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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    central NY
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    I'm supposed to back up my computer. Can someone help?

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    I have a Mac that needs to go into the shop for some diagnostic testing. They reminded me to back up everything before I brought it in. "Okay!" I said knowingly. I realize this is something I should have been doing anyway, but I never did. I'm pretty sure I'll have to buy an external hard drive, but other than that, I'm pretty clueless.

    I'd appreciate any advice and information to make this as painless as possible.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by IBrakeforPastry View Post
    I have a Mac that needs to go into the shop for some diagnostic testing. They reminded me to back up everything before I brought it in. "Okay!" I said knowingly. I realize this is something I should have been doing anyway, but I never did. I'm pretty sure I'll have to buy an external hard drive, but other than that, I'm pretty clueless.

    I'd appreciate any advice and information to make this as painless as possible.
    Buy the external hard drive. Macs have Time Machine, so when you plug it in, it will probably set up that feature and start Time Machine back-ups after it talks you through the prompts.

    And yes, you do need to keep up with it.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  3. #3
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    central NY
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    Do I have to buy a Mac-specific hard drive? I wasn't sure if he was just trying to sell me something with the Apple name on it. I'll pay extra if it makes it easier, unless the whole process is pretty easy, anyway. I can follow prompts.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by IBrakeforPastry View Post
    Do I have to buy a Mac-specific hard drive? I wasn't sure if he was just trying to sell me something with the Apple name on it.
    Nope. And particularly you don't need an Apple brand hard drive. Buying one already formatted for Mac means you don't have to format it before use if you don't want to ... but I always format a new drive regardless. Plug it in, launch Disk Utility, select the new drive, click the Erase tab, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) from the pulldown menu, rename the drive if you want, and then click the Erase button.

    I use Time Machine because it's free and pre-installed, but I also use SuperDuper which lets you create a bootable clone, so in case of hard drive failure, you can boot from your backup drive. I've also had permissions issues transferring files to a new computer using files I'd backed up from my old computer using Time Machine. I expect there's a workaround or a procedure to follow if I RTFM , but it was simpler for me to just use my SuperDuper backup.


    Buying a networked drive means potentially slower backups, but it also means you never have to remember to plug it in. Wifi capability might be worth your money if you're not adding large amounts of data to your backups (like photos or videos) regularly - and especially if your space or mobility requirements make you reluctant to keep a backup drive plugged in all the time.

    Have more than one backup drive, even if you use the same software for both. Do it regularly. Daily or even hourly if you use your computer for work, banking, or other important tasks. Weekly at a minimum.

    The old adage about crashes (which I strongly dispute when it comes to bikes) is actually true when it comes to computer storage: there are two kinds of people, those who have had a crash and those who are going to have a crash. My DH's comment: "Emergency. Get off the computer and stop looking at TE, go to Best Buy right this second, get your backup drive and get it started."
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #5
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    central NY
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    Okay, got it. Off to Best Buy. And thank you!!

  6. #6
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    My computer engineer brother prefers Western Digital brand. (You can set up your own cloud on it), though I think you can do that with most if you know what you are doing. I got one, but haven't taken it out of the box, yet. Had some trouble with the Seagrave brand drive I'm currently using. (Or maybe it's Seagate?).

    And stay away from Mac--overpriced. Plus, yes, their permissions are a pain.

    Thanks for the tip about Superduper, Oak. Good to know. I may ask again later when I set up my new drive. (Looking forward to not having Mac in the future. Too proprietary. Ugh).
    Last edited by Muirenn; 09-09-2015 at 09:50 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    central NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    My computer engineer brother prefers Western Digital brand. (You can set up your own cloud on it), though I think you can do that with most if you know what you are doing. I got one, but haven't taken it out of the box, yet. Had some trouble with the Seagrave brand drive I'm currently using. (Or maybe it's Seagate?).

    And stay away from Mac--overpriced. Plus, yes, their permissions are a pain.

    Thanks for the tip about Superduper, Oak. Good to know. I may ask again later when I set up my new drive. (Looking forward to not having Mac in the future. Too proprietary. Ugh).
    The last part, that I bolded, what do you mean? I got my Mac 5 or 6 years ago. I like it because it was simple to use, once I took a few classes. I'm getting annoyed at all the upgrades that seem to change to way things work, and that I have to break old habits and learn new things. I have a math and science background, but never really got into computers other than to use them for "fun". Obviously, I'm here, but I use it for my photos and travel planning, and goofing off on message boards (although I've learned a lot, too). I've considered going back to a PC, but I remember having to deal with constant updates and anti-virus programs. Do you think I should look into it again?

