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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

Not sure my external HD is backing up correctly


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Barbara Jay

 
Member Since: Jan 23, 2011
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I have an iMac with Snow Leopard. I have a G-technology external HD hooked up and I am using Time Machine for the back up.

I have had this external HD back up for over a year, but have no idea how to retrieve files or data if I need to . I am trying to educate myself.
I just read and watched the Apple tutorial on how to retrieve files from an external HD using Time Machine
Mac 101: Time Machine

You need to go down to "Restoring data from Time Machine" to see the statement about the color of the dates .

It says the dates on the right of the Time Machine Star Desktop will be "pink" if they are on the external HD. They will be in "White print" if they are on your Mac HD.

I checked mine and the dates are all in white print.

My Time Machine kicks in and on the top of my task bar I see a spinning arrow so I assumed it was backing up. The time Machine box from System Preferences shows the time and dates it backed up
I am concerned because all of my dates are printed in white that my backup may not be working properly.

The Apple Time Machine 101 tutorial mentions Mountain Lion. I have Snow Leopard. Are the colors of the backup dates in white on the Star Desktop with Snow Leopard? Or do I have a problem with my backups?

Thanks !
Barbara
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chscag

 
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Quote:
The Apple Time Machine 101 tutorial mentions Mountain Lion. I have Snow Leopard. Are the colors of the backup dates in white on the Star Desktop with Snow Leopard? Or do I have a problem with my backups?
The backup colors have been the same since Time Machine first appeared in OS X 10.5.0 (Leopard). If the backup dates on the desktop (right side) are in pink-red, that means they're on the external drive. Ones in white are on your internal hard drive. It's still the same in Mountain Lion. No changes in colors.

If all your backups are shown in white, something's wrong. Can you open your Time Machine external drive and tell us what's on it?
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Barbara Jay

 
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When I click on the Time Machine icon on the dock my regular Desktop slides down and I get the Star Desktop. It has a stack of windows that all say DeskTop and are the things I have on my Desktop .
The dates on the right side of the screen are all in WHITE. I selected Documents from the left side and it brings up another stack of document windows . All those dates are in WHITE there too.

Even though it is printed in white I clicked on right side of the Time Machine Star desktop for a backup I just did and a folder I just created is there in Documents. But I am not sure if I am seeing it from the external HD or my Mac HD

I went into Applications and chose Time Machine

I got a window with "Backups.backupdb. The Date modified is Nov,7,2011 which must have been when I hooked up the external HD

I clicked on the above window and got a folder that said Barbara's iMac and todays date
I click on that and went to a list of dates and chose "Latest' It had a window that said "Macintosh HD

I clicked on that and got a list of everything on my HD. Applications; Google Chrome app; Google Earth' HP Software ; Library with a long list of everything in the Library; System; User Guides and Users

Is this back up system working or messed up ?

Thanks
Barbara
PS I checked Time Machine from System Preferences and the slider is on ( and I see the arrow spinning when it says it is backing up) I checked " Select disk for back up and the external HD is highlighted in blue. There is another red circle with a diagonal line through it and it is not highlighted. That window says estimated full back up is 27.3 GB. The external HD has 750 GB
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Barbara Jay

 
Member Since: Jan 23, 2011
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Update: Even thought my dates are printed in white when I bring up the TM backup on the Star Desktop I think the backup is working.

I created a test folder in documents and put a pages doc in it. After TM backed up I deleted it from my documents section .

I went to the Time Machine icon on the Doc and brought up the most recent back up . The test folder IS there . Hum-m-m-m

My logic is when I check TM backups if I was actually seeing things on my Mac HD and not the external HD back up, the test folder would not be there because I deleted it . Right ?
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I'm currently on my way out the door, but it looks as though your backups are good even though they're showing up in the wrong color. I'll do some experimenting on my own system later on this evening and post back to this thread if I can find out why you're seeing white rather than pink - red.
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Quote:
My logic is when I check TM backups if I was actually seeing things on my Mac HD and not the external HD back up, the test folder would not be there because I deleted it . Right ?
That's right. The only thing I can figure out is that perhaps at one time a backup or two went to the internal hard drive and that changed the date bars on the right side to white from pink-red.

