Talk:Time Machine (OS X)

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No subject[edit]

Do you think it's worth mentioning that Acer once had a system restoration program called Time Machine? [1] Apple's Time Machine still seems far superior, but I'm wondering if this could fall under a trivia section. Gordeonbleu 18:07, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

The main point is that there is already an existing trademark for a software program called Time Machine. Listing the future product from Apple stomps on the trademark owners efforts to market a product for a similar purpose. Michaelmorrison 20:39, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

  • But it's not for a similar purpose, it's a way to change program time without changing system time, while Apple's product is a backup utility. I have seen software with different purposes but the same name before. Anyway, it's not Wikipedia's place to arbitrate these things, only to describe them. This is no different than any other disambiguation situation. --Jamoche 20:08, 29 September 2006 (UTC)


    • No, I'm talking about Acer's Time Machine software, which came bundled with Acer computers in the early 2000s, before System Restore was introduced in Windows Me. It is exactly a backup utility, just as with Apple's Time Machine. I'm not suggesting a new article. I'm just asking whether we should have a subsection called "Trivia", and then note this fact. See here: [2] Gordeonbleu 01:34, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Someone should compare and contrast Time Machine with Windows Server Volume Shadow Copy, introduced with Windows Server 2003. Michaelcox 19:35, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Since it is similar feature (Volume shadow copy) to Windows, it should be mention. I just feel that apple give a nice name rather than revolutionary feature. Kyawtun 12:18, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Leopard's Time Machine and rg. Volume Shadow Copies do not have anything in common. Volume Shadow Copies is a file system feature as Time Machine's a front end to a backup system which again does not work like Volume Shadow Copies acting on Files but on structured application data. Eg. with Time Machine it is Possible to restore one calendar event even though it is not stored in a separate file on disk. I'll change the article section according to this. —Feuermurmel 13:52, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
I worked on this section which seemed vague to me. I looked for information to back up the statements that were there, and didn't find much except for some pretty seriously emotional blogs! But, I used 'em and cited 'em. --joeOnSunset 18:31, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

What about Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files? Does it offer the same functionality? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 193.77.115.238 (talkcontribs) 14:46, 26 November 2006 (UTC-8)


Encryption info is probably wrong and/or misleading[edit]

I made an encrypted disk image, mounted it, then tried to get TM to back up to it. Doesn't show up in TM's list of possible destinations.

The article says that backing up an encrypted disk image will work. If the files from the mounted image are backed up, they will backed up unencrypted. If the encrypted image itself is backed up, and if the image is not tiny, this will be extremely inefficient, and if it is even in fact reliable, it will have to lock out access to the disk image during the backup of the disk image, and even then, who knows whether the image is in a consistent stat at such time as TM tries to back it up. This all needs careful investigation before the article goes on to make sweeping statements such as it does.

I think the best option is for TM to allow backing up to a mounted, encrypted disk image.

Dave Yost (talk) 09:17, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

I think the article actually only means that you can back up an encrypted disk image. You can't back up directly to an encrypted disk image. I'm not sure how backups of disk images work, but I'm sure Apple's software engineers couldn't possibly have been THAT dumb to not think that files might be changed during backup...right? D: --M1ss1ontomars2k4 (talk) 22:18, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
There's an article out there somewhere where a guy was able to do what you say. I can't find it, but he took the .sparceimage, changed it to encrypted and gave it a pw. He then entered that pw into Keychain so it doesn't ask for it when it's mounted, and TM accepted it. He backs up unencrypted data to an encrypted disk. Agree, it should be built-in. --72.17.153.96 (talk) 13:12, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
keep in mine, too, that leopard introduced sparsebundles for time machine. that is, it uses sparsebundles to back up to, not a monolithic image file, and it can back up sparsebundles much more efficiently than sparseimages, again, since they are not one monolithic file. – ɜɿøɾɪɹℲ ( тɐʟк¢ʘи†ʀ¡βs ) 15:50, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Whole hard drive ?[edit]

From article:

Time Machine requires using a whole hard drive or hard drive partition to perform backups. File-level backups, such as using just a folder on a partition of a hard drive instead of requiring the use of the whole drive or partition, cannot be done through Time Machine.

This needs so be precised. Time Machine does not "take over" the whole disk, it creates a directory (IIRC "Backups.db") at the root of the drive and keep its backups inside taking as much space as it needs, deleting the oldest backup if there isn't enough free space. (I can post a screenshot of TimeMachine documentation if needed)

Which means that if you put files on your disk, it will not delete these files. Just take over the existing free space. If you want to add files to your disk, you can manually free some space by deleting some backups and then copy your files.

