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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac OS X > The Official Time Machine Q&A Thread

The Official Time Machine Q&A Thread (Page 3)
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Clinically Insane
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Nov 9, 2007, 06:49 PM
 
Network backups were originally a Leopard feature, but this feature was pulled at the very last minute.

There are hacks to get network backups to work, sort of (you can backup, but I've never been able to get the TM interface to recognize the files properly), but if you have a lot of files on your computer this is also useless. Having to scan through an entire backup set over the network every hour is just too time consuming, it requires you to basically constantly be backing up. Plus, TM only works over AFP right now which is already very slow... Throw in the speeds of a wireless connection and its fluctuations...
     
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Nov 9, 2007, 08:20 PM
 
I'm having trouble with Time Machine too. I'm using a partition of an external FW drive, and Time Machine just hangs after getting a couple gigs into the backup. I found an article somewhere saying that the drive should be GUID partition-mapped, and that MBR mapping is a problem. Mine's neither; it's Apple partition scheme. So is that the reason? Is there a workaround other than reformatting my entire external drive?
     
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Nov 9, 2007, 08:23 PM
 
Maybe you could try backing up to a mounted disk image?
     
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Nov 10, 2007, 08:25 AM
 
Actually I take it back, it's not just Time Machine. My FW drive is being flaky in general under Leopard
     
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Nov 11, 2007, 08:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by adamfishercox View Post
It's not broken or anything. Think about it. You can't "Back up" Safari, so it won't move Safari into a backup scenario. Instead, it grabs the Finder Window, which you can back up. In Mail, Address Book, iPhoto, and a few others are the only ones that will enter Time Machine, because they are the only back-uppable apps.
TM can back up any file. Safari is a file. Everything is a file. Your statement about "back-uppable apps" is ludicrous.
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Nov 11, 2007, 08:42 AM
 
Hi,

For some reason my TimeMachine doesn't integrate with iPhoto which I know it should have. So when I launch iPhoto and click on TimeMachine, the iPhoto window dissapear and I'm presented with a Finder window. How am I going to restore my photo then because we all know how messy iPhoto manages its files structure?!

There's nothing excluded in my Time Machine's Option except it's own backup drive. My iPhoto is 7.02 part of iLife '08.

Any clues please?
     
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Nov 11, 2007, 09:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by msuper69 View Post
TM can back up any file. Safari is a file. Everything is a file. Your statement about "back-uppable apps" is ludicrous.
Reread his post. He means that the content inside Safari can't be (meaningfully/usefully) backed up. The app itself is backed up inside the applications folder, but if you open TM while in safari, it just kicks you back to finder window (from which you could recover the safari app itself, but not the contents of a safari window).
     
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Nov 11, 2007, 11:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by wataru View Post
Actually I take it back, it's not just Time Machine. My FW drive is being flaky in general under Leopard
What brand is the drive?

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Nov 14, 2007, 02:21 PM
 
I installed a new bigger drive into my time machine server, but I can't seem to move the time machine volumes over to that new drive (up from a 120 to a 750). It would be great if I could retain my backups thus far as I transition to the new drive. A file copy says that I don't have enough space, which isn't true, but since Time Machine uses multiple hard links, it makes sense to me it says I don't have enough space. Ideas?
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Nov 14, 2007, 02:27 PM
 
Schalliol: how are you attempting to copy the data? I would recommend using rsync with the -E flag to maintain OS X metadata, the -a flag for archiving, the -H flag to maintain hard links, and the -v flag so that you watch the syncing...
     
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Nov 26, 2007, 08:01 AM
 
I'm having a problem with TM that I haven't seen discussed elsewhere on this site yet (well... maybe some mention)... TM seems to be making backups like it should, however, when I open TM to the "outer space" thing where I can see the stack of dated backups, it shows the most recent backup as having been made 15 days ago. I've made changes to my computer since then so there is something there to back up. Another clue maybe, is that I'm not getting the "creating backup" dialogue box with the progress meter... when the backups occur, a volume is mounted and then goes away. Looking in the backup folder on my HD, I see that TM hasn't been making recent backups. I have a MacBook and am using an external 500GB HD. How should I try to fix this?

