Copy Paste instead of Time Machine?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PeteTLT, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. PeteTLT macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2012
    So I'm a bit new to the inner workings of my macbook pro and for some reason Time Machine keeps encountering an error after 2-3 hours of work so I'm just going to ask this:

    Other than my settings, if I copy and paste all the files in my Macintosh HD to my lacie external can I paste them back into another computer of the same OS and have all my programs work?

    I'm mostly worried about old programs like my ProTools, which I lost the disk too. I know that some or all of my setting won't carry over but will my programs?


    The reason I'm doing this actually is to wipe and repair my harddrive. I just want to paste it back into the same computer after its wiped.
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    You might want to consider using Carbon Copy Cloner for this
  3. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000


    Nov 15, 2012
    Yup, copy and paste will take too long and not get all of the necessary things. I would go with Carbon Copy Cloner, others like SuperDuper. I haven't used it, so I don't know.
  4. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    I'm new to Macs as well and just doing my first CCC back up. Very easy to use. Just need to update my HD as its on USB 2 and taking forever. My Timecapsule back up took an hour through Ethernet but this has been going 2 hours already and copied hardly anything yet!
  5. aaagat111 macrumors regular


    Sep 12, 2005
    St. Louis, MO
    There is a very big difference between what TimeMachine/(similar software such as SuperDuper) and a copy-paste does.

    TimeMachine makes incremental backups, meaning it keeps records of various versions of your files.

    Using TimeMachine, here is an example:
    Say you run your first ever backup one day and then 5 days later run another backup. The initial backup will basically duplicate your hard drive onto your backup drive. HOWEVER, the 2nd backup onwards (in this case the backup run 5 days later) will be incremental.

    The TimeMachine software will compare the most recent backup copy it has to the current state of your machine, and copy over the files that have changed/been added. It will remove files that have been deleted, but they will actually still be there in older versions. From the TimeMachine application you can select which backup to restore files from. You can think of TimeMachine as version control for your entire system (keeping all the versions you make backups of available until you run out of HD space on your backup drive).

    If you just copy paste, you overwrite anything that has changed each time, and you never keep any version history. Clearly this is an inferior method.

    I would try to figure out why TimeMachine is not working (potentially call/stop by Apple) since its really a great feature that is built into the OS very nicely.

    CarbonCopy or SuperDuper are both great alternatives though.
  6. adjeff8 macrumors 6502


    Nov 18, 2012
    The world is a better place with people like aaagat111 taking the time to explain things in such a understandable manner in it.

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