Mark has been having issues where he can't do a time machine backup on his new M1 Mac. It gives him a "can't write a file" error. Does he have enough memory for it? Leo says it's not related to memory. It's likely a Time Machine issue. One of the reasons why Leo doesn't rely on Time Machine. Leo uses SuperDuper or ChronoSync to do a backup. RSync is native to the Mac, which ChronoSync harnesses. And SuperDuper is in beta on a bootable backup with the M1. So it's the way to go.
Al has a 2015 Macbook and he's running out of space, so he can't install Big Sur. Leo says that Al should get an external drive to copy off his data to free up space. Maybe even make a bootable copy of the hard drive and then start from scratch with Big Sur after erasing the drive. Then restoring the data. So get a terabyte external drive and try that. Time Machine is also a good option with that external drive. That's Apple's own way.
But is Big Sur worth it? Not for an older Mac. So if he's up to Catalina, that's good enough for that 2015 Mac.
Wayne notices that Time Machine is taking a ton of space on his external hard drive. How can he minimize that? Time Machine says it's full. Leo says that he can adjust the amount of space Time Machine uses, but it can get a bit finicky when he messes with what Time Machine thinks it needs. Go into the System Preferences pane and there he can go into options and delete or disable the local backups on the main hard drive. That'll clear out some space. Time Machine should do that. It also keeps a local backup image and should delete the older ones as it does.
Dave lives in a town that was recently effective by the wildfires and he discovered that everything from his internet access to his phone service was disabled. Leo says that's because Dave's location uses fiber optic cable and as such, when firefighters cut the cable while fighting the fire, it disabled EVERYTHING.
Michael says the time has come to let go of his Apple Airport and update to a new router. Leo says new mesh technologies do a better job and Apple hasn't kept the Airport design up to date. But Michael uses Time Machine to back up his Mac. Do any of the mesh systems offer USB support? Leo suggests going with Network Attached Storage or NAS and backup that way. That will work with any router. Leo prefers Synology, and you'll also need to buy the hard drives to put into them. A good two drive model would work great, and it supports Time Machine. It also backs up to the cloud.
George has a Seagate external hard drive for storing his photos. But when he opens it, he sees everything from photos to files. Leo says it's likely that his Mac is using Time Machine, and it's backing up everything. You have the option to disable the backing of system files and other data. So spend some time in the settings and decide what you want to backup. Once you tell Time Machine what drive you want for backup, then it'll backup regularly. Leo also recommends enabling iCloud.
Apple's Time Machine works in a funky way, so go over to your local store and get a large 4TB (or bigger) drive. Also, get Shirt Pocket's SuperDuper program, which will make a bootable external disk that replicates the internal drive in your system. In case something goes wrong with your internal drive, reboot your Mac while holding down the "option" key, and boot the backup. The newest version 3.2.5 supports Mojave and includes their Smart Delete, Smart Wake, and Smart Update features.
Kevin just returned from an Alaska Cruise and downloaded all the photos and videos, but his Time Machine backup will not complete it due to insufficient free space. Leo says it sounds like his hard drive has run out of room. Even with 20GB of free space, Time Machine may be taking a snapshot of the drive locally, before backing it up. Choices: Free up space on the internal drive or buy a larger one.
The chatroom says that if the external drive can't be seen, Time Machine will make the backup locally. So make sure it can see the external drive.
Charles wants to know the best way to set up Time Machine on his Mac with macOS Mojave. Leo says that in the new OS, there is a new APFS file system, and there have been backup issues with Time Machine and others. He may need to use an external drive formatted with the old HFS file system. That will insure that if his internal drive dies, his backup is secure. Leo also recommends not using Time Machine as his primary backup system. He should make an image backup with SuperDuper.
Tim uses Time Machine for his backup, but the backup fails intermittently. His Synology NAS is citing improper credentials as the cause. Leo says that encryption certificates need to be renewed from time to time, and if he's encrypting his data on backup, that could be the issue.
There is a post on Synology forums about this: Time Machine, Making it Work. Learn from my Suffering. There are some steps that can help.