****
Okay... so I ran a backup again, and when the volume mounted, I looked into it, and lo and behold, my backups were there inside. But, they're still not showing on my HD. Have I screwed up something stupid with my settings or something? What's a sparsebundle? There's an empty one on my HD that's dated the date my backups stopped working.
****

I saw someone with a similar issue with his TM doing the sparsebundle to root thing. How do you correct this?

****

Thank you!
( Last edited by ~ Billy.; Nov 26, 2007 at 09:37 AM. Reason: Correct/add additional information.)
     
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Nov 26, 2007, 08:16 AM
 


My backup drive suddenly became Read-only. After a few alerts of that from Time Machine, the OS itself told me that I should backup my hard drive and reformat. No big deal really as I didn't lose anything, but pretty annoying and unnerving.

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Nov 27, 2007, 07:10 AM
 
Using Leopard, we connected our Maxter 120gb HD via usb to the Macbook. Time Machine copied all of the data already on the Maxter into the file on the Macbook. Does this mean that we need to dedicate one external HD per Macbook, or is there a way to tell Time Machine to direct itself to a specific file on the Maxter ??
     
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Nov 27, 2007, 06:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by bradkap View Post
Using Leopard, we connected our Maxter 120gb HD via usb to the Macbook. Time Machine copied all of the data already on the Maxter into the file on the Macbook. Does this mean that we need to dedicate one external HD per Macbook, or is there a way to tell Time Machine to direct itself to a specific file on the Maxter ??
Time Machine creates a different folder for each computer inside the backupdb folder.
     
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Nov 30, 2007, 01:06 AM
 
I am having this problem as well. My first instal of leopard worked fine with this but my second instal lost this for some reason. I need an event I deleted!


Originally Posted by lioneltz View Post
Hi,

For some reason my TimeMachine doesn't integrate with iPhoto which I know it should have. So when I launch iPhoto and click on TimeMachine, the iPhoto window dissapear and I'm presented with a Finder window. How am I going to restore my photo then because we all know how messy iPhoto manages its files structure?!

There's nothing excluded in my Time Machine's Option except it's own backup drive. My iPhoto is 7.02 part of iLife '08.

Any clues please?
     
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Nov 30, 2007, 01:12 AM
 
I am having this problem as well. My first instal of leopard worked fine with this but my second instal lost this for some reason. I need an event I deleted!


Originally Posted by lioneltz View Post
Hi,

For some reason my TimeMachine doesn't integrate with iPhoto which I know it should have. So when I launch iPhoto and click on TimeMachine, the iPhoto window dissapear and I'm presented with a Finder window. How am I going to restore my photo then because we all know how messy iPhoto manages its files structure?!

There's nothing excluded in my Time Machine's Option except it's own backup drive. My iPhoto is 7.02 part of iLife '08.

Any clues please?
     
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Nov 30, 2007, 01:23 AM
 
I was able to get network backups to work after invoking the defaults command to enable support for unsupported drives. However, the backups just seem too slow to be worth my while. I was thinking of tweaking it by excluding some more stuff or perhaps even playing around with CPU priorities, but after a while it just seemed like it was just backing something up all the time.

I suppose an hourly backup of my entire home directory is just a little excessive. That may be one of the reasons why network backups are not fully supported...

I'd use TM if there was a way to only get it to backup my Desktop every hour, and to do my home directory once a day, or something like that. I could even go with Desktop once a day, home directory once a week.

If anybody discovers a way to customize TM in this respect, please let me know!
     
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Nov 30, 2007, 02:39 PM
 
I had no problem backing up to external firewire drive with time machine on my intel laptop. But trying the same thing on my power pc iMac propduced a backup failure after about 5gb.

I read the apple tech note about partitioning, but the drive won't unmount to erase and repartition - says files are in use.

any suggestgions?
     
