I believe that's what I've been telling you all along. The scenario in which you need to back up the Mail downloads folder to preserve files is if you have an attachment open, but then remove the corresponding message and havent yet saved the attachment elsewhere.
As for Time Machine and getting used to it, there's really not much to get used to. Simply get an external drive and attach it, and when prompted choose it for use with Time Machine. Then be sure to regularly attach it to your system, and it will make full system backups hourly.
The main benefit of Time Machine is that in the event of a full system failure or massive data loss, you can restore to practically any system and be up and running exactly where you were, without the need to reinstall and migrate data, though this approach is also an option.
Well as for time machine . . . I was not able to find any preferences of back-up service lol. And to edit anything I needed to use some 3rd party applications, this is not what I want.
1) Time Machine didn't "want" to backup my Windows7 partition
2) Time Machine backs up every 24 hours and I can not change it. Taking into account that I have 450 GB space occupied the backup process takes more then 50minutes, so as soon as the process ends, the second one begins. This is pretty loudy because my external HDD is always spinning and Macbook's cooling system is always on (about 4000+ rpm all the time is pretty annoying). Also this wears my external drive off.
3) As a result my macbook's processor is always busy with 90+ C temperature even when I am doing nothing.
4) There are only 2 folders that change rapidly and are to be regulary backup'ed: Mail folder and my own folder containing personal info (word files, excel files, pictures etc). And their size is like 2GB each. The whole other system changes like 1 time in a week (after some upgraid or maybe installing of a new app....or changing some preferences...). But I can not "tell" time machine what to back-up. I can only exclude folders, but this is not what I want.
True it will not back up a Windows partition, though for this you can use WinClone (http://twocanoes.com/winclone/), or a Windows-based solution.
Time Machine will back up on the hour, and not every day. If this is happening then there's something awry with your setup. Time Machine will also only backup the changed files, and not the entire system, in a sense maintaining an ongoing backup instead of creating a new backup each time.
Also, you can set Time Machine to "Off" in Time Machine Preferences. This does not disable Time Machine, it just means you have to start the backup manually. Then you can do your backup at whatever interval you choose.
It is very simple to find/restore files/folders from a Time Machine backup. TM is also nice because it backs up your whole system, in a much simpler and quicker process than on Windows. However, it is not an archive; when the drive/partition on which you keep your Time Machine fills up, TM starts dumping off the oldest backups. According to some experts, you really should still copy your important files over to an external backup. If you format that drive to exFAT, you will be able to access them from Windows or Mac.
Sorry to lug this old thread back into action, but I'm not witnessing two of the behaviors you describe here. I found this conversation while researching Apple Mail's non-intuitive attachment editing behavior as it relates to people with a Windows background (namely, my wife, who is constantly frustrated with OS X). I was hoping to find a solution that would disallow Mail from saving any edited files back to the original Downloads Folder location (which is admittedly non-intuive, though I've long since gotten used to it and know where to look when it happens).
Anyway, while the setup you describe above sounds like a perfect solution, it isn't working in my case:
- "If you Save the attachment you will have a second copy downloaded to the location specified in..." Not what I'm seeing. I just tried opening a Word doc that was sent to me, made a slight change, and saved to its current Downloads location. I do have a second location specified in Mail for the purpose of saving attachments, which is where such a message would assumedly have been moved. Nonetheless, it didn't move anywhere.
- "Any file placed in the folder "Mail Downloads", which you haven't modified will be deleted." Here again, no dice. While that is clearly what is meant by the setting's verbiage, I set it as such and then previewed a simple attached image, then verified that it was stowed in the Downloads folder. I then quit Mail and watched. Nothing happened, the file and its folder were (are) still there. I re-opened/re-quit Mail, no change.
I don't really expect a solution to my issues, it's possible that there's just something wrong with my system (corrupted preferences or something), but I do want to alert others who come across this thread that the solution cited may not work for them. But if anyone has ideas for making my Mail follow Moloy's rules, I'm all ears.
Follow-up: I just tried the same experiments on my wife's computer, which is still on 10.7.5 (mine is up to date, 10.9.2). While her copy of Mail does properly expunge the Downloaded Mail folder upon quit, it still doesn't move edited versions to the assigned downloads folder, it allows edited documents to stay in the same archaic ~/Mail/...Downloaded Mail folder. So the case may be that there's something wrong with my own install, but I'm seeing no evidence of the supposed automatic moving/copying of edited files to the user-selected downloads folder.