Time Machine

Does anyone here use Time Machine?

Since Carbon Copy Cloner (which I have been using exclusively for backups for 7 or 8 years) can no longer do a cloned bootable backup, I thought I’d supplement it with Time Machine. I used Time Machine back when it was introduced but at one time I had some problems with it so I stopped using it.

I’ve had an M1 Mac mini for about a month (second hand running Monterey 12.1) and once I got it organised I started doing Time Machine Backups but I’m not sure it’s working properly. I did a backup earlier this afternoon and it appears it’s the only backup on there. I hasn’t recorded any of the other backups. I just put a file in my downloads folder, did another backup but it’s as though it was only the second backup I’ve done.

On the other hand, at the same time, I started doing Time Machine backups on my MBPro also. This was running Catalina until yesterday when I upgraded to 12.2 and the backups seem fine. They are all there.

Any thoughts?

Have you tried to “Enter Time Machine” to verify if any older backups exist? Looking at it in the Finder is likely to be misleading as TM makes massive use of symlinks and other trickery.

Open any folder that has had changes within the last month. Select “Enter Time Machine” from the TM menu and see if there are older copies.

Yeah, have done that. Only the 2 backups from today are there whereas on the MacBook Pro there are a number going back to Jan 15.

Yes so, on theMacBook Pro, in the menu bar: Latest backup yesterday at 11:10.
In the preference pane:
Oldest backup 15 January.
Latest backup Yesterday 11:10.

None of that info appears on the Mac mini…

Obvious question, but have you checked the exclusion list in TM prefs to make sure Mac Mini drive is not in there?

Click the Options button when in the Time Machine PrefPane in System Prefs.

Yes, have done that…

Does it go through the motions when you select “Backup now” from the menubar widget?

It seems to. It’s hard to tell. Even on my MacBook Pro, Where I know it’s working, it’s difficult to tell when it’s actually backing up!

It gives you a running commentary in the top line of the menubar widget while it’s underway and then tells you where & when the last backup was once it’s done. Maybe monitor this for a while and see what it’s doing.

I have used Time Machine for ever without any issue.

One less known feature of Time Machine is that it can back up to two different drives.

Yeah, it’s doing that on my MBP but not on the Mac mini. But I swear the first backup I did on the Mac mini went ok. I might just have to delete it & start again from scratch. It doesn’t give you much confidence in the backups though!

After clicking ‘Backup now’, if you then go into Time Machine in settings, you can see the backup progressing, expected time, and when its completed.

Yeah, that’s not happening.

I’m going to upgrade to 12.2, initialise the drive & start again. See what happens. If it doesn’t work I’ll give up on Time Machine again…

Try the free version CrashPlan which allows you to live backup to a local disk, with versioning etc. At least I think they still offer this.

Just an update on this if anyone is interested.

I have just updated from Monterey 12.1 to 12.2.1 and the Time Machine backup is now working. So this may have been a 12 or 12.1 problem. I didn’t make any changes to the backup disk.

Hmm didn’t realised carbon copy cloner no longer worked. I have always had a TM onto my Synology NAS but also backed it up to a portable HD as well that I keep in my office. But did have a CCC backed up once in a while. Guess during covid I’ve got slack and haven’t run it and espeically haven’t since I migrated to a new Macbook air last year.

CCC still works but it’s limited now due to Apple’s security. It’s still great for backing up files. I was talking to a guy on another forum on the weekend. His MacBook Pro died all of a sudden. He bought a new M1 model & transferred all his stuff from his Time Machine backup using Migration Assistant & all up & running in no time.

But I think the old saying applies - don’t put all your eggs in one basket!