Guide The Last Time Machine

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Each back-up appears to store a copy of the entire drive that is backed up. Yet the amount of disk space needed for a back-up is limited by the files that have changed since the preceding back-up. All files and folders that have not changed, are represented by hard links to these items in the preceding back-up. Below are some ways in which you can use GrandPerspective to analyse your Time Machine back-up.

How to Verify Your Backups are Working Properly

They are simply meant to give you an idea of what you can do. You are of course free to experiment with other approaches. You compare two back-ups to see what has changed on your hard drive. Doing so is very straightforward. First, you execute Scan Folder on an old back-up, e. Next, you can scan in the contents of the latest back-up, i.

How to analyse Time Machine back-ups

Having both views open alongside each other will hopefully let you quickly spot the biggest differences. Note: Instead of scanning in the latest back-up you can scan in the current contents of your hard drive. The drawback of the latter approach is that the resulting view will include files that are excluded from Time Machine back-ups, which will make it more difficult to spot actual changes. Be warned, this may take a while.

When scanning is complete, a view is shown showing all back-ups.

AirPort Time Capsule

In the Display panel , select coloring by "Top folder". All files belonging to the same back-up now have the same color. Alternatively, you can color files by creation date using a heatmap palette. Recent files are shown in red, old files in blue.

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Several years of Time Machine back-ups. Together they contain four million files in one million folders.

Time Machine (macOS) - Wikipedia

Files are colored by their creation date. You will probably see that one back-up is much larger than the rest. This is likely the earliest back-up folder. The back-ups are scanned in the order they have been created [footnote 1].

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  4. So the folder containing the earliest back-up is scanned first. All files in it are encountered for the first time and are therefore included. When scanning the other back-up folders, most hard-linked files will have been encountered already in older back-ups and so are now excluded. The folder that was scanned first is actually the least interesting. It simply shows the contents of your hard-drive at the time of the scan minus the files that you have chosen to exclude from your Time Machine back-ups. So let's exclude it from the view. Having Backblaze Personal Cloud Backup is a great way to fix that, of course, because your data is also backed up to the cloud.

    Fortunately, Time Machine handles disk rotation with aplomb.

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    You can attach a second hard drive and use it with Time Machine with only a couple of clicks. When Time Machine is connected to your first backup drive, it will back everything up. So each drive will keep a complete Time Machine backup. When you want to check on your Time Machine backups later, all you need to do is hold down the option key when clicking on the Time Machine icon in your menu bar. You can back up to both without any problem. Using this procedure, your data is backed up on two or more drives. You can leave one at home and leave the other in the office, for example.

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    Do you use Time Machine and have you set up a disk rotation scheme? Do you combine Time Machine with cloud backup? Or, do you still have questions? Let us know in the comments. Get the latest from Backblaze straight to your inbox.

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