  8. #8
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    Jun 2010
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    I'm not an expert, but Macs are based on the Unix system, which is very stable, but not expensive, more in line with PC prices. I'm checking into that for when it's time to change over.

    By proprietary, I'm referring to the permissions issues that Oak mentioned. And they make me want to have anything but Mac next time. Mac programs don't work well on PC's, but you can use Microsoft office on Macs. Makes it hard to use both and go back and forth. If you load iTunes into a Mac, you cannot then copy them onto a PC (not easily anyway). If you load iTunes directly to a PC and then never use mac, then it works. Mac has software that makes it hard to use PC's, but the reverse is not true. I'm doing a horrible job of explaining this, but basically, they make it difficult to sync non-mac products. But the other companies don't do it to the same extent.

    Here is an example of an external drive with Cloud storage from Western Digital.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/wd-my-bo...&skuId=1766068

    Edit: Linux based computers are also supposed to be stable, like the Samsung Chrome Book.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 09-09-2015 at 12:13 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Utah
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    Keep in mind that the first time you back up with Time Machine, it may take a few hours depending on the amount of data/files you have on your Mac. Don't try to back it up the first time right before you run off to your appointment at the shop!

  10. #10
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    It's the morning after. I set it up to run overnight and now what? Do I leave the drive plugged in?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by IBrakeforPastry View Post
    It's the morning after. I set it up to run overnight and now what? Do I leave the drive plugged in?
    Time Machine will back up periodically. You can unplug it, but then it won't pick up anything new. I prefer to let it back up; if any virused versions are recorded, that will transfer. It's possible to scan, and find the versions that are virus free and upload old copies that are virus-free. I know people say Macs don't have those issues, but it's not ture. Bit Defender, Clam X (especially this one) and Norton can be downloaded via your Apps application (awkward, Apps App). I just got rid of some nasty stuff I picked up by downloading from the internet a couple of weeks ago. Clam X fixes it the best, but it deletes the virused files completely. Good to have multiple copies.

    You should be able to plug it into any other mac, and the machine will copy everything and update automatically, so just keep up with it.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 09-14-2015 at 06:01 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    Quote Originally Posted by IBrakeforPastry View Post
    It's the morning after. I set it up to run overnight and now what? Do I leave the drive plugged in?
    First, confirm that it's finished. It should be, but if you had a lot of data to back up and/or a lower-speed bus, it might not be. It might also be working on an update if it finished your initial backup. If you're using Time Machine, by default it places an icon on the menu bar in the shape of an analog clock face with an arrow encircling it. If it's in the process of backing up, there will be two arrowheads, or if that's too hard to see, you can click on the icon and the pull-down menu will either display the date of your latest backup, or "Backing Up" with a progress indicator.

    If the drive isn't chewing on anything, then you can decide whether to leave it plugged in. If you leave it plugged in, it will automatically update itself on a regular schedule, so that's best if you don't have any reason to unplug it (like if you need to move your computer, or you need the port for another device).

    If you do decide to unplug it, eject it from your system first. Go to Finder, then there are two ways you can eject an external drive: In a Finder window, on the left bar, below the list of your Favorites, the next category is Devices, and any connected drives are displayed. Select your backup drive and press Command-E, or choose Eject from the pull-down menu under File. Alternately, an icon of the drive should appear on your Desktop, and you can drag that to the Trash. It will grey out first; wait until it completely disappears before physically unplugging it. Then, best practice is to plug it back in when you can, so it can resume regular backups.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  13. #13
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    Location
    central NY
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    Thanks so much for all the help. It's finished - it was waiting for me this morning. Putting the Time Machine icon in the menu bar was actually an option. I checked the box, and now I can't find it
    I'll leave it plugged in for now, and again, thank you all very much.

  14. #14
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    Jun 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by IBrakeforPastry View Post
    Thanks so much for all the help. It's finished - it was waiting for me this morning. Putting the Time Machine icon in the menu bar was actually an option. I checked the box, and now I can't find it
    I'll leave it plugged in for now, and again, thank you all very much.
    If you go into Finder, Apps, and double click the Time Machine icon, it might go to the task bar/menu.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
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    You can also access it from System Preferences, fourth row of the main window.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

 

 

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