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10.5: Time Machine, networked drives, and laptops System 10.5
Apple has announced that you shouldn't be running Time Machine if you are using Aperture unless you're in manual mode. This got me to wondering how I used manual mode in the first place; Google helped me discover that a right-click on the Time Machine icon in the dock offers a Back Up Now option, which does just what you might expect. Using that feature, it appears that you can turn the big Time Machine switch off, and still do manual backups ... which brings me to my hint.

If you are using a laptop and have a network-connected drive with your Time Machine files on it, you may find that backups are somewhat unpredictable, in that they don't seem to happen automatically. You'll find this especially true if you did the first backup with a wired connection, as your machine will then never back up over wireless. This turns out to be because, on a network drive, Time Machine creates a sparse image (an expandable disk image) with the MAC address of the machine in its name. Then, when you're on a wireless network, Time Machine doesn't find the file, as the MAC address has changed.

These images have the form of Machinename_012345678abcdef.sparseimage. If you make a symlink with your wireless MAC address to the existing image, then Time Machine starts working again. Then you can turn off automatic backups, and just do a manual back up every day when you get home.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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10.5: Time Machine, networked drives, and laptops | 11 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Time Machine, networked drives, and laptops
Authored by: cagg on Nov 07, '07 07:31:14PM

This hint has ME wondering.... how do you use a network-connected drive with Time Machine? From what I can glean, you can only use internal drives or directly-connected external drives. For me, network drives don't show up in TM prefs.



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10.5: Time Machine, networked drives, and laptops
Authored by: rdguthrie on Nov 09, '07 07:58:28AM

If you have the network drive in your sidebar, you can use it as a backup over a network (haven't tried it wirelessly yet). That seems to be the trick to having Time machine notice the share.



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10.5: Time Machine, networked drives, and laptops
Authored by: 6GTXEK on Nov 07, '07 07:58:38PM

I have to dispute this one. I attached an external drive to my PowerMac G5 and shared it. I then, on two separate laptops, connected them via wired eithernet and chose that network-shared drive as the Time Machine destination for the first backup. I switched them back to wireless after the first backup and they've been dutifully backing up every hour since then. I can even take them out of the house and they very gracefully wait to until they're back on the same network to catch up.

In answer to the first commenter, currently Apple only supports network backups to other Macs running Leopard. If your file server is anything else, it won't show up in the Time Machine list (although there are some possibly dangerous hacks out there to get it working with other servers). This will very likely change in a future update; I think they were just playing it safe for the first release.



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10.5: Time Machine, networked drives, and laptops
Authored by: deasmi on Nov 08, '07 08:22:53AM

That's interesting and may well be true, I'll have to investigate.

This was the only way I could get it to backup.

Once I'd started Time Machine off using and wired connection it refused to find the backup location when I switched to wireless.

This did seem to fix the problem but it's always possible that there was another way to fix it.



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10.5: Time Machine, networked drives, and laptops
Authored by: jbarley on Nov 07, '07 09:15:40PM

I've got one major question about wireless TM backups to a network or NAS drive.
When it comes to needing a complete system restore, after booting from the install DVD and clicking on Restore from Time Machine, how do you connect to the backup drive when there is no network connection, or network software yet available?
James.



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10.5: Time Machine, networked drives, and laptops
Authored by: deviantintegral on Nov 07, '07 09:20:45PM

I'm guessing you can't, unless you can setup a network connection via the terminal.

In many cases though, it doesn't really matter. You can install a virgin copy of the OS, and then use the regular Time Machine app to restore your home. It's better than no backup at all :)



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10.5: Time Machine, networked drives, and laptops
Authored by: xSmurf on Nov 08, '07 09:38:03AM

From what I've seen, the 10.5 installer fully supports networking. Hells it even showed up the Airport icon in the menu bar. So this is not really an issue.

---
MacBook Pro 2.16Ghz / 2Gb / 100Gb 7200rpm / CD/DVD±RW
PM G4 DP 800 / 1.25gb / 120Gb+80Gb / CD/DVD±RW/RAM/DL
- The only APP Smurf



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10.5: Time Machine, networked drives, and laptops
Authored by: seanasy on Nov 07, '07 09:38:14PM

The hint somewhat misrepresents what the Apple support articles says. The problem appears to be that if Aperture and Time Machine run at the same time, your Aperture database could get corrupted.

The Apple article recommends excluding your Aperture Library from automatic backups. In which case, you can limit manual backups to only the Aperture Library (and only do it when Aperture is not running).



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10.5: Time Machine, networked drives, and laptops
Authored by: BPearce on Nov 08, '07 05:39:38AM

I did my initial back-up networked to my second computer via Firewire -- that sped up the process considerably, but still gave me a networked back-up. (It still doesn't seem to want to do scheduled back-ups, though, which is irritating.)



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Aperture comment is misleading
Authored by: derPlau on Nov 08, '07 07:25:24AM

It's not true that Apple tells you to run Time Machine in manual mode if you're running Aperture. Running Time Machine in manual mode will not prevent the problem Apple describes.

What Apple tells you to do is to exclude the Aperture library from your Time Machine backups. It then tells you to "manually back up your Aperture Library" (e.g., using the Vaults feature of Aperture or just copying the appropriate directory to a backup drive) -- but this is not the same as "running Time Machine in manual mode."



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Aperture comment is misleading
Authored by: deasmi on Nov 08, '07 08:20:34AM

Yes, you're right.

This wasn't really a hint about Aperture but about changing the network interface you are using to do your Time Machine backups.

Should have made that clearer, sorry.



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