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Bootable backup Mac OS X

Posted on 2014-10-02
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Last Modified: 2014-10-02
Hi

My MacBook Pro with OS X is becoming unreliable so that I need to make a backup i can easily transfer to a new computer later, including all applications.

Now I was told it's not easy to transfer all information including applications from a Time Machine backup and that for this I need a bootable backup.

1. Is this correct? If yes how do I create such a bootable backup?
2. Does it make sense to continue doing Time Machine backups in addition?

Thanks for any hints!
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Question by:thuna72
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Assisted Solution

by:wakatashi
wakatashi earned 250 total points
ID: 40356511
A Time Machine backup contains everything you need to restore the whole system, including applications, so if you have a Time Machine backup already, you're good to go.

More info at http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1427, under the sections "Restoring your entire system from a backup" and "Migrating a Time Machine backup to a new Mac".
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Eoin OSullivan earned 250 total points
ID: 40356526
1. If you have a TimeMachine backup from a Mac on an external USB HD .. you can start up a new Mac .. run the Restore process (which will involve booting from the "Restore" partition on the HD) and use the data on the Time Machine to rebuild the new Mac as a clone of the other Mac.  The is the way that you are supposed to use TimeMachine to rebuild/repair a Mac and it also works when moving between Macs .
You've been advised incorrectly about TimeMachine as it is not supposed to be used to copy/transfer applications to a New Mac by drag and drop .. if you've a new Mac you boot it up and RESTORE the entire HD from the Time Machine image and it works perfectly.

Alternatively you can use a program like Carbon Copy Cloner or the Disk Utility application to create a once-off image/snapshot of your Mac .. save to an external USB as a bootable image and rebuild a new Mac from that bootable USB drive.  The only shortcoming of this is that every day after you make the backup the snapshot will be less-and-less of an exact copy of the 'current' Mac .. all new or edited files, emails, photos will not be on the snapshot if you have to do an emergency restore on a new Mac .. whereas the TimeMachine is backing up hourly.

Personally I have both .. I take snapshots weekly on one external HD and also have TimeMachine running at all times.  Just ensure that the HD which is running you TimeMachine is relatively new and has plenty of spare HD capacity .. and replace the TimeMachine HD every couple of years as it is being written to heavily and risks of failure are always higher.
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Author Comment

by:thuna72
ID: 40356533
Thanx, great to know!
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 40356922
If your problem with the MBP is a failing drive, you would be better off biting the bullet and replacing the drive. Put your new drive into an external enclosure, clone the existing drive to the external using CCC as Eoin suggested and then swap the drives.
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Author Comment

by:thuna72
ID: 40356931
thanks for the info, i hope that won't be necessary, the screen's the problem.. and the MBP is pretty old so i'll need to replace it soon.
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