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  1. #1
    Time Machine: Can I Add A Folder or Drive That Time Machine Is Ignoring?
    PGB1's Avatar
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    Time Machine: Can I Add A Folder or Drive That Time Machine Is Ignoring?
    Hi All!
    When I went to retrieve a folder using Time Machine, I saw that it was not being backed up. I had Time Machine do another backup and it wasn't backed up. Then I connected a thumb drive to see if that got backed up. Nope! The folder in question was in Documents and has some RTF & DOCX documents in it, so it's nothing unusual like a system folder.

    I explored more and found many folders are in none of my Time Machine backups. I wonder what's going on.

    Next, I opened Time Machine Preferences and explored around to see if there was a way to re-include a file or folder. Excluding files and folders and drives is easy, but re-including- not so much.
    Going to "Options" and clicking the "Plus" sign simply added any chosen to the list to exclude. (Backwards from what I'm trying to accomplish)

    A bunch of internet searching gave me lots of articles, but none showed how to add files to the backup set.

    I found on line a Terminal.app command to view excluded files, but did not see the files that were missing. But maybe I misunderstood and that command is only for certain exclusions. The command is: cat /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd.bundle/Contents/Resources/StdExclusions.plist

    Is there a way to tell Time Machine to not exclude the missing files and folders? Or, perhaps I should have said "re-include the missing items?"

    Thanks For Your Help and Advice! I do appreciate it.
    Paul

  2. #2
    Time Machine: Can I Add A Folder or Drive That Time Machine Is Ignoring?
    chscag's Avatar
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    Very strange Paul. Because by default, Time Machine backs up everything except system files. Which is why Time Machine can be used in conjuction with the Migration Assistant app when transferring everything to a new machine.

    Make sure you're backing up under your user account and not another. If you've explored all avenues and can't correct what's happening, the best thing to do is erase your Time Machine drive and start over. Also, you really should be backing up using another method in addition to Time Machine. I recommend using Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper in addition to TM.

  3. #3
    Time Machine: Can I Add A Folder or Drive That Time Machine Is Ignoring?
    PGB1's Avatar
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    Thanks Chscag for taking time to reply with ideas & advice.
    I'm baking up under the user account, which is also the administrator's account for this computer. I also back up using SuperDuper (which is great to use) and I have off-site backups going to CrashPlan.

    I took your suggestion and erased the backup drive. The problem folders still didn't get backed up, so I tried an entirely different external drive. The same problem exists.
    Do you think I should try erasing again and then deleting the plist file for Time Machine, or am I asking for disaster?

    Thanks Again for helping!
    Paul

  4. #4
    Time Machine: Can I Add A Folder or Drive That Time Machine Is Ignoring?
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    What is the path to where these "missing" files are stored? Are they in your "user" folder? They should be in Macintosh HD > Users > "user account".
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  5. #5
    Time Machine: Can I Add A Folder or Drive That Time Machine Is Ignoring?
    chscag's Avatar
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    I just checked some of my Time Machine backups. While system files do not get backed up, those files that do change and are in the root library or system library do get backed up. It's not just those files which are in your User Library that get backed up.

  6. #6
    Time Machine: Can I Add A Folder or Drive That Time Machine Is Ignoring?
    PGB1's Avatar
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    Thanks Chscag & Bob for helping out!

    The path for one of the not-being-backed-up folders is MacIntosh HD > Users > My Account Name > Documents
    Another is MacIntosh HD > Users > My Account Name (It is a folder right in the account name section, with Documents, Photos, etc)

  7. #7
    MacInWin
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    Just out of curiosity, how do you know the folder is not backed up? One thing I have noticed is that when you open TM and the TM window opens with Finder in the middle and the timeline on the right, that if you go back very far it can take TM some time to rebuild the backup. Remember, the files that don't change are only linked to in the backup, so TM has to rebuild the links all the way back to the last time each folder/document was changed. That can take some time. The symptom is that the finder window is blank until the rebuild is complete, at which time it populates. It would be easy to mistake that rebuild for the backup not being there.

  8. #8
    Time Machine: Can I Add A Folder or Drive That Time Machine Is Ignoring?
    mrplow's Avatar
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    To rule out if it's something strange with the folder or it's files can you try these two and see if they are backed up:

    1. copy the folder and it's contents to another folder that is getting backed up.
    2. Create a new folder in a location that is getting backed up and copy the files into that

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - bottom left of this post

  9. #9
    Time Machine: Can I Add A Folder or Drive That Time Machine Is Ignoring?
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    When you are in Time Machine > Preferences, go into Advanced. If the folder is listed there, then it is not being backed up. If it is not listed there, it is being backed up.

    Are you using an admin user account, or a standard user account? Maybe you could test and create another user account, to test if it will back up all of that accounts files? Create a document or three, copy some songs over, for testing.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  10. #10
    Time Machine: Can I Add A Folder or Drive That Time Machine Is Ignoring?
    PGB1's Avatar
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    Thanks All for helping out & your advice.
    Time Machine is working great now and everything I wish to backup is being backed up again.

    Your suggestion, Jake, was interesting to explore. I never even thought about the application taking time to get ready for work, so to speak.
    Unfortunately the trouble files were still missing after waiting for about half an hour.

    I checked the Exclusion List Bob. The files weren't there, so something is wonky for sure.

    Next, I tried what MrPlow suggested. Success!

    First I made a new sub-folder in Documents and moved Copies of all of the problem files and folders into that. All of the missing item copies got backed up in their new home. The originals still did not.
    Next, I deleted the original files & folders from their original locations.
    Then I moved the new copies back to the original locations of the problem files & folders & removed the word "copy" from the titles (so now they have their original names again).

    Now everything is getting backed up.

    All I can suppose is that somehow Time Machine thought it was supposed to skip these files and, by moving them around, it saw them as new items. (Just a guess on my part...)

    Thanks Again Everyone! I'd have lost my mind on this one without your help and knowledge.
    Enjoy This Day!
    Paul
    Last edited by PGB1; 11-14-2017 at 06:59 PM. Reason: I explained poorly & tried to make my post easier to read.

  11. #11
    Time Machine: Can I Add A Folder or Drive That Time Machine Is Ignoring?
    chscag's Avatar
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    It sounds like another crisis has been overcome. Good to hear though that you are diligent in making redundant backups. You can never have too many backups.

  12. #12
    Time Machine: Can I Add A Folder or Drive That Time Machine Is Ignoring?
    mrplow's Avatar
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    Sounds like there may have been some incorrect or corrupt properties on the folder.

    Glad it's working for you now

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - bottom left of this post

  13. #13
    Time Machine: Can I Add A Folder or Drive That Time Machine Is Ignoring?
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    I wonder if a Permissions repair would have been able to help in this situation?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  14. #14
    MacInWin
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    Probably wouldn't hurt to do one now, anyway, just in case another folder isn't being backed up. OnyX still has that capability, I believe, even though Apple removed it from Disk Utility.

  15. #15
    Time Machine: Can I Add A Folder or Drive That Time Machine Is Ignoring?
    PGB1's Avatar
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    Thanks Again To All!
    The "Overnight" test showed that Time Machine is working properly and getting everything I asked for.

    Thanks for the idea of running a permission repair. I'll run one today via Onyx. Lots of little glitches have been popping up lately and I'm kind of lax about running Onyx's many utilities as often as I should. It's very good about clearing up the little problems.

    Enjoy Today!
    Paul

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