TimePreserver Price: US$24.99/Free

Q & A

General questions and answers.

  • How does TimePreserver differ from a general backup app like Retrospect?
    • Most backup applications are unable to backup a Time Capsule disk.
    • TimePreserver makes an archive of the contents of a Time Capsule disk. It does not preserve multiple snapshots of past contents. However each Time Machine backup that TimePreserver archives does preserve multiple snapshots, just as a backup app like Retrospect can; so TimePreserver preserves the Time Machine snapshots.
  • How does TimePreserver differ from a clone app like SuperDuper?
    • Most clone applications are unable to backup a Time Capsule disk.
    • TimePreserver makes a archive of the contents of a Time Capsule disk, which is similar to a clone. A TimePreserver archive can be used with the Mac OS X Installer to automatically restore a Mac, while a cloned disk can only be used to boot a Mac not automatically restore it. TimePreserver also preserves the integrity of Time Machine backups when creating an archive.
    • Furthermore TimePreserver requires far fewer disks then clone applications when protecting a multiple Mac setup; typical of many home, student flat, and SOHO environments which use Time Machine to backup to a shared Time Capsule. In a typical scenario where 2 backups are kept; one onsite, one offsite; TimePreserver requires just 2 disks for the single Time Capsule. For the same scenario a disk cloner requires 2 disks per Mac.
  • How does TimePreserver differ from an online backup app like Mozy?
    • TimePreserver is a local backup solution, it does not require an external network connection or available bandwidth. TimePreserver also preserves the Time Machine snapshots and can be used in conjunction with the familiar Time Machine and Mac OS X Installer interfaces to restore items and whole Macs.
  • Will TimePreserver archive a directly attached disk used for Time Machine?
    • Short Answer: No.
    • Long Answer: Time Machine stores backups on a directly attached disk in a different way to that used for a network attached Time Capsule. TimePreserver is specially designed to archive Time Capsule disks while maintaining the integrity of the Time Machine backups.
    • If you use Time Machine with a directly attached disk and wish to maintain secondary backups there are a number of options, including:
    • Rotation: You can maintain multiple external disks for Time Machine to use, and rotate them keeping some offsite. Recent versions of OS X support this directly, for older OS X versions one description of how to do this yourself is described in this MacWorld hint.
    • Cloning: You can use one of the many disk cloner applications to clone your Time Machine disk. Warning: Before doing this you should turn off Time Machine or the cloned disk may be invalid; you can turn Time Machine back on again afterwards.
  • How is the integrity of the Time Machine backups maintained?
    • TimePreserver marks as busy, in turn, each Time Machine backup it finds on the Time Capsule in a similar way to what Time Machine does. If Time Machine is already using a particular backup Time Capsule moves on and tries again later; likewise Time Machine will wait on TimePreserver. Both will give up after a certain amount of time and display a warning; in Time Machine’s case the backup is automatically delayed, in TimePreserver’s case the archive is completed on the next run.
    • This process makes TimePreserver superior to applications which don’t lock the backups; and to the Time Capsule’s own archive function which makes the whole disk unavailable for the whole duration of the (non-incremental) backup, which is many hours during which time Time Machine is disabled.
  • Why does TimePreserver not support scheduled archiving?
    • TimePreserver is primarily designed to archive a Time Capsule to an external disk attached to a Mac.
    • Between archives that external disk should be detached from the Mac and stored away from it, if possible “off site” at another location.
    • To run an archive you must first re-attach the external disk to the Mac, a manual operation. This makes automatic scheduled archiving less useful, and it may also encourage a less robust archiving strategy.
    • Therefore currently scheduled archiving is not supported (but never say never).
  • What happens to the archive if the TimePreserver job is cancelled or fails?
    • The archive will be left in some state between the previous version and the current state of the Time Capsule. Any item in the archive will be a complete copy. If a job is cancelled, or fails, part way through copying an individual item the partial copy is deleted. Similarly an incomplete archive of Time Machine backup is disabled so it cannot be used. The next run of TimePreserver will complete the archive and re-enable any disabled backups in the archive.
  • Does TimePreserver write to the Time Capsule?
    • No. TimePreserver only reads from the Time Capsule. Instructions on how to restore an archive are included in Help.
  • Can TimePreserver archive third-party Time Machine servers?
    • Any third-party Time Machine server, such as some NAS devices, are supported by TimePreserver if they correctly support the Time Machine server protocol. However TimePreserver has not been tested with all third party servers and we can offer no guarantee that any particular one will work.
  • Does TimePreserver support multiple accounts on a Time Capsule?
    • Yes and no… When multiple accounts are enabled on a Time Capsule each user only sees part of the disk. TimePreserver will only archive whatever is visible to the account used to connect to the Time Capsule. In general we do not recommend using the Time Capsule multiple account feature.
  • Does TimePreserver “phone home”?
    • In day-to-day operation TimePreserver will not access the internet unless you have enabled the News Items or Statistics options, these connect occasionally to Dalamser, no personal information is ever transferred. Other times internet access may be used are:
      • Mac App Store Version: Internet access will be used when upgrading from TimePreserver Lite to TimePreserver; in this case your web browser will be directed to the Mac App Store on the web if you do not have the Mac App Store application on your Mac.
      • Direct Download Version: Internet access is used is when purchasing TimePreserver. However should TimePreserver fail to access the internet, maybe because you have blocked all but specific applications from doing so, TimePreserver will (after asking) direct your browser to the Dalamser web store.
  • Does TimePreserver pass on user data to third parties?
    • No.
      • Mac App Store Version: Dalamser & TimePreserver collect no user data. Any personal data required to make a purchase is handled by Apple, Dalamser never receives it.
      • Direct Download Version: Dalamser & TimePreserver collect very little user data; each purchased license contains only the purchaser’s name and email address. Other personal data required to make a purchase is handled by PayPal, Dalamser never receives it.