One of the key reasons to have a continuously running backup, whether to local storage or a cloud-backed provider, is to restore files you accidentally delete. Macworld reader Helena is trying to understand under what circumstances Time Capsule allows recovering a deleted file. She wonders about a scenario in which with Time Machine active she: Deletes a number of files from her Mac. Performs a manual Time Machine backup. Erases her Mac. Restores it to another Mac. Will the files deleted in step 1 be recoverable, Helena asks? Yes, but not as easily as with some hosted and local backup services. Time Machine makes hourly, daily, and weekly backups, but only stores the least number of files possible to maintain that. So an unchanged file across many months only appears once in the backup. As Time Machine makes hourly backups, it drops the oldest (the 25th hour, more or less) as it goes. It keeps one of those hourly snapshots as a daily snapshot, and it drops older daily backups, … [Read more...] about When does Time Machine delete files that you’ve deleted from your Mac?
Restoring from time machine backup
Time Machine really works. But is it the best backup tool for you? Perhaps not. Here's what you need to know. Easiest backup on the planet One you are running OS X 10.5, setting up Time Machine couldn't be easier. Plug in a USB drive and the OS asks if you want to use it for Time Machine. Click "yes" and the rest is automatic. Time Machine keeps backups Hourly for the last 24 hours Daily for the last month Weekly until the backup disk is full My 500 GB USB drive holds about 6 weeks of backups. Management You manage TM from a clock icon in the menu bar. When the arrow is spinning counter-clockwise Time Machine is backing up. The USB drive activity light is flashing and the system slows down - even on a quad-core Mac Pro. If you're right in the middle of disk-intensive work like ripping a DVD or ingesting video, click the TM icon and hit "stop backup" to get your machine back. Other than that minor annoyance Time Machine works great. H. G. Wells approved Need to find an old file? … [Read more...] about Mac Time Machine: backup for the rest of us?
If you've been using Time Machine for backups, there may come a time when you outgrow your backup disk. It's easy enough to plug in a larger disk or buy a Time Capsule (or a larger Time Capsule) and choose that as your new Time Machine destination, but doing that means starting over. If you want to move to a larger disk while maintaining the continuity of your backups, you can. It just means taking quite a few steps. Move your backups to a new Time CapsuleTo move your backups from a local disk to a Time Capsule, do the following.1. Set up your new Time Capsule (according to Apple's instructions), but leave your current backup disk mounted in the Finder. If possible, connect your Mac to your Time Capsule using an Ethernet cable, which will speed up the transfer process considerably.2. Open the Time Machine pane of System Preferences, click on Select Disk (or Change Disk, in Leopard), and select your Time Capsule disk as the destination. Click on Use For Backup.3. Choose Back Up Now … [Read more...] about Migrate a Time Machine backup
Take an Airport Extreme 802.11n base station, add a 3.5-inch internal drive and modify the device's firmware to permit the built-in LAN to share a drive as a volume (a device) rather than a folder within the filesystem, and you've got Time Capsule. Apple has also done away with the power brick; Time Capsule's power supply is internal.The reason for Time Capsule's existence is to compensate for a few unfortunate realities: Time Machine, wonderful as it is, requires desktop USB or FireWire drives. All of these have to be sized appropriately, which is no easy thing, and worse, notebook users have to remember to plug them in often enough to make the backups useful. Xserve is one fix, but it is a dear investment considering how fast one Mac can eat through a hard drive with Time Machine. Time Capsule fixes that. It is expandable via inexpensive external USB drives. You won't get breakneck speed, but if one Time Capsule gets bogged down, set up another. The Time Machine client lets you … [Read more...] about InfoWorld Test Center Preview: Time Capsule wireless remote Time Machine backup
One of the services packaged with OS X Server Leopard (there are so many) is Time Machine Server. If you're running a network of Leopard notebooks and desktops, centralized Time Machine backups are easier to administer and secure than doling out a fleet of FireWire and USB drives. However, if you want to carry each client's protection beyond Time Machine's rolling 30 day window--Time Machine will retain weekly backups until it runs out of space--you might have to set aside twice the size of each busy client's internal hard drive to exceed 30 days' worth of coverage. The headroom varies widely by user, but do you want to try to tailor a backup strategy to each machine?You have to weigh Time Machine Server's physical server (Xserve or Mac Pro) and storage costs--expenses that can't be avoided in any disk-based backup scenario--against savings in administrators' time ("please mount volume xxx") and user data lost to infrequent backups and cumbersome restore procedures.For me, what sets … [Read more...] about Time Machine Server, or local external drive?
