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  1. #1

    Noels's Avatar
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    What's with Time Machine?
    Hi all,

    I've been backing up files for lots of years on PCs, and I'll have to admit I'm new to my Mac and my Macbook, but I have a problem with Leopard's Time Machine. I started my Time Machine app last night to back up all my files to a clean external drive partition (about 80GB) that it erased and prepped, yet after it ran all night - about 10 hours - it couldn't finish backing up 51GB of files... What's with that? I computed the 51GB form Disk Utility's data on my hard drive contents.

    Then I turned around later today and used the other half (also about 80GB) of that same external hard drive with SuperDuper and it finished a complete backup in just a couple of hours.

    Some background: I just put a new hard drive in my Macbook. It's a 320GB WD Scorpion, 5400RPM. I wiped my external hard drive of 160GB, put 2 partitions on it and started the Time Machine to occupy one 80GB partition on it and then to use SuperDuper to back up to the second partition. I figured that Time Machine would copy 51GB to the 80GB partition over night and then I would add the SuperDuper backup later. Well, Time Machine wasn't finished by this morning, so I canceled the back up... then later today used Super Duper and it did the job.

    Something I'm missing here? Thanks for any advice...

    Noel

  2. #2

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
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    Nambucca Heads Australia
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    SuperDuper is the go for me and Noels if you become a registered user you have access to Smart Back Up which does it all in a fraction of the time reading files and only copying changes.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Mar 04, 2008
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    477
    Hmm, when I just set up Time Machine it didn't take that long at all. I had about 60GB of info and it seemed to copy as fast as normal to my firewire drive.

    Ever since I barely even notice when it does a backup. Depending on how much new files I've created in the past hour it doesn't take more than a couple minutes at most. Usually only a couple seconds.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Feb 26, 2008
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    UK, near London
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    iMac 2.8 24"/ 13" macbook pro / G4 tower & cinema scrren / 12" powerbook / classic curvy G3 laptop!
    Time Machine backed up 80Gb of data in less than 20 minutes on my iMac when it was first run and now takes just a couple of minutes to update.

    I use firewire 800 and a 1TB Iomega ultramax drive. Seems very quick. I suspect your problem is not typical.

  5. #5

    Noels's Avatar
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    Looks like firewire does a much better job than USB. Trouble is, I can't tell when Time Machine is finished. It always seems to have that black window up and showing. I would think it would go away when the backup is finished.

    I did buy SuperDuper and it is quite good - and fast. Copied all 51 GBs on my machine in 1 hour and, I think, 26 minutes. Could be when I looked at Time Machine in the morning when I ate breakfast it was still backing up - the black window was still there. Maybe it was on an hourly backup. BUT, I canceled it to use my Mac and there wasn't any backup at all on the disk after 10 hours... That was my bad news for that day. SuperDuper was my good news

    Noel

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    Hmm, black window? My initial backup had a little window with a progress bar, but since then I've seen nothing from time machine except in the menu bar the time machine icon clock turns backwards during a back up.

  7. #7

    Noels's Avatar
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    AlyciaAnimation,

    The black window was a poor description - I was referring to the Time Machine's space-like window which shows the current Finder window in the middle and TM bar at the bottom, and the stars flying by the whole thing.

    I don't believe I've ever seen a progress bar during back up (unless it was during the external hard drive erasing and set-up). And I certainly have never seen the TM icon turning in any direction... It has never been visible during my TM backups! Maybe we have different versions...

    Must be either I'm doing something wrong or my TM app has a problem. Probably me I'll work on it. Thanks...

    Noel

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Mar 04, 2008
    Posts
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    Ok, I think I see the problem here. You don't need to enter Time Machine for it to do back ups. You only need to enter time machine when you need to restore a file. I don't understand how you are doing any work with TM up all the time!

    Once it's set up you don't need to do anything, it'll handle all the backups on it's own, no need to click the time machine app. In system preferences you can turn on TM's status in the menu bar. And when it does a back up it'll spin backwards

  9. #9

    Noels's Avatar
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    AlyciaAnimation,

    I just read your post abov and a big "AHA" went off in my brain... All this time I was "turning on" the Time Machine and getting the "black" screen, wondering why I couldn't see any result. NOW I know why

    I just ordered another external enclosure for my original Mac 120 hard drive, which I replaced. I have my 160GB WD Passport exclusive to my SuperDuper backup account, so I'll do likewise with the 120 for Time Machine and give it another try.

    Thanks for showing me the Time Machine light!!

