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
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?
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?
Enterprise administrators, particularly those unfamiliar with Apple's powerful but deceivingly simple features, might be tempted to dismiss Time Machine as an overly simplistic backup mechanism. That'd be a mistake. Time Machine is more than capable of protecting an enterprise's data.Time Machine, of course, makes it easy to not only back up data, but to create multiple archive sets. Further, Time Machine enables essentially creating image backups. Administrators need go only to the server or workstation in question, open the Time Machine application and select the files or folders to restore or leverage the Time Machine drive to recover an entire system.Administrators should never assume Time Machine backups are completing properly, however. Time Capsule backups can fail if network or wireless connectivity fails. External hard disks can become disconnected. Disks can even fail. Enterprise administrators should regularly check and test Time Machine backups to confirm that the proper … [Read more...] about Time Machine more than capable of safeguarding enterprise data
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
There have never been so many options to clone, backup, and archive data from your Mac. And there have never been so few options for local networked backup. With Apple’s Time Machine and Time Capsule eating the heart out of the basic backup market for connected and networked archives, and several competing cloud-hosted services owning flat-rate unlimited storage, it’s hard for any developer to compete. Code42’s CrashPlan and Econ Technologies’ ChronoSync are players in the game. CrashPlan offers a single software client that can copy data to a connected volume, a LAN-hosted volume, a friend’s Internet-reachable drive, or its own for-fee cloud service that has an unlimited storage option. ChronoSync is a ridiculously full-featured clone, mirror, and sync package that works with local and network-mounted drives (including Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices), and also with Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) and Google Cloud Storage, as well as via SFTP … [Read more...] about Arq review: Offers an archiving alternative to Time Machine and hosted cloud backup services
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