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this has always been possible
Authored by: leamanc on Aug 15, '11 10:23:39AM

I think it should be worded that TM can now back up to your boot volume, your current live system backing up to its own OS disk. Could you do that before Lion? I'm honestly not sure.

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You are right.
Authored by: V.K. on Aug 15, '11 01:44:11PM

Sorry, I didn't understand that from the way the hint was worded. Yes, that's a new ability. You definitely could not do that before Lion. I can see this being somewhat useful on portable macs which can be away from their backup drives for extended periods of time but I don't see why you'd ever want to use TM in such a way on a desktop Mac. I really can't see a scenario where that would make sense. I can certainly see why this ability is turned off by default on desktop macs.

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You are right.
Authored by: leamanc on Aug 15, '11 04:40:22PM

Yeah, I could see this being of limited utility on a desktop Mac, and using up way too much space on your boot drive in any case. I could see it being most useful if you were working on a project and wanted to implement your own version control system by excluding all folders except for your project's folders.

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You are right.
Authored by: dvessel on Aug 15, '11 05:20:47PM

It can take up a lot of space but it will not happen immediately. As the files are being modified, the original is backed up once for each snapshot thatís taken. Itís not like a full Time Machine backup where it actively copies your boot drive. It seems to be using fsevents to monitor changes and moves the originals into /.MobileBackups sorted out by the time the snapshot was taken.

This is extremely useful even if you donít run Time Machine backups especially for short-term use.

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You are right. -- sometimes
Authored by: Frederico on Aug 15, '11 06:45:50PM

There are certainly instances where this feature would have served my clients under Snow Leopard.

In one case, the iMac (single internal HDD; single partition) owner's external HDD for TM backups died, and they sent it off for warranty, as opposed to paying for a new replacement. Without borrowing another external drive (with available space and partitions) they had *ZERO* TM backups for more than two weeks. Very dangerous.

In another situation, multiple single-drive Macs were backing up to a Time Capsule (with additional external drives) and some of those TM backups became damaged/corrupt as compared to their source, and it was taking hours and hours per machine to both repair the host and the TM backup image on the TC. No current TM backups in the meantime for several days as the workflow could not be interrupted.

The ability to do a local backup in the meantime, and the later a merge of local to legacy TM backups is a *godsend* in these and many other instances.

One need not be using a portable to meet a situation where your TM drive becomes disconnected/inaccessible.

I'm anxious to move as many clients to Lion, for this, and for Versions, as soon as is practicable.

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