Backup your Mac.


oldscribe

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Backup Backup Backup


So why should you back up.

There are many reasons why backups are extremely important and should not be considered a time consuming chore. You are a Mac owner and Apple have made this procedure extremely very easy for us to do. Take a minute to think about all your important life memories,images, letters,emails,films etc, as well as general and work files, plus all your loaded applications that you have on your Mac. How would you feel If you booted up one day and some had disappeared?

Therefore by investing in an external drive and a very small amount of your time you can create a backup system that will save you possibly many hours of frustrating issue solving thus giving you a little peace of mind knowing that your system is secure.

So now I will run through three types of backup procedures, one of which will be applicable to you IE ease of use.:)

1) Cloud backup

A very often overlooked backup setup is the cloud backup. This has become increasingly popular for one main reason.
External drives are very reliable but what would happen if it fails, or it were stolen.
Many of us now take our Macs with us, to get through the daily work load. So worse still what if both your Mac and external drive were stolen.

Well this is where the cloud backup system comes in to its own, as it will allow you to backup the contents of your Mac to a cloud-based storage solution. Your backups are encrypted, and then sent to the cloud, then once there stored encrypted on their servers. It is considered an extremely secure service.
There are many companies offering this service one such is here.
http://onlinemacbackups.com


2) Time Machine

The first OS X to include the Time Machine utility / module was Leopard 10.5, Apples Time Machine is what is called an incremental backup, because at specified times your OS X will backup any file changes to your Time Machine drive if you have it permanently connected. You can also encrypt the TM backup disk, there's actually a preference for it when you select your drive in the TM setup preferences (as long as the drive was partitioned using a GUID Partition Table). Very handy.

In my opinion Time Machine is by far the easiest and cheapest backup option, and remember if this drive becomes full it will automatically start to delete the oldest backups and replace with the new ones.
This really should be one of the first things you do when you get a Mac.

Here you can find out more information on Time Machine, and how it works.

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1427

And here you have downloads, manuals and video tutorials.

http://www.apple.com/support/timemachine/


3) Clone or System Imaging

Clone backups are in fact a point-in-time backup so are exact mirrors of your system taken the moment the backup is done.

The one main advantage of this type of backup is that the drive is bootable. This means you could boot your Mac off this drive if your internal drive won't boot.
Again there are many vendors out there here is just one.
http://www.bombich.com


The bottom line really is *backup to be safe*, you have invested a lot in your Mac and what you have on it, so why not take a little time out and protect what you have.
 

Kaveman

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As a long time user of Time Machine I would promote that to number 1. It has saved my bacon many times! Knowing you are effortless backed up every hour is fantastic.

The cloning CCC is a great product but is now a paid app. I strongly recommend CCC we use it on our Media Drive, which copies to its backup every Wednesday night. This is App is great for the big backup jobs that are not time critical.

For us Cloud based solutions are way too slow. If you have high speed Internet then go for one of the Cloud based options. I would use this in combination with one of the other 2 options.
 
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oldscribe

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Hi Kaveman,

I agree with 100% regarding TM and it is so simple, but it still amazes me how many people never think about creating backups. I did not prioritize the option headings (did not think about it) maybe I should have done, but just added the last sentence under TM in red so hopefully anyone reading this thread will pick up on it.
 

AndrewW

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I must have done something to upset TM™…

After about 18 months of Time Machine use with a 2TB WD USB HDD as the backup device {for a quarter full 1TB iMac (27" 3.2GHz i3)}, it announced that the drive was full and it couldn't cope.

Nor could I. I did try...

After a lot of bother and confusion, I gave up and now have a perfect relationship with SuperDuper and two 1TB partitions on another 2TB WD USB HDD.

Maybe one day TM™ and I will talk again, 'cos I did like the StarWars-like visual zoom into the past, but security matters more than visuals….

A
 

Spawn_Dooley

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After about 18 months of Time Machine use with a 2TB WD USB HDD as the backup device {for a quarter full 1TB iMac (27" 3.2GHz i3)}, it announced that the drive was full and it couldn't cope.

A
My Time Machine drive is only 400GB & by default the oldest backups are deleted by default by Time Machine to free up space, so that's odd you had issues.

You have the option to nominate what you don't want backed up so maybe you could look at that?
 

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AndrewW

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Thanks (again) SD - I did my best to nominate things I didn't need to put on Time Machine but I guess I didn't do a good job! e.g. you show "Snow Leopard" as such to be ignored; I have never come across "Snow Leopard" as an entity to select for exclusion. Obviously it would be a good chunk to exclude.