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Nov 30, 2007, 02:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I suppose an hourly backup of my entire home directory is just a little excessive.
Really? How much data do you produce in one hour?
     
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Dec 8, 2007, 04:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by wataru View Post
Actually I take it back, it's not just Time Machine. My FW drive is being flaky in general under Leopard
It looks like 10.5.1 resolved all my Time Machine and FW drive issues.
     
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Dec 17, 2007, 12:51 PM
 
How much space are people allocating to their backup? I have a 320 GB internal drive which is backing up to a 500 GB external. As of now there's only about 90 GB of stuff which is to be backed up, as the rest is game files I can reload from the DVD.
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Jan 12, 2008, 05:02 AM
 
Hi all, I have been using Time Machine for about a month now, and its backing up on the hour to a 200gig usb drive from my 120gb mbp. It's getting down to a low point on the drive (25gig free) and what's starting to happen, which may be unrelated to everything said so far) is that the drive will intermittently eject by itself and then reattach right after that. The drive is old and the case is older, but it's worked so far without a problem, so wondering what would cause this annoyance (big red X device removal warning). If there was a way to disable that warning on that specific drive, I would not be bothered. Thanks!

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Jan 12, 2008, 09:18 AM
 
I have the same problem with my external USB drive attached to my MacBook, and it did this in 10.4 already. It's very annoying and I would like to now why it does this, but it's not Time Machine.

175 GB in one month is a lot of data you created. Large disc images (like a Paralles image) should probably exlcuded from Time Machine and backed up manually. If I'd work with video I would also exclcude a folder from backup where I work with the video files so that only the final result is backed up.
I also heard that the Entourage database is monolithic and therefore wastes a lot of backup space. There's nothing one can do about that.
     
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Jan 12, 2008, 10:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
I have the same problem with my external USB drive attached to my MacBook, and it did this in 10.4 already. It's very annoying and I would like to now why it does this, but it's not Time Machine.
I guess that's good news. I would hate to think there is something wrong with time machine as it has already saved my butt at least 3 or 4 times in just this past month. I even did a complete system restore from it, and it worked! So the problem may be with the chip in the controller of the usb drive then eh? This drive and case has worked for years flawlessly on a pc when it was formatted for NTFS. It was erased, partitioned and formatted for time machine. Dunno what to do about that but see if I can turn the error message off for that drive?

Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
175 GB in one month is a lot of data you created. Large disc images (like a Paralles image) should probably exlcuded from Time Machine and backed up manually. If I'd work with video I would also exclcude a folder from backup where I work with the video files so that only the final result is backed up.
I also heard that the Entourage database is monolithic and therefore wastes a lot of backup space. There's nothing one can do about that.
The actual size of the backupdb is only 144gigs. I have set the drive up with the leopard install disk cloned to be bootable, and I also store the acronis bootcamp backup tib there. Plus my poor mbp drive is already over 80% full. I also have another external usb where I put the CCC clone of my system at least once a week and store in another part of the building - ya can't be too careful eh? So with that timemachine drive it looks like I will be able to get one month of dailies, so that's grand. Cheers!

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Jan 12, 2008, 03:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by TETENAL View Post
I have the same problem with my external USB drive attached to my MacBook, and it did this in 10.4 already. It's very annoying and I would like to now why it does this, but it's not Time Machine.

175 GB in one month is a lot of data you created. Large disc images (like a Paralles image) should probably exlcuded from Time Machine and backed up manually. If I'd work with video I would also exclcude a folder from backup where I work with the video files so that only the final result is backed up.
I also heard that the Entourage database is monolithic and therefore wastes a lot of backup space. There's nothing one can do about that.
I have excluded a lot of stuff from my Time Machine backup: the disk image for Virtual PC install, 60 GB of scenery for X-Plane, my Downloads folder and downloaded DJ sets I regularly back up to DVD when the folders reach 4 GB or so. There's a lot of stuff which just doesn't need to be backed up.
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Jan 14, 2008, 12:59 AM
 
I've done the same. Folders with material that is large (like images) and get changed a lot is excluded. Otherwise the backup file could get huge very quickly.
     