As long as you don't mess up with the Time Machine backup directory, you are free to copy any files to your backup hard drive.

--VincentRobert (talk) 11:13, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I think what was originally meant was that you have to back up FROM a whole volume, not TO a whole volume. You can EXclude individual directories or files, but you can only INclude whole volumes. This is all IIRC too, btw. --M1ss1ontomars2k4 (talk) 22:13, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

What's that about wired networks?[edit]

Time machine works fine over any network connection, including ethernet and firewire. I am using the later method to back up my notebook right at this moment and it's faster than any other connection method. Deleting the comment to the contrary.

67.174.198.191 (talk) 09:40, 6 December 2007 (UTC) Oleg

TM does not work fine over any network connection, it will not run if you are only connected to a wireless network. – ɜɿøɾɪɹℲ ( тɐʟк¢ʘи†ʀ¡βs ) 19:12, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

It works fine over wired or wireless connections. You need to make sure that you are connected to the backup volume (time machine is not able to connect automatically). Also leave the notebook connected to the power adapter. I heard backup will not start on battery power, but I am not positive enough to include this in the article.

148.87.1.167 (talk) 22:18, 10 December 2007 (UTC) Oleg

Time Machine does NOT officially and stabely backup over Airport connection. This was advertised pre Leopard release by Apple but was pulled probably due to stability for the official release.... It can be turned on with the terminal but is unsupported and apparently unstable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.197.33.179 (talk) 11:10, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

A whole section dedicated to other products?[edit]

The section "Similar functionality in other operating systems isn't necessary. This can be covered by a "See Also" section with links to relevant articles. If I see no objections I'll replace it sometime today. Gh5046 (talk) 16:57, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Since no one seems to oppose this time, I'm gonna go ahead and remove it again. - Josh (talk | contribs) 06:13, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Limitations section[edit]

I removed the following statement from the Limitations section:

Time Machine does not support the use of multiple backup disks. If a laptop user keeps multiple Time Machine disks (e.g, one at work and one at home) they must reconfigure Time Machine each time they switch disks.

The statement is contradictory, and I was able to find an article to negate it: http://www.appleinsider.com/print.php?id=3297

I tried to include that url in my edit summary, but I did not realise it got cut off. Gh5046 (talk) 18:54, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

What is the deciding factor of what a limitation is?[edit]

I am stuck with these items in the Limitations section:

  • Time Machine cannot create encrypted backups.
  • Due to Apple's continuation of the HFS+ file system, Time Machine does not support block-level backups. If even one entry in a large data file changes, the entire new version of the large file must be backed up...

Time Machine wasn't made to do these things, they are not part of its offering, so can they even be considered limitations? Who or what decides what a limitation is? If the software wasn't designed to do it is it notable?

The statement about Filevault backups requiring logout makes sense, and since Apple does support some network based back ups it makes sense to list what it doesn't support. But, if it isn't an announced/supported feature in anyway does it make sense to note it? Gh5046 (talk) 21:59, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

I am removing the Limitations section. I don't see value in listing features that it doesn't have when it was not claimed that it would have them. The bit about Filevault will be moved to the Requirements section. If someone sees need to add a Criticisms section, with sources, I'm fine with that. Gh5046 (talk) 05:55, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Why can the "User interface" and "How It Works" exist without sources, but a "Limitations" or "Criticisms" cannot? As is, the article reads like an advertisement. - Cg-realms (talk) 08:21, 13 April 2008 (EDT)
How it reads is subjective. I didn't view it that way, but maybe that's because I've owned an Apple TV and it seemed accurate to me. Yes, the article needs more sources, but just because the rest of the article lacks them doesn't mean a criticism section should be able to exist without them. Gh5046 (talk) 04:50, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
While it may not be a "limitation" it is important information for understanding how Time Machine works. I added the information about block-level vs. file level backups back in using value-neutral language. Feel free to edit it, but please don't remove this important information from the main article. It is very useful for understanding why you might wish to block time machine from backing up virtual drives or torrent files, etc. kerim (talk) 09:43, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Does not require a hard drive connected to the computer[edit]

I don't care if you have a source or not, it does not require the hard drive to be connected to the computer. I do Time Machine backups over the network, and of course, Time Capsule works wirelessly. 206.124.7.10 (talk) 23:11, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Unless it's an AFP shared disk or a Time Capsule, backing up over the network isn't supported. It can be done, as the article states, but it isn't supported. Gh5046 (talk) 00:22, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

I removed the text in the article concerning Time Machine backups to an Airport Extreme-connected USB disk, this is not supported by Apple per http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2038 . For all you people currently using this unsupported method, I encourage you to try and do significant restores. Welcome to fail. Jgw (talk) 16:34, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Edited By Some Apple Lover?[edit]

This page used to list the limitations and problems with Time Machine. It also gave links to open source alternatives, These have since been edited out.