    Noel

  10. #10

    knightlie's Avatar
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    When TM is backing up, a little spinny thing appears next to the external drive in Finder's sidebar.

    I wish Apple would do more to explain TM and how it works, it's behaviour isn't obvious. A lot of users have complained because they think it creates multiple copies of their entire system, wasting masses of Gb of space.
    [URL="http://beadia.net"]Beadia[/URL - Jewelry Business Management Software]
    I judge you when you use poor grammar.

  11. #11

    Noels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knightlie View Post
    When TM is backing up, a little spinny thing appears next to the external drive in Finder's sidebar.

    I wish Apple would do more to explain TM and how it works, it's behaviour isn't obvious. A lot of users have complained because they think it creates multiple copies of their entire system, wasting masses of Gb of space.
    knightlie,

    You got it... I don't believe I have ever read a really good explanation of how to use TM. Alycia's explanation to me a couple of posts ago told me what I needed to know and that worked. I did a backup today using my older 120GB drive and it backed up 52GB in a little less than 2 hours. As an aside, I've bought 3 books on OS-X Leopard and none of them treated TM very well...

    So again, thanks Alycia. I now have 2 externals working for me, one a 120GB using TM and the other a 160 GB using SuperDuper. I only tie them into my Macbook when I want to perform a backup because I move it around a lot and I can't keep an external tied to it. That's why I believe Apple really missed the point using a backup scheme that has hourly backups - the TM format might work for a table-top computer but not for a laptop - Apple didn't provide me with a long-enough umbilical

    Noel

  12. #12


    Member Since
    Mar 04, 2008
    Posts
    477
    No problem, glad I could help

    That's why I believe Apple really missed the point using a backup scheme that has hourly backups - the TM format might work for a table-top computer but not for a laptop - Apple didn't provide me with a long-enough umbilical
    I think that's why Apple made the Time Capsule. It backs up wirelessly.

  13. #13

    brianwmay's Avatar
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    Mar 17, 2008
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    Ah, I started a thread elsewhere about the joys of TM. I too am a whole week into the Mac side of life. I set off TM last night to do a 65Gb backup and 8 hours later it had managed a colossal . . . 31mb. Yep, took it all night.

    It promptly crashed on me 3 times (I bought a MBP to avoid crashes). I have been mystified. My ext USB 300 Gb hard drive was prepared by TM and was 'clean'.

    In desperation, I stuck an ext USB 110 Gb laptop drive in a case on it and off it went happy as Larry. I've now got a a 300 Gb GUID partitioned drive that is brand new and apparently useless.

    I can't seem to format it in Mac OR Win XP. I'm glad this thread was here as I was beginning to rue running away from XP.

    I DO miss Home keys, back space/delete. I dare say I shall get used to it but the learning curve is painfully steep at the moment.

    Take care all.
    Brian

  14. #14

    sbvishal's Avatar
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    Jan 07, 2008
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    Reply
    Plz send me some small sample of time machine backuped files size 1-20 MB .It will help to analyze.
    My email ID is sbvishal47@mac.com

    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Noels View Post
    Hi all,

    I've been backing up files for lots of years on PCs, and I'll have to admit I'm new to my Mac and my Macbook, but I have a problem with Leopard's Time Machine. I started my Time Machine app last night to back up all my files to a clean external drive partition (about 80GB) that it erased and prepped, yet after it ran all night - about 10 hours - it couldn't finish backing up 51GB of files... What's with that? I computed the 51GB form Disk Utility's data on my hard drive contents.

    Then I turned around later today and used the other half (also about 80GB) of that same external hard drive with SuperDuper and it finished a complete backup in just a couple of hours.

    Some background: I just put a new hard drive in my Macbook. It's a 320GB WD Scorpion, 5400RPM. I wiped my external hard drive of 160GB, put 2 partitions on it and started the Time Machine to occupy one 80GB partition on it and then to use SuperDuper to back up to the second partition. I figured that Time Machine would copy 51GB to the 80GB partition over night and then I would add the SuperDuper backup later. Well, Time Machine wasn't finished by this morning, so I canceled the back up... then later today used Super Duper and it did the job.

    Something I'm missing here? Thanks for any advice...

    Noel
    Vishal Singh Bhardvaj

  15. #15

    Noels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbvishal View Post
    Plz send me some small sample of time machine backuped files size 1-20 MB .It will help to analyze.
    My email ID is sbvishal47@mac.com

    Thanks
    sbvishal47,

    Thanks for the offer of help, but as you see from my comments above, I got it figured out and now I'm getting successful backups with TM

    Noel

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