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Thread: time machine

  1. #16
    Very helpful! Thank you!

    Bob

  2. #17
    Maybe this should be a new thread but I'll try here first.

    I updated my Macbook Pro (mid-2012) to Catalina a couple of weeks ago. I now have Catalina 10.15.1. I had some early issues with "slowness" and Apple Support helped me a bit with that. Now to my backup issue. When I first backed up to via Time Machine, the "preparing the backup" process lasted for several hours then followed by the actual file backup for another several hours. It perhaps took 18 hours to do the whole thing. Ten days later, I backed up again with the same lengthy process, all day plus overnight.

    Does anybody have any suggestions that might speed up this process? Thanks!

    Bob

  3. #18
    time machine
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    What did you do in the intervening 10 days? Normally, the first backup is very long, as all of the files need to be copied. After that, it should quicker, EXCEPT, and this is a major factor, if the backup drive is almost full. So if you just did a TM backup to the same drive as you had been all along, TM had to make space for the new backups of the entire file structure given the change in the OS. So if the backup drive is almost full, TM has to make space for the backup, which means it has to juggle the database entries to keep all of the pointers pointed correctly.

    So, either something you did in that 10 days triggered an almost full backup again, or the destination drive is getting full. Those would be my guesses.
    Jake

  4. #19
    Jake,

    I have been using this EHD for 3-4 years with the various OS "upgrades". So it is probably full. In the 10 days or so between backups with Catalina, I have not done anything differently insofar as I can identify. Are you thinking that I can continue to expect this very slow process with every backup? Perhaps I should delete files (or re-format" the EHD, to speed things up? Or maybe go to a backup app other than Time Machine?

    Thanks for replying so quickly!

    Bob

  5. #20
    time machine
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    Bob,

    Time Machine backups covering 3 to 4 years including upgrades and updates is inevitably going to fill up an EHD.

    Each to their own, of course, but can you honestly think of a situation where you would need to restore something that was more than, say, a year old?

    My advice would be: don’t abandon Time Machine. Instead, erase and reformat the EHD and start a new Time Machine backup.

    The first backup will take a while, but subsequent backups will be incremental and take very little time.

    Following this course will ensure that you have plenty of storage space and keep your Time Machine backups relevant.

    In general, it is not a good idea to keep using the same Time Machine backup after an Upgrade. Updates are fine, but after an Upgrade to a new OS, it’s best to consider starting a new TM backup from a new or reformatted EHD.

    Don’t abandon TM. But you could add a cloned backup to your strategy. Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper would suit the bill perfectly.

    Ian
    Ian

  6. #21
    time machine
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    Bob, Ian has gotten it right. I really don't think, except maybe in a business environment where you may need financial records for multiple years for the tax agencies, the average user needs any backup more than a year old. And if you have done a system upgrade to Catalina, probably a lot of what is in those old backups no longer would work, anyway, as it may be 32 bit applications, etc. Wiping it and starting over is a bit drastic, I think, at least right away. What I would consider is getting a new EHD and start the new TM backup on that new drive. The first will take a while, after that they should be much faster. Then in a few weeks/months, whatever makes you comfortable, you can wipe the old drive and use it for other storage purposes or create a clone of the system with CCC or SD!, as Ian suggested. It's really your call. In my case, I have no business use for older files, so for me it's more important to have multiple backups on multiple drives so that I don't lose what is important to me, my pictures, but I don't need a lot of depth as the stuff I do nowadays is not volatile or archival, so just a couple of months back is just fine.
    Jake

  7. #22
    Ian and Jake,

    I understand and certainly only need one backup of the current (or recent) "state" of my computer and its files. I will get another EHD and go from there as you both suggest. Just for chuckles I "Entered Time Machine" and low and behold the only backup that seems to be available is the last one I made on Nov 5. The one I made 10 days or so is not shown and none of the ones I made before Catalina appear. Glad I don't any info before Nov 6. When I get a chance I will take a look and see what's actually on the EHD via Finder.

    For years I thought that when the EHD filled, the next backup would just overwrite the oldest backup and on and on. Is that not what happens?

    Thanks for your very knowledgeable help!!

    Bob

  8. #23
    time machine
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    Bob, when the drive gets full what happens is much more complicated than just an overwrite of the oldest. it's a bit arcane, but what I understand is that basically TM goes back through all of the backups to see where the "real" files are that need to be removed to make space. Then it looks at all of the links to get to that file and sorts out how best to handle the situation. If there is a more recent version of the file, it may roll up to that more recent version and delete the oldest, plus all the links in between. But some files will have been copied only once, on the first backup, so it needs to move those files up to the most recent backup it is keeping to see if it's saved enough space for what it needs. If it hasn't, it repeats the process to move to an even more current backup to see if it can free the space it needs and repeats the process. Eventually it gets the space it needs and moves all the files/links it needs to to keep the integrity of the backup.

    All of that complexity is why we strongly recommend that your backup drive be twice the size of the data you expect to back up so that this cleanup process can be avoided as long as possible.

    The best way to view the backups of TM and cloners like CCC and SD! is to see the TM as a hierarchical backup to be able to get to a file that has been accidentally (or intentionally, but in error) changed or deleted and the user wants the original back. TM can roll back to before that file was changed and retrieve that version for the user. At defaults, CCC and SD don't do that (they can, but you have to set it up and it's not as easy to know where the "good" file may be, IMHO). TM is not bootable as a runnable drive, CCC and SD are. So the differences in the two approaches are significant. You can decide what is more important to you and go that way.

