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VirtualBox: Using snapshots to avoid excessive TimeMachine actitvity
Authored by: bruce.desertrat on Jan 22, '12 10:50:46AM

This tip is backwards. The problem with Time Machine and VirtualBox (or, indeed, ANY VM program) is that the hard drive image file is changing constantly, so Time Machine is backing that file up. As it's typically the largest file in a VM dataset, it gobbles Time Machine space like a swarm of locusts.

Take the snapshot, but don't exclude the SNAPSHOT folder, exclude the folder holding the drive image. Let Time Machine back up your snapshot; that way you can always roll back with TM.

And no, Time Machine won't delete the only copy of a file when it rolls up changes to a new baseline 'Time 0' point. It will simply eliminate all copies from the oldest copy in the database and the new baseline restore point. If no changes exist in a file it's not deleted, but is included in the new baseline restore point.

Just chopping off the oldest copies would be insanely stupid; and while we've seen some dumb decisions from Apple in the past [hockeypuckmouse] screwing up the fundamental primary feature of a backup system isn't one of them. People would have found the grievous results of this error the very first time anyone restored a mac from a space-limited Time Machine backup.



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