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jklem 12-27-2011 02:43 AM

Backup Help Time Machine WD Mybook
If this is wrong section, please move to correct area

I am very confused regarding backup process for macs.

I have a Macbook pro with new upgrade to Lion. I bought a Mybook that came with WD Smartware software, and have "backed up " my macbook using both this and the time machine

I apologize for my lack of knowledge, but I can't tell if things are really backed up or not. the wd smart ware is confusing and i can't really tell if a full backup has occurred. my time machine says it is using the Mybook for backup, but i want to simply backup all files once and then regularly backup any additional changes or updates

I am thinking of starting over, getting a new external hard drive unless there is an easy solution here.

1) can i delete wd smart ware and just use time machine? (every time i connect the Mybook it prompts for the wd smart ware and time machine doesn't recognize the Mybook unless wd smart ware runs)

2) If I wanted to start from scratch, buy a new external hard drive and just begin fresh I would greatly appreciate advice on which hard drive and backup software to use. (I saw carbon copy cleaner recommended as best app, does it work with or separate from time machine? also saw that sophos antivirus wiped out time machine backups)

I'm sufficiently confused and welcome the suggestions from the forum!


chas_m 12-27-2011 02:51 AM

Forget the WD crapware and stick with Time Machine. If you like, you can simply erase the WD drive and let Time Machine do a new, full backup and go forward from there.

chscag 12-27-2011 04:11 PM

+1 for chas_m's advice. The WD backup is nowhere near as convenient and accurate as Time Machine. And only Time Machine is recognized by the Migration Assistant when moving data from one Mac to another.

_Stormin 12-27-2011 07:37 PM

I would do exactly what is said as well. Time machine is an easy and elegant back up solution that really requires almost no thought at all.

Most of the time you don't notice that anything is happening at all and thats the point.

If you can, remove the WD software and wipe the drive. Plug it in, go into Time Machine, point to the WD drive for backups, and away you go! :)

jklem 12-30-2011 01:29 PM

thanks everyone! I will try this approach...i have read where it is nearly impossible to remove the wd smart ware software on other forums but will try. the drive doesn't get recognized unless smart ware runs it seems like, also when I originally purchased the drive i had mac and pc and the store said it could store info on both in same drive so I may have formatted it for windows.

final issue, carbon copy software vs. time machine? i have read on several forums where time machine doesn't provide a bootable backup whereas carbon copy cleaner does.

greatly appreciate your help

Andres87 12-30-2011 01:34 PM


Originally Posted by jklem (Post 1347591)

final issue, carbon copy software vs. time machine? i have read on several forums where time machine doesn't provide a bootable backup whereas carbon copy cleaner does.

that's right but it really comes down to personal preference I think, try both and see which one works best for your needs.

Dogbreath 03-06-2012 09:53 AM

I felt the need to resurrect this old thread because this is exactly my problem I DID do a search first! I purchased a 1T WD My Book for backups. I didn't exactly follow the directions when initially setting up the WD My Book, so I didn't get it set up as it should be. While attempting to delete/reinstall everything, I deleted the installation software/firmware/crapware on the WD My Book HDD and my computer. So now I have a blank external HDD. I read the posts above and feel better about things. I want to use the Apple software exclusively for using Time Machine for backup.

Since I have messed up and deleted the My Book software on the WD My Book drive and no longer desire to use Smartware, how can I make sure all traces of the WD SMARTware is deleted? One of the posts above said that it is almost impossible to do so. I don't want any bits and pieces of ANY kind of unistalled software on my MIni. My goal is to keep my HDD uncluttered. Can Onyx fix this?

How can I return Time Machine to a place like a factory default? if Time machine had never been implemented.My desire is to get the computer to the place where I haven't specified a Time Machine backup device yet, so that when I connect this WD My Book external drive, Time Machine asks if I would like to use it as a Backup Disk. I would like a fresh start since I have a new, blank WD HDD (thanks to my haste). Again, I try to avoid clutter, repetition, and such on any computer. Will deleting the Time Machine plist do this? If so, where do I find this file? Is it in more than one place?

I really want my Mac to be set up correctly and be as efficient as possible. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions with setting up Time machine will be greatly appreciated. Please forgive the long post.

sofiahkhan 01-02-2015 01:53 AM

Similar problem
After having read everyone's suggestions and problems. I have the same problem but haven't been able to find a fix. I hate the time machine because :
1) it just keeps making mirror images on to my WD HD instead of only updating and backing up new files or changes made to old files. Instead if after an initial backup you had removed those files from your macbook and the next time you make a backup i thought it will only update instead it made a WHOLE new backup mirroring what was on my macbook. that takes more space on the HD but making more and more images.

Could someone please be kind and tell me how i can make updates to my backups on the WD HD from my macbook instead of time machine repeatedly only making more mirrors of what i have already or may not have and deleting old backups itself as you keep running outta space.

