How much can I trust timemachine?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by tmcw, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. tmcw macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2008
    So I've got a work MacBook, which will become work's in three days, and a linux machine I'll use in the interim before Apple releases The Best Computer Of All Time.

    I've got a fairly advanced setup on this machine: macports, apache, mysql, dotfiles, etc. Will timemachine be able to restore these? And what does it do restoring 10.5 if the new machine is loaded with Snow Leopard?

    I'm a little nervous about the reliability of the backup... Also, I'm doing it to a 160g freeagent drive. Hopefully that drive doesn't fail?
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    MacPorts should restore without any issues, since it is self-contained and doesn't use any of the Mac OS X hidden directories. As for Apache/MySQL, my best guess is that you'll have to reinstall these things - the reason being that they store stuff in a hidden Mac OS X directory, which may not get backed up.

    As far as restoring goes from Leopard to Snow Leopard, Time Machine's smart enough not to restore anything that would cause Snow Leopard to not work, assuming you do it via the Mac OS X post-installer screen (which, I'm guessing, will be very similar to the way it is now in Leopard).
  3. patrickmacrumor macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2008
    The best way to know for sure is to test Time Machine. A backup is useful only if one can use it to restore files. Personally, I don't trust Time Machine, because the first two times I tried it, it did not work. I'm currently using SuperDuper! to create a bootable copy on an external HDD. The registered copy of SuperDuper! allows me to update the clone using smart update: uses less time.

    I can recommend SuperDuper!, having tested a few times.
  4. Hates macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2008
    London, UK
    As well as using TimeMachine I keep a seperate backup of my really important stuff on a seperate drive. If something goes horribly wrong and I can't restore from TimeMachine, at least then I'm not left totally high and dry.
  5. tmcw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2008
    Ha, all right, I'm somewhat nervous. I'm going to go for a timemachine, sