How do I back up files?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by mooshoo, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #1
    Hi,

    Still new to Apple. I've had my PB for about 6 months now, and just realized that I've never backed up my documents or files! So can someone guide me through the process of this? Do I have to buy software to do it, or is already available on os?

    Thanks!
     
  2. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location
    #2
    Just burn the files onto a blank CD or DVD. *sigh*
     
  3. macrumors member

    pcproff

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale,FL.
    #3
    That last response is why most newbies dont ask questions on here, because they are worried about responses like that. *sigh oh well I guess u know it all.
     
  4. zim
    macrumors 65816

    zim

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    #4
    I have an 80GB external drive that is used only for back up. I also use apple's Backup software that came with the .mac account. Backup is set to back up my important stuff such as my music library, iPhotos library, client work, address book, bookmarks... etc. I also have my contact stuff sync with my laptop, so their lies another back up of general content on the .mac server. I also burn my photos and client work to cd, not often, usually only when I want to clean some stuff off or am done with a project.

    I am not obsessive about backing up, pretty much just let the Backup application do it for me every wed night, which happens to be the day of week that I tend to buy iTunes music :).

    Just remember that backingup once is good but having multiple copies of your precious data is better.
     
  5. macrumors G4

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #5
    If you want to be REALLY comprehensive about backing up, you can use a hard drive cloning program to back up. You will need an external hard drive that is Mac-formatted and at least as large as the drive you wish to back up to do this.
     
  6. macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #6
    Duff-Man says....there are quite a few freeware and/or shareware products around for the Mac that you can use to backup. Which you choose is up to your preference and what kind of strategy and media you back up with. Lacie makes a free utility - Silverkeeper - that is quite simple to use. Take a few minutes and go over to Version Tracker and do a search there on "backup" and you'll see just how many programs there are - read through the features listed for each, read some of the user reviews (although sometimes these get really out of hand over there...people manipulate the ratings all the time)....oh yeah!
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Torquay UK
    #7
    How do you back up your music library using backup? I can only see an option to back up the iTunes playlists
     
  8. zim
    macrumors 65816

    zim

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    #8
    In Backup, I selected the add button, plus symbol at the bottom of the window, to add in an option. I then selected my music library as the folder I wanted backed-up. My music library is on an external drive, consists of about 22GB of music, I have it backing up to another external. My backup run every wed night... I have used other backup systems before but love Backup, I think apple did a great job with this little application.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    broken_keyboard

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Secret Moon base
    #9
    Just put a blank CD in your drive and a window will pop up asking what name to call it - call it "backup 1 Aug 04" (or something). Then open one finder window on the CD and one on your home dir and just drag any important files you want to keep from the home dir across to the CD. When you have everything you want just click the burn icon in the top right of the CD finder window and wait.

    Remember the keep the CD somewhere safe away from the computer - I keep one backup disk at work (in case my house burns down - God forbid!)
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    mklos

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #10
    No question should ever be a stupid question! You were where he was once too!

    Everyone above pretty much explained the different methods of backing up. The simplest is to use a CD, or DVD (DVD burning only works with Macs that included a SuperDrive with them!).

    I myself just have an external USB 2.0/FW400 case, and then bought a 30GB HD to stuck in it which I use for backing up, and also I have it partitioned to keep all of my OS X installers and updates so if I redo my system, I don't have to re-download all of those updates. I also have another partition on it (the first partition) in which I installed a copy of Mac OS X.3 just in case the hard drive inside my flat panel iMac craps out on me. I can still boot my iMac from that external FW hard drive and use the computer.

    In my opinion, an external hard drive is the best way to go if you don't have a PowerMac. You can overwrite the data, its very fast, and very easy to do. If you have a PowerMac (which I know you don't!), then you can just get a regular hard drive to slip in it. To people with G5's, please note that it has to be a Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive in order for it to work without anything other special gadgets.

    Please keep your questions coming!
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    South Jersey
    #11
    Why the need to humiliate the person ?... The fact is it's not a silly question.. I remember backing up my first time on a mac, I asked people & many weren't sure themselves how to go about the whole finder process... Sheesh, how'd you get so perfect ?... Just try to be nice... That's not too much to ask !!!
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Torquay UK
    #12
    Here here, I wonder how many posts like that it took to get to avatar status?

