Question about Time Machine-What type of hard drive?

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
I just placed my preorder today for a family pack of Leopard. One thing I'm looking forward to is Time Machine.

I have two macbook pros for me and my fiancee, a Mac Mini, and sometime soon an iMac I don't store sensitive data on the Mac Mini or iMac so backups aren't a big concern to me.

My main concern is the two Macbook Pro's which we both depend on for work. I have a external firewire drive that I back up to approximately once a week and store in a fireproof save. I use SuperDuper so create a complete bootable mirror of them.

I also have an Airport Extreme Base Station with a Western Digital 500GB hard drive. I store some items on that such as 70GB directory of clip art and also other important temp files and files that we use among the 4 computers. We have around 300GB free. We also use Chronosync which nightly backs up important directories such as Safari Bookmarks, accounting data, documents, mail data files, etc.

Now with Time Machine I'm not sure how to change my plans. I plan to do the two backups which are stored in the safe but will Time Machine work with my Base Station Hard Drive? Both MacBook Pro's have around 100GB of data on them and I'm confused if it would need 100GB to back up or less or more.

Am I better off getting a firewire drive that has to start on each MacBook Pro for it to work or will it work with a networked drive?

If networked am I better off getting a 2nd dedicated base station drive or is a pure ethernet hard drive faster in speed?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    Based on what I have read about Timemachine, unless you connect a firewire drive directly to your notebooks, I don't think TimeMachine is going to help. Going over the network everytime you modify a file will hurt. Also, if your data volume is 100GB, maintaining multiple backups of modified data on an regular basis, will need at least 2x the space if Time machine is similar to what Vista does.



    Someone who was a beta tester might be able to give more accurate advice though.
  • Reply 2 of 9
    zoczoc Posts: 77member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by talksense101 View Post


    Based on what I have read about Timemachine, unless you connect a firewire drive directly to your notebooks, I don't think TimeMachine is going to help. Going over the network everytime you modify a file will hurt. Also, if your data volume is 100GB, maintaining multiple backups of modified data on an regular basis, will need at least 2x the space if Time machine is similar to what Vista does.



    Someone who was a beta tester might be able to give more accurate advice though.



    Time Machine will not backup a file each time it is modified. By default (and I think you cannot change this), Time Machine will backup modified files every hour. Backing up to a network drive is not a problem. It will only generate network traffic during the backup process.



    If you' re using a laptop and do not have access to the backup share, Time Machine will pause and resume the backup process when the backup share is accessible again.
  • Reply 3 of 9
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,892member
    Two questions:



    I've heard that Time Machine requires a dedicated hard drive and that you can't put other stuff on the HDD. Is that so?



    Does Time Machine make a bootable backup? I've heard conflicting info on this.
  • Reply 4 of 9
    TimeMachine does not require a dedicated hard drive, but it does require one separate from your boot drive (volumes count, but defeat half the purpose).



    And since NDAs are still in effect (whatever Apple has given out we can talk about), I can only say that Apple has thought through the bootable part and has a great solution in place. Maybe not what you expect, but a very good solution.
  • Reply 5 of 9
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sequitur View Post


    Two questions:



    I've heard that Time Machine requires a dedicated hard drive and that you can't put other stuff on the HDD. Is that so?



    Does Time Machine make a bootable backup? I've heard conflicting info on this.



    Read http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/timemachine.html carefully and you will find your answer.



    The pertinent text is "To make setting up a new Mac even simpler, Time Machine shares its data with other Mac utilities. Use Migration Assistant to copy portions of any Time Machine backup to a new Mac, or select ?Restore System from Time Machine? in the Leopard DVD Utilities menu. Choose any date recorded in Time Machine to set up your new Mac exactly as your previous Mac was on that date."



    The definitive word in this is "exactly". NDA prevent me from saying more.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by markw10 View Post


    I just placed my preorder today for a family pack of Leopard. One thing I'm looking forward to is Time Machine.

    I have two macbook pros for me and my fiancee, a Mac Mini, and sometime soon an iMac I don't store sensitive data on the Mac Mini or iMac so backups aren't a big concern to me.

    My main concern is the two Macbook Pro's which we both depend on for work. I have a external firewire drive that I back up to approximately once a week and store in a fireproof save. I use SuperDuper so create a complete bootable mirror of them.

    I also have an Airport Extreme Base Station with a Western Digital 500GB hard drive. I store some items on that such as 70GB directory of clip art and also other important temp files and files that we use among the 4 computers. We have around 300GB free. We also use Chronosync which nightly backs up important directories such as Safari Bookmarks, accounting data, documents, mail data files, etc.

    Now with Time Machine I'm not sure how to change my plans. I plan to do the two backups which are stored in the safe but will Time Machine work with my Base Station Hard Drive? Both MacBook Pro's have around 100GB of data on them and I'm confused if it would need 100GB to back up or less or more.

    Am I better off getting a firewire drive that has to start on each MacBook Pro for it to work or will it work with a networked drive?

    If networked am I better off getting a 2nd dedicated base station drive or is a pure ethernet hard drive faster in speed?



    Suggest you get a nice big FW HD as your Time Machine backup device. Connect it to one of your fixed Macs (the Mac Mini or the iMac). All of your computers can connect to this Mac Time Machine server and mount the nice big FW device. Each Mac can then be configured to use this FW device for their specific Time Machine backups. The backups will not collide. Each time you mount the Time Machine backup device Time Machine will notice this and start it's backup and capture all changed and new data since the last backup. You may need multiple FW HDs depending on how much data you're likely to want backed up from each of your Macs.



    You should certainly sit down and plan out your new backup strategy when starting to use Time Machine and Leopard.



    Good luck and you will do just fine so long as you read up on the Time Machine details. Time Machine is really quite simple and easy to use.
  • Reply 7 of 9
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sequitur View Post


    Does Time Machine make a bootable backup? I've heard conflicting info on this.



    I am currently running Time Machine for the first time and it is creating a package, stored in a folder that will segregate the backups by machine name and in a file named YYYY-MM-DD-hhmmss.inProgress. (Presumably this extension will change to .pkg or similar once the backup is created.) I was able to copy a standard file to this volume without problem, which surprised me since I had heard the volume has to be dedicated to Time Machine use. In the finder it is given a custom Time Machine icon which suggests that the System does consider the purpose of that entire volume to be focussed on Time Machine.



    This backup is not a "bootable backup" in the sense that one created by SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner is—you could not select this as a startup disk and boot from it. However, when you restore from a Time Machine backup you will have a fully bootable system drive with all of your files, applications, and system files. Thus, it is a complete backup but it does not create a secondary production drive that you could simply run from immediately should your primary drive fail. (That'd be a huge ask, and probably counterproductive, given it is tracking all those changes as well.) For this reason, I'll be continuing to do my weekly cloned backups with SuperDuper, which are rotated offsite, though have dedicated my new, largest drive (750Gb) to create a Time Machine backup of both my primary drive (320Gb) and my laptop...
  • Reply 8 of 9
    ok, this moche be a stupid question that someone has already answered, but how exactly does time machine handle notebook backups? What I mean is when I am of Donnected to my external drive will it still make the hourly backups and then copy them over to the backup drive when I connect it, orwill it only backup when I am connected to the drive?



    Thanks!
  • Reply 9 of 9
    The documentation states that if the Time Machine backup location is unavailable, your computer will keep track of the changes made and will create the hourly backups when you finally connect to the volume. Presumably this is dependent on the available capacity of your local drive, but I understand that Time Machine records changes in a clever way which takes less space than might otherwise be assumed...
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