Paranoid as I am (after e few catastrophes with Windows' unrestorable backups) it was my intention to have both Time Machine and Super Duper running - I've just run out of USB slots (2 printers, 2 satnavs, 1 camera locator, one iPhone, transceiver programming cables, etc etc etc) - I need a very large powered hub…

But I will look again at Time Machine - you ain't heard the last from me… :)

A
 

Jim1940

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As a Mac user since 1994, I never use Time Machine for back up. Much better to use something that will clone your Mac's internal HD such as Carbon Copy Cloner, so if you're working on your Mac and something goes wrong, just boot from an external cloned HD ( USB or firewire) and you can finish what you're doing and trouble shoot your Mac's internal HD later.
 

tompatrick

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I had both Time Machine activated and cloning tools to get my HD cloned to an external hd. even if the entire Mac fails, still the clone will rescue me out.
 

oldscribe

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Hi,

Thought I would add this screen shot for newbies to Mac and Time Machine, as stated there is not worry if your TM disk becomes full as TM will just over write the oldest backup.
Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 17.13.10.png
 

AndrewW

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That's the reason I abandoned Time Machine - though I liked it - because it just stuck and told me it was full. IT did nothing about over-writing and I could not find any control mechanism for "OVERWRITE / DON'T OVERWRITE".
I just gave up on a bogged down system...
Super Duper now makes an alternate nightly copy on one of two partitions of a 2TB drive; it works and intentionally some time I will whip TM™ into shape. Meantime I am being sabotaged by OS Mavericks - a very poorly worked out update from Apple!!
 

oldscribe

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Hi AndrewW,

That's the reason I abandoned Time Machine - though I liked it - because it just stuck and told me it was full. IT did nothing about over-writing and I could not find any control mechanism for "OVERWRITE / DON'T OVERWRITE".
Not sure what happened with your TM, but as you can see from my screen shot mine works flawlessly and automatically over writes. This was the first OS X Mavericks backup.
Meantime I am being sabotaged by OS Mavericks - a very poorly worked out update from Apple!!
Sorry to here that, I upgraded this afternoon and from start to finish it only took one and a half Hours ( this included updates for iMovie, Pages, Numbers, Aperture iPhoto, Keynote and DCR 4.09.
 

AndrewW

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Mmmmm! That's what I would have expected, but...

iPhoto and Maps upgraded as you would expect. Oh - and Keynote seems to have.
Pages and Numbers did not.
Scanning from my HP printerS (2) has been scrambled and seriously screwed up. If there aren't drivers to cope I will be in a mess. That's already cost me £300 in lost scan/email ability!
I could run the old version of Pages or of Numbers from the Menu Bar OR run the new version from within HDD>Applications !!! I could run them both in parallel!! Anyway it seems to have been sorted when I deleted the old ones from the Bar and dragged the new ones from >Applications on to the Bar. Shouldn't the Update app have done that AUTOMATICALLY?
My concern is that there are countless other apps which I don't use every day - for weeks now I will find SOME working and SOME not - it feels like I did after a burglary... have I mislaid that tool or has it gone forever ???
NOT the way Apple should work...

But... Onwards and Upwards :)
 

oldscribe

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Hi AndrewW,

iPhoto and Maps upgraded as you would expect. Oh - and Keynote seems to have.
Pages and Numbers did not.
This is very odd mine all came through fine as screen shot.1

Scanning from my HP printerS (2) has been scrambled and seriously screwed up. If there aren't drivers to cope I will be in a mess. That's already cost me £300 in lost scan/email ability!
Sorry to hear this, both my Canon's are fine. But yes defiantly check the HP site for software updates.

I could run the old version of Pages or of Numbers from the Menu Bar OR run the new version from within HDD>Applications !!! I could run them both in parallel!! Anyway it seems to have been sorted when I deleted the old ones from the Bar and dragged the new ones from >Applications on to the Bar. Shouldn't the Update app have done that AUTOMATICALLY?
All i did was after the relevant app installed I clicked the old dock icon and it changed to the new icon. screen shot 2.

My concern is that there are countless other apps which I don't use every day - for weeks now I will find SOME working and SOME not - it feels like I did after a burglary... have I mislaid that tool or has it gone forever ???
NOT the way Apple should work...
Just my personal point of view, but if App developers want to stay in touch they really need to compatability release an update coinciding with Apples OS X release date, well that what good developers do.
Also prior to upgrading to Mavericks when you clicked software update you should have seen a box below Mavericks with the heading incompatible software. This is where pages , numbers etc would have been listed.
 