    I remember my first time backing up too - didnt have a clue what I was doing. I remember thinking I had backed up my iTunes library using backup and was very proud of my little self, then one day my mac crashed and had to be reinstalled. I used backup thinking "oh well at least I still have my music" - I opened iTunes and it was all there in front of me - untill I tried to play something........ I had only backed up the playlist names and song names etc in the library - all my music had gone!!!!! LOL
    :eek:
     
  13. macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #13
    I like backing up files to an external Hard Drive, and if you get one bigger than the hard drive you have right now, you can even use it to house all the contents for you computer when you reinstall or upgrade the OS.

    If you are a .mac customer there is a free program called Backup in the iDisk/software/members or something. I believe that is free even for the Trail .mac people ;)
     
  14. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #14
    Thank you for the suggestions everyone!

    I think I'm going to try the route of dragging everything over to the blank disk and burning it. Hopefully, that's all there is to it. Besides looking at the Documents folder, what else should I transfer over (i.e., systems preferences/settings).

    Thanks!
     
  15. macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #15
    Duff-Man says...if you are going to do the drag'n'drop route, then in addition to the documents (and music and movies if you have stuff in them) folder, you should also do the the Library folder in your home folder - it has all your settings, address book, mail etc...stuff you'll definitely want to keep a back up of....oh yeah!
     
  16. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    #16
    I have a TiBook with a 60 gig HD in it. I bought a 80gig external and i just drag my home directory onto that. That seems pretty good and easy.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Fender2112

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2002
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #17
    I use Retrospect Backup and an external hard drive. Retrospect takes a little getting used to. But once you get the hang of it, you'll discover that it's quite versatile.

    Hope this helps.

    And to the dufus who suggested copying files to CD or DVD :rolleyes: . I suppose it's better than nothing, but with the size of hard drives these days, that's hardly practical. I would have to use over 100 CD's or 30 DVD's to back up my hard drive. And then to restore from that after a crash. :eek: I had to do a full restore the other day (another topic by it self :)). It took 2 hours to restore about 50 GB from a firewire drive. I'd hate to think how long it would to restore from CD's
     
  18. macrumors demi-god

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #18
    Don't be a dick.

    Mooshoo,
    I back-up to a Firewire HDD. Backing up onto CD/DVD for me isn't practical.


    -Lethal
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    South Jersey
    #19
    lol... Ouch... I wonder how many of us have done the same thing, except were lucky enough to not have the crash... <raises hand>... I'm on my way to re-backup my music... lol...
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #20
    Great question and a very important one. As far as music goes, if you have a superdrive then back up everything on a DVD or two depending on how much you have. If you have all the original Cd's to the music and have not purchased anything from the itunes music store then there is no real need to back up the music files. It isn't too hard to just reimport the music from your Cd's. Someone else can help you if you want to back up just your purchased music off iTunes music store cause I don't know how to except using my .Mac account with backup software that comes from apple.

    do you have a .Mac account? If so that really changes things.

    what kinds of files do you create...mostly work processing and spreadsheet type stuff? Or do you do digital pics, digital illustrations, etc.? That would make a big difference on how you would want to back up and how often.

    I second the comment about keeping the latest backup disc at a workplace or another location. If either place burned down you would always have a copy of everything (unless you left a laptop at your work that is the computer you are talking about backing up :eek: ) anwyay, if you don't have much to back-up then try doing a rewritable CD and buy two so you can keep one at work and have another at home to burn every so often and take to work, then bring the older one home to reburn again after erasing (which is another whole question for a later date but you use disc utility in the utility folder which is found in the applications folder)

    good luck and let us know what you are backing up so we can rec. a better option that fits your needs. If you do lots of digital work that are huge files, then an external hard drive is probably your best option (but remember if you go this route and your house burns down you won't have anything so even then, a cd or dvd might work as a just in case to keep at work and burn every few months)

    I backup all my documents, smaller files and computer settings/preferences online every week using my .Mac account and backup software and I also use that sofware to burn everything I want to back-up to a DVD and do that about every month or so depending on how many pictures I take of my kids or how many papers I have written for grad school.
     
  21. macrumors G4

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #21
    Unfortunately, that approach isn't practical for me, because none of my music came from CD, and all of it would just fit on 2 DVDs, not to mention all my other data...so that's why I use an external drive for backup. If you have data that can't easily be recreated and won't fit on 2 DVDs or less, I'd highly recommend an external drive. Some advice about external drives: make sure you buy/use one that is at least as large as the hard drive you wish to back up.
     
  22. macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #22
    I agree that we should try to respect the newbies. Everyone was there at one point. Just remember there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers.

    I read so much that a CD isn't all that reliable long term. What is the longevity of an external FW HD such as OWC Mercury Elite?
     

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