Got my iMac, have questions

Discussion in 'iMac' started by thomasman87, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. thomasman87 macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2011
    Ok so any help for a first time Mac user including links would be awesome.

    My main question is about time machine and how I set it up, and if it is worth it. I have an external that I back up occasionally with important items, but how would time machine benefit me.
  2. bernuli macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2011

    Time Machine is the best set it and forget it solution. I would recommend getting another external HD that is double the size of your hard drive, or 2x the size of the total used hard drive space you plan on using.

    It does not use compression but it does create file by file backups every hour allowing for easy restore to your computer or any other computer that cam mount HFS+ filesystem. (Most any Mac, or a PC with the proper drivers).

    If your internal hard drive fails, you simply install from Time Machine and you are back exactly to within an hour, all system files and data.

  3. 50voltphantom macrumors regular


    Jun 23, 2011
    Time Machine is great. It has saved my butt more than once. As ^ pointed out, it's a GREAT set it and forget it tool. I love it.
  4. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Time Machine is a good "starter" backup solution. What I mean is when backing up redundancy is a VERY VERY good thing. I would recommend getting 2 external HD's, one for Time Machine and the second use to create a bootable clone using either SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner. The reason having 2 backups is wise is backups fail too!!! You also don't want to put 2 methods of backup on 1 external HD. The reason being is when (note I didn't say if) the EHD crashes you will have lost all of your backup, this is a very bad thing. Also TM is useful for recovering lost files however you cannot boot from Time Machine. However with a bootable clone you can boot from it.

    With any computer (Windows, Mac, etc...) you should ALWAYS have a sound backup plan, if you don't when your HD crashes (don't say it hasn't happened to you yet, if it hasn't you've only been lucky!!!!) you can restore all your valuable information such as photos, music, movies, financial data etc.... Working without a backup plan, well it's just plain stupid.
  5. beeinformed macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2010
    Could you explain more what a "bootable clone" external drive is as I'm not familiar with this process?

    Also can I use the "bootable clone" external hard drive as my default drive to boot the computer from and the internal hard drive (inside the iMac) as a backup?

    Thanks in advance for any info you can provide to help me! :)
  6. MeetJoe macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2012
    Time Machine is crash-proof plan

    I have been using Mac for more than 2 years. Time machine was the first thing that I set up after unpacking Mac. The reason being I am paranoid about loosing built-up data be it music,photo etc.
    I have lost it on my PC and don't want to recur on my new Mac.
    so I set it up with plan B.
    I bought 500 gigs portable drive and made it Time Machine.
    I make backup once in a month.
  7. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    A bootable clone is just that, it makes a clone of your internal HD and it's bootable. This is valuable in the event your system has an internal HD crash, you can then simply boot from the clone and continue working until the internal HD is replaced. Google both SuperDuper and Carbon Copy Cloner, both do the same thing. Some prefer SD, some CCC it's really just personal preference. I use SD and have for years, it always works and IMHO is easier to use than CCC.

    No you cannot use the internal HD as a backup, if you want a decent backup solution get 2 external HD's as suggested and use the first as your TM drive and the second as a bootable clone. That way if one or even two drives fail you are still pretty much in business. These forums are full of sob stories from people that don't backup and then "get religion" once they have a HD crash and lose years of work, photos, music, financial information etc...
  8. Tri-stan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2012
    The main question is are you able to manually read files off the time capsule or is it all a jumbled mess. If so is it really just a pure backup solution. For me I have to be able to read the files as a last resort and as external data access so maybe a double backup is necessary with one being the time capsule and the other a manual copy to external HHD?
  9. mtngoatjoe macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2008
    The cardinal rule is that you must NEVER have all copies of your data in one place at the same time. Every backup plan should have two external drives for backup. The reason you need two is that you MUST KEEP ONE DRIVE OFF SITE. If your house burns down, the backup sitting next to your computer will be pretty worthless. I keep one backup at work and rotate it once a month or so.
  10. bernuli macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2011
    There are 2 ways to use Time Machine.

    1) Plug in an external hard drive and configure your machine in system preferences. Time Machine then uses flat files.

    2) Use Time Machine over a local network either with OS X Server, or Apple's Time Capsule device. In this case the files are stored in a disk image file and you will need a computer that can mount a .sparseimage file to get flat file access. Or just boot your computer using command R to do a complete restore.


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