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Knowledgebase: Time Machine
Time Machine not backing up new files
Posted by UCS IT Support 4 on 18 August 2008 02:45 PM

Time Machine not backing up new files

Some Time Machine users are noticing that their backups are not including new files. While the backups run every hour, and no apparent problems seem to occur during the backup process, when users check the backups for recent created files, the items are not there.

Users affected by this problem are able to otherwise normally access and restore the files that are backed up.

Time Machine usually creates hard links for files in previous backups (essentially duplicating them to the new backup folders without using up disk space), then updates the backup with new files from the source disk, creating a fully updated backups that are a complete snapshot of the system. For affected users, the first step seems to be working fine, but new files on the source disk are not catalogued for inclusion in the backup.

Fix: Boot into safe mode Time Machine will periodically do what's known as a "deep traversal" of the hard drive to check every file on the disk in a specific directory, ensuring all files on the source disk are catalogued and accounted for. To get Time Machine to do a deep traversal, boot into safe mode by holding the shift key at startup. This run some background maintenance scripts that will have Time Machine run a deep traversal on the second. While it shouldn't matter, users may wish to run Disk Utility's maintenance scripts on the hard drive (permissions fix and drive repair) when in safe mode to ensure proper operation. After the computer has fully booted in Safe Mode, reboot normally and the next time Time Machine runs, it will do a deep traversal.

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