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Two Time Machine Mysteries

1422 Views 34 Replies Latest reply: Aug 17, 2013 12:34 PM by Pondini RSS
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coxorange Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
May 1, 2013 12:26 AM

Hi

 

Yesterday, after a successful Time Machine backup I noticed there were two temporary folders on my Desktop, which I should have deleted BEFORE the backup. Hence I entered Time Machine. First I clicked on the second folder in list view to select it, then on the first one (which deselected the other one) so that only the first folder was selected, right clicked on it and deleted that backup. Unfortunately, after a while, BOTH ( ! ) folders had disappeared! I'm 100% sure that just ONE ( ! ) was selected.

 

I closed TM. Opened it again (I thought refreshing the view would make the one folder (which I didn't select & delete) visible again, but it really was gone.

 

A few minutes later, because I had modified a small, but important file, I ran Time Machine backup again and noticed a strange behaviour:

First it said , backing up 100MB of 500MB, then just before reaching the 500MB it said backing up 450MB of 800MB, then before reaching the 800MB it said backing up 750MB of 1.2GB and so on (the target backup size got permanently corrected) until 15GB ( ! ) were copied.

 

I hope someone can explain these two strange incidents, because otherwise I would question the reliability of my backups.

 

Many thanks.

iMac (27-inch Mid 2010), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,825 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 1, 2013 7:29 AM (in response to coxorange)

    First, start a second backup on another external drive. One backup is not enough to be safe.

     

    Then repair the backup volume in Disk Utility. If any problems are found, repeat. If there's ever another problem with the drive, replace it.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,825 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 1, 2013 11:12 AM (in response to coxorange)

    You need at least two backups of all irreplaceable files. How you accomplish that is up to you. Please post the results of the suggested step.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,825 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2013 7:33 AM (in response to coxorange)

    1. I don't know.

    2. A TM volume is bootable into Recovery mode.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,825 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2013 8:02 AM (in response to coxorange)

    Started with 10.7.2 or 3.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
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    May 4, 2013 8:34 AM (in response to coxorange)

    coxorange wrote:

    . . .

    right clicked on it and deleted that backup. Unfortunately, after a while, BOTH ( ! ) folders had disappeared! I'm 100% sure that just ONE ( ! ) was selected.

    Sounds like you selected "Delete backup" (ie, the entire backup), rather than "Delete all backups of <folder name>" on the contextual menu:

     

    12bb Contextual menu.png

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2013 10:30 AM (in response to coxorange)

    Yes, it's not entirely clear from the menu. 

     

    The Delete Backup option deletes the entire date-stamped backup -- every file and folder.  That backup no longer appears in the Timeline.

     

    The Delete All Backups of <item(s)> option deletes only the backup copies of the item(s) selected, from all date-stamped backups. 

     

    There is no option to delete the backup copy of a selected item from only a single dated backup.

     

     

    If that's not clear, you might want to review the tan box in How Time Machine works its Magic.  Referring to the diagram there, the Delete Backup option deletes one of the backup folders, and the backup copies of any items that existed only on that particular backup.

     

    Thus deleting Backup #2 there would delete that backup folder and the backup copy of File C.

     

    The diagram doesn't show multiple versions of the same file;  if file B had been changed between the two backups, there would be two separate backup copies of it, and the Delete All Backups of <item> option would delete both of them.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2013 3:11 PM (in response to coxorange)

    coxorange wrote:

    . . .

    (The following backup should have added all missing data again to the backup drive, am I right?)

    Yes.

     

    But the only things that were really missing were backups of files that had been added or changed since the previous backup.

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