Help! Looking for an utility to take "snapshots" of a system state on the MAC

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by timidhermit, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. timidhermit macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2011
    I am a MAC newbie, and I am having trouble locating an "equivalent" PC utility that is on the MAC that will allow me to take "snapshots" of a system state to be "rolled back" later on if needed.

    In particular, on the PC, there are programs like Norton GoBack and Horizon Datasys' Rollback Rx that will allow the user to take a "snapshot" of the exact system state at any moment so that the user can "rollback" to an earlier state of the system if such a need arises. The use of these "snapshots" differs from that of "Time Machine" because the entire machine is "rolled back", including all system files, configuration, etc.

    Is there something similar to this on the MAC?
  2. timidhermit thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2011
    I looked at CarbonCopyCloner. My understanding is that this is just a "disk" based imaging software.

    What I am looking for instead is more of a software that creates many "restore point" (again, borrowing a term from Windows) which I could "rollback" to or "restore" from in order to "revert" my system to an earlier state.


  3. Alan Mackey macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2011
    TimeMachine. It does precisely what you are asking for.

    You can restore **EVERYTHING** from a TimeMachine snapshot.
  4. northerngit macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2007
  5. timidhermit thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2011
  6. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Usually software is supported going forward. I'm surprised it doesn't say "Leopard or later". And, it's a Mac, an abbreviation, not an acronym for three words.
  7. BurningJah macrumors regular


    Apr 15, 2010
    just use time machine it is already baked in!
  8. timidhermit thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2011
    Time Machine will not do. As I said in the original question, I am looking for a way to "backup" a complete snapshot of the entire system (OS + app + data) so that I can do a "bare metal" restore if needed. Time machine is file based backup system.


  9. Alan Mackey, Dec 4, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011

    Alan Mackey macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2011
    Let's say your hard drive gets broken. You can replace it for a new one and restore everything (and I mean operating system files, program files and personal data; e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g) from a TimeMachine snapshot without even reinstalling the operating system.

    Let's say you installed Google Chrome on your Mac and you didn't like it. You can revert your Mac to a previous state using... guess what? Yesssss, TimeMachine.

    Let's say you don't like your current wallpaper and decide to format your machine because you feel like it. No need to reinstall anything. Just boot from your recovery partition if you are on Lion and tell the installer to recover everything from the TimeMachine snapshot you most like (it will even restore the damn wallpaper you were using when you took the snapshot).

    So, yes, TimeMachine does all you are asking for.
  10. jamesr19 macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2009
    Like Alan ^ said, TimeMachine will do the job. It's better than a complete snapshot because you can restore certain files. TimeMachine backups are good and efficient. Mac even supports restoring from TimeMachine without OS (as Alan said) plus it's included/free!
  11. timidhermit thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2011
    I thought about this a bit more.

    However, to enable TimeMachine, the MAC OS needs to be "configured" at least once to create an user account, etc.

    What I am looking for is to create an "image" backup or snapshot such that when it is restored, the Mac will be in the stock state as if I just took it home from the store. By this, I mean that, when the Mac is first turned on for the first time after the restore, it will ask you to create an user account, etc. because none of those info would have been ever created in the first place.

    Can this be done?

  12. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    In that case, you would first secure erase your drive (to completely remove your data)... and restore back to factory configuration using either the restore disk (older Macs) or recovery partition (newer Macs).

    It seems you are trying to find a reason why TM will not work for you. I suspect that you are "stuck" in Windows, and making this harder than it is.

  13. Alan Mackey macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2011
    Sure. It's called formatting.

    Boot Up from your DVD/USB Drive/Recovery Partition, use Disk Utility to erase everything and install all over again.

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