Time Machine help

Posted by: starmillway

Time Machine help - 10/26/09 12:41 PM


When I first started using Time Machine, it showed backups for 15 days or maybe even a full month. Somewhere along the way it has changed to only showing 5 days of backups. I can not find an option for choosing how many days to back up. Is there one? How can I get back to longer periods of backups.

I remember once that TechTool Pro told me the disk I was using was close to full. I turned that option of notifying me off because I thought Time Machine would just start dropping the oldest days and recording the newest days automatically.

smile

I've turned TM off right now as you can see in the pict.






A larger view of screen shot is here.

Posted by: Jim_

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 01:09 PM

I've seen this happen before more than once. It happened to me when I made a hard drive swap. Installed a new drive and cloned back to the new drive. The actual backups are still on the drive, just not available through the Time Machine interface. TM started a new backup in my case.

I never did bother to figure it out. I just wiped the TM drive and let it start fresh. Have you replaced the boot drive or anything recently? Has it shown only 5 days for a while or is it a new development?
Posted by: carp

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 01:40 PM

Quote:
I thought Time Machine would just start dropping the oldest days and recording the newest days automatically.


Am I missing something ?
I too thought TM would only back up new or changed files , not make 10 copies of the same file ? Is that whats happening
Posted by: starmillway

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 06:00 PM


Looking at my TM picture above, that is what it looks like. All the data are there way back maybe a month, but only a week shows up. I had turned of TM and was about to wipe the external drive TM is on and start over. I thought maybe I should ask before doing that as maybe I would screw up things.
-*-*-*-*-


So, now I've started on the drive Zero Out Data selected; Mac OS Extended (Journaled). smile

Posted by: MacBozo

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 06:03 PM

I've had some success by simply deselecting the backup volume and then re-selecting it in the TM pref panel.
Posted by: starmillway

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 06:08 PM

Originally Posted By: carp
Quote:
I thought Time Machine would just start dropping the oldest days and recording the newest days automatically.


Am I missing something ?
I too thought TM would only back up new or changed files , not make 10 copies of the same file ? Is that whats happening


As I understand it, Carp, I could have a file called "Ethel's Vacation Plans" and it gets backed up every day for say 30 days if that is what I have room for on my TM backup drive. But, so does everything else on my computer unless I exclude it in the prefs. I haven't excluded anything except another hard drive I use occasionally and that I do exclude.

So I have 30 copies of Ethel's Vacation Plans and I could get the original one back or the one I revised 3 days ago.

I use TM but damned if I could find much information about using it. I've looked everywhere and even Apple's docs don't really give you much information.

Maybe someone will come along and give you better info.

I just know I was glad I had TM when I deleted all the email on my Comcast account! Phew! smile


Posted by: starmillway

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 06:09 PM

Originally Posted By: MacBozo
I've had some success by simply deselecting the backup volume and then re-selecting it in the TM pref panel.


Tooooooooooooo late! I'm already erasing the drive. Wish I could have tried that one. If it happens again, I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for chiming in.

Posted by: MacBozo

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 06:15 PM

My oldest backup is August 23rd. I know that TM is only backing up changes since then since it is only backing up a few MBs at a time. However, if I get info on the latest backup, it shows it as 63 GBs which indicates that it is referencing the original/oldest backup.
Posted by: starmillway

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 06:22 PM


I think that makes sense. Let me ask this: If I started my document Ethel's Vacation 30 days ago and made revisions every day for the next 30 days, would I have the document 30 times so that I could just get say the document with the fifth day's revisions on it and not the next 25 days?

Posted by: MacBozo

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 06:28 PM

I think that's the plan. I don't know if TM backs up the entire document, but it does keep track of all changes to the original. Yes, you can get the fifth day version.
Posted by: Lea

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 06:29 PM


Everything I know about TM that I didn't learn here, I got from the Missing Manual (Leopard). I swear by those books, love 'em, never regretted a dime spent.

