Time Machine

Is there a way to configure the frequency and type of backups that Time Machine performs and also how it overwrites data?

For instance I would like to perform full backups weekly and take incremental backups daily and after each week wipe the backup and start again?

Thanks.
inforrAsked:
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inforrAuthor Commented:
Hi,

Thanks for the link (http://timesoftware.free.fr/timemachineeditor/). Unfortunately this only appears to edit the backup schedule not the types of backups or overwrite options.
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mccrickCommented:
The timemachineeditor above is a super-cool tip although it may not be exactly what you are looking for.

What you are asking for is somewhat antithetical to the whole concept of TM. I mean if you had a real time machine, wouldn't you want to be able to go back in time by more than a week? You need to get another product like Carbon Copy Cloner.

Time Machine is another Apple product designed with simplicity and ease of use. It is about as close to zero-config as possible, (giving you the ability to exclude certain areas of your drive.) The question is: Why would you want to mess with TimeMachine's awesome scheme. It backs up your stuff every hour, then consolidates those backups into one daily backup. Then it consolidates your last seven dailies into weekly's giving you backups that reach back months or years. I guess if you don't have a big enough backup drive, but backup drives are cheap.

Let's say you are editing large video files. You might use a combination of excluding that data from the TM backup and use CCCloner to get that stuff once a night. Then you could let TM catch your email and other little data as you go. Perhaps the best of both worlds.
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inforrAuthor Commented:
Hi mccrick,

Thanks for the tip about Carbon Copy Cloner. I've been reading up on but am a little confused on how it works. I have a Drobo external drive connected that I want to use to store my backups. It looks like CCC is pretty fussy in stating it prefers a dedicated volume. I would rather use a folder but then it says you can't use that for restoring a whole disk - is that correct?

Does CCC also have some utility to boot Macs to perform restores? Or is it purely reliant on using the backup drive to boot from?

Thanks.
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strungCommented:
CCC is intended to make an exact clone from one drive to another. The seccond drive would then be bootable and you can clone back in the same fashion.
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mccrickCommented:
strung is right. I don't use CCC too often and I didn't notice its lack of flexibility. CCC is still a great little utility to have in your toolbox.

Check out Super Duper. I don't use it, but I hear it's great.
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inforrAuthor Commented:
Thanks - I'll check out Super Duper. On initial view, I am unclear on the restore process with Super Duper.
Do you boot from the backup and then restore back to the system drive?
Do you have to use a dedicated external drive for the backup or can you use a shared drive and still restore with ease?

My main concern with Time Machine is I want to control the disk space it uses. I am not so concerned about having temporal backups. I just want the last complete backup to be available to restore the machine. If there is a way to ensure Time Machine just leaves one backup that would work as well.
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mccrickCommented:
The thing with TM is that you don't control anything. That's the beauty of it. I have found it to be very reliable when it comes to recovery. This, to me, is a key criterion for a good backup solution: Reliable recovery. For many years, the top backup product on the Mac was Retrospect. It was quite scriptable and would do what you are asking for. It also sucked. I made a lot of money making it work properly as most clients could not. With TM, I'm practically out of business, it's so easy to use. This may be one of those situations where giving up control actually yields better results.

On the otherhand, TM reduces risk of loss. It doesn't eliminate it. Consider using a TM backup and a nightly SuperDuper backup. Redundancy = better backup.

Thanks again strung for editor link. That's cool.
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inforrAuthor Commented:
Thanks mccrick.

Does TM backup "everything"? The reason I ask is that I recently had a frustrating experience with Genius Bar at the Apple Store. They rebuilt my Mac Mini using their in store DeployStudio build which turned out to have corrupt install of Samba (SMB) in it, which prevented me from sharing folders. This was eventually resolved by rebuilding it using the Snow Leopard DVD that came with my Mac Mini. Would TM restore ALL the system files?
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mccrickCommented:
Yes it would. But my process for a recovery would have been to do a fresh 10.6 install on freshly wiped HD. Then do the data migration. Then the system updates (10.6.7). Alternatively, you could do fresh 10.6, setup generic Administrative user, then do the updates, then do the migration assistant.

I can't say what went wrong with the Samba install. If something like that DOES happen, you can often just do a clean install on top of your "corrupt system" and data and then do updates, clear caches, etc. All the regular Mac troubleshooting I guess.
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mccrickCommented:
Let me put it another way. I believe TM backs up all of your system files. There will be different ways to restore the data. If you follow my process above, then you won't be putting the backed up system files over the freshly installed OS. There are other ways of restore the backup without doing the clean install that would get you old system files even if they were corrupted or damaged.
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inforrAuthor Commented:
Looks like Super Duper wins it but I agree the Time Machine Editor is a great tip too so will split the points. Thanks guys!
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