Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power System 10.5
A warning: I just noticed that when my MacBook runs from battery power, Time Machine will temporarily stop making back-ups. As this happens without a clear indication, I thought I'd submit this warning. If you look at Time Machine in System Preferences while on battery power, you'll see that there's no time indication for the next scheduled back -- but there's no reason shown for why there's no backup time. (I'm backing up to a dedicated partition on the same disk, but the same holds true for external drives.)

[robg adds: I thought I remembered reading this somewhere in Apple's documentation, but a search didn't find anything, nor is it mentioned on Apple's site. Logically, it makes sense due to the impact on battery life, but it's something you should be aware of.]
    •    
  • Currently 1.00 / 5
  You rated: 1 / 5 (3 votes cast)
 
[9,945 views]  

10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power | 14 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the '10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power
Authored by: jsumners on Jan 08, '08 08:14:23AM

Backing up to a dedicated partition on the same disk? That has to be the most useless thing ever. The whole point of backing up your data is so it won't be lost in the event of disk failure. I'm quite surprised Time Machine even lets you do that. That's just dumbfounding.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power
Authored by: mcmikemn on Jan 08, '08 08:41:39AM

One possible reason to backup Time Machine to the same disk would be to utilize the functionality to retrieve accidentally deleted or modified files. This is even more helpful on a portable computer; when you travel and want this functionality, it's a hassle to carry an external disk. You're correct, of course, that it does not serve to secure your data from disk failure, but it can be useful.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power
Authored by: tyip on Jan 08, '08 02:03:42PM

You can back up to a disk partition FIRST, since that's fast, and then copy that partition to CD/DVD/tape, which is much slower.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power
Authored by: garythemacguy on Jan 10, '08 02:09:01PM

> The whole point of backing up your data is so it won't be lost
> in the event of disk failure.

I take your point... But...

What about if you simply accidentally delete a file. Or Address Book entry? Or purposely delete a file and then, days or even weeks later on, discover that you shouldn't really have deleted it?

I think you'd find that a lot of users would say that these scenarios are the whole point of backing up your data...



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power
Authored by: nerkles on Jan 26, '08 01:39:41PM

I can see using a single disk for recovery of accidental deletes on the road... maybe. But if you're going to do that, then you'd better ALSO regularly backup to an external disk. As others have pointed out, there are very tiny portable drives available that'll do the job. That approach is going to be more reliable, plus you'd have your whole internal HD available to use.

When a hard drive fails, it's the whole disk, not just one partition.

Will TM backup to multiple disks? I don't know, but if not, then you should keep a regularly updated clone with either SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner in addition to your TM backup that's on a single disk.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power
Authored by: Sven G on Jan 08, '08 08:48:46AM

The same thing happens with an "experimental" (for now) backup to an AirDisk: automatic backups only happen when connected to the mains.

You can always "backup now" form the Dock Time Machine icon, anyway...



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power
Authored by: vandil on Jan 08, '08 10:24:51AM

A whole line of "portable" external hard disks (usually USB-powered) are available, sized perfectly for travel, and are often no larger than the size of the power brick they carry.

If a person who needs critical backups of content on their laptop doesn't have one, their data isn't as "critical" as they think.

Backing up to the same internal hard disk is just a waste of space that could have been part of the main partition.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power
Authored by: stokessd on Jan 08, '08 10:45:55AM

I agree it sounds dumb, but before you harsh all over this poor guy, it does make a bit of sense. Think of time machine to the same disk as a wacky versioning system rather than a backup.


Sheldon



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power
Authored by: xjohnson on Jan 08, '08 01:57:07PM

I would say that Time Machine is mostly NOT about recovering from disk failure. If it were, it would only keep the most recent versions of your files, and toss any old ones as it backed up newer ones. The fact that so much engineering effort (not to mention the straight-from-the-holodeck UI) was invested in preserving multiple versions of your data makes it clear that Time Machine is mostly about recovering from human failure. Having your data on two partitions on the same drive allows for that to happen.

I agree it'd be nice if it let you choose a folder to back up to rather than a drive, but it's just not in the cards at this point. No big deal - Apple went for maximum easy. Maybe we'll see a more configurable Time Machine some day in the future.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power
Authored by: talonwood on Jan 28, '08 08:10:55PM

Is there not some clever way to make time machine backup to a sparseimage on the internal volume?



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power
Authored by: bomielke on Jan 08, '08 11:35:01PM

Well, it makes sense to me to not backup if on battery power. Battery life is already short enough without having to spend more on transferring files to the TM disk.

However, has anyone else noticed that Time Machine backups will wake your mac from sleep and do the backup? It's been happening with my MBP and cannot figure out how to turn that off. There's no reason to run a backup more than once if the notebook is on sleep.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power
Authored by: barrysharp on Jan 11, '08 07:18:06AM

That's a bug and should be reported to Apple via their feeback link.

---
Regards... Barry Sharp



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power
Authored by: TonyT on Jan 09, '08 07:12:23AM

Can't compress a sparse disk image (or bundle) with hdiutil in Leopard either if on battery power



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power
Authored by: barrysharp on Jan 11, '08 07:22:46AM

As an Apple beta tester this was noticed some time back prior to Leopard GM. It was reported to Apple along with an enhancement request to indicate clearly that the computer was running off the battery. Proceeding with the backup should then be optional.

Hopefully this will make it into 10.5.3 or sooner. :)

---
Regards... Barry Sharp



[ Reply to This | # ]