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Time Machine Questions


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csb89

 
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Member Since: May 22, 2010
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Firstly, this is my first post on this forum - so Hello to all!

I've recently chose to back-up all my files, as I got a 'volume structure' warning when I ran techtools deluxe (when I find my OS disk I'll do a disk-repair)...

Anyway, I've just got a few questions on how Time Machine is meant to work - as I'm not convinced. (forgive me for being potentially ignorant!)

After buying an external HD, I proceeded to start a Time Machine backup - this took a whole day to make the initial backup, which I have no problem with. I was under the impression that it used the initial backup as a base, then proceeded to backup additional files that you downloaded/created after that on an hourly basis.

I'm slightly confused, however, as when I create/download a new file - and click back up now - it doesn't seem to back it up... I.e. it creates a new entry in time machine, but when I actually go into the external HD via Finder, it just has a shortcut back the initial backup (hence the new file isn't backed up?)

Has anyone got any light on this issue?

Sorry if I'm missing something blatantly obvious - I'm rather new to this backing up thing!

Many Thanks,

Cameron
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bobtomay

 
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Don't know what you mean by a single shortcut. You mean there is a single sparsebundle? That's what is suppose to be there. Everything is kept within the one sparsebundle.

Instead of browsing through Finder, you should use Time Machine to browse your backup.

Finder will show you the time of the last modification to the sparse bundle. What does it say?

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csb89

 
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Sorry, forgive me, I'm quite confused.

For example, if my initial backup was 200GB, say, and then day 2 I downloaded a file that was 1GB - surely if I clicked 'backup now', it would backup that additional 1GB file? So my external would now have, say 201GB used space?

It doesn't seem to be actively 'backing up' new files I am creating as there is no copying activity, nor more space being used on my external?

Maybe I'm missing the point entirely to what Time Machine actually does...

Sorry for potentially being a pain!

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bobtomay

 
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Open Time Machine so you can see what's there.

And it depends on where you put that file and what folders you have excluded from the Time Machine backup.

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Jaygray

 
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You can not view the Time Machine backup with Finder. The only thing you will see is a single 'sparsebundle'. You need to start the Time Machine application to see what's inside.

It's common practice to omit your Downloads folder from the Time Machine backup. Time Machine may even exclude it by default. This could be the reason why you download a file, make an immediate backup, and nothing happens.

Try saving a small file to your desktop, then initiate a Time Machine backup. See if it backs up the folder then.

The Downloads folder provides a place you can always go to find something you just downloaded. Say you download an application as a .dmg file. Once you install the application, Time Machine backs up the application in your Applications folder. After that the .dmg file is no longer needed. There's no need to back up two copies of the same application. The same is true with music. If you download an .mp3 and add it to your iTunes Library, the song is backed up in the Library. There's no need to backup a second copy in your Downloads folder.

The Downloads folder fills up with junk pretty quickly. If you go back through it after a while, you'll find 99% of it is stuff you no longer have a use for.
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csb89

 
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Hey Folks -

I think something was very wrong the first time - as I've now restarted my machine and everything seems to be working! (Should have done the 'when all else fails, restart' method sooner!)

Sorry for potentially wasting your time.

Jaygray, thanks for the advice about the exclusion of 'downloads' - I hadn't thought of that and seems a good idea!

Regards
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