Time Machine: why doesn't it back up Applications?

AlanWilson

Registered
I have nothing excluded in Time Machine Preferences.

My backup external drive failed about a year ago: I replaced it and backups continued.

Had to restore an application recently: found the applications folder in Time Machine was empty, however far back I went.

Does Time Machine know that I replaced the backup drive? If not, perhaps /applications has not been backed up since nothing has changed since I replaced the drive - ? But I have been told that the backup information is stored on the backup drive, so Time Machine should know that the drive was replaced and do a full backup as the first one - ?

If that is the problem, how do I force Time Machine to do a full backup?
 

Cheryl

Rosie Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Time Machine does not know that you replaced the drive or did a fresh install.

Turn off Time Machine in System Preferences.
Now go to Disk Utility and have it erase the Time Machine drive.

When done, go back to System Preferences and turn Time Machine back on. Now you must select the drive, and what it is you want backed up. It should include the applications as well as your home folder.
 

AlanWilson

Registered
Cheryl

I've done that, but Time Machine still does not back up Applications. I have nothing excluded, except external drives. What next?
 

DeltaMac

Tech
Check out Pondini's FAQs then: http://pondini.org/TM/D10.html
That section says that particular issue only happens on Mountain Lion - but you could certainly use the same tips to get TM working right, regardless of your OSX version.
Look around some more at that Pondini site - there's lots of other information about Time Machine.
 

AlanWilson

Registered
Many thanks for that pointer: I do indeed have that Time Machine bug, on Mountain Lion.

Has Apple really not noticed this, or seen how vitally important it is???

I'll look at the suggested fix, but since the bug may well recur, will also be looking hard at alternative backup software: any recommendations?
 

DeltaMac

Tech
I like Carbon Copy Cloner.

But, at the same time, don't give up on Time Machine - it's just too easy to use.
AND the time machine reset may fix as the bug may have developed when you first started using Mountain Lion, and the Time Machine reset may now fully work with a later version of Mountain Lion, clearing out the bug, at least for you… Worth a try, I think.
 
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