    I have both TM and CCC for me. The CCC backup is to be able to let me reboot immediately if my internal drive fails and to operate while I wait for a replacement. TM lets me undo the "oops" actions, as I said.
    Jake

  9. #24
    time machine
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    TM is not bootable as a runnable drive, CCC and SD are.
    Not sure what you mean here Jake, but a Time Machine backup can be booted from. Has been that way now for quite some time. I tested that some time ago after I learned that it could be done.

  10. #25
    time machine
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    Charlie, the last time I tried that, it booted, but only into Recovery, not into the full system. So I could restore the backup to a drive after booting the TM drive, but I could not RUN the os from the TM drive. Has that changed?
    Jake

  11. #26
    time machine
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Charlie, the last time I tried that, it booted, but only into Recovery, not into the full system. So I could restore the backup to a drive after booting the TM drive, but I could not RUN the os from the TM drive. Has that changed?
    No, that has not changed. You are correct in that it will take you to recovery. I just wanted to clarify what you meant by "runnable drive". We probably should point out that as a last resort, a Time Machine backup can be used to boot the machine to recovery where from there, the Time Machine backup can be restored. Another reason to continue using Time Machine in addition to CCC or SD.

  12. #27
    time machine
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    Quote Originally Posted by lori5060 View Post
    now I'm not understanding. when I plug in my EHD the icon shows on desktop
    no icon on top bar opens.

    aha....found it.... I need to go into system preference and click on time machine! now I remember it well.
    thanks so much!!! will document this so when I do backups again should not have this issue.
    Lori, perhaps you do not have the Menu Bar icon on your menu bar as most of us do. That is what Ian was referring to in post #2. If you look at the window that pops up in Time Machine in System Preferences you will see a little tick box at the bottom that says, "Show Time machine in Menu Bar" if you tick that you will get a little icon on the menu bar with a pull down set of options like this.
    Screen Shot 2019-11-08 at 11.55.47 am.png
    You want "backup now" not "Enter Time Machine," that's where you see all the windows.
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  13. #28
    time machine
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cur View Post
    Maybe this should be a new thread but I'll try here first.

    I updated my Macbook Pro (mid-2012) to Catalina a couple of weeks ago. I now have Catalina 10.15.1. I had some early issues with "slowness" and Apple Support helped me a bit with that. Now to my backup issue. When I first backed up to via Time Machine, the "preparing the backup" process lasted for several hours then followed by the actual file backup for another several hours. It perhaps took 18 hours to do the whole thing. Ten days later, I backed up again with the same lengthy process, all day plus overnight.

    Does anybody have any suggestions that might speed up this process? Thanks!

    Bob
    Really it should be a new post, no offence but if Lori replies will will have two people on the same topic to address. Still that's up to admin.
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  14. #29
    My head is spinning!! But everybody has been very helpful and I appreciate that very much! I will get another, larger EHD, and CCC, and go from there. No doubt I will be back here for more help!

    Again, thanks everybody!!!

    Bob

  15. #30
    time machine
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cur View Post
    Jake,

    I have been using this EHD for 3-4 years with the various OS "upgrades". So it is probably full. In the 10 days or so between backups with Catalina, I have not done anything differently insofar as I can identify. Are you thinking that I can continue to expect this very slow process with every backup? Perhaps I should delete files (or re-format" the EHD, to speed things up? Or maybe go to a backup app other than Time Machine?

    Thanks for replying so quickly!

    Bob
    Personally I erase and reformat my Time Machine Backup each time I upgrade my macOS but I also have a CCC clone which I keep in it's pre upgrade state for a while just in case I need to go back or restore something.
    Honestly I have never needed to go back more that a year to restore a file but it depends to a degree on the size of your backup drive how long you keep it. Once its full and TM starts culling old files it kinda defeats the point. Check in the Apple Menu > About this Mac > with the drive connected. It will show you how much storage is left.
    If its full or nearly I would just put it aside for now and consider a new EHD for a clone.
    I like Carbon Copy Cloner although SuperDuper is good too. Both provide fully functioning 30 day trials which means you could do a clone backup prior to upgrade for free and I suggest you do that after you have downloaded the macOS upgrade installer (before installation). This will give you a copy of the installer which can be very useful (more on that if you want to know).
    A bootable clone has several advantages over Time Machine. Its structure is the same as your computer. You can plug it in, open it and you will see a finder window with duplicate information, files, folders everything just the same as your computer.
    You can drag and drop anything from the clone to your computer.
    You can boot your computer (albeit a bit slower) from the clone should you internal HD crash and it will be identical to your computer at last backup.
    You can boot from the clone and run repair scripts on your internal HD.
    And best of all you can reverse clone the contents of your clone back onto a blank (or brand new) internal HD.
    Yes they are both around AU $50.00 but if you try out the free 30 trial I'll bet you will continue to purchase. I can not speak to SuperDuper SuperDuperDescription.html but Bombich software, the developers of CCC Mac Backup Software | Carbon Copy Cloner | Bombich Software provide excellent after sales service and instructions.
    Anecdote; two years ago my wife's 2011 MBP HD crashed. Totally unbootable. She plugged in her CCC clone and started up, as only the CCC clone could be found it booted straight from it. She finished her days work. I removed the HD, and old 512Gb HHD and the next day ordered a new SSD of the same size. It arrived after a week. During that time my wife continued to use her computer running off the clone. When the new SSD arrived I installed it, booted from the clone, went to the CCC app, selected the Source as the clone and the Target as the new SSD and pressed Clone (this is the normal process in reverse).
    After about 3 hours it was complete. I rebooted with the Option Key held down, selected the Macintosh HD as Startup volume and voila.
    Not only restored but all of the work that she had done during the week as well and no need to re register software or anything. It doesn't get any easier than that.
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

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