Mac mini time machine backup server

It used to be that to run a Time Machine Server, you needed to be running a Say you have a Mac mini on your network, and a MacBook Pro. so I took a quick trip to Disk Utility to format it in HFS+, naming it “Backup Drive”.
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SOLVED: Can I use Mac Mini as a portal for Time Machine? - Mac mini Model A - iFixit

One weekly snapshot is saved every week. These snapshots will only exist if you have set up Time Machine to back up to a separate drive, but they are on your Mac, rather than that drive. This probably sounds like a lot of backing up but it isn't. Time Machine only backs up the changes you have made since the last backup so each backup should be really quick. That doesn't meant that the new changes overwrite all the old changes.

Time Machine stores multiple versions of every thing you are working on. For example, you can see a document as it was when you were working on it last Wednesday, as well as the version from Thursday. Essentially, if you were constantly working on a document you would have 24 copies of it from the past 24 hours, one copy of it for each day of the last month, and one copy a week from the months prior. It is also really easy to locate the older versions of a file - which is handy if you have changed your mind about changes that were made a few days ago.

When you look through your Time Machine back up everything is organised in exactly the same way as it was in the past. So, for example, if you had a file on your Desktop before you accidentally deleted it last Thursday you can go to the Desktop folder as it was last Wednesday to recover the file. This is why Apple calls it Time Machine, because you are essentially going back in time to find the file.

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The other benefit is that because Time Machine isn't backing up your whole Mac every time, it shouldn't take a whole lot of space up on your backup drive. But when you do get to that point the older backups will be deleted to make space for new ones. All this backing up means that if you ever get a new Mac you can use your Time Machine back up to 'recover' your old Mac onto your new Mac. All your settings and all your files and folders will be just as you left them.

We'll cover how to recover your Mac using the Time Machine back up, and how to copy your Time Machine backup to a new Mac, below.


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You'll need a reasonably large external storage device. We'd advise getting a unit offering at least 1TB if you can afford it. You can also use Time Machine to back up to a server on your network as long as it's running macOS Server, available here. We have a collection of the best NAS drives here , the best hard drives here and the best SSDs , to help you find the best option for backing up to. If you don't already have a shortcut to the Time Machine menu it will be easier for you if you set one up. This icon was present in El Capitan but disappeared after Sierra launched in If you don't see this icon it looks like a clock with a curved arrow you can create a shortcut to the Time Machine preferences in the form of a Time Machine icon in the menu on the right-hand side of the top of your screen.

You can also add Time Machine to your Dock if it's not already there, but this will be a shortcut to the backups rather than the menu.

How to Use Multiple Backup Drives with Time Machine

Open your Applications folder and select the Time Machine icon and drag the icon into your Dock. You should backup your Mac regularly. The beauty of Time Machine is that it will back up pretty much constantly, but rather than make a complete back up of your Mac every time, the software only copies the things you are working on, so each back up is small and you will hardly notice it happening.

Most other backup methods involve a daily back up of your whole system. The benefit of Apple's method is that you can load up a version of a document you were working on an hour ago, rather than undoing over and over again until you get back to that version. The important thing is to remember that while Time Machine backs up regularly, it will only do so if your Mac is connected to the device you are backing up to. This could be an external storage device that needs to be plugged into your Mac, so don't forget to plug it in! Speaking of which, your Mac also needs to be plugged in before it will back up to Time Machine.

Alternatively it could be a network attached storage device a NAS drive in which case, your Mac should only need to be connected to the same WiFi network in order to back up. If your Mac hasn't backed up using Time Machine for a while you will see alerts reminding you to back up. Don't wait until a hundred days have passed since your last Time Machine backup and then spill water over your laptop we say this from experience.

Time Machine will make hourly backups but you can force it to make a backup at any time, perhaps because you are about to shut down your Mac and you want to make sure that the Time Machine back up is up to date first. It's likely that if you've only made a few changes since the last backup this one won't take very long: just a few minutes.


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But if you haven't backed up for a while, or if this is your first backup, it's probably going to take some time. You will see a progress bar that indicates how many gigabytes of data is being backed up and how much time is remaining. Initially you will just see Preparing Backup, then you will see how big update will be while the software calculates the time remaining. If it's just a normal backup it's unlikely to take more than five minutes. If you feel that the Time Machine backup is taking too long there are ways to speed it up, which we look at below.

Next to the progress bar described above you will see an X. Click on this to stop the backup. The system will start the back up again in one hour. To start it again see how to force a Time Machine backup above. If you want to pause a backup and finish it later, select Skip This Backup from the Time Machine menu. If the hourly backups become annoying you can disable them - but don't forget to use Time Machine to backup from time to time, and remember that when you do it will take longer because the system won't be making the incremental hourly backups so there will be more to cover.

How to restore Mac files from Time Machine

I have a suspicion, that the issue may be you're trying to allocate ie share the whole drive for this function Time Machine network destination rather than a particular folder on the drive? So certainly you can use the Mac Mini as a TM destination, but also have another backup mechanism in place. That was the problem. After I added a folder in the drive and set that folder inside the drive as the MBP backup it worked.

Thank you for the quick reply.

Set Up Time Machine Sharing on Host Mac

A my history with using a Mac mini as a Time Machine network back device has not been good. I'll explain in a bit. B You need to use an Admin account when connecting to the Mac mini in order to mount the Time Machine file system. When I used my Mac mini as my Time Machine network backup device, my Time Machine backup file kept getting corrupted, mostly because I would pick up my Macbook Pro, close the lid and take it out of the house. This interrupts the backup, possibly in the middle of doing some file system metadata operation, corrupting the Time Machine backup.

While this does not happen often, statistically when I'm doing this 5 days a week when I'm going to work, taking my Macbook Pro with me, it eventually happens. The important thing to keep in mine, when Time Machine is backing up across the network, it is creating a Sparse Bundle disk image and the Macbook Pro is treating that Sparse Bundle as a local file system and the Macbook Pro is doing all the metadata operations on the Sparse Bundle.

Years ago, I stopped using Time Machine over a network. Since the Mac mini is in charge of the file system, closing the Macbook Pro lid and taking it out of the house does not mess with the file system, nor interrupt any file system metadata operations because the Mac mini is still up and running.