When my PowerMac bit the biscuit last December, we bit the biscuit and got me a MacPro. Never regretted a dime on it either, but that's when I got good with TM. I'm still backed up through last January, and even though I rarely go there ~ LIttle Sister wants some research docs we did back in May? I don't want to dig out my Project DVD and wade through gigs looking for that one stinkin' file? Don't have to.

I really worship at TM's alter when I realize that I've just screwed up a week's work in about an hour and a half. I trot back to the night before I lost my mind and screwed up the file and ~ it's FM*, I'm tellin' ya.

Anyway, kate, the Missing Manuals kick ass.


*F'n Magic laugh



Posted by: MacBozo

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 06:36 PM

FM. That's my wife's attitude for anything computer related. laugh
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 06:40 PM

Before TM, there were auto-backup solutions out there, but none were very user friendly. With Snow Leopard and Migration Assistant now TM aware, it's a nobrainer to use TM. I'll have to get a larger backup drive when I start importing my music CDs and LPs into iTunes.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 07:24 PM

Originally Posted By: starmillway
As I understand it, Carp, I could have a file called "Ethel's Vacation Plans" and it gets backed up every day for say 30 days if that is what I have room for on my TM backup drive.
That's what it fakes you into believing. When it backs up it only copies files that have been modified since the last backup. All the other files, like "Ethel's Vacation Plans," don't get copied again if they haven't been modified. They use sym links, fancy aliases, to make the new backup look like it copied everything again.
Quote:
So I have 30 copies of Ethel's Vacation Plans and I could get the original one back or the one I revised 3 days ago.
You'd have 30 different copies only if you modified it 30 times, otherwise the other copies are small aliases. Smaller than the brain mass of Bush. wink
Quote:
I use TM but damned if I could find much information about using it. I've looked everywhere and even Apple's docs don't really give you much information.
You've found the right place. grin
Posted by: carp

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 07:33 PM

Originally Posted By: starmillway

I think that makes sense. Let me ask this: If I started my document Ethel's Vacation 30 days ago and made revisions every day for the next 30 days, would I have the document 30 times so that I could just get say the document with the fifth day's revisions on it and not the next 25 days?



Ahhh yes and no

TM should back up the revisions you made over the 30 days and time stamp it

If your original Ethels Vacation documents is 100 megs and you make 1 meg changes for the next 30 days - the files size should be 130 megs give or take for what was deleted .

Now if TM is giving you a over 3 gigs for that document over the 30 days then that is totally wrong
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 08:23 PM

Originally Posted By: carp
If your original Ethels Vacation documents is 100 megs and you make 1 meg changes for the next 30 days - the files size should be 130 megs give or take for what was deleted
That's not the way it works. If a 100 meg file was changed even 1bit, it copies the whole 100M file over again, not just the changed part. No backup system is smart enough to only copy the 1bit of changes in a document.

So let's assume each day you added 1M worth of stuff to the file, on the second day you would have a total of 201M of backup, the third day you'd have 302M, the fourth day 403M and so on.
Quote:
Now if TM is giving you a over 3 gigs for that document over the 30 days then that is totally wrong
As you can see from my example it could hit 3 G in about three weeks, that's normal.

After a month the daily backups start dropping off.
Posted by: carp

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 08:41 PM

I see where your coming from

However I am assuming that 100M in Kates Vacation example has 100 - 1 meg files . So if she changes one file the other 99 should not be duplicated each time . Thats what I am talking about

Folders -vs- files I guess

Still if you have a 100M file and you change the word ahhh from "" they to theirs" TM should not back up the whole 100M file , rather link and time stamp the change back to the original
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Time Machine help - 10/26/09 09:04 PM

Yes, folders vs files. Kate said one file, not 100 1M files, that's what I was referring to, one 100M file. Yes, in your example it wouldn't copy the whole folder, only the file/s that changed in the folder, the rest of the files in the folder that didn't change would be aliases.
Originally Posted By: carp

Still if you have a 100M file and you change the word ahhh from "" they to theirs" TM should not back up the whole 100M file , rather link and time stamp the change back to the original
It backs up the whole file again like I explained above. You don't seem to understand the complexity of just backing up changes, it doesn't work the way you're saying. It would be nice, but it doesn't. For starters Time Machine would have to understand the file format of every program ever made to do that.

