Posts tagged backup

Posted 3 years ago
Posted 3 years ago
ok, so, i just bought the max osx snow leopard installion disk and i wanted to reboot my macbook pro. i installed it and it gave me 10 gb of more memory but everything is still the same. how do i erase everything and just start over?
astorynamedcher asked

Something Apple changed from the 10.5 to 10.6 installation is the removal of the “Erase and Install” option, which I think was kind of dumb. Sometimes you just want to nuke and pave. It requires an extra few steps now (though not hard):

  1. BACK IT ALL UP. (K, you were warned)
  2. Boot from the 10.6 install disc
  3. After picking your install language, from the Utilities menu (I assume you picked English) pick Disk Utility
  4. In Disk Utility, select your hard drive over on the left.
  5. Click on the Erase tab.
  6. Ensure the format is Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and click Erase. Confirm.
  7. Quit Disk Utility and go about your installation
  8. Restore your info after the install is done.

Any time you do a fresh install and have backed up information to restore, I always recommend only restoring your data. Reinstall your applications and re-set your preferences. This ensures the cleanest possible start.

Good luck!

Posted 3 years ago
Can you recommend a good Laptop lock? I've read that people have had problem with Kengsintongs warping the outer shell of the MacBook...Also, do you have any experience with Backlash? I heard it's the best for off site backup.
musingsbymattheous-deactivated2 asked

I’ve actually only used the Kensington locks and haven’t ever had a problem. Though admittedly, I’ve used them sparingly. I’m actually a bit surprised to hear of the warping issue as Kensington is the one that invented that little security slot (thus it’s called a “Kensington slot”) and sometimes you’ll see the slot labeled with a little “k” icon. So, sorry on that one.

Backblaze (Mattheous followed up that he didn’t mean Backlash)… I haven’t used it, nor have I used other similar online backups like Carbonite or Mozy so I can’t recommend or dissuade based upon quality. The one thing that would raise a consideration to me is how fast your internet pipe is. If you’re on a crowded school network, it may not be all that fast. If you’re all on your lonesome at home on a fast Cable or FIOS connection, it may work for you.

Remember that media files are only getting bigger. The bigger the file, the longer the time to back it up. Photos that I shoot in RAW format are 8MB each! Keep in mind that your upload speed on residential broadband is many times slower than your download speed. You may be getting 5Mbit/sec download on your DSL, but your upload may only be 768k, over 5 times slower. If you’ve got 30GB of data, how long is that going to take to restore? If it’s on a Time Machine disk, not long. If it’s stored across the Internet, you could be talking days.

Keep that in mind.

Posted 3 years ago
How can I make Time Machine save only a couple of copies instead of all it can?
threkk asked

I’ve seen some utilities to change the schedule, but not the “how much.” You may want to see if the scheduling functions of CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper meet your needs.

Posted 3 years ago
I'm thinking about investing in a an Apple Time Capsule, however after reading reviews, many people have complained that the Time Capsule would last 6 to 8 months before it becomes completely useless (it dies on them, losing all bakup data.) I was wondering if this is mostly user error and if there are ways to properly maintain a Time Capsule.
phillip-eno asked

If you’re gun-shy of the Time Capsule (there is quite a high failure rate out there) you can still get Time Machine to work over the network without a Time Capsule. I run a setup like this:

  1. Airport Extrme base station as my wifi router. 
  2. USB hard drive formatted with 2 partitions plugged into the router. I partitioned it on my iMac and formatted them both as HFS+
  3. Setup hard drive sharing on the Airport Extreme for both partitions. My aim was to have one partition used for networked Time Machine and the other just for network storage.
  4. Follow this to enable time machine on the shared disk.

Over a year on, I’ve got 3 machines backing up to it without nary a snafu and it’s come to the rescue a few times as well for accidental file deletions.

There are a few benefits of doing it this way aside from the Time Capsule reliability issues:

  1. I can easily get a bigger drive if I run out of room. The Time Capsule is pegged to the size you buy. 
  2. Integrated devices. I’m not fond of this. So, the hard drive in your Time Capsule goes south. That means your wifi is also down while you get it fixed.
  3. The Time Capsule’s drive is only for backup. You can’t partition it like I’ve done with the external drive I use and have separate functions for each. (Though you can certainly still hang a USB hard drive off of the Time Capsule and share it.)
  4. If a better wifi router comes out (from Apple or otherwise) I can upgrade my router solution without worrying about how I’m now backing up.

I think this is a killer system.

Posted 3 years ago
I bought the Snow Leopard upgrade (yeah, I know, I'm behind the times), but after hearing some crazy-stories about lost data, I'm scared to install. Am I being silly?
niclmac-deactivated20130524 asked

Well if you’ve got a good backup, no worries :)

There were a few problems at release with people having third party OS extensions installed that didn’t yet support the new OS and their install getting hosed but even in those cases their data was intact. 

If it’s got you nervous, maybe you should read about backups :)

Posted 4 years ago
Been using my MBP for a year on my MA course and its time to reformat and do a clean install (to fresh'n things up) I've been keeping strict time machine backups and would like to re install the OS via a backup.

The question I pose to you is what do you recommend? Doing a carbon copy clone and restoring from there, or is restoring from a Time Machine back up the same as a "carbon copy" of my OS in its current state?

Thanks in advance for the advice.
3djon asked

Carbon Copy Cloner is a double-edged sword. It’s great because it’s an exact copy. It’s downfall is that it’s an exact copy.

What I mean by that is that if there are existing problems with your OS, it will replicate them when you restore.

