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tal1971 Level 2 (245 points)

I'm thinking of moving to an iMac for my next computer, probably in the next 6 months or so, but I have a few questions I wondered if you might be able to help me with.


I'm planning on getting Parrallels Desktop and installing Windows. Now I know Time Machine takes backups every hour. But I was wondering if it will also backup not only the Mac side but the Windows side too.


For example, if I install a program on the Mac side, edit a file, delete a file etc, Time Machine will backup the changes on its next backup. If I done the same while running Windows, i.e install a program on the Windows side, edit a file, delete a file etc, does Time Machine backup these changes for the Windows side too.


Presently for my backing up purposes. I have a hard drive caddie which has a esata connection as well as a USB connection. I have a 3.5 inch 1 TB sata drive that slides in and out of my caddie by way of (for want of a better word) a cradle. I'm planning on getting a 3.5 inch 2 TB sata drive and an additional cradle so that I can have a large collection of backups.


Now with the hard drive caddie I've mentioned above, to use it on an iMac, I would only be able to connect it via USB. My fear with this is that it will be a lot slower at taking backups to what I am currently used to seeing when I have it connected to my PC via esata.


I thought about this and noticed the LaCie eSATA Hub Thunderbolt Series on the Apple website node=5f&fs=m.tsConnections%3Desata



From what I can gather, it would allow me to connect my current esata caddie up to it and it would increase the performance of it to Thunderbolt performance and also would allow me to make use of my current hard drive in the process. I was wondering if anyone has used this hub and if so, is the performance significantly improved. I thought that Thunderbolt would be a good and extremely fast way of taking backups. I will point out that I find that the taking backups every hour with Time Machine, for me would be a bit of an overkill, so I'm planning on just switching Time Machine off when I don't need it to take backups, and then switching it back on when I want it to take a backup. Doing this could result in larger backups than if I had it doing it hourly, so again I thought something that would give me Thunderbolt performance would be good for this scenario.



Any help and advice would be appreciated.

Windows Vista, iPad (3rd Gen) 32GB iPhone 4S 32GB
  • RRFS Level 5 (4,490 points)

    Welcome to the world of Mac. I can't speak directly to the Thunderbolt connection but my Firewire 800 works much faster than USB.


    Pondini's Time Machine FAQ May answer you Time Machine questions.


    I think just letting Time Machine run will be your best bet.


    When you select your new iMac don't max your RAM needs at Apple. Other vendors will provide a nice savings, use the savings for a SSD.

  • doug3684 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same question regarding Windows backup in Time Machine


    I installed WindowsXP last week and (long story) I corrupted it. I could not retrieve it on Time Machine so I re-installed it. Has been a few days now and so far Time Machine does not seem to work for WindowsXP


    But who knows? it might work on Windows 7



  • tal1971 Level 2 (245 points)

    Thanks very much for the help.


    I'll have a good look through Pondini's FAQ.


    I noticed Apple were quite expensive for extra ram, I looked on Crucial's site and I think they were pretty much half the price for 8gb ram to what Apple were.


    One other thing.


    On my pc I use Acronis True Image. With this, you can make a bootable rescue disk cd for Acronis, so that you can then boot off of the disk (for when your pc will not boot into Windows), access your backups that are on your external hard drive, and from there restore from the backup.


    I was wondering if Time Machine allows you to do the same, for in the event of the Mac been unable to boot.

  • dwb Level 7 (22,615 points)

    By default TimeMachine does not back up your Parallels virtual machine and if you think about it that's a good thing. Since the Virtual Machine is in effect a hard drive, just booting up Windows or launching a program changes the VM file as temporary files are created. My VM is 25GB so not only would TimeMachine be making a copy of the VM every hour that Parallels is running, it would be copying 25GB! Not good.


    There are a number of solutions. On my desktop I use a different program to backup my VM each evening about the time I eat dinner. On my notebook I have a repeating reminder that asks if I've backed up my VM recently. As far files go, my solution is to save all my files to my Mac drive space so that TM backs them up.


    USB is slower than eSATA but for day to day use, USB is fine for TimeMachine. The initial backup will be longer and OS updates will result in longer backups but otherwise....I have a USB drive connected to the computer I'm using right now. On most hourly backups TM is running a couple minutes and it doesn't require much bandwidth or CPU so the only time I really notice it running is I look at the drive light.

