Slow Time Machine in Mac OS X 10.5.8 on a three years old MacBookPro?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Ant, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Ant

    Ant Guest

    Hi.

    Is it me or does it take forever (e.g., a couple hours) to back up about
    42 GB through USB 2.0?

    Thank you in advance. :)
    --
    "A centipede is an ant made to Canadian/government specs." --unknown
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    Ant, Jun 18, 2011
    #1
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  2. Yes.

    Firewire is way better for such.
     
    John McWilliams, Jun 18, 2011
    #2
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  3. Ant

    Guest Guest

    the initial backup will take a while. the incremental backups every
    hour will be substantially smaller and very quick, maybe a minute or
    two.
     
    Guest, Jun 18, 2011
    #3
  4. Ant

    Ant Guest

    Thanks. :)
    --
    "Ants are so much like human beings as to be an embarrassment. They farm
    fungi, raise aphids as livestock, launch armies into wars, use chemical
    sprays to alarm and confuse enemies, capture slaves. The families of
    weaver ants engage in child labor, holding their larvae like shuttles to
    spin out the thread that sews the leaves together for their fungus
    gardens. They exchange information ceaselessly. They do everything but
    watch television." --Lewis Thomas
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    Ant is/was listening to a song on this computer: Heartbreak - Get the Drive
     
    Ant, Jun 18, 2011
    #4
  5. Ant

    Ant Guest

    Thanks. Well, this HDD doesn't have one. :(
    --
    "Ants are so much like human beings as to be an embarrassment. They farm
    fungi, raise aphids as livestock, launch armies into wars, use chemical
    sprays to alarm and confuse enemies, capture slaves. The families of
    weaver ants engage in child labor, holding their larvae like shuttles to
    spin out the thread that sews the leaves together for their fungus
    gardens. They exchange information ceaselessly. They do everything but
    watch television." --Lewis Thomas
    /\___/\ Ant @ http://antfarm.ma.cx (Personal Web Site)
    / /\ /\ \ Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net
    | |o o| |
    \ _ / If crediting, then use Ant nickname and AQFL URL/link.
    ( ) If e-mailing, then axe ANT from its address if needed.
    Ant is/was listening to a song on this computer: Heartbreak - Get the Drive
     
    Ant, Jun 18, 2011
    #5
  6. Ant

    Alan Browne Guest

    42 GB over USB 2.0 should take about half an hour. Even less when it is
    a big single file (backing up my 65 GB virtual folder for WinXP takes
    about 23 minutes).

    But if it's been a long time since the last backup, and there are a lot
    of small files all over the place, it may take TM quite a while to scan
    your disk looking for things that have changed. And if during the write
    phase it has to create a lot of folders and sub-folders for that data
    (on the TM volume), then that takes more time as well.
     
    Alan Browne, Jun 19, 2011
    #6
  7. Ant

    Ant Guest

    Wow. I thought TM just was just slow with its background backups.

    Ah. Maybe that's why it took so long. I think the backup hasn't been
    done for almost a year.
    --
    /\___/\ Ant @ http://antfarm.ma.cx (Personal Web Site)
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    ( ) If e-mailing, then axe ANT from its address if needed.
    Ant is currently not listening to any songs on this computer.
     
    Ant, Jun 19, 2011
    #7
  8. It does.

    USB 2 is half-duplex so it performs very poorly with hard drives. It
    sends a command, receives a response, sends a command, receives a
    response, etc. It was really made for mice and keyboards. Even the
    tiniest delay in that back-and-forth communications will destroy
    performance. Firewire and eSATA are far better performers.

    Time Machine is also extremely inefficient. It copies what changes and
    creates a hard link for what doesn't. When it hits your Apple Mail
    folder, which is tens of thousands of files in one directory, it copies
    over the handful on new files then links the other tens of thousands of
    files. All of this is done with file caching disabled so it's extra
    slow.
     
    Kevin McMurtrie, Jun 19, 2011
    #8
  9. Ant

    Ant Guest

    Sheesh, did the newer Mac OS X fix this slowness? Funny, we don't use
    Apple's mails. We just use Firefox for webmails.
    --
    "Busy as ants hurrying orcs were digging, digging lines of deep trenches
    in a huge ring, just out of bowshot from the walls;" --The Return of the
    King (book)
    /\___/\ Ant @ http://antfarm.ma.cx (Personal Web Site)
    / /\ /\ \ Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net
    | |o o| |
    \ _ / If crediting, then use Ant nickname and AQFL URL/link.
    ( ) If e-mailing, then axe ANT from its address if needed.
    Ant is currently not listening to any songs on this computer.
     