This needs to be fixed IMMEDIATELY. Apparently, Apple doesn't like it when people criticize their software. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.173.130.5 (talk) 14:39, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Look two discussions above this one, and you'll see why they were removed. Also, there is a link to the article "List of backup software". That more than suffices. Gh5046 (talk) 14:49, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Copies "entire hard drive"?[edit]

I question this sentence in the "How it works" section:
"It then copies the entire primary hard drive (except for files and directories that it has specifically been told not to copy) to the folder."
If it doesn't create a boot drive, then it is not copying the entire hard drive, and all the hidden files that exist.--Lester 11:27, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

The target drive time machine uses cannot be booted off of. To do a full system restore you have to boot off of the 10.5 DVD, then select restore from a time machine backup. If time machine is set to back up the entire drive, it has the ability to restore a fully working and bootable system. Gh5046 (talk) 02:00, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
Hi Gh5046. Yes, that sounds correct. Maybe the article should say something like "copies items from a user folder" rather than "copies the entire primary hard drive". --Lester 02:58, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
It does copy the entirety of the primary hard drive (except special cache files) just so long as the user doesn't set time machine to ignore the system folder. "For the initial backup, Time Machine copies the entire contents of the computer to your backup drive. It copies every file exactly (without compression), skipping caches and other files that aren’t required to restore your Mac to its original state." Gh5046 (talk) 16:36, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Why does the title need to clarify that Time Machine is "Apple" software?[edit]

I have no idea why this title was chosen instead of just Time Machine (software). If someone could point out to me why the clarification is needed, then I'll be alright with it. Otherwise, I suggest we move the article to Time Machine (software). - stevenrasnick Tuesday, 8:54 PM, November 4, 2008

Because of this article: Time Machine (Solution-Soft software). Gh5046 (talk) 18:51, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Leopard requirement[edit]

"According to Apple, it can only be backed up to network drives if they are being hosted by another computer running Leopard (including Leopard Server)" I read an article about TM some time ago and IIRC it's because TM requires use of some evolutions of HFS+ features, notably regarding hardlinks, which are only usable for files in all other major filesystems incl. previous HFS+. TM apparently makes use of hardlinks to directories, which cause a number of implementation specifics WRT the creation of such hardlinks (notably to prevent creation of infinite loops). In a remote backup situation it is mandatory to have Leopard not only on the local machine, but also on the remote one to which the disk is plugged because the disk has to be shared via AFP, which is a file service working atop the existing filesystem (like samba, nfs, ftp...). thus it is the remote machine which has the burden of handling the filesytem and has to support the new features. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lloeki (talkcontribs) 13:23, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Does HFS+ actually support directory hard links? It definitely doesn't support them on the command line!
Are you sure about that? Photographerguy (talk) 03:02, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Sure it does, "$ ln Desktop/file" Rummey (talk) 20:11, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Ahh, I see your point now. You can only hard link files in most (I don't know of any, but 'all' is a strong word) unix style OSes. Time Machine creates "real" directories and hard links the files inside.Rummey (talk) 20:14, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No consensus to move. It is disputed whether video games can be considered software. Consider handling these discussions, perhaps at WikiProject Computing, and WikiProject Video Games, then propose a new move. The location/name for the move also has no consensus. Taelus (talk) 10:07, 23 March 2010 (UTC)



Time Machine (Apple software)Time Machine (software) — The requested title currently redirects to this article and it should be moved for simplicity. NerdyScienceDude :) (✉ click to talkmy editssign) 14:21, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

