How do you back up your HD ?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bluebird3, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. bluebird3 macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013
    I saw something like external ssd or flash drive for sale. Also icloud ? Also air port router ?

    how often do you back up your HD (what does get backed up?) and when every time you do, what happened to the older backed up data ?

    I've never backed up my computer as I've always had one machine. Never had external HD either...
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    I use CarbonCopyCloner (version 3.4.7 is still free and available for download here and works with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion) to backup my OS disk (on an SSD) to another HDD, and I also back up my original photos and videos and music to various external HDDs.

    As for a good introduction on backing up, and it is not always too late to start backing up, go here: Back up your Mac: the complete guide

    In short:
    • Time Machine uses an external HDD to back up to and restore from - okay for most cases, but not the fastest-
    • CCC and SuperDuper! also use external HDDs to back up to, but the back up can be bootable - fastest to restore.
    • Cloud back up systems back up to servers in the internet - takes long time to back up to and restore from depending on your internet connection, slowest of the three automatic backup procedures.
  3. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    I'll second Carbon Copy Cloner. I have three back up drives. Two are a bootable clone of my system. The other drive is a Time Machine back up of my computer. I have two clones in case one fails.
  4. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    Time Machine and an external HDD......

    ..... switch it on and the job's done.
  5. FoxFifth macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    Time Machine to an external hard drive plus cloud backup (Mozy) for protection in the event of theft or fire.
  6. LizKat macrumors 68040


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    Time Machine backs up my primary laptop, a MacBook Pro, every morning. I pick when to update it and shut off the automatic updates. I also use some data exclusion options to keep it from backing up movies, TV shows, podcasts (which I manually back up to a different external HD if I care to retain them locally). I make extra backups before running software updates. I let Firefox update without a fresh backup, since I let those updates go automatically. So I could have an issue sometime, but I don't like letting Time Machine make snapshots all day. So yes, I deliberately take the risk of losing part of a day's data sometime. If I care about something then I make an extra Time Machine backup or drag the material to a flash drive on last save before moving on to other work.

    I use SuperDuper! to maintain a bootable clone of my primary machine. I make a new one when I upgrade the OS, get a new machine or the calendar year changes. I update the current clone periodically. If I have any doubts, I make a fresh clone instead and retain the other one. I keep notes on any unusual incidents that help me make decisions like that.

    I don't back up my MacBook Air. Most of what's on it is derived from the MBP or its archives, and what's not, if I care about it, gets put into Dropbox on the MBA and then dragged out of Dropbox later, onto the MBP. Or sometimes I will use Airdrop or a flash drive.

    Periodically I cull data from archives on my primary machine's hard drive. That stuff is offloaded into archives on an external drive.

    If I start to wonder about the state of the external drive on which any backup resides, I label it externally with last valid date and get a fresh one to carry on with. I'm struggling with the prospect of migrating stuff to Thunderbolt, haven't bought any of those externals yet, have a ton of Firewire drives from before the days of Time Machine and a sane approach to backups.
  7. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    I have a Time Capsule and also a powered hub to that external & printer hanging off it. I also use CCC for a scheduled clone every weekend. I think this is the best way. The clone actually saved my butt after the extended electrical outage from last year's Derecho (if you never been through one of these then just think of a F1 Tornado just spread out over hundreds of miles, trees didn't like this and took all the power lines with it).
  8. thefourthpope macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2007
    Time Machine runs with both my mini and my air at home. I also have separate external HDs for each, which I "Smart Update" via SuperDuper every week and store at work.

    All the time: Time Machine
    Monday: HDs come home from work, back up overnight
    Tuesday: HDs go back to work

    I like the SuperDuper UI and the totally automatic nature: plug in a designated drive and the designated backup process begins.
  9. charlituna macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    You can't back up a computer to iCloud.

    You need either an external hard drive attached via cable or one with a wireless connection. I generally recommend the cable for those with only one machine, especially if it's a desktop.

    You can use the time machine program to handle scheduling.

    And I don't generally recommend SSD cause of the more limited storage options.
  10. bluebird3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2013
    Sorry for stupid questions..... But what's time machine? :(
  11. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    It is feature of Mac OS X since Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard to automatically backup whatever storage device (excluding CDs, DVDs and USB flash memory thumb drives) you want to another HDD.

    Mac Basics: Time Machine + Time Machine FAQ

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