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Time Machine

Postby Pitchfork » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:40 pm

Following from another post about the best way to back up on a Mac, many have suggested Time Machine

I was doing DVD DL which obviously is a hard copy back up but very time consuming.

I am on a Macbook pro i7 2.2Ghz 16GB and thinking of a 1TB TM drive.

Can I schedule backups manually when i am not recording? and Can I unplug and use Laptop elsewhere and when re-connected at the studio, I can manually back up? Also does it have to be a fresh drive or can some samples sit on the same drive that are used and streamed often?

Any help would be great as I thought maybe TM wasn't viable for recording musicians as such with the constant back ups?
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Re: Time Machine

Postby A Mole » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:20 pm

Can I schedule backups manually when i am not recording?
Yes - just turn it off and then select "backup now" when you want it to do so

Can I unplug and use Laptop elsewhere and when re-connected at the studio, I can manually back up?
Yes

Also does it have to be a fresh drive or can some samples sit on the same drive that are used and streamed often?
You can backup to a partition rather than a physical drive (at least you could last time I tried it), but I think it's better to have a separate clean drive. FYI, I backup a 2TB drive onto a 3TB TM backup. It's usually quite clever at keeping itself in order, but it does lose the plot sometimes with large video files and reports that it is out of disk space. I end up having to either start again with TM or opt not to backup my temp working folder. Not had a problem with audio, but I guess it could happen if you come back from a remote session with a large pile of new recordings. Get the biggest drive you can find. They are cheap, and you won't regret it.
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Re: Time Machine

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:26 pm

You can do all these things but, TBH, I wouldn't. They will just confuse your backup routine which really needs to be simple and straightforward if you want to ensure that you actually do it. Buy yourself a couple of external USB drives, they don't have to be fast, and dedicate them to the task. They're cheap enough nowadays.

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Re: Time Machine

Postby Bob Bickerton » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:50 pm

CC has it. Drives are so cheap now that it doesn't make sense to take any other approach. If your time is worth anything, then you've just saved a considerable sum by ditching DVD backups!

As said previously I would keep Time Machine always on and on its own drive. If necessary use another external drive for your samples and audio.

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Re: Time Machine

Postby Wimek » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:10 pm

Using TimeMachine to make backups on a TimeCapsule is a great way to ensure that you actually make backups very regularly. Yes, manually (using TimeMachine) on an external hard disk also is a good way, but after some weeks/months the time gaps between the backup increments will probably become bigger and bigger. At least that's my personal experience.

Whether the backup process interferes with recording and mixing sessions depends on the hardware used: A recent (relatively fast) Mac in combination with a hard wired GB Ethernet network and a fast internal flash disk shouldn't give any interference unless the Mac is working at a high load. In such a case TimeMachine backups can be temporarily switched off.

There is one potential problem with the use of a Time Capsule that I encountered myself. A few years ago the disk in my time machine crashed and had to be replaced. The disk didn't even mount anymore. When that happens in a computer there are several software tools available to rescue data from the crashed disk. However, for a disk in a Time Capsule these tools are not existing... Even Apple will not rescue your data.

That's why I recommend commercial users to make (Time Machine) backups on a Raid Array or two Time Capsules simultaneously.
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Re: Time Machine

Postby ConcertinaChap » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:29 pm

Or just have two external disks and swap them regularly. I would never depend on just one device for backup. In order to work a backup regime must be both simple and actually followed.

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Re: Time Machine

Postby Wimek » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:05 am

True, but you will not connect external drives every half hour...The strength of the TimeCapsule concept is the automation of backing up.
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Re: Time Machine

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:39 am

Wimek wrote:True, but you will not connect external drives every half hour...


Sorry, you've lost me there. I don't connect up external drives every half hour, I swap them every couple of weeks or so. Otherwise, I leave them to do their own thing.

Time Capsule is expensive for what it is (but then, I suppose, it is Apple :) ) and represents a single point of failure. It's the latter point that kills it for me.

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Re: Time Machine

Postby electrotimba » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:53 am

ConcertinaChap wrote:
Wimek wrote:True, but you will not connect external drives every half hour...

Sorry, you've lost me there. I don't connect up external drives every half hour, I swap them every couple of weeks or so. Otherwise, I leave them to do their own thing.

Time Capsule is expensive for what it is (but then, I suppose, it is Apple :) ) and represents a single point of failure. It's the latter point that kills it for me.

CC
Most of modern WLAN units have USB that let you connect HDD, so it does not have to be Time Capsule.
Instead of second Time Machine HDD ( as I used to use) have "Clones" HDD which I update with CCC once, twice a month. Have there all relevant drives cloned - if main drive fails I can boot from its clone (and actually boot and be ready to work on any Mac).
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Re: Time Machine

Postby Wimek » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:51 am

Guys, the setups you mention are good. However, the point I wanted to make is:

Time Machine provides an incremental backup strategy that manual methods will never give you.
A Time Capsule, like an external hard disk is a single point of failure.

