Previous 1 2 3 4 Next 51 Replies Latest reply: Jul 6, 2013 9:16 AM by Pondini Go to original post
  • JeffNY Level 1 (0 points)

    Yea, next time I plug in my external hard drive I want to see how much Time Machine backs up. It's actually been about a week. But you often back up 100MB an hour? Gee, the first hard drive I had on my Mac SE was "only" 60MB (also has a 20MB Bernoulli drive in the enclosure) and that took me a couple years to fill hehe.


    Why are your backups so big? Movies? Well, I should know soon enough how practical it is to back up to a remote computer over the internet at current speeds. But even if a weekly backup of 500MB would take about an hour (maybe 3/4 of that with compression?)...I might as well put all this computing power I have to work doing something for me hehe


    If I get this all setup shortly I'll try and report back how well it works.



  • Pondini Level 8 (38,715 points)

    My last few were in the 20-40 MB range.


    There's all sorts of things you don't think about:  Preferences files, browser icons, bookmarks and history, cookies, email, and various files that OSX uses to keep track of things for you.


    Try one of the apps in #A2 of Time Machine - Troubleshooting to see exactly what's getting backed-up each time.

  • JeffNY Level 1 (0 points)

    This thread has a lot of views, thought I'd offer my evolving thoughts on backing up my Macs, and if anyone has thoughts or idea to improve it please jump in...


    Just an update, for those also interested in maintaining redundant backups with Time Machine and/or something else.


    First, my attempt to buy two different "Core 2 Duo" iMacs seems to have failed. People list these things for sale but then don't respond to offers; or do and don't follow though. And I don't want to buy someones else old monitor and keyboard & mouse just to buy their iMac. I also realized I can buy a brand new Mac Mini to use as a local backup machine (with 2GB RAM, 500GB HD, OS X 10.7….no need to spend money upgrading a 2 year old machine) for $599, minus a 10% discount I can get. The cost between a used "Core 2 Duo" and new Mac Mini (with i5 processor) is not that great. So I will probably buy a new Mac Mini and then attach my Safe Capsule to it to use as my local network Time Machine backup destination (and maybe use Retrospect or Chronosync locally too weekly or monthly). (I think next year I'll be also be buying a new 27" iMac to use as my new desktop, and not a Mac Mini for that as I was planning …but...)


    I also got thinking, both my dad and sister have pretty recent iMacs. If they let me install Slink on one of them (even if they still use 10.6) all I need is to buy a big external drive to plug into it; I don't need to have to have my own Mac at their house. If fact today I bought the Slink 5 User Family Pack for $22.49 (it's half price until 12/25). As soon as my sister says its Ok, I'll install it on her iMac and test connecting remotely to it. She'll also be able to back up to my "backup server" and Time Machine backup her MacBook Pro to her iMac (and connect to her iMac from her MacBook Pro remotely). Only thing I am not sure about yet is if I can get her iMac to wake from sleep from my computers over the internet….if not I guess I can set it to wake at noon (or some other preset time) a couple days a week and do my remote backups to it at those times.


    Trying to get a strategy and plan that will keep all my data safely backed up for the next 10+ years. The above will hopefully get three sets up backup data kept, using at least two different software methods, by:

    - Local Time Machine backups to local server

    - Weekly backups to remote hard drive at another physical location (using Slink and ChronoSync or Retrospect)

    - 3 to 6 Month backups to a hard drive kept in a bank safe deposit box

    - An added benefit is family members should be able to remotely backup their Macs to a machine at my house



  • brodeyo Level 1 (0 points)

    Use CrashPlan Free.  It allows you to backup to a usb external, network drive, and another computer on the network.  Also unlimited backup to the cloud for $5 a month (if you so choose).  The big advantage here:  1) you are not locked in to Time Machine 2) Any computer (pc or mac) can restore, given the password to unencrypt 3)It's encrypted.


    The initial backup takes some time, but incrementals work quickly in the background. I don't notice any performance issues on my 2011 air.

  • rkwerchan Level 1 (0 points)

    Just an FYI, as I didn't see this mentioned anywhere else in this thread. I was just trying to figure out how to use an external on my Airport Extreme and was having a pretty difficult time until I found this link: . After following the instructions, I'm currently running a TM backup to my Airport as I type this...

  • TonyB99 Level 1 (35 points)

    You are playing with fire (not a good idea with backups).


    This is not supported by Apple for the simple reason that it does not work reliably.


