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I have a Time Capsule, which I use for regular backups of my Macs. In addition to this, I bought two external disks to use for offline backups. I have used Time Machine to do this, but it keeps complaining that

Backup Disk Not Available

when the drive is plugged out (stored off-site). I have no found a way to silence this message, but other than that, it works fine. The message keeps popping up all the time and when I dismiss it, it pops up again after a while (I guess at the next backup time).

Keeping extra backups off-site must be a common use case. Is there some setting in Time machine that I am missing? I realise that I could just manually rsync the entire disk over, but I like to avoid the manual work (I have to remember paths, exclusions and/or create scripts), and Time Machine is AFAIK essentially just a frontend to rsync anyway.

Has anyone got a neat solution to this problem? (Apart from cloud backups and proprietary third-party backup software, both which I already know of).

  • How exactly do you have Time Machine set up to use the externals that you use for the offline backups? It sounds like at least one of them is in the list of disks for Time Machine to be using and it throws the error when it's not connected. – douggro Dec 28 '14 at 16:19
  • I just add all of them as backup targets. When I connect the disk, Time Machine will back up to it, incrementally from the last time it was connected. The Time Capsule is always online. – Krumelur Dec 28 '14 at 18:46
  • I think that you're going to continue dealing with this as long as you're using multiple disks. Have you considered using SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner just to make clones/backups of the main Time Machine drive? – douggro Dec 29 '14 at 0:45
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    I know of carboncopy, and basically it's just a frontend to dd. What I would have liked is to have incremental backups and to be able to use the restore functionality built into OSX. – Krumelur Dec 29 '14 at 10:22

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