Kindest Regards

MacInWin 01-02-2015 10:03 AM

Welcome to the forums, Sofia! It would have been better for you to start a new thread instead of tagging on a 4 year old one, but for now, we'll work with it.

Why do you think TM is making a full mirror image on the external HD? TM doesn't do that by default. What TM does is to make a full backup the FIRST time, then only changes what files have changed after that. The interface is designed to let you think you are seeing all of the original files, but that's just how it presents itself. The actual backup only contains the changed files. For example, on my machine I use TM to backup my internal HD. The HD has 300GB of data, the external HD for TM is 1TB with 700GB in use. I just counted and there are 65 backups on the external, so it obviously is NOT backing up an entire image, but just incrementals.

So, again, what makes you think TM is making full mirror images every time?

WhatDidiDoWrong 01-02-2015 09:18 PM

Several years ago I also moved my Time Machine backups to an external hard drive (Transcend) but as that is now getting full, and I had fantasies of being able to use that copy to restore my somehow screwed up installation of Pages software on my MacPro, I bought a WD Elements to start fresh.

Plugging it in, starting the process of selecting the new drive, I got this message:
"Are you sure you want to erase the backup disk”Elements”? Erasing will destroy all information on the disc and can’t be undone.
The disk must be erased before it can be used for Time Machine backups because it has an incompatible file system."

Full stop with knowing what to do, having not much experience and then forgetting most of that but remembering dire warnings from postings I've read here.
Question #1 -Do I erase the new hard drive and go ahead and back up to it?
Question #2 -There was an initial window asking about backing up both locations. I had hoped to leave the old back ups in place so I could find the original software installations, use it to restore corrupted ones on my laptop hard drive, and then re-backup the new hard drive again.


Slydude 01-02-2015 09:29 PM

If you haven't already put some files on that drive it's safe to format it. You probably got that message because the drive is formatted for Windows. In order to use it for Time Machine launch Disk Utility and format the drive as Mac HFS+ Extended Journaled. Use the regular version and not the case sensitive one.

WhatDidiDoWrong 01-02-2015 10:31 PM

No, I haven't done a thing to it but will follow your advice. Thank you...that will solve one problem. What do you think my chances are of using the Transcend back up on my laptop to regain the lost iWork (Pages) files? Would I just lose them again when I returned to the WD drive and then reinstalled that back up to my laptop?

Somewhere buried in the chaos of moving from one place to another is an installation disk for iWork but I had hoped this would be easier than wading through a room full of jumbled boxes.

sofiahkhan 01-04-2015 02:24 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Hello @MacInWin , thank you for responding and sorry for replying somewhat later. The reason why i feel its making complete mirror backups instead of just adding new files on the WD HD is because it keeps making new parent folders and then within each parent folder it makes the same set of sub folders and within those folders it only shows the files that a presently on the Macbook creating a new whole folder system instead of adding the new files into the original 1st time back up

Slydude 01-04-2015 02:50 AM

Forgive me if I am misunderstanding something but it seems like you are expecting Time Machine to put the new information in the same folder with the old backups. It seems to me that could lead to a great deal of confusion.

Time Machine duplicates the folder structure each time a backup is made so that the system will look as it did at that point in time. It's not duplicating all of the files for every backup. If it were each backup would take at least as long as the first backup. For most users the first backup takes several hours and subsequent backups only take a few minutes.

If you want to find out for sure how much data is being backed up it's easy to check. The next Time that Time Machine is In the middle of a backup open the Time Machine preference pane. It will tell you how much of the backup has been completed and the total amount of data to be backed up in that run. Both numbers will be significantly less than it would be if the total amount of used space were being backed up.

MacInWin 01-04-2015 10:53 AM

Well said, Sly! Sofia, what TM does is to copy the structure of the drive every time, then into the new structure it puts only the changed files. Then the magic starts: When you ask TM to show you the backups, it magically shows all those unchanged files where they are in the overall structure and puts the newer files in at the appropriate dates. So to you it looks like a full backup on each date, but TM isn't actually copying everything every time.

I think in visual terms, so here is an analogy: Imagine a painting with dozens of panes of glass in front of it. I want to change something, but I want to keep the original painting as a backup, so I paint my change on the pane of glass closest to the original. Now when I look at the painting, I see my change. Then I decide I want to change something else, so I move out one pane of glass and make the change and now I can see the original, with both changes. I keep doing that until sometime down the road I decide I don't like one of my changes and want the original back. I move back through the panes to find the one with that change and remove it and now the original painting in that area is visible again. I've "restored" that part. Note that I didn't repaint the whole painting, just the changed bits. And I had to move back in time to where the change was done to restore to previous. Within limits, that's how TM works. You see the whole drive in each backup, but it's not really the whole drive IN the backup.

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