Here's something that you can try: When the external backup drive gets full, either wipe it and start over or buy another external hard drive and start fresh.

But as long as the backups are being made and they can be reliably restored, it really doesn't matter what color the date bars are. You might also want to give Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper a go for backing up. Both apps create bootable backups on an external drive. My CCC backups have saved me from total disaster on several occasions.
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Barbara Jay

 
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chscag. When I bought my external HD I had huge problems with TM not recognizing it or freezing up. It came with an 800 Fire wire; a 400 firewire and an USB. I could not get it to work with the 800 fire wire, I called G-technologies and they said either I had a bad 800 fire wire cable or a bad 800 fire wire port on my computer.

I said if it is a bad 800 fire wire cable can you send me a new one? The man said they don't warranty the cables. I would need to buy one.
When it froze up I couldn't eject it so I just unplugged it. Maybe I made a mess of things.

Would you suggest I wipe it clean; and start over?

I have never checked the external HD disk in disk utilities although I have checked my Mac HD disk. Would that show if there was a problem?

Thanks
Barbara
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I have an iOmega triple threat disk also but seldom use it on FW 800 because of the cable. The FW800 and 400 cables can get difficult to attach and remove.

Before wiping the drive clean and starting over run a verify and repair on it with Disk Utility to see if it finds any errors. Usually if you unplug a drive without ejecting it first it will do no harm provided the drive is not accessing data at the time. Damage can occur if the heads on the drive are moving when it's ejected.

If Disk Utility finds errors and repairs them, run the check again just to make sure. There's nothing more miserable than needing your backup to restore lost data and the backup drive fails. I've had that happen back in the days with floppy disks and even tape drives. I've been lucky with hard drives used for backing up but I keep several backups on hand - just in case.
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Barbara Jay

 
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I just verified the external HD disk and it says it is OK.
But the screen looks strange, The G-technology HD is there and indented under it is another icon for the HD that I never gave a name . It is listed as "untitled "It is the icon that is on my Desktop for the back up HD

Here is a screen print . Should there be 2 for the external HD when I only have one? I forgot how to decrease the size of this attachment -sorry I think I got it smaller
Attached Images
File Type: png Disk Utility screen shot.png (148.0 KB, 6 views)
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Your screen shot is OK, it automatically resizes due to the forum software. Not a problem.

Yes, even an external hard drive can have a title, but the fact that it has none, is of no consequence. When it's mounted on the desktop, right click on it and name the drive. Call it "My Backup" or whatever you wish.

By the way, it's good practice to verify your external drive every once in awhile to make sure it's behaving itself.
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Barbara Jay

 
Member Since: Jan 23, 2011
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Thanks for taking the time to check this out!
I appears to be working even though my dates are printed in white .

When I bought my computer I also bought the book "Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard by Robin Williams; the Peachpit Learning Series" .On pages 358 & 359 she has pictures of TM and the dates are printed in White . I wonder if showing the dates in pink/red were an update after Leopard was released .
As long as it is working I am fine

Thanks again
Barbara
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chscag

 
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Time Machine was in beta for awhile and was not included with OS X 10.4.X (Tiger). It was first included with Leopard back in 2007 when that version of OS X was released. I've been using TM ever since Leopard and have always remembered it having the pink - red dates. Actually, with my older eyes, I wish it were in bold white instead.
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Barbara Jay

 
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Hum-m-m That is Interesting !!

I am going to call Apple Support Monday to solve the slow print box only in Mail. Everything else is running like a dream. I want everything to be in tiptop shape before I upgrade to Mountain Lion. I think it will spare me future grief.

While I have them on the phone I will ask about the white dates in my TM. I bought the G-Technology external HD from the local Apple store so apparently they offer free support with any product purchased directly from Apple

I will post their answer
Thanks again
Barbara
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