    Ant, Jun 19, 2011
    #9
  10. Ant

    Alan Browne Guest

    I used to do TM's about 1 - 2 times a week. Recently, due to workload,
    I've set it to do backups over the lunch period and around 19:30 (using
    a 3rd party app to set the launch times).

    I do recommend you backup with TM at least once per week to avoid the
    situation you hit.
     
    Alan Browne, Jun 20, 2011
    #10
  11. Ant

    George Kerby Guest

    What is worse is when it comes across databases. One change and it will
    re-copy the whole damn file. For this reason, I excluded my Entourage Office
    identity files from TM.
     
    George Kerby, Jun 20, 2011
    #11
  12. I just let TM do its thing as designed; it backs up hourly.
     
    Michelle Steiner, Jun 20, 2011
    #12
  13. Ant

    Alan Browne Guest

    Too fine a time slice, IMO. Emphasis on the last three letters.
     
    Alan Browne, Jun 20, 2011
    #13
  14. Ant

    Wes Groleau Guest

    Thinking I knew which mbox format it used, I did not believe this.
    So I checked, and it's correct:

    MBP:~ wgroleau$ find Library/Mail -print | wc
    27910 39616 1753454
     
    Wes Groleau, Jun 20, 2011
    #14
  15. Ant

    Paul Sture Guest

    In USB's first iteration (1.1), it was nicknamed the "Universally Slow
    Bus" by certain engineers I knew.

    With the USB 2.0 drives connected to my PC I see something like 25-28
    MB/sec on transfers of large files (backups from SATA drives, so the
    bottleneck is usually the USB drive).
    Making sure stuff is actually written to disk is relatively slow, but
    for backups I wouldn't have it any other way.
     
    Paul Sture, Jun 20, 2011
    #15
  16. Ant

    Paul Sture Guest

    Ditto with other database files such as MySQL. What's more, you don't
    really want to rely on TM backups for those. For *consistent* backups
    you are better off using the database's own dump and restore utilities.
     
    Paul Sture, Jun 20, 2011
    #16
  17. Ant

    Ant Guest

    Thanks. :)
    --
    "Remember when walking down the road of life, always stop and squish the
    ants." --Albian in Creatures game
    /\___/\ Ant @ http://antfarm.ma.cx (Personal Web Site)
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    ( ) If e-mailing, then axe ANT from its address if needed.
    Ant is currently not listening to any songs on this computer.
     
    Ant, Jun 20, 2011
    #17
  18. Ant

    Ant Guest

    You take your external HDD every where you go? We don't. :)
    --
    "Don't be no Ant-Man. An Ant-Man has very low horizons." --Forrest Gump
    /\___/\ Ant @ http://antfarm.ma.cx (Personal Web Site)
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    Ant is currently not listening to any songs on this computer.
     
    Ant, Jun 20, 2011
    #18
  19. Ant

    Ant Guest

    Does TM have a way to show me what changed between backups so I can
    exclude backing up unwanted files like temporary files, cached web
    browsers' files, etc.?
    --
    "Don't be no Ant-Man. An Ant-Man has very low horizons." --Forrest Gump
    /\___/\ Ant @ http://antfarm.ma.cx (Personal Web Site)
    / /\ /\ \ Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net
    | |o o| |
    \ _ / If crediting, then use Ant nickname and AQFL URL/link.
    ( ) If e-mailing, then axe ANT from its address if needed.
    Ant is currently not listening to any songs on this computer.
     
    Ant, Jun 20, 2011
    #19
  20. Doesn't matter. TM is designed to accomodate that. It will backup again
    when you take it home and reconnect it. If it is important to get more
    imediate backups of things that are done while you are away, it is true
    that TM doesn't do that. (I personally don't have much stuff like that;
    for the few times where I do care about getting a more imediate backup
    of something while away, I copy it to dropbox).

    Seems to me like you are just causing your own problems by using TM in a
    mode that it isn't designed for and then trying to hack around the
    oddities that result. TM does have some issues all of its own, but you
    are adding extra ones using it like that. If you really want a backup
    only every year or so, TM probably isn't the best choice. (Not to speak
    of the problem of losing a year of data).

    I tweak my TM to backup only every 4 hours instead of every hour, but
    that's a trivial diference compared to once a year.
     
    Richard Maine, Jun 20, 2011
    #20
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