Hard drives crash. Laptops are stolen. Users accidentally delete and corrupt important files. Time Machine, thankfully, consistently provides an elegant method for recovering from such disasters.Time Machine's only real Achilles' heel is that the backup application must be configured and run before a disaster occurs. After a disk crashes, once a user accidentally deletes a critical file, or following a computer theft is not the time to commit to a Time Machine implementation; Time Machine must be installed and running on a system before trouble occurs.Time Machine backups should not be stored with the corresponding computer, server, or laptop. Obviously, if a theft occurs, the drive collecting Time Machine backups could be stolen with the computer. Likewise, if a fire devastates an office, the inferno will reasonably destroy the Time Machine backup drive and the Mac being backed up (one possible exception is if the Time Machine backup drive is a hardened device, such as an ioSafe Solo … [Read more...] about Pro tip: How to recover files using Time Machine, including email
Eric Desrochers happily runs Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard—and that’s a version that a lot of people remained delighted with for a long while, particularly the 10.6.8 final release.If I was to upgrade to a newer, or even the newest OS, will the new OS be able to use the Snow Leopard era Time Machine backup to restore my things on the updated OS? Or am I doing backups more or less for nothing?Time Machine backups can be used to do a full system restore of a dead hard drive or computer, but also migrate just user files, applications, and some settings from one computer to another. You can do this during system setup of a new Mac, after installing a fresh copy of OS X on a computer, or even using Migration Assistant while OS X is up and running and you’re logged in.I haven’t had to migrate files via Time Machine for over a year, and it’s a little bit of a complicated situation, but not a horrible one. Apple’s support documents should guide you, but … [Read more...] about How far back Time Machine archives can migrate to new versions
After reading the case of the missing El Capitan hard disk space and following all the advice in that column, Jim Williams still had an inexplicable 300GB that had no reason to exist. He ran a disk analysis program that showed that a hidden Unix directory named .MobileBackups.trash What is it and can he get rid of it?This is a side effect of Time Machine, of all things. When one of your Time Machine targets is a drive that isn’t currently connected to your Mac, the backup system will continue to generate system snapshots up until all but 20 percent of drive storage is filled. After that point, Time Machine starts to delete snapshots and is more aggressive if you have very little storage available (less than 10 percent of drive capacity or less than 5GB).As Apple documents, these temporary snapshots remain retrievable locally until such point as you reconnect to one or more Time Machine drives. Then the snapshots are copied to that backup drive or those drives and … [Read more...] about What to do when mobile Time Machine backups linger and fill storage space
David Camp has mostly moved his work from an old MacBook Pro that’s failing to a new one. However, he still has some files on the old machine that he’s also backed up via Time Machine to a Time Capsule.The old machine is definitely showing signs of impending death, so I’m wondering if I can move its files onto my new machine via the Time Machine backup. I’d like to do this without creating a separate partition on the newer Mac. I just want to access some of the data on the old one.You have to create account, but not a new partition, to do a partial migration. You can then transfer those files into your main user account.On the new Mac, launch Migration Assistant and follow instructions to restore the old Mac from the Time Capsule backup.When prompted at the Select the Information to Transfer stage what you want to bring over, uncheck everything but the user account that has your documents. You can even click the expand triangle next to the account name and omit … [Read more...] about How to selectively migrate files from Time Machine
After spending close to 20 years as a Mac user, I decided to switch to using a Windows 10 PC. Over the past few months, we’ve gone over all the angles of this decision:What drove me to switch from Mac to PCWhat to think about when choosing your first Windows 10 laptopThe challenge of finding replacements for your Mac OS softwareHow to get Windows to play nicely with your iOS devicesWhat treasures await gamers in the massive library of PC games.In the final installment of this series, I’m going to discuss which kinds of Mac users should switch to Windows, and who should keep their Mac, and why.First, a confession: I was wrong about why I wanted to leave the Mac. I decided to pick up a Microsoft Surface Book because I was deeply dissatisfied with the number of times my 2015 MacBook Pro with Retina display was forcing me to visit the Apple Store for warranty repairs, graphical glitches and slow performance.The Surface Book I’ve been using has twice the … [Read more...] about How to switch from Mac to PC, part 6: Which Mac users should do it