5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 22, 2012 7:25 PM by Pondini
RobertDeveloper Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

If I understand it correctly Time Machine creates full backup at first and then incremental backups. Is it possible to create a new full backup and remove old backup including old incremental backups? I don't think I need for example to revert back to OS X Snow Leopard. I would like my current machine status to become starting point of a new clean Time Machine backup. What is the easiest way to do it? Should I switch off time machine, format my external hard drive and then tunr time machine on? Is there a better way? Is there an option "Create New Backup" (sort of create new hard disk image)?

Thanks.


MacBook Air (13-inch Late 2010), Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • 1. Re: How to create a new full backup using Time Machine
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    Why do you want to do that?

     

    Once the drive gets full, Time Machine will automatically delete the oldest backups to make room for new ones. 

     

    Since each backup is, in effect, a full backup, there's no reason to make a new one. 

     

    The old version of OSX and default Apple apps won't take up much space on your backups, since there's only one copy there (unless they were updated, and then only the updates were backed-up again).    That's perhaps 20 GB for most of us.

  • 2. Re: How to create a new full backup using Time Machine
    RobertDeveloper Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Unfortunately the space taken is much larger. I'm using this machine as development machine, which means that I'm building binaries, processing images etc. My machine uses around 63GB, but the backup 166GB. If I wanted to restore the latest backup, time machine would have to go through the whole history. I know it's not a big deal, but I want to keep things simple and as fast as possible.

    Right now time machine backup is using almost 3 times more space than what is actualy needed and I don't even use default backup every 1 hour. I always let computer do the backup and then disconnect the drive. I connect USB drive for backup after some code changes or after installing and testing apps and tools. I create time machine backups about 4x a week, sometimes less often, sometimes every day, it depends on how important are the changes I make.

    I would like to keep it under 100GB, so that I could get 128GB USB flash drive and use both: small portable hard drive and this USB flash drive for backup and eventually replace machanical drives. So far I haven't seen 1TB flash drive in any online store. In any case I don't see why I should keep 6 months long history of incremental backups. Using backup every hour would be overkill. Not because any backup performance issues, it is pretty fast and as a user I don't even notice that the backup is running on my Macbook Air, but I'm concerned how I would find older copy of a file in time machine with thousands of snapshots in history if it was doing backup every 1 hour and backing up practically every small change in a file. I don't know if I could easily compare 2 files from different points in history.

     

    Is there a way to compare files and even entire directories? Let's say I need to compare all files on the entire hard drive from yesterday and a week ago (or a month). Is it even possible? Or does time machine only allow to roll back the whole drive.

     

    I admit that time machine is a good idea. If I could compare files (for example source code) and see differences and then revert back only files I need by combining for example 1 file from yesterday and 3 other files from last week, that would be perfect (although I understand that what I'm asking is basically version conrol and there are specialized tools for that).

     

    Is it possible to use Time Machine with /Developer/Applications/Utilities/FileMerge.app? Can I use FileMerge to open a file in certain point in history created by time machine?

  • 3. Re: How to create a new full backup using Time Machine
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    RobertDeveloper wrote:

    . . .

    If I wanted to restore the latest backup, time machine would have to go through the whole history.

    No, it doesn't.  It just uses the date-stamped backup folder you select (the same one it uses to display the backup in the "Star Wars" display.  It won't take any longer if there are lots of backups vs. only a few.

     

    You might want to review How Time Machine works its Magic for an explanation.

     

    I would like to keep it under 100GB

    The only way to do that is to limit the amount of space available, by making the partition smaller.  But why do that if you don't need to?

     

    In any case I don't see why I should keep 6 months long history of incremental backups.

    It won't hurt anything.  I occasionally go back farther than that looking for an old email I deleted, or file I changed several months ago.

     

    Using backup every hour would be overkill. Not because any backup performance issues, it is pretty fast and as a user I don't even notice that the backup is running on my Macbook Air, but I'm concerned how I would find older copy of a file in time machine if it was doing backup every 1 hour. I don't know if I could easily compare 2 files from different points in history.

    Usually there's no reason to do that.  If your HD fails, you restore the most recent one (unless you suspect damage, and want to pick an earlier one).

     

    To find each version of a file, you're supposed to be able to do that by selecting it in the "Star Wars" display, then use the arrow keys.  See Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #15.  Some folks say that doesn't work for them, but it usually seems to.

     

    Or, use the 3rd-party Backup Loupe app.  See #A2 in Time Machine - Troubleshooting

     

    Is there a way to compare files and even entire directories? Let's say I need to compare all files on the entire har drive from yeaterday and a week ago (or a month). Is it even  possible?

    Time Machine won't, except to find differences with the arrow keys as above.  Backup Loupe (and Time Tracker) will only compare a selected backup to the previous one.

     

    If you're comfortable with UNIX and Terminal, the new tmutil command has a compare verb that might do part of what you want.

     

    Or does time machine only allow to roll back the whole drive.

    No.  You can restore selected items, via the "Star Wars" display as noted above.

     

    If I could compare files (for example source code) and see differences and then revert back only files I need, that would be perfect.

    That's tough because the "Star Wars" display takes up the whole screen; you can't put two windows side-by-side.  But you could go directly into the backups and do that via the Finder.

     

    If the app you use supports Versions, the Versions Browser can do that, sort of.  

     

    Is it possible to use Time Machine with /Developer/Applications/Utilities/FileMerge.app?

    You can't alter anything in the backups.  I don't know if that app will let you read from them or not.

     

     

     

    Message was edited by: Pondini  - typed calculatedrift when I meant compare (senior moment) 

  • 4. Re: How to create a new full backup using Time Machine
    RobertDeveloper Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Great info. Thanks a lot.

     

    If only Apple could make Time Machine go into the future. I would always just go "Back to the Future" and copy source code I'm supposed to write.

  • 5. Re: How to create a new full backup using Time Machine
    Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    Next version of OSX.