If you’ve been doing full-machine backups with Time Machine, you’re in a similar situation. You’re backing up your problems along with all your data. 

What I’d recommend is making sure your backup is complete with Time Machine and then re-formatting the disk with your OS Install disc. Install the OS fresh. 

Then, you can use the Migration Assistant to pull in your information from your Time Machine backup. This way, your OS is fresh and you keep your data. Where possible, I advise installing your applications freshly rather than using backed up copies. Again, you’re trying to minimize the possibility of bringing your problems along to your fresh install.

Apple has some information here about using Migration Assistant with a Time Machine backup. In your case, follow instructions as if you’re moving to a new Mac because in practice, you are, having dropped a bomb on your hard drive and installed the OS fresh.

Good luck!

Posted 4 years ago
I'm a mac fanboy! but yeah i had a harddrive failure and i had the flashing question mark folder when i turned on the imac. i've gotten it repaired but wondered how to prevent this from happening again?
the420mafia asked

Drive failures are drive failures. There’s not much that you can do to prevent it. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. The best defense is a great backup scheme.

Posted 4 years ago

Your Mac and Backing Up Your Data

Let’s get this out of the way straightaway: Your Mac is not infallible. Though it may seem like it is, it can fail just like any other computer. When it does, you want to have a bulletproof backup scheme in place to save your butt. Most people learn the hard way. Hopefully you haven’t gone through the hard way yet and we can get you set up with a safety net before things go bad. This is a long post so strap in.

What should I backup?

Well, there’s a few different views. Backup everything or just backup what you absolutely need. There’s a give and take:

  • Backup everything: Literally, get it all. Your operating system, applications, data… all of it. The pros?  Mainly that should something happen, you’ll be back up and running in the least amount of time. Cons? It takes the most time to back up and you’ll need the most amount of space for this kind of backup. Thankfully, space is cheap these days.
  • Backup just what you need: Basically, just back up your data. This usually is just your home folder on your Mac because by default, this is where everything lives. Pros? Faster backups and less space needed. Cons? If something goes wrong, it’ll take you longer to get things back to where they were. You’ll have to install your OS, update it, install your software, update it, then put your data back. Depending on how your machine is, this could take an entire day of solid plugging away at it.

Where should I back my stuff up to?

  • The easiest thing to backup to is an external hard disk. If you have a desktop machine, it’s easy because it’ll likely always be connected. If you have a portable machine, you may not be always connected to your backup drive, especially away from home or work. In that case, I’d look into something like a Time Capsule which is basically an AirPort Base Station with a hard drive in it just for backing up over your wireless network. It’s pretty slick and I use a setup like this myself. The added bonus is that you can use the Time Capsule for multiple machines on your wireless network so you’ve got everyone backed up in one spot. By using Time Machine to backup your entire hard drive, you could boot from your Mac OS X install disc, plug in your Time Machine drive (or point to your Time Capsule) and tell your machine to restore itself. With not too much time required, your Mac is back in business.
  • There’s also backing up across the internet. There are services like Iron Mountain and Carbonite that for a fee will back up your Mac no matter where you are, across the internet. They keep it safe and secure. They aren’t terribly expensive either. Restoration can be more complicated however.
  • There are other methods like tape and DVD, but they get very time consuming. I’m concentrating on methods that are “fire and forget.”

How often should I backup?

Ideally, as often as your data changes. The solutions that I’ve mentioned above are just about always backing up your data. So, it should catch everything when it changes or shortly after that.

Should I have more than one backup solution?

Ideally, YES. Let’s say you have Time Machine set up on your Mac. It’s using a connected hard drive to your iMac. This is great because all of your stuff is backed up incase your hard drive decides to go belly up.

What about a fire?

Obviously, getting yourself and others out is your first priority. But what about your data? That backup is no good if both the iMac and the hard drive go down in flames. What do you do about it?

This is where having an “off-site” backup comes in.  Occasionally, you should take a backup of your Mac and place that somewhere safe. Friend’s house, relative, bank vault. (seriously)

Take a look at how often your data changes. You can usually add an off-site without too much hassle. I’d bargain that for most folks, a once a month off-site is about what you’ll need.  So, make a habit of the first of the month going to the bank, get the hard drive out of the safe deposit box and run Carbon Copy Cloner to duplicate your drive to it. Then, put it back in the vault.

This way, you have a solid backup plan for when your drive goes belly up or if the thing going up is your house… in flames.

Posted 4 years ago
SweetAppSunday (late)
Ok, so it’s a day late. I was busy watching football like everyone else.  Here’s the first installment of Sweet App Sunday.
This week, I bring you Carbon Copy Cloner, a free (donations much appreciated) utility that backs up your Mac. It’s made by Mike Bombich.
Carbon Copy Cloner is not only great because it’s free but because it’s versatile. Generally, you use it to clone your hard drive to an external drive making a perfect, bootable copy. It can do full backups, incremental backups and even schedule them.
It’s a great tool and look for it mentioned in my coming post about backing up your Mac.

SweetAppSunday (late)

Ok, so it’s a day late. I was busy watching football like everyone else.  Here’s the first installment of Sweet App Sunday.

This week, I bring you Carbon Copy Cloner, a free (donations much appreciated) utility that backs up your Mac. It’s made by Mike Bombich.

Carbon Copy Cloner is not only great because it’s free but because it’s versatile. Generally, you use it to clone your hard drive to an external drive making a perfect, bootable copy. It can do full backups, incremental backups and even schedule them.

It’s a great tool and look for it mentioned in my coming post about backing up your Mac.