Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Time Machine Update

Here are a few things I've learned about Time Machine since writing the article.

1) I had to send my MacBook in for repairs. Apple replaced the logic board. Therefor, I had a new ethernet MAC address. Therefor I could no longer access my backups. I found some hackish instructions online that helped me fix it. But, I told them that I had backups when I sent it in. If they had wiped my hard drive, I would have panicked.

2) When booting from a Leopard DVD, I did not have the option to restore from backup. The problem seems to be, I need to setup the wireless to connect to the network, and I need to log into the host machine before getting access to the backup bundle. The software on the Leopard DVD simply doesn't give me the option to do that.

In the end, I erased and reinstalled OS X on the machine. Set up a dummy account. Used that account to access the network and log into the host machine. Then I connected to the time machine backup and restored all my data.

I think there may be a better option here. I think I spotted something that suggested connecting the drive directly (even though you typically cannot connect the hard drive directly if you've been doing remote backups). I don't know. It sounds sketchy to me. But it might be worth a try the next time a machine goes down.

3) 10.5.2 seems to hate Time Machine. Since upgrading, my backup has become more and more unreliable, and has taken longer and longer. Finally, it stopped working entirely. I couldn't even mount the bundle anymore. I let Disk Warrior work on it for three days. It reported over 50,000 errors, but wasn't able to do anything useful. In the end, I had to delete the bundle and start from scratch.

Actually, it may have been the hacks I mentioned in step 1 that eventually killed it--but I don't think so. Other people seem to be having the same problem. I thought 10.5.2 was supposed to improve Time Machine stability.

4) While I cannot mount my backup sparse bundle directly on the host machine, I can mount any backup bundle from any remotely logged in machine. No password needed. That's kind of scary.

That's it. If you have any other tidbits, list them in the comments.


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