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Jan 15, 2008, 02:51 PM
 
So anyone know if Apple will let us use Airport disks (externals that are connected to Airport Extreme via USB) with Time Machine, now that Time Capsule is out?
     
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Jan 15, 2008, 03:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by timmerk View Post
So anyone know if Apple will let us use Airport disks (externals that are connected to Airport Extreme via USB) with Time Machine, now that Time Capsule is out?
Yeah, I want to know the same thing, but with Netatalk shares...
     
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Jan 16, 2008, 05:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by timmerk View Post
So anyone know if Apple will let us use Airport disks (externals that are connected to Airport Extreme via USB) with Time Machine, now that Time Capsule is out?
They better. We bought an external LaCie mini to go with our AirPort Extreme for this very purpose.

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Jan 16, 2008, 05:39 PM
 
I don't know about Airport disks, but it is possible to do wireless printing to drives connected to network mountable drives connected to other machines now. However, it is sooooo slow backing up this way that it isn't really practical to have done automatically every hour. I'm hoping that this slowness in inspecting files is simply a bug that will be corrected though.
     
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Jan 18, 2008, 09:56 AM
 
The File Vault backup function really needs attention.

the only way I currently see is to use a 3rd party folder-synchronization application that can be manually be started to sync the user home directory with a manually mounted encrypted disk image on the back up drive.

Please let me know if there is a more practical procedure.
     
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Jan 19, 2008, 08:17 AM
 
Apologies if this has been answered,, but I'm getting conflicting responses.

I have a MB, MBP and PPC Mac Mini (headless as a media server) All 10.5X. All on a home wireless network - mini connected to the router via ethernet.

If I have a firewire/USB drive attached to my Mini - can I get the MBP/MB to backup with Time Machine over the wireless network?

...without a hack.

I'm looking at the time capsule - but am wondering whether I really need it or if I can just use what I have. I'm away from home at the moment, so cant experiment - but the Mrs is itching for an aggressive backup solution like TM.
     
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Jan 19, 2008, 12:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by anselm View Post
The File Vault backup function really needs attention.

the only way I currently see is to use a 3rd party folder-synchronization application that can be manually be started to sync the user home directory with a manually mounted encrypted disk image on the back up drive.

Please let me know if there is a more practical procedure.
I echo this, and it's the reason I don't use FileVault. What I do is create encrypted sparsebundles for corporate financial information and open them and enter independent passwords when I need to access them.
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Jan 20, 2008, 09:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by fallingman View Post
I have a MB, MBP and PPC Mac Mini (headless as a media server) All 10.5X. All on a home wireless network - mini connected to the router via ethernet.

If I have a firewire/USB drive attached to my Mini - can I get the MBP/MB to backup with Time Machine over the wireless network?
Yes - I have a Firewire drive on my MDD G4, and my PB backs up to it just fine. I do have to explicitly mount the remote drive on the powerbook - TM won't do it on its own, but it reminds me whenever 10 days go by without a backup. I just double click the drive's folder in the list of shares for the desktop, and TM starts backing up. Just note that it will create a disk image on the remote drive and backs up to that, rather than to a folder as it would if it were local.
     
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Jan 20, 2008, 02:34 PM
 
It should mount it automatically. One of mine does over the network to a NAS and another to a Leopard Server.
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Jan 23, 2008, 09:25 AM
 
Someone at work suggested not bothering to back up applications...

If I excluded the apps folder altogether would I run into trouble backing up, say, email or any other application that stores a lot of information other than the core app. Address book etc?
     
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Jan 23, 2008, 09:59 AM
 
No, as long as you back up your home folder, you'll back up all your mail and addresses. The app itself is replaceable and doesn't contain your data.

