Don't have a backup....?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by benwiggy, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Apologies if this rant needs moving to another bit of the forum, but:

    It's 2013 and people are STILL posting: "I've deleted all my files and I don't have a backup!".

    Apple introduced Time Machine in 2007. There are any number of alternative software products to control backing up. External storage is cheap and easy to connect. There's also the whole Cloud thing.

    If you lose your data and you have no backup, then I'm finding it increasingly difficult to muster any kind of sympathy. My next reply to such a post is likely to be "Yep, that is to be expected."


    Get a backup. Get it now. NOW!!!
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I have lost files and was unable to recover them with a Time Machine backup on 2 occasions. Happily Crashplan was able to bring everything back on both of those occasions.

    I agree with the principle of your rant but I must insist that 2 or more backups is the right approach, not merely 1 backup upon which all your data must depend! :eek:

    And yes this belongs in Mac Basics and Help as much as it belongs anywhere on MR...
  3. benwiggy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Then you do indeed qualify for my sympathy! :p

    Anecdotally, I've used TM since 2007 and restored all sorts of stuff quite regularly without incident. However, I do think it's a bit flaky on network drives. There are of course other products as mentioned.

    You can of course never have too many backups, but one duplicate is the bare minimum.
  4. Judith123 macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2013
    New York
    I'm a lazy one, and I think there is no need to backup.:D From your conversation, I think I need to make a backup in case of something happened accidentally. :p If my system crashes, I cannot find my personal information back if there is no backup. I need to backup now!:rolleyes:

  5. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    Yup. I really lucked out in my backup learning experience. I've been in IT for many years, running my own on-site computer repair business. I was using an eMac as the business computer, and *FINALLY* decided to get a drive to be a backup drive.

    Started using what was then called .Mac Backup (the umbrella icon one,) to back up the truly vital files to .Mac daily, and do a complete backup to an external hard drive once a week.

    At least, that's what I set up. Less than a week later (before the first scheduled full-backup happened,) the internal hard drive on the eMac died. HARD. As in: *CLICK CLICK CLICK* without even spinning up hard.

    Luckily, I had done a manual full backup the first day, and the truly vital files (accounting files, customer records, appointment lists, etc,) were backed up to .Mac daily. Only lost a few less important files or versions of files.

    Since that day, I back up religiously. I have dual-drive "toaster" style drive dock, set up in OS X software RAID-1. That is my Time Machine target drive. I have four physical drives that I swap in it. Once a week, I take out one drive and put it in my fireproof safe, and swap in the drive that had been in my safe and rebuild the RAID. (I rotate so that no one drive stays permanently in the dock.) Once a month, I take one drive out and store it off site instead of in the on-site fireproof safe, and swap the previous off-site drive in and rebuild the RAID.

    By being a software RAID-1, I can plug these drives in to any OS X machine (either internally or via a simple SATA-to-USB adapter,) and it is 100% readable.
  6. Judith123 macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2013
    New York
    Well, that seems backup is an important thing, and I need to take it seriously. :cool:
  7. benwiggy thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    A system crash (i.e. kernel panic) is unlikely to cause much trouble, but:

    • Hard drives do fail (as do SSDs)
    • laptops get stolen**
    • But most often, you intentionally or accidentally delete or over-write something and then suddenly realised that you actually needed that file.

    ** In 2002, my flat got broken into (we were in at the time, it's quite a funny story, but I digress) and they took my laptop. Luckily, I used to copy most of my documents onto CDs and DVDs, but I lost about a month's work. I had two weeks to deliver a text to my publisher, and I had to re-write 35,000 words from scratch!

    I've never had a hard drive fail on me (though plenty of floppies, old SyQuest 44Mb cartridges, and maybe a couple of zip disks). But I EXPECT that they will fail at any minute, and I plan accordingly.

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