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AndrewW

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Hi Oldscribe,

Yes - I got the same message as your screenshot 1 - just that the contents "of the tin" were not the same as the "label"!! And I did re-install Mavericks - no change..

And eventually I have Pages and Numbers on the dock like your screenshot 2 -- but only after sorting it out with the help of an old friend.

I was just feeling happy when the friend emailed to say that many of his templates will not work with the new Pages and he was told by his Mac that should keep the old Pages as well! (and guess who has just Trashed the old version...) Maybe THAT's why I didn't get an auto change-over... because it analysed my templates and realised the incompatibility with the new version... but did it TELL me? Er... no. Why should it? I'm only the customer...

I can't work out whether that one is just incompetence, commercial fear of admitting errors or the dictatorial philosophy of Apple showing through.

On compatibility analyses - didn't they used to do that? I seem to recall a lot of info before Mountain Lion. And anyway the Mavericks upgrade was not explained sufficiently - I click on the little box because it was presented like all the little security / bug / foreign language updates that crop up every week. Nothing implied "WHOA! This is a big step, here! Proceed with caution!!"
 

mike janowski

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I must have done something to upset TM™…

After about 18 months of Time Machine use with a 2TB WD USB HDD as the backup device {for a quarter full 1TB iMac (27" 3.2GHz i3)}, it announced that the drive was full and it couldn't cope.

After a lot of bother and confusion, I gave up and now have a perfect relationship with SuperDuper and two 1TB partitions on another 2TB WD USB HDD.


A
I had the same issue with TM (iMac 2.11, i3 3.06 gig). Not sure why, but it just filled up the drive and refused to back up. SuperDuper now does my cloning every night.
 

AndrewW

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Wow! The tribulations of age!! Just reading this thread was amazing... I recall all the problems I have noted here - but don't remember writing all that stuff!! Nor did I realise that it was EIGHT months ago that I upgraded to Mavericks; not by a long shot.
Anyway, Time Machine has now deigned to work NEARLY faultlessly for a whole month on a "MyCloud"® networked 4TB drive. (The drive was purchased as an in-house alternative to DropBox / GoogleDrive etc.).
Setup was the simple dream task it should be, backups started immediately. It ran for 22 days and then said it couldn't access the backup file (my "sparse bundle" 8-| ). But then SuperDuper failed at the same time. A friend suggested I sort Spotlight out to not look at these drives, since when all is well).
I have a functioning Time Machine whose "sparse bundle" is only 250GB and alternating SuperDuper backups on the (two partitions of the) other WD external 2TB drive.

All I need to do now is the same housekeeping on my brain, apparently. ;-)

PS printing sorted, scanning sorted, running TWO versions of Pages (I hate the new, featureless one...), Keynote and Numbers. Grrrr!
 

mike janowski

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Ah, the mysterious (and somewhat useless) "spotlight"...thanks for the clue
 

Diana Eden

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The fact that Time Machine overwrites the oldest files scares me, as they may be the most valuable ones! I backed up my computer recently onto a hard rive, and now I have what may be a very simple question: When I try to do another more recent backup, it says there is not enough room....so do I erase the hard drive and start over, or is there a way for it to recognize what it has already backed up and what files are new?
 

Jim1940

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The fact that Time Machine overwrites the oldest files scares me, as they may be the most valuable ones! I backed up my computer recently onto a hard rive, and now I have what may be a very simple question: When I try to do another more recent backup, it says there is not enough room....so do I erase the hard drive and start over, or is there a way for it to recognize what it has already backed up and what files are new?
The fact that Time Machine overwrites the oldest files scares me, as they may be the most valuable ones! I backed up my computer recently onto a hard rive, and now I have what may be a very simple question: When I try to do another more recent backup, it says there is not enough room....so do I erase the hard drive and start over, or is there a way for it to recognize what it has already backed up and what files are new?
 
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Jim1940

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Like I said I've never ever used Time Machine since it was first introduced by Apple. I've been a Mac user since 1994. Time Machine is no use to me, as if my internal HD on my MacBook Pro fails, then I need to be able to boot from an external HD and sort out the internal HD problems later.

I clone my 3 Macs with Carbon Copy Cloner, so if the one I'm working on fails, I have a clone of my Macs and can boot from the three cloned back-ups I have.

I back up all my Macs at least every 2-3 days.
 

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