Time Machine

What's the difference between backup and sync?

Episode 1225

Jonathan from Pittsburgh, PA

Jonathan is having trouble backing up his Mac. He backs up to one with Time Machine and one with Super Duper. He formatted his hard drive to do a clean install. When he plugs in his backup drive, will it sync and wipe out what he has? Leo says backups will never delete anything from the backup. It just adds to it. Then he can restore to his source drive for that very reason.

Why is Apple's Time Capsule so slow to back up?

Apple Time Capsule

Episode 1128

Aiden from Ireland

Aiden made the switch to a Mac and his Time Capsule takes forever to backup. It works just fine in Windows, though. Leo says there are a number of different protocols, and Windows uses that SMB, which is the default language. Apple uses its own protocol called AFP, which is based on the older AppleTalk. Leo advises going into the settings and turning all the protocols on. That will allow it to use the fastest available.

Why does my Time Capsule keep resetting?

AirPort Time Capsule

Episode 1123

Tamara from California

Tamara has an Apple Time Capsule and every few weeks it requires her to start over again with a new backup. Leo says it's possible that the hard drive inside of the Time Capsule is faulty or failing. Fortunately, she has a secondary backup via iCloud Backup. Leo says that's good news. So she doesn't have to worry about the data on the Time Capsule. Should she just demand Apple give her a new one? Leo says that it may not be a bad device, actually. It could be a network issue. But Leo says to bring it into Apple and talk to a Genius.

Does Time Machine and Carbonite back up all users or just mine?

Episode 1058

Anthony from Newbury, CT

Anthony wants to know if Carbonite and Time Machine backs up all user data or just his own? Leo says Time Machine will backup all user data, but he has to be logged in to his account to see it. Leo also thinks he can tell Carbonite to backup all seeable folders in the backup settings. So if he has admin privileges, he can do it. He'll want to go into his user folders to do it.

Why am I having problems with my Mac ever since restoring a backup?

Episode 1005

Ron from Brea, CA

Ron has a MacBook Pro that he bought in 2012. Lately he's been getting beach balls and crashes. He took it to the Apple Genius and they reformatted the computer. Leo says that's standard because they can't tell at first if it's software or hardware. Restoring the computer to its native state can eliminate a software issue easily. He restored it from the backup they made and now he's having trouble. Leo says it could be a bad backup.

Why am I getting errors from Time Machine saying it can't complete the backup?

Episode 915

Kathy from Santa Clarita, CA

It's probably because the drive has run out of room. Remember that Time Machine keeps multiple backups, so Kathy may just need to delete an old backup or get a larger hard drive.

She's also getting an error that says the drive is read only. Leo says that he's gotten that message as well. If she did a hard shut down, that may cause the read only error to occur. She should try and repair permissions first. It's possible that Kathy will have to start over and rebuild her backup from scratch, though.