I don't even know of a program that operates that way with its own native files except Adobe's Version Cue with pics, but that's what it's made for. Of course it relies on you keeping the original file forever. TM doesn't work like that, it throws out versions when they get old enough, that's why it copies the whole recent versions of files.
Posted by: iMacsoontobe

Re: Time Machine help - 10/27/09 05:23 AM

Wow!
Learning so much, you guys rock!
Reboot is the MAN!!!
Posted by: starmillway

Re: Time Machine help - 10/27/09 10:44 AM

Originally Posted By: iMacsoontobe
Wow!
Learning so much, you guys rock!
Reboot is the MAN!!!


You're welcome smile Because I still don't understand it fully, and asked the question, you benefit! Anyway, as long as Reboot understands, I am comforted that he's here to bail us out when needed.

After I wiped my drive and started up TM again, things were not just right yet. Was disappointed somewhat until I "set up" TM again and it is now back to normal.

I thought the hard drive would be big enough but I wish I had gotten a really large one. I had to exclude all my movies so that I could back up everything else. I'll back up the movies on anohter drive.

Posted by: starmillway

Re: Time Machine help - 10/27/09 12:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Lea

Everything I know about TM that I didn't learn here, I got from the Missing Manual (Leopard). I swear by those books, love 'em, never regretted a dime spent.

Anyway, kate, the Missing Manuals kick ass.



Thanks Lady! I haven't added SL to my Mac yet so I'm going to check MM out and when/if it ads SL stuff I'll get a copy (it's available for pre-order). Maybe before then if I find it too good to pass up. Sounds like I need a trip to Portland Powell's Book store. I could get some coffe and donut and read the whole book in one day on one of their comfy chairs smile.

I just went to Powell's link and am not sure which book you are referring to. The books are cheaper at Powell's than on the link you provided.

Ha! I pharted around so much time that I've bought two books!



Posted by: carp

Re: Time Machine help - 10/27/09 12:03 PM

I understand what your saying

Was thinking something like Photoshop layers but like you said cannot be done
Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: Time Machine help - 10/27/09 12:04 PM

I just checked my TM to see how far back I could go.
I can still resurrect files from Oct. 29, 2008!
Which happens to be the date I bought my iMac. It's a miracle.
There are a lot of folders I don't feel the need to backup, so my 500GB external is only 320 full.
It is truly FM.
smile
Posted by: starmillway

Re: Time Machine help - 10/27/09 12:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Acumowchek
I just checked my TM to see how far back I could go.
I can still resurrect files from Oct. 29, 2008!
Which happens to be the date I bought my iMac. It's a miracle.
There are a lot of folders I don't feel the need to backup, so my 500GB external is only 320 full.
It is truly FM.
smile


Crikey! Acumowchek or anybody else -- Give me some ideas of things I might not need to back up!



Posted by: Lea

Re: Time Machine help - 10/27/09 12:20 PM


Oh, I'm sorry, kate, I only meant to point you to the titles. Hands down, you can snag 'em some place else for less. They make those pups for everything from iPhones to iPods to iDidn'tEvenKnowiNeededThat. laugh



Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: Time Machine help - 10/27/09 12:38 PM

I'm certainly not one to give any advice, but I don't backup anything if I have access to the physical media.
That includes movies, music and applications. I've only got bit once by not having these, and it was a quick reinstall.
Every year I backup important files and documents to 3 DVD's (one for home, one for work, and the one for actually using), then delete them from time machine. Or, at least, that's the plan.
I've only had it a year wink
Every three months or so, I delete unneeded backups from TM to clear space.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Time Machine help - 10/27/09 07:05 PM

Originally Posted By: carp
Was thinking something like Photoshop layers but like you said cannot be done
Yeah, the Photoshop file only changes a bit in size when adding a layer but TM sees it as a whole new file and recopies it.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Time Machine help - 10/27/09 07:55 PM

Re: what to backup. I back it all up in case I have to rebuild. I do have a SuperDuper bootable backup that runs daily also.

