Does Time Machine back up EVERYTHING?

d0vr

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 24, 2011
603
1
I'm about to take my MacBook pro into the Apple store for repair. I'm going to back it up, but will Time Machine cover everything? Even things like my preferences in Adobe products and Firefox?
 

r.j.s

Moderator emeritus
Mar 7, 2007
14,927
35
Texas
TM doesn't back up every little thing (parts of the OS), but it will back up those things.
 

d0vr

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 24, 2011
603
1
TM doesn't back up every little thing (parts of the OS), but it will back up those things.
Thanks for that. Would it be easier for me to find a list of what TM doesn't back up than ask what it does? And when I get my MBP back, will it be easy to get the system back to how I have it now (just plug in external HD and click restore or something similar)?
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,742
5
Thanks for that. Would it be easier for me to find a list of what TM doesn't back up than ask what it does? And when I get my MBP back, will it be easy to get the system back to how I have it now (just plug in external HD and click restore or something similar)?
It sounds like Carbon Copy Cloner could be a better option for you if you're afraid of missing something. But personally, I've never felt anything was missing after a Time Machine restore.
 

Velin

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
1,507
950
Hearst Castle
Be warned if you have protected files using FileVault, good chance the Filevault-protected files were not backed up. Same thing for hidden volume containers such as TrueCrypt.
 

rien333

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2010
167
0
The Netherlands
It sounds like Carbon Copy Cloner could be a better option for you if you're afraid of missing something. But personally, I've never felt anything was missing after a Time Machine restore.
What kind of files wouldn't it back up? I mean, you wouldn't be able to boot from a Time Machine back up if it didn't back up every single file from the system.
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,742
5
What kind of files wouldn't it back up? I mean, you wouldn't be able to boot from a Time Machine back up if it didn't back up every single file from the system.
I'm not sure, but I just remembered that I had to resync my e-mail accounts after a restore. Not re-entering the info, just downloading the e-mails.

You can't boot from a TM backup, you have to use either Internet Rescue (or whatever it's called) or a restore partition and restore the system from the backup in order to be up and running.

With a CCC backup, you can literally boot from the backup since it's a clone of your drive. If your main drive fails, just plug it in and you're good to go.
 

r.j.s

Moderator emeritus
Mar 7, 2007
14,927
35
Texas
What kind of files wouldn't it back up? I mean, you wouldn't be able to boot from a Time Machine back up if it didn't back up every single file from the system.
TM doesn't back up OS files, since those are available on the disc or restore partition.