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Time Machine Backups

415 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Dec 21, 2011 8:20 PM by SKYTORT RSS
SKYTORT Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Dec 20, 2011 7:08 AM

Dear Apple Community,


I am suspicious of my Time Capsule backups and need someone to shed some light on this matter.


I have a Buffalo Linkstation connected, and have four separate HDD's installed (Linkstation Quadpro)


The HDD's all run as seperated drives (ie. no RAID setting) and I can individually access each Hard Drive.


In Time Machine, I have selected a particular drive as the Backup Drive, but when I select the drive from the side window in Finder, it shows a file named "sparsebundle", and not the normal "Backups.bacupdb" folder as it normally did when I had a drive connected via the USB port.


Also, when I click "Backup Now", it says "Making Backup Disk available" and then shows the Time Machine Disk under the "Devices" section in the Finder's sidebar.


I am not sure if how I set up the backups is the correct way for such a device, so rather have this sorted out sooner than too late!


Thansk in advance for any feedback!



  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (59,150 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 20, 2011 11:37 AM (in response to SKYTORT)

    See Pondini's TM FAQs

    27" i7 iMac 10.6.8 , Mac OS X (10.7.2), G4 450 MP 1.5 GB RAM w/(10.5.8/10.4.11/9.2.2)
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 20, 2011 4:02 PM (in response to SKYTORT)

    That's correct; Time Machine stores backups differently when they're done over a network, in a rather odd container called a sparse bundle disk image.


    If you double-click it to mount it (that may take a few moments), that should mount a "Time Machine Backups" disk image, which will appear in your Finder sidebar or on your desktop.  If you double-click that to open it, you'll see the Backups.backupdb folder containing all the normal sub-folders.


    All that will happen automatically "under the covers" when you Enter Time Machine to browse your backups.  


    Unlike backups to an external HD, Time Machine will unmount that sparse bundle when it's not in use.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 21, 2011 8:13 PM (in response to SKYTORT)

    SKYTORT wrote:

    . . .

    I tried various ways of backing the data up in order for me to see the actual backup.backupdb folder, but have not succeeded.

    Why do you want to see that folder?  It's not recommended to use the Finder on your backups anyway.  You don't really need to know how Time Machine stores the backups.


    You should be able to browse your backups via Time Machine -- the "Star Wars" display.  You might want to review the Time Machine Tutorial, and perhaps browse #15A and #15 in  Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions.


    In the Buffalo Linkstation Web Interface setup, there is a specific facility to create a Time Machine backup, but even this leads to the same "sparebundle" result we discussed earlier.

    Correct.  When Time Machine does a backup over a network, it stores them in a sparse bundle.  It won't work any other way.


    The Backups.backupdb folder is there, but it's inside the "Time Machine Backups" disk image in the sparse bundle.


    In light of all this, is it a good way to back the data up? I dont trust this completely because I am used to seeing the backup folder and I could access it in the past when I did the backups on and external USB drive.

    I'm not a fan of 3rd-party NAS drives, but yes, backing-up to a sparse bundle over a network is fine.  That's exactly what Apple designed the Time Capsule for.



    And lastly, if I was to do a systen restore from my Time Machine Backup, would the backup image be recognised during the setup even though the image is not normally mounted like with an external USB Time Machine Backup.

    Probably, but it depends on how the NAS is set up and interacts with OSX.  


    On a Time Capsule, yes, you can do a full system restore from one, or use it with either Setup Assistant or Migration Assistant, in addition to the "Star Wars" display.


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