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Jan 23, 2008, 03:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by schalliol View Post
I installed a new bigger drive into my time machine server, but I can't seem to move the time machine volumes over to that new drive (up from a 120 to a 750). It would be great if I could retain my backups thus far as I transition to the new drive. A file copy says that I don't have enough space, which isn't true, but since Time Machine uses multiple hard links, it makes sense to me it says I don't have enough space. Ideas?
I am having the same problem. I allowed Time Machine Server (TMS) to first set up its sparseimages on my Mac Pro's boot drive. I then installed a 750GB additional drive and changed the settings in Server Prefs to now use that drive. I also deleted the backups folder from the boot drive to free up the space TMS had been using (probably a mistake!). I don't care about picking up where I left off I just want a fresh start where each client can see the time machine server and back up. Right now the clients do not see any volumes to back up to.
     
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Jan 23, 2008, 05:22 PM
 
I've been seeing this problm using TM and a 500GB FW400 GTech drive.

First backup works OK, but subsequen ones fail, especially if the Mac sleeps in between. Drive has been repartitioned as a GUID map but still fails. Strangely it appears more stable when partitioned as an Apple Partitionmap drive.

I'm thinking the drive may be flakey even though it's out of the box new since it behaves badly when attached to severla differenrt Macs, while my new Maxtor drive is 100% reliable (so far) and also not partitioned as GUID. I assume a GUIS partition is only needed if the drive is required ot be bootable, and since TM backups are not bootable then it's not a big deal.
     
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Jan 24, 2008, 05:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by mishakim View Post
Yes - I have a Firewire drive on my MDD G4, and my PB backs up to it just fine. I do have to explicitly mount the remote drive on the powerbook - TM won't do it on its own, but it reminds me whenever 10 days go by without a backup. I just double click the drive's folder in the list of shares for the desktop, and TM starts backing up. Just note that it will create a disk image on the remote drive and backs up to that, rather than to a folder as it would if it were local.
Hmmm.
I had to browse to my mini and begin using the External HD before my MBP would see the Time Machine Drive over the wireless network... Does this mean that every time I restart my machine or bring it back to my home network - I'm going to have to manually mount the drive to back myself up?? Admitedly - I'm still doing my initial 60gig backup - so I havent tried this.

It kind of seems against the entire point of Time Machine as a low-touch solution...

As an after thought - I actually connected the HD directly to my machine to do my initial backup - thinking that when it was on the network it would simly begin the incrimental ones... But I'm having to redo my full 60gig backup... Like it doesn't recognise that Its the same HD...
     
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Jan 25, 2008, 07:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by fallingman View Post
Hmmm.
I had to browse to my mini and begin using the External HD before my MBP would see the Time Machine Drive over the wireless network... Does this mean that every time I restart my machine or bring it back to my home network - I'm going to have to manually mount the drive to back myself up??
Yes, that's what I have to do. Others have said it happens automatically, but I don't know how.

Originally Posted by fallingman View Post
As an after thought - I actually connected the HD directly to my machine to do my initial backup - thinking that when it was on the network it would simly begin the incrimental ones... But I'm having to redo my full 60gig backup... Like it doesn't recognise that Its the same HD...
The same happened to me. When the drive is mounted remotely, it has to (or thinks it has to?) use a disk image so that the local machine has direct access to the file system. I assume it can't be sure the remote drive is HFS+ or it can't access the new hard linking scheme TM. Once the 60GB backup is done, future backups will be incremental to the disk image, and you can scrap the original unless you plan to keep using a direct connection and keep two parallel backups.
     
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Jan 25, 2008, 10:51 AM
 
I think the reason for the disk image is to deal with OS X metadata, which is not supported under various file systems, and I'm not sure of xattr data travels with files under the various file exchange protocols (e.g. Samba, NFS, SSHfs, older versions of AFP, etc.)
     
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Jan 27, 2008, 02:06 AM
 
Hi all, i would like to find an easy an effective way to highlight something on my desktop to indicate that timemachine is doing its thing. i searched around and found complicated procedures using console and even a growl script that does not work. Is there any help here? It would be really cool to illuminate the desktop or doc icon when time machine was running, something simple like that. Well, cheers!

