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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.5 - Time Machine slows down my iMac


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AZRunner

 
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I've noticed since upgrading that whenever Time Machine is doing a back-up, it slows down my new iMac. It was really bad last night while I was trying to watch a Quicktime video, the video was stuttering and jumping the whole time. I've got 4GB of RAM, so I don't think that should be a problem. After Time Machine finished the backup the video played fine. I never had this problem before the upgrade.

I did the simple upgrade. Would a clean install help with this? Could it be the video card that I've heard some new iMacs were having problems with? I'm starting to worry because I just bought Final Cut Studio 2 and I'm about to install it.
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It doesn't sound like a ram or cpu issue. I'd bet the farm it's Time Machine and Quicktime fighting for hdd acces. TM wants to read files to back up, QT wants to read it's video file.

A sorta-solution would be to have quicktime use a much larger buffer for the video. The video stored in ram would not be affected by time machine's heavy disk usage.

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actually it depends on the amount of data being backed up. I guess this will be a situation with any backup solution. You can turn off the Time machine in such cases.
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I don't have 10.5, but I would assume that you can schedule your backup times (someone please feel free to correct me if I am wrong).
Just set your backup time to a time when you won't be working on your computer, like the wee hours of the morning.

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Was it an iniital backup? That will always tax the system the most. However its been my experience that ANY time you run a backup it will slow your machine down.

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I don't think there is away to adjust the schedule. I think the only option is to disable it.


@ AZRunner: Do use Parallels by any chance? Time Machine was slowing down my machine until I told it not to backup my Parallels folder. Every time I did something in Parallels it modified parallel's hard drive image file. So several times a day, TM was backing up 16+GB. Now the backups are so quick I don't even notice when they are occurring.
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AZRunner

 
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No, I don't use Parallels. It wasn't an ititial backup either, although it was a large one. I'd moved about 100GB of movie and music files from an external drive, so it was a lengthy backup. I'm not sure I really need hourly backups, so I may just turn off TM and do a manual backup every day. Then again, I may just dump it altogether when Super Duper gets updated for Leopard.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZRunner View Post
No, I don't use Parallels. It wasn't an ititial backup either, although it was a large one. I'd moved about 100GB of movie and music files from an external drive, so it was a lengthy backup. I'm not sure I really need hourly backups, so I may just turn off TM and do a manual backup every day. Then again, I may just dump it altogether when Super Duper gets updated for Leopard.
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The dirty great on/off switch on Time Machine is there for just this reason, if you are going to be playing a game or watching a movie or burning a DVD etc etc .. just switch Time Machine off temporarily. Once you're done switch it back on, simple innit.

Last night I decided to give Time Machine the ultimate test, I booted from the Leopard Install disc and from Disc Utility reformatted my Terra-Byte RAID setup and switched it from Mirrored to Striped (with Time Machine backing the machine up to an external drive I figured I didn't need the mirroring anymore), once this had finished, around 10 minutes or so, I continued with the Install choosing the option to copy files and settings from the Time Machine folder.

An hour or so later I heard the restart tone and went over to find my machine back to exactly the way it was when I started (but with fully working RAID array).

If you had told me that was even possible a few years ago I wouldn't have believed you!

Amen-Moses
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In my experience, Time Machine does not fight for resources. Even while backing 1GB over FW400, it takes it's own sweet time leaving plenty of resources free. I've had no problems so far. Was that video you were watching High def or something?
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jbardi

 
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I have to disagree... Time Machine does nothing BUT fight for resources. When you are in the midst of a backup, forget about it... CPU and Memory are prioritized for Time Machine. You may not do much on your system, so your backups are like a couple megs and take a few seconds, but I am a developer and constantly writing and editing files, and it is like Time Machine is always backing up.

In fact, while writing this message, Time Machine had been whirring away for some 15 minutes after cold booting the computer when I shut it down last night due to the excessive backing up.

All large files, such as my parallels drives, are excluded from the backup.... the only feature time machine seems to have since you can't schedule a dang thing. And turning off Time Machine will have no effect if it is already backing up.. in fact, even with it off, it seems the Backup Drive is accessing like mad at off the wall times for no reason. All kinds of whirring and chugging on my brand new Western Digital 250GB Elements drive.

About to turn it off and instead just deal with straight one-to-one backup like SuperDuper... less headache.
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goobimama

 
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Weird. Time Machine takes ages in my system to backup like 100MB of data, so you can imagine how much resources it is using.

Also, if there is a backup in progress, you can stop it from the Time Machine preference pane.
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Amen-Moses

 
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Time Machine is "Buggy" to say the least, although it seemed to perform faultlessly for the first couple of days when I switched it off for a few days and then switched it back on it did some very strange things, like complain that the backup disk didn't have enough space when it had 7Gb more than it was trying to backup (and most of that would have been only links which are tiny), I put a few more things in the ignore list (like XPlane - 55Gb!) then it went ahead with the next backup with no error.

Basically it seems to have a problem with simple math, if it cannot backup on time (i.e every hour, day, week etc) then the next backup cycle over-calculates the space required. It also seems to have a problem counting files, the first report I got for the complete back up stated 1,800,000+ files needed backing up yet when I get info on the backup drive it claims to have 800,000 files. Where the other million went is anyones guess.

Presumably we will find these "bugs" ironed out in updates over the next few months.

Amen-Moses
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giulio

 
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About fighting for resources...

Accessing a HDD is like OS8 using a CPU. Everything fights with no priority.

We can now prioritize CPU threads and give out cycles accurately. However a HDD does not work like that. Even if a process is niced at 20, if it asks for a file, a process niced at -20 must wait. It's pretty inefficient.

So if TM is doing a decent amount of backing up, and you're running disk intensive processes, you will surely feel the pain.
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usedpowerbook

 
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My Leopard,powerbook g4 1ghz with 2g ram is stuttering on video (especially HD video) with the Time Machine switch off. I thought upgrading to 2gb ram would be all the PB would require, but I also loaded Leopard at the same time.

Besides TM, could having only 14gb of HDD space left be the problem? I verified the HD just in case. Its fine. When i got the HD down to 185mb left my machine would barely function. I would think 14gb would be enough.
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