The Movies folder is okay to exclude if you don't care to lose what's in there.

Most people process movies into the Movies folder which is why it is recommended not to back it up. What happens is, if you're processing a movie that ends up being 3G in size for example, and it takes a couple of hours or so to process, every hour Time Machine sees a changed file and backs it up again.

So if you want to backup your Movies folder but not waste disk space, you can make a separate folder to process, (Save) movies in, exclude it from TM, and then move them to the Movies folder when done.

If you work on pictures out of something other than iPhoto you can choose one folder to put the pics in until you're done manipulating them and them move them to the folder you want when you're done.

To save space another thing I do is when I'm for example downloading updates and updating I turn TM off until I'm done. It speeds things up, plus you're not backing up files you're going to throw out when done updating anyway.

Do you use Toast? Even if not I'll explain, of course. smirk If you use Toast you want to exclude the Roxio Converted items folder. In Toast 9 and 10 by default Toast puts it in the Application package crazy so you need to choose the Toast application to exclude, or you can make a new folder, name it whatever, place it wherever, but exclude it from TM, then go to Toast's preferences and under Storage choose that folder for converted items.

Come to think of it, the easiest thing actually is to get a 1 or 2TB drive and not worry about any of that. grin Hmm, I probably should.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Time Machine help - 10/27/09 08:25 PM

Every three months or so, I delete unneeded backups from TM to clear space.

Why don't you just set TM to auto delete backups as the drive fills up?
Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: Time Machine help - 10/27/09 08:57 PM

Quote:
Why don't you just set TM to auto delete backups as the drive fills up?


Because I don't know what I'm doing?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
grin

I only have one external HD that I use for TM and lots of other crap that I accumulate.
I wish that I had partitioned it when I got it, and let TM fill up half, and keep the other half for crap. I try to keep my start up disk as clean as possible with Apple and use other partitions or hard drives for 3rd party apps and storage.

Don't ask me why.
Figured I could reinstall, or update, or even wipe the partition clean, and reinstall the core OS without having to reinstall apps and files.

Anyway I look at it, I need more hard drives smile
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Time Machine help - 10/28/09 10:24 AM

You can still set it that way.. even if you use the drive for other stuff besides TM backups.
TM will still know when your drive is full.


I think this is correct... check it out.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Time Machine help - 10/28/09 10:49 AM

Originally Posted By: NucleusG4
You can still set it that way.. even if you use the drive for other stuff besides TM backups.
TM will still know when your drive is full.


I think this is correct... check it out.
You are correct.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Time Machine help - 10/28/09 12:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Reboot
Originally Posted By: NucleusG4
You can still set it that way.. even if you use the drive for other stuff besides TM backups.
TM will still know when your drive is full.


I think this is correct... check it out.
You are correct.


Oh.. I know it's correct. I was just making an attempt at sounding humble. sick
Posted by: Acumowchek

Re: Time Machine help - 10/28/09 12:53 PM

Quote:
Oh.. I know it's correct. I was just making an attempt at sounding humble.


And it's appreciated! smile
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Time Machine help - 10/28/09 05:08 PM

What is this humble thing of which you speak? smirk
Posted by: polymerase

Re: Time Machine help - 10/28/09 07:01 PM

So from this Time Machine thread I've decided to try it out again. I had tried it when it first came out and never got it to work smoothly. There was always a glitch and it would stop backing up. Since a backup with a possible glitch is worthless I blew it off.