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Jan 28, 2008, 03:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by forumhound View Post
Hi all, i would like to find an easy an effective way to highlight something on my desktop to indicate that timemachine is doing its thing. i searched around and found complicated procedures using console and even a growl script that does not work. Is there any help here? It would be really cool to illuminate the desktop or doc icon when time machine was running, something simple like that. Well, cheers!
Unfortunately, I don't know of anything like that. At home I use a combination of GeekTool and this hint from macosxhints.com
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Feb 2, 2008, 12:56 PM
 
I have noticed that sometimes (not always - bizarre) that when I select a file and click "Open with..." it not only loads my applications from the Applications folder, but apparently also from Time Machine. I will get two of everything in the list.

Is anyone else experiencing this? (I did perform a search before posting this and nothing was returned - so if this was discussed I apologize).
24 inch iMac 2.4, 320GB HD, 4 GB RAM
500 GB Ext FW Drv, 120 GB Ext FW Drv
     
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Feb 2, 2008, 01:46 PM
 
Yeah, that happens with me too. It annoys me just as much as it annoys me that it spins up my disc whenever I click "Open..." or "Save..." It causes the whole computer to freeze for 3 seconds.If I want to save something on the external disc, SPIN IT UP WHEN I CLICK ON IT!!!
     
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Feb 2, 2008, 02:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by adamfishercox View Post
Yeah...it annoys me that it spins up my disc whenever I click "Open..." or "Save..." It causes the whole computer to freeze for 3 seconds.
Yes yes! That too! I think maybe Time Machine should have some special mount flag that indicates it is not to be processed by the Finder or something to that effect... :/ Altho' I don't know how they would implement something like that, because you would also want it to be available to mount as a normal disk.
24 inch iMac 2.4, 320GB HD, 4 GB RAM
500 GB Ext FW Drv, 120 GB Ext FW Drv
     
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Feb 4, 2008, 11:44 AM
 
Well, it worked for a month or so but now time machine tried to do the hourly backup and somewhere between "preparing" and "copying" it fails because the drive is mysteriously unmounted. I am using a 180gb external usb on a new MBP. I tried rebuilding the directory with Disk Warrior 4.1, but while it found lots of stuff wrong with the drive, the results with TM are the same.

As an aside, I find it interesting there is no real documentation on how this thing works, or if there is, it's hidden on the web somewhere. This thread was the closest thing I could find in google. But even in this thread, there does not seem to much clarity on how this app really works. Understanding exactly what's going on and when would be helpful in troubleshooting, no? Error message explanations would be nice too. The help file for TM is just insane, have u noticed? How about this one:

"You may be able to use Time Machine for a long time before running out of space on your backup disk. If you do run out of space, the best thing to do is to attach a new backup disk."

Uh, wha???

And this is a classic: Apple Support article: “Time Machine stops backing up to external disk”, which leads to a 404 error:
Not Found
The requested URL /apdredirects/en/redir36973.html was not found on this server

But wouldn't ya know, as soon as I start posting a problem, it's been on the fritz for 4 days now, its now working but instead of doing an incremental it looks like it's doing a big chunk, 33mb worth. But at least its writing to the TM drive now... albiet slowly. It seems to have lost that much, and is now trying to reclaim it. (previous hourlys were about 1-2 gb max). Well, hoping this is a self-healing kind of app, cause who would know otherwise?

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Feb 4, 2008, 11:50 AM
 
What errors are being logged forumhound?
     
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Feb 4, 2008, 06:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by forumhound View Post
Hi all, i would like to find an easy an effective way to highlight something on my desktop to indicate that timemachine is doing its thing. i searched around and found complicated procedures using console and even a growl script that does not work. Is there any help here? It would be really cool to illuminate the desktop or doc icon when time machine was running, something simple like that. Well, cheers!
The icon next to the Time Machine HD in Finder is spinning when Time Machine is doing it's job. Apart from that, why would you want to know? The beauty of Time Machine is that it's so unobtrusive and transparent.

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