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Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8996
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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I have been using a Time Machine happily for about 1.5 years.

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I have been using a Time Machine happily for about 1.5 years. However, when I clicked on it to do a backup on 12/31, about a week since the last back up, it read , in gray, "Time Machine not configured."

What do I do?
Is the Time Machine drive plugged in, do you see it on the Desktop?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes. It's on now.

Please go to the Apple logo on the upper left of the screen, go to About This Mac (DO NOT Select More Info), and tell me the Version (under Mac OS X), the Processor and the Memory, it is all right there.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


1.83 GHZ

2 GB 667Mhz

I want you to check some things that may or may not be affecting the situation. It is posted as an Answer because of site rules but it is really just a diagnostic test.

Open Macintosh HD / Applications / Utilities and double click Disk Utility. Highlight your hard drive, usually Macintosh HD, and click on Verify Disk on the far right. If that is OK in green type, then click on Repair Permissions on the left.

Note: If Verify Disk is not OK try to Repair. If Repair is successful then Repair Permissions if it is not successful let me know.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi, Mike,

Thanks for helping me with this.

The HD came out alright, n green. The Repair permissions just let me know that its estimated time is 2 hours.



OK when that is done Verify Disk on the Time Machine drive too.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Mike,


HD reads "permission repairs completed'. It also lists "Warning: SUID file

has been modifies and wlll not be repaired for "system/library/private frameworks/ diskmanagement.fram...", "usr/sbin/ppd" and "usr/sbin/vpnd"


I'll run Verify on the Time machine now.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Verify Disk for Time machine reports:volume File Storage appears to be ok. (FYI, w/ the help of an apple person, I did divide the disk into half for Time machine and half for storing files I didn' t want on my desktop.)

Then Verify both partitions.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They both "appear to be ok".

Ok restart the computer and then open System Preferences and then Time Machine. Same error?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Did and same error.

OK what happens when you try to select your backup drive.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

On System Prefs, there isn't anything labeled back up drive.

No sorry, System Preferences/ Time Machine / Select drive
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok, great, it is now working and I can get to previous back ups, BUT those backups include only my desktop, not the HD which I need to have access to other files.


With a previous Time Machine, the HD was backed up and what I got when I went into the Time Machine was a much bigger display than now. I haven't needed to go in to recover anything for the past year and a half and didn't realize that only the desktop was being saved.


So I guess I have another problem now. Is there a different product you'd recommend for backing up than the Time Machine. The previous one Ihad quit unexpectedly and I was told that was just a fluke but I'm not satisfied with just this partial back up I'm getting.


I don't think you are using it correctly why do you think it is only backing up the Desktop?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have no idea.


I use it only about once a week because I am not adding that many files and I don't want to wait to shut it down if it is going when I'm ready to turn the computer off.(I like to keep my electricity use, etc, lean.)

Ok you should not do that it should be plugged in at all times. Open Macintosh HD then Users then Pictures. Open Time Machine do you see older folders listed in the starfield?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

TM is not in the pictures file.

It is listed under HD in Devices. Clicking on it, Back ups.backupdb goes t o Kaia and Bob computer goes to dates of many backups. Clicking on any date goes to MacHD which goes to along list that starts w/ Adobe Reader.


When I got the 2nd TM, I checked out the idea of using the TM just once a week w/ someone at Apple and they said ok.

I don't recommend that... but that's up to you. That is not how you use Time Machine you should go over this:

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok, I watched it.

Now,how do I get TM to back up my whole system? Is the problem in using half of it as a storage file for old files?


I want to buy a new MAc and was counting on TM to do the backup transfer of information so I need it to work fully again.


Is there another device I can use that won't be backing up every hour?

In System Preferences/ Time Machine / Options is there anything selected to exclude? Also how big is your hard drive and how big is the Time Machine partition?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Excludes file storage (6.8 GB),applications, applications (Mac OS 9), User guides and informatoin


HD has 23.46GBs available. TM has 389.56 GBs available. Don't know how to get at the total size of either.

You only want to exclude the Time Machine backup drive itself. Right click on either icon on the Desktop and go to Get Info see Capacity and Available. Let me know what those are for both.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have deleted the files noted above.


HD cap: 74.21 GB available: 23

TM Cap: 465. GB available: 359

OK you have plenty of backup space so you should be good now.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sounding good. I'm backing up now and once see how much is included I'll bring this conversation to an end.


Since you're not responding to my question about a sub for TM, I'm guessing that you think this is the best product. Right?




Yes sorry there is a program called Chronosync which I like but TM is your best bet for ease of use.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


The back up took a couple of hours and just finished. When I looked, I saw a series of my Mall inboxes going back over the last year, nothing more. I couldn't get anything from the past to open up.


I'm not going to be on the computer again until tomorrow afternoon from 2:30 -3:30 or so..I'd like to keep working on this so I do have a backup for transferring to a new computer. And so I know if I can work with the Time Machine or not.


You've put so much time in that I'll go ahead and pay you now. Can we work together again tomorrow so I don't have to start from scratch with someone?

Yes no problem, come back when ready, thanks.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

How do I find you again?

Bookmark this page or start a new question here:
Mike and 3 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


When I enter the TM, I just get the Mail inbox, BUT when I click on the icon for the TM and get backup.backupdb and keep clicking I get a list of all the files for a particular date and they seem to be records of that time.

So does that mean I'm ok, the backups are working and it's just a different format than I was used to?

Did you look at the tutorial do not open the Time Machine drive there is nothing there for you to look at . You use the Time Machine app which should be in Applications or in your Dock. We can go over it tomorrow
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi, Mike,

Since I was buying a new Mac, I took the Time Machine problem into the Genius bar and got it set straight. Was easier and faster actually talking with someo9ne than over email.





Ok good luck. Thanks.

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