So having a 189 buck 2TB drive sitting here (since I couldn't mount it in a sled and put it in my ftp Xserve) I stuck that in the fourth bay on my Snow Leopard Nehalem and set it it off yesterday. 24 hours of backups and seems to be working smoothly. I'll give it 30 days and might start counting on it.

Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Time Machine help - 10/28/09 07:14 PM

There's a script that changes the plist file to back up at any interval you so desire if 24 times a day seems excessive.
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: Time Machine help - 10/28/09 07:26 PM

It's not even a script. You just open the proper plist and change the time interval. I'll post it tomorrow, since I'm at the wife's computer and she is asleep in the bedroom where my computer is. I could get the file from here, but my machine is asleep as well.
Posted by: starmillway

Re: Time Machine help - 10/28/09 08:23 PM


I'm waiting with baited breath! smile

j/k I think I don't need to back up so many times and maybe I'll use your method.

Posted by: Jim_

Re: Time Machine help - 10/28/09 08:52 PM

One thing to note when only editing the plist is that TM will still do additional backups, like when disks are mounted, when it wakes from sleep (if more than an hour I think is what triggers it) when you plug a laptop in to power.

TimeMachineEditor takes care of that. I don't use it, just mentioning. I just let my TM fly all willy nilly.
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: Time Machine help - 10/29/09 05:22 AM

Yes, it backs up when wake from sleep, but if the machine has been sleeping for 12 hours, that's OK with me. The wife's Mini backs up to a volume attached to my Mini, so having her machine back up on wake doesn't always connect due to my machine being in sleep mode, so I make sure to wake mine and then wake hers to get a good bu from her machine. Time Machine Editor is an easier (more user friendly) method, though.
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: Time Machine help - 10/29/09 05:30 AM

Here are the instructions. I've found that I have to give myself read/write privileges on the plist before it will save (includes the folder, too). After I save it, I put the privileges back to what they should be (or just run Repair Permissions). A reboot (I found out that the log out/log in doesn't work) then sets your changes.

Quote:
RE: cool TM stuff

Or, you can simply modify the correct .plist file: (copy/paste from my post over at MM)

Quote:
The system is certainly easy to configure, but itís just too simple. After reading a hint at http://www.macfixit.com, I did some hunting around the typically forbidden areas of my hard drive, which yielded some property lists stored in System/Library/LaunchDaemons: com.apple.backupd.plist; com.apple.backupd-auto.plist; com.apple.backupd-wake.plist; and com.apple.backupd-attach.plist. These files can be opened in TextEdit (in your Applications folder), and for my purposes I wanted simply to change the backup interval to every 24 hours. If you open com.apple.backupd-auto.plist in TextEdit, youíll see this:

{?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?}
{!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd"}
{plist version="1.0"}
{dict}
{key}Label{/key}
{string}com.apple.backupd-auto{/string}
{key}ProgramArguments{/key}
{array}
{string}/System/Library/CoreServices/backupd.bundle/Contents/Resources/backupd-helper{/string}
{string}-auto{/string}
{/array}
{key}StartInterval{/key}
{integer}3600{/integer}
{key}RunAtLoad{/key}
{false/}
{key}KeepAlive{/key}
{false/}
{/dict}
{/plist}

To change the interval to every twenty four hours, change the {integer}3600{/integer} line to {integer}86400{/integer} and save the file. The value in that line is the number of seconds between backups. 3600 seconds is one hours, 86400 seconds is one day. Simply save that file, log out, log back in, and youíre all set.


NOTE: the {} = <> and the bolding is mine.

I think I'm going to set both computers to every 12 hours. I did set both my G4 and my wife's Mini to 12 hour intervals. I had to give myself read/write permissions on the LaunchDaemons folder in order to save the changed file, and it requires a reboot (not log out/log in) as stated. The TM PrefPane still shows the hourly backups, but simply doesn't execute them.


I've set both computers here to every 6 hours.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Time Machine help - 10/29/09 07:52 AM

Or you can just use the script.... smile