Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Preparations before using Time Machine

Time Machine is a popular and interesting data backup utility. It was introduced with Mac version OS X 10.5. The software allows you to restore entire backup or selected volumes as in the form of incremental backup.

Time Capsule is an advanced backup device which works wirelessly with Time Machine in OS X. Before doing this need to focus on some points related to partition of backup disk because one of my friends bought an external drive, reformatted it as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and started with Time Machine. But, after couple of weeks he found an error message “failed backup attempts” even sometimes it was horrible to find backup disk. We both started looking for reason of this phenomenon and found something interesting :-

Time Machine does not work well with the Master Boot Record partition map scheme that Windows-formatted disks use. It can work properly either GUID Partition Table or Apple Partition Map.

MBR is supported by all non Mac OS. GUID used by Apple currently in their Intel Macs. Mac version 10.4 or above can read a GPT(GUID) disk. Apple Partition Map is used by Apple before switching to Intel Mac.Intel Macs can boot from and read APM disks.

To change the partition map scheme you need to erase the disk and there might be a chance of data loss . So, before starting this process, you need to keep backup to some another place. You can keep your backup with the help of one of the best third party tool i.e Stellar Drive Clone. It can keep your backup either in the form of clone or image.

Take care of these steps before using a disk with Time Machine:-

1. Click Application-utilities
2. Open disk utility
3. Select new hard disk
4. Click to Partition Tab
5. Choose the number of volumes (normally one) from the Volume Scheme drop down
6. Click on the Options button
7. Choose GUID Partition Table or Apple Partition Map based on whether your Mac is Intel-based or Power PC-based.
8. Click Apply

Now, your preparation completed , Time Machine will fully support this drive as a backup device.
When you buy a new hard drive that will use the unsupported MBR but, Time Machine didn't tell you that can't fully support to new disk. So, it is one of the major limitation of Time Machine.

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