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Mac Backup Questions

Posted on 2011-02-20
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi There!

I have a macbook running the very latest OSX 10.6.6. Coming from a PC I am wondering about backing up my machine?

I bought an external USB 2.0 2.5" WD drive and I think the program included for backup is time machine. Is this a good product to use? Does it backup all programs and files including entourage? Will it back up open files? What is the method for disaster recovery? Can I restore this backup to a completely blank machine? (If the HDD was replaced etc). Does it support bare metal to another computer?

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:networkn
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7 Comments
 
LVL 17

Accepted Solution

by:
sweetfa2 earned 125 total points
ID: 34940051
Time machine (it is included) will automatically backup - and also allow you to restore to a particular time.
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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:Mac2010
Mac2010 earned 125 total points
ID: 34940488
> I bought an external USB 2.0 2.5" WD drive and I think the program included for backup is time machine.

You'll probably need to reformat the HD to Mac format (HFS+, Journaled) if the disk is currently formatted in FAT. You can use Disk Utility (in Utilities folder) for that.

> Is this a good product to use? Does it backup all programs and files including entourage? Will it back up open files?

It's decent. It will make backups of the entire disk. The thing with TM is that is makes no log file so you'll have to just trust that it will work. I think the open files are included since Mac OS X handles open files differently from Windows.

> What is the method for disaster recovery?

For restoring individual files, select the "Enter Time Machine" from the TM icon in the menu bar.

> Can I restore this backup to a completely blank machine?

It can, although I've never put that to the test. There are several methodes for that.

> (If the HDD was replaced etc). Does it support bare metal to another computer?

I'm not sure what you mean with 'bare metal'. For cloning an entire disk, you'll need to use another program like Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper.
I recommend that if you use TM, you should use second program to make Weekly/montly clones of your hard drive to a second external hard drive. TM is not guaranteed being 'water proof'. If your backup is mission critical, I suggest you buy a professional backup product. TM was originally intended for home users.
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LVL 20

Assisted Solution

by:woolnoir
woolnoir earned 250 total points
ID: 34941054
Time machine is a good product to use as it will allow 'bare metal' restore in addition to 'point in time' restore. Format the drive as have as HFS and it will allow use as time machine.

There are some folders which are excluded, namely http://face.centosprime.com/macosxw/time-machine-default-exclusions/ but none of those should effect your 'normal' usage.

For disaster recovery you can boot of a OSX DVD with the drive connected and select install from time machine backup, and the system will be restored to the exact config it was before you had the failure... its that simple and it works perfectly.

It supports restore to any mac as long as the architecture (PPC or Intel) is the same.. ive tested it between two similar machines (imac to imac) but im informed (from a colleague) that it works fine.

 
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LVL 20

Assisted Solution

by:woolnoir
woolnoir earned 250 total points
ID: 34941062
Additionally older versions of entourage had one big DB file which it maintained as a open DB ... entourage had difficulties with this but it did work fine (the backups were just a little bigger). Outlook 2011 solved this by not using a monolingual DB.
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Author Comment

by:networkn
ID: 34983178
I'll try this over the weekend
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:Kash
ID: 35068132
or you can use Carbon Copy Cloner http://www.bombich.com/

can't beat that software ;)
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Author Closing Comment

by:networkn
ID: 35332463
Thanks for all the information and advice. Sorry it took so long to close the case and assign points.
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