With a new laptop to backup to Time Machine the initial backup can be very long. In fact it takes many many hours to get the 100+ GB of my disk backed up. So I tried a different approach that is working quite well so far. Going to the Time Machine preferences on the laptop I setup the Time Capsule as the backup disk and then set Time Machine to exclude most of the top-level folders on the disk. This allows a relatively quick backup to the Time Capsule to succeed. Once that is done then each day when I connect the laptop I can go back to the preferences and remove a folder from the "excluded" list. In this manner I can add a little bit to the backup each day and in the hours the laptop is on at home it slowly all gets added to the backup.
by Joshua Brauer on May 17, 2008