Some of the possible solutions are: Two external disks, two Time Capsules or a Raid Disk Array.

An other thing to consider is to keep "the" or "a" backup somewhere remote. That way you are also protected for theft and fire.

I realise that a proper backup strategy is either labour intensive or rather expensive. However, the fact is: something will go wrong with your valuable data. The question is only: When....
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Re: Time Machine

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:29 am

I think I can agree with all of that. A final plank in my personal backup regime is Dropbox. I pay for the 100 GB option and keep a lot of data there which is thus automatically reproduced across all my machines and helps me meet my criterion of all important data existing in at least three places including offsite.

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Re: Time Machine

Postby hollowsun » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:43 am

ConcertinaChap wrote:Time Capsule is expensive for what it is (but then, I suppose, it is Apple :) )
Eh? You don't have to buy an Apple drive for it. My Firewire Time Machine was bought ages ago from Maplins and didn't cost much. I could have bought a cheaper USB external drive but I thought "What the hell?" and spent a bit more for Firewire. Perfectly fine.

Hooked it up, Mac prompted me whether I wanted to nominate it as a Time Machine, I clicked on 'YES' and it just worked and has continued to do so since.
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Re: Time Machine

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:04 am

Slight misunderstanding going here, I think. Time Machine is a standard application and part of the Mac OS and can use pretty well any hard drive. Time Capsule is an Apple hardware product, thus.

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Re: Time Machine

Postby Wimek » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:15 am

ConcertinaChap wrote:I think I can agree with all of that. A final plank in my personal backup regime is Dropbox. I pay for the 100 GB option and keep a lot of data there which is thus automatically reproduced across all my machines and helps me meet my criterion of all important data existing in at least three places including offsite.
CC

Yes, Dropbox works like a charm for synchronising data. However, it won't give you "history". If you by accident delete a crucial file, it will also be gone from all synchronised machines! I've been there: deleted a folder from my mac and only later I realised that were some important files in a subfolder I forgot about... :headbang: I had a backup :)
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Re: Time Machine

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:19 am

Wimek wrote:However, it won't give you "history". If you by accident delete a crucial file, it will also be gone from all synchronised machines!


Actually it gives you 30 days history even on the free accounts. You need to go to the web site to do it but you can find the history there and restore any deleted file or earlier version within the 30 day limit. If you want an unlimited history then you can have that but it costs (it's called Packrat). We've found the 30 day limit to be fine for our needs.

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Re: Time Machine

Postby Wimek » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:28 am

I didn't know that, thanks CC :)
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Re: Time Machine

Postby xFasterMikeyH » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:23 am

I know I'm about to repeat some stuff that's already been said, but having gone through a failed disk this weekend and recovered _completely_ in a few hours I thought you might want to hear what I do.

Firstly, I should point out that my requirements are not around music, but I do use the machine in question 5 days a week professionally, so it's really important that I can recover from a failure very quickly.

Broadly I have 2 strategies that are complementary.
1) system images. This is what saved me this weekend.
2) data backups.

For 1) I use SuperDuper (the paid for version) Carbon Copy Cloner could well be as good, but I started using SuperDuper a few years ago when it was easier to use than CCC and I've stuck with it. This weekend I experienced a disk failure*, but I happened to have a 2nd HDD and so could boot from my latest SuperDuper image (on an external USB drive) and then copy it to the 2nd HDD. That whole process took less than an hour, which meant that I was confident I could work on Monday morning. Phew.

For 2) I use a combination of TimeMachine and DropBox. TimeMachine is used for everything on my machine. I've never needed to check an earlier version of a document, but I can see it might prove useful at some point. More important though, is that if I had a machine failure (logic board death for instance) I could restore from TimeMachine to a new machine.

Personally I don't have my TM drive plugged in all the time, because having it churning away in the background at inopportune moments doesn't work for me. The decision comes down to how much data are you prepared to risk losing? A day? Half a day? It's pretty easy to manage TM back-ups manually and the overhead is so low (i.e. just plug the drive in when you want) that I'm going to stick with that.

I use DropBox for things that I need in lots of places and for redundant back-up of important documents (contracts etc). Managing what goes here is actually the biggest headache and is an area that probably requires some attention from me.

Places where my current strategy is a bit slack:
* no offsite back-up of system images. I'll be looking into this.
* cloud based data backup is a bit random. I need to do the housework on this.
* I need to be tighter with my back-up scheduling (both system images and time machine). I'll be looking at ways to automate this in such a way that it works for me, but I'm aware that I was basically lucky this weekend that I had a very recent system image.

Onto your questions:
[I was] thinking of a 1TB TM drive.
Do it, plug it in when you need to. Remember to plug it in.

