, If I had to perform a complete system restore from the time machine...would I have all the files to restore the system in the latest Time Machine backup. I guess I'm paranoid about this because I had a system drive fail and was able to get back in business with a restore from my time machine (saved my bacon).

    But the Time Machine was not "full" or deleting backups at that time, so I'm wondering am I still in reasonable good shape in the event of a catastrophe this time around.

    I am not so much worried about being able to retrieve the random data file hear or there that is being dropped as "old" backups are being deleted. I just need comfort that I have what will be required to put me back in business if I ever have another total system drive failure.
  • William Boyd, Jr. Level 6 Level 6 (10,515 points)
    snugla wrote:
    Thanks for the feedback William and Pondini. I guess my confusion is I don't fully understand the Time Machine backup methodology.

    My Time Machine disk is reporting full...which means it's deleting "old" backups as it creates the "new" backups. My question/confusion is...am I losing any important data in the "old" backups...or is that info also a part of the new backups it creates?


    Time Machine always has a complete copy of any backup set that it retains, including the latest data on your computer as of the last backup, except for anything you excluded and things like trash and cache contents. If a file didn't change since the last backup, Time Machine creates a "hard link" to a previous copy of that file, so such a file actually becomes part of every retained backup set that included that version of the file.
  • snugla Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    William, thanks for the detailed and expert explanation of how everything works in Time Machine. You are 100% class! :-D