Time Machine's hard drive @Snap

I had occasion today to try to help an associate with a Time Machine question It led me to look at the bottom of the Restore Screen where the File string shows the backup drive that the restore will come from

I am at 10.14.6 (Maverick) on my iMac

I have used TM Restore several times in the past Usually it shows one of my two backup drives
Today it showed a 3rd source "HD@snap. "

There were / are several others like this with different sequence numbers

This may NOT be new. I may not have noticed previously

First question. I hope this is NOT some external program that is copying my hard drive to a cloud site

Second: I would like to assume that this is another “Mother Apple” sneaking something onto my hard drive for my own good ("eat the Brussels sprouts, they are good for you?). True?

Third: was this a known “benefit” of Maverick? Documented? Have to confess I did not read “Take Control of Mavericks”

Finally, should I be concerned that something has gotten into my iMac and is using Time Machine to steal my information

Jerry in Napes FK

First off, isn’t 10.14.6 Mojave - Mavericks being 10.9? Whatever, IME Time Machine, while never entirely reliable, was OK at first and occasionally useful, but has become increasingly buggy with every new iteration of the OS. Over the past year or so I’ve lost all backups on it more than once (the first was 2 years’ worth!). I’ve been on Catalina for the past few months, and now TM’s even worse, plus not backing up mail, which has something to do with iCloud. I’m still using it, but I hardly trust it all any more. (My clones are good, but not the same, of course.) Be aware, of course, that APFS makes a “container” that hold 2 volumes, one named like your Mac, the other “Macintosh HD - Data”. It may be that this is related to what you’ve discovered.

My guess is your problem is more likely something to do with some of the above than anything wrong with your Mac, or any intrusion or breach. I’d want to check it out with some malware detection app, but I’d be surprised if you didn’t come out clean.

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Thanks. The version number was right, not the name

I received a separate message that snapshot is Apple :apple: and maybe Jeff Carlson has written about the feature


Yep, that’s almost certainly an APFS snapshot. Check here:

Can someone please explain why Apple’s Time Machine cannot run on APFS and still requires the old Apple File System?

Prior to Big Sur, Time Machines relies on a special type of links, called hard links, which aren’t supported in APFS.

In Big Sur, Time Machine has been completely rewritten to take advantage of APFS features, which should theoretically make it faster.

That is great news, Adam. That means I can get a new drive, format it in APFS and run Time Machine on it.
I don’t want to erase the existing HFS+ Time Machine until I have a new, working and verified APFS version.

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Yes, and getting a new drive isn’t a bad idea since my understanding is that you won’t be able to convert an existing Time Machine backup to the new version in Big Sur.