It did rediredt here until an IP dabbed it. NERDYSCIENCEDUDE (✉ msgchanges) 15:40, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
The dab is irrelevant. It's now a redirect again. NERDYSCIENCEDUDE (✉ msgchanges) 15:44, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree; video games aren't software. Ucucha 15:46, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
Is that sarcasm? Of course video games are software. Just look at the wikipedia article on Computer software. I liked this version better [3], seemed like a totally reasonable dab page. I say restore it. Either that, or merge the content into the time machine article.TheFreeloader (talk) 18:21, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
True, but those video games are unrelated to computing. Video games for Comodore and Nintendo should not be included with computer (as in Mac, Windows, and Linux) software. NERDYSCIENCEDUDE (✉ msgchanges) 01:02, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Why not place the video game dab at Time Machine (video game)? NERDYSCIENCEDUDE (✉ msgchanges) 22:52, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Requested move 2[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved to Time Machine (Mac OS), though this was pretty close. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 10:14, 22 January 2011 (UTC)



Time Machine (software)Time Machine (backup software) Time Machine (Mac OS) space addedRelisted. Vegaswikian (talk) 08:00, 27 December 2010 (UTC) More recognizable and more precise, two of the five criteria at WP:TITLE. (Was moved as uncontroversial in September 2010 despite discussion above.) --Pnm (talk) 05:47, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose. No need for more detailed disambiguation. I don't think that WP:TITLE supports the move at all; WP:precision, a section of it, does not, reading in part When additional precision is necessary to distinguish an article from other uses of the topic name, over-precision should be avoided. Be precise but only as precise as is needed and later Remember that concise titles are generally preferred (their emphasis). Andrewa (talk) 08:44, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I agree with Andrewa. Unless there is other notable software named Time Machine this title is perfectly disambiguated. There is no evidence of any such other software. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:25, 20 December 2010 (UTC) See updated comment below --Born2cycle (talk) 23:47, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm baffled. Recognizability? --Pnm (talk) 03:14, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I think you may be misinterpreting the guidelines. The article title is just supposed to identify the topic, it doesn't need to be a detailed description of it. Andrewa (talk) 17:47, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Apple's naming style results in titles that are obvious in the context of Apple, but difficult to recognize in other contexts. In the context Wikipedia articles, Time Machine (software) is unrecognizable. It sounds as obscure as The Hotlist. Without prompting "Apple", it fails to signify the topic.
Frankly, Time Machine (software) is a stingy disambiguation. Instead of helping the user, it satisfies technical limitations and conforms to concision guidelines. When presented with the title, out of context, the extra characters help. If a concision guideline prevents helping the reader or editor, don't let it. --Pnm (talk) 00:44, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
An interesting and valid argument. But it depends as a premise on the judgement that placing this extra information, the function of the software, in the article title is a good thing. While it has advantages, it also has drawbacks. For a start, where do we draw the line? Could we not similarly argue that the title should be Time Machine (backup software for Apple computers distributed in later editions of OS X)?
The guideline is clear, we prefer the most concise disambiguator that adequately identifies the topic, and by adequately identifies here I mean to those with some knowledge of the topic. That is the core issue here I think. Essentially, it is being argued above that it should also identify the topic to those without this knowledge. This certainly seems desirable, but on reflection it comes at an unacceptable cost. That's why the guideline prefers conciseness. Andrewa (talk) 15:05, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
My reasoning doesn't support a move to Time Machine (backup software for Apple computers distributed in later editions of OS X). I'm not arguing for "extra information". This topic is hard to recognize, even if you know it. It doesn't matter to me whether the title uses the function, the vendor, or the product. Maybe you'd prefer Time Machine (MacOS). That title would be three characters shorter, and perfectly recognizable. --Pnm (talk) 19:43, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
Agree, your reasoning doesn't actually support either move, because it's based on a guess as to what other people, without your knowledge, find helpful. The guideline is both clear and completely appropriate to the case, and it doesn't support a move either. Andrewa (talk) 09:50, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I agree with Andrewa on this. There is simply no direct need for the move. Dmarquard (talk) 19:35, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: This topic is hard to recognize, even if you know it. To me, solving that problem is worth a few extra characters, but in light of concerns raised above, I revised the proposed target to a shorter title. --Pnm (talk) 19:50, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Support I support the move to Time Machine (MacOS) as it's more precise and more concise than the current title. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:47, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
    • Comment: I'm a bit dubious, but it's better then the original proposal, assuming that this program is either part of the Mac OS or dependent on it (my last Mac was a Macintosh Classic so I'm a bit out of date). But most people know what software is while fewer would know what MacOS means. A doubtful improvement at best IMO. No change of vote. Andrewa (talk) 09:59, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
      Time Machine is a feature of Mac OS, introduced in version 10.5. --Pnm (talk) 16:29, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.