    It may appear to work for a while, but corruption of the backups seems to happen eventually.

  • Pondini Level 8 (38,715 points)

    As Tony says, you're taking a large risk; backing-up that way is unreliable and not supported by Apple.   See:  Using Time Machine with an Airport Extreme Air Disk.

  • mdelvecchio Level 1 (5 points)

    despite not being official supported, this is what worked for me:


    use Finder's "Connect to server" and browse your network for the APE, then into the USB volume. next right-click the USB drive's name at the bottom of the window and select "Open enclosing folder" -- this shows you the drive as an icon, along w/ any other physical drives you drive. drag the drive on the left-hand dock, where it will register under "Devices".


    now when you visit the TM prefs it will show up as an available drive to use. ive used it to casually retrieve lost or  over-written files, which is about all i really expect it to do. have not tried doing a full restore off it.



  • Pondini Level 8 (38,715 points)

    The reason backing-up to a USB drive connected to an Airport Extreme is not supported is, it's generally unreliable. Yes, it may work for some number of days, weeks, or even months, but in most cases the backups will turn up corrupted, sooner or later, often beyond repair.


    As long as you either have other, more reliable backups, or don't mind risking the loss of your data, the convenience may outweigh the risks.


    But it's not a good idea to recommend it without clearly specifying the very real possibility that the backups may turn out to be useless just when they're needed the most.

  • mdelvecchio Level 1 (5 points)

    are you guessing about the ultimate corruption after days, weeks or months? if not do you have material to support the ultimate corruption? ive been using it in this fashion for years and its been good for file retrieval. have not tried a full system restore from it so wouldnt rely on that.


    i think its a fine thing to recommend it, especially since the issues have been noted in this thread and i mentioned its not supported in my own post.


    dont worry about what i do.

  • Pondini Level 8 (38,715 points)

    Yes, as posted, it does work in some circumstances, for some period of time.


    There are also many, many posts in these forums by folks who backed-up that way for a time, sometimes quite a long time; then there was a problem with their Macs and they needed to do a full restore, but the backups were corrupted beyond repair, and they lost everything.


    My point is, it's irresponsible to provide a workaround without including some mention of the risks (just mentioning that it's not supported doesn't convey that).

  • mdelvecchio Level 1 (5 points)

    yet i noted myself in my original post that i dont rely on this for full system restores. ive had zero problems for simple retrieval tasks for many years over multiple macs, and i dont expect i will.


    to suggest posting the work-around, even w/ a qualifier, is "irresponsible" is absurd. this is a free country, not a nanny state. we're big boys and can make our own decisions. dont worry about what i do.

  • Pondini Level 8 (38,715 points)

    As you say, it's a free country.


    I think it's irresponsible to entice folks who may not know better to do something dangerous, without mentioning the actual risks.


    I don't worry about what you do; I worry about those who may follow your advice without adequate knowledge.


    I've seen far too many posts here by folks who've lost their only backups that way.

  • mdelvecchio Level 1 (5 points)

    i dont think its responsible. the risks have been well documented and cited in the very threads we're particpating in.


    when i say dont worry about what "i do" im not referring to me singularly -- im referring to what others do. those who are all not you. but you do worry. because you have a hero complex and believe it is up to you to save others from their own ignorance & decisions. which is really kind of arrogant, if you think about it. its a problem not only in this forum but in this country itself.


    its okay, really. we dont need saving.

  • Pondini Level 8 (38,715 points)

    mdelvecchio wrote:


    i dont think its responsible. the risks have been well documented and cited in the very threads we're particpating in.

    Unfortunately, many folks don't read all the posts in a long thread here;  they often go to the last post and if it seems to have an answer, that's about as far as they read.   Sometimes that gets them into trouble.



    you do worry. because you have a hero complex 

    There's no need to try long-distance psychoanalysis.  I do not have a hero complex; I've just seen far too many posts over the years by folks who've lost their only backups this way. Let's keep this about the facts, not speculation about motives or politics.




    Backups are different from other areas; if you make a mistake, or take bad advice, or even do something silly, in most areas it's not a catastrophe especially if you have backups. 


    But if your only backups are lost, it can be awful.  Again, backups done this way are damaged or lost  with disturbing frequency. 


    All I'm saying is, if you're going to recommend something, include the risks.  Then people can make informed decisions.


    We've both had plenty of opportunity to be clear.   Let's give it a rest.