Back to the future with Time Machine

October 29, 2007 at 11:42 pm Leave a comment

After some trials, it appears that Time Machine doesn’t work as well when you “trick it” into running on a NAS.  My testing thus far shows that it will back up to  NAS (after telling it to back up to a partition on an external drive, then naming a share on the NAS the same as the backup drive and copying the contents of that drive over to the NAS)…  But, when you actually try to use Time Machine in this way, it only shows the most recent backup.  You can browse to the share and mount the sparse-image there, then tell Time Machine to “browse other Time Machine disks” (via right click of the TM icon on the dock), and that does seem to force it to see the other backups, though, so that’s something.

But, you know…  Something makes me feel uneasy (and perhaps a bit queasy) about trying to use this as my backup strategy as described above…

Yes, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that relying on an unsupported “hack” to backup your important data is about as crazy as trying to build a time machine out of a sports car…  Well, perhaps not quite that crazy, but you get my point.

I’m not in with the conspiracy theorists that think Apple pulled the AirDisk support from Time Machine because they want to sell more Macs, more copies of Leopard, etc, etc.  I think they pulled it because performing a backup over 802.11g (which is much more common than 802.11n) is a really bad idea.  I tried doing this over 802.11g from my Mac mini to an external drive on my iMac, and it’s so terribly slow that I can easily imagine hordes of angry users who thought their systems were safely backed up, only to find out that their data is gone forever.

Nope…  I’ve decided that I don’t want to play russian roulette with my data.  So, I’ve decided to use external drives.  I happen to have a pair not doing too much, and when the Leopard version of SuperDuper comes out, I’ll probably back up once a week to a disk image on my NAS, or something…

In a few more days, I should have something more concrete to share with you regarding my Time Machine experiences.  I will say that the idea of a Drobo is looking better and better…

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Entry filed under: Mac.

Leopard experiences Leopard’s Spotlight

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