Can I schedule backups manually when i am not recording?
Using the ‘plug in the TM drive method, yes you can. You might want to look at ControlPlane http://www.controlplaneapp.com/ which can be used to manage TimeMachine (amongst other things) based on where you are, what peripherals are attached, etc. It might be overkill for you though and more trouble than it’s worth.

Can I unplug and use Laptop elsewhere and when re-connected at the studio, I can manually back up?
Yes.

Also does it have to be a fresh drive or can some samples sit on the same drive that are used and streamed often?
Splash out on a separate TM drive.

I thought maybe TM wasn't viable for recording musicians as such with the constant back ups?
TM is very useful and definitely better than nothing. When I was recording more I used to have a shell script that I used for incremental back-ups to a separate drive, not sure it was that useful tbh. At various points during a session I’d attach the back-up audio drive and run the script (my audio drive was external as well), looking back I think this was mainly about me wanting to keep my music stuff separate from everything else. Can’t even remember why now.
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Re: Time Machine

Postby Pitchfork » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:05 pm

Thanks for all these helpful hints.

I think I will use a new 1tb drive soley for TM/Backups when i schedule it..

But as a thought (hearing from someone i know who's backup drive went down!) what about Cloud storage?

Can time Machine work with Cloud storage? or is there anything thats foolproof that we be good as a backup in the cloud?

Thoughts?
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Re: Time Machine

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:54 pm

Time Machine insists that the destination drive is HFS+ formatted. Probably just as well. Cloud storage sufficient to hold the backup of a modern hard drive plus history wouldn't be cheap and the initial load would take forever. Backup drives do fail - one of mine failed just a month ago. That's why I have two on the go (swapping them over every couple of weeks as I've said).

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Re: Time Machine

Postby Pitchfork » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:59 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:Time Machine insists that the destination drive is HFS+ formatted. Probably just as well. Cloud storage sufficient to hold the backup of a modern hard drive plus history wouldn't be cheap and the initial load would take forever. Backup drives do fail - one of mine failed just a month ago. That's why I have two on the go (swapping them over every couple of weeks as I've said).

CC

Yes probably right, it would be a nightmare setting up TM with a cloud drive i shouldn't wonder!

I suppose thats just got me thinking about online cloud storage also as backup (just manually) for some bits..

Never looked into it before so just seeing what was out there and people's thoughts? :)
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Re: Time Machine

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:39 am

xFasterMikeyH wrote:I use DropBox for things that I need in lots of places and for redundant back-up of important documents (contracts etc). Managing what goes here is actually the biggest headache and is an area that probably requires some attention from me.


I use Sugarsync for this purpose and highly recommend it.

You can get it to sync whatever files (for me it's the desktop and a couple of critical folders) automatically and have them available instantly on all devices. I just love that there's no 'dropping' into folders, everything syncs automatically.

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Re: Time Machine

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:37 am

I looked at Sugar sync and it did look good. There are other very good offerings out there too. The reason I went for Dropbox is because both conceptually and operationally it is very simple to use and my wife is very technophobic. Also most of my customers seen to have it and sharing folders in Dropbox has been a good way of sending mixes etc to them.

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Re: Time Machine

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:27 am

ConcertinaChap wrote:I looked at Sugar sync and it did look good. There are other very good offerings out there too. The reason I went for Dropbox is because both conceptually and operationally it is very simple to use and my wife is very technophobic. Also most of my customers seen to have it and sharing folders in Dropbox has been a good way of sending mixes etc to them.

CC

I'd rate Sugarsync easier to use than Dropbox once set up - your wife wouldn't even have to do anything or know anything was happening. Maybe I've got it wrong, but don't you have to 'drop' the file into your dropbox folder - can it automatically sync your desktop or other folders for instance without any intervention?

Agree Dropbox is the standard for sharing files, though I've used Sugarsync for that too.

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Re: Time Machine

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:58 am

Well, you're happy with your choice and so are we. Nice note to end the discussion on I'd say :)

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Re: Time Machine

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:23 pm

:)
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Re: Time Machine

Postby DGL. » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:08 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:Time Machine insists that the destination drive is HFS+ formatted. Probably just as well. Cloud storage sufficient to hold the backup of a modern hard drive plus history wouldn't be cheap and the initial load would take forever. Backup drives do fail - one of mine failed just a month ago. That's why I have two on the go (swapping them over every couple of weeks as I've said).

CC
if you use a network drive then it doesn't matter. My old powermac happily backs up using time machine to my Dlink NAS
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Re: Time Machine

Postby ConcertinaChap » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:06 pm

DGL. wrote:if you use a network drive then it doesn't matter. My old powermac happily backs up using time machine to my Dlink NAS

Interesting. So we all live and learn from this thread :)

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