  • tal1971 Level 2 (245 points)

    Thanks dwb for the help.


    You mention:

    On my desktop I use a different program to backup my VM.


    What program do you use or recommend for backing up the Windows side/Parrallels virtual machine.


    Thanks again.

  • tal1971 Level 2 (245 points)

    On my pc I use Acronis True Image. With this, you can make a bootable rescue disk cd for Acronis, so that you can then boot off of the disk (for when your pc will not boot into Windows), access your backups that are on your external hard drive, and from there restore from the backup.


    I was wondering if Time Machine allows you to do the same, for in the event of the Mac been unable to boot.

  • bert1453 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi tal1971. I don't think TM is bootable but you can boot from your original instal disk and then restore from the TM drive. Or you could invest in another external drive, Firewire or Thunderbolt connection, and use something like Carbon Copy Cloner to make a bootable drive. I have 2 backup drives. Both USB, 1 @ 250Gb (same size as original HD) and a 320Gb (same size as new HD,another story) My back up size is currently around 132Gb so plenty of room on both drives. And have you considered the built in Boot Camp to install Windows? Not as flexible as Parallels but it's free to try.

  • tal1971 Level 2 (245 points)

    Thanks bert1453 for the help.


    As long has I have a disk to boot off (original install disk) and are then able to restore for the external hard drive I would use for Time Machine, then I'll be happy.


    I'd considered using Boot Camp, but I think that after a while I would find it a bit of a pain having to reboot the iMac to access Windows.


    Thanks again for the help.

  • dwb Level 7 (22,615 points)

    There are a lot of good Mac backup programs but the one I've been using for years and quite like is ChronoSync. When I was using BootCamp frequently (which I don't any longer even though I have it installed on my iMac) I made a weekly backup of it using WinClone and mostly that decision was based on WinClone's ability to save the cloned backup on a Mac volume. When drives were expensive I didn't want to waste space on an NTFS partition. WinClone also has/had the advantage of letting me create one BootCamp installation and then clone that to my work Mac as well. But virtualization improved and I got tired of booting in and out of Windows so I know I booted into Windows on my Work Mac around Thanksgiving last year and that's probably the only time in 18-24 months.

  • bert1453 Level 1 (0 points)

    OK. I had the original HD fail, after 7 years, and spent a lot of time rebooting and trying to repair the drive. Booting from a backup disk is easy, if slow. It means you have the complete OS running. And I was cloning from backup to HD on a regular basis. As long as you remember not to back up a problem HD! Yes you're right about Boot Camp and rebooting. This time I have not installed Windows at all. Good luck with whatever you decide.


  • RRFS Level 5 (4,490 points)

    New iMacs no longer come with install disks but you can and should make a bootable flashdrive and there are plenty of threads and even an App to do that.

  • bert1453 Level 1 (0 points)

    Now that I didn't know. My iMac is 7+ years old and now has SL installed. and I was thinking of getting a new Mac but I cannot see anything in either the hardware or the s/w that I would find 'better' than what I have already.

    Thanks RRFS.

  • tal1971 Level 2 (245 points)

    Thanks RRFS for the help.


    I didn't know new iMacs don't come with install disks.


    Is it possible to make a boot up disk (or is a blank DVD too small to hold all the info) and also I would like to make a bootable flash drive too. What size of flash drive would I require to do this?


    If the instructions are not too long, would you mind telling me how I would go about making a boot up disk and also a bootable flash drive?


    Thanks very much everyone for all the help I've received so far, it's much appreciated. Apologies for all the questions, it's just I've never used a Mac and with been a Windows user for nearly 10 years, it's going to be a little different to what I'm used to, hence the questions, I probably think of more questions as time goes on too lol.

  • Paul_31 Level 6 (13,655 points)

    Yes you can make a boot disk, but putting it on a 8gb USB stick is probably the better (quicker to boot) option.

    When you buy your new Mac it'll (almost certainly) come pre-installed with Mountain Lion so you'll need a copy of the installer but I'm not sure whether the installer will be available to you in your 'purchases' at the Mac App Store once you have registered your Mac. Perhaps someone else on here may know for sure.

    Once you have the installer you can download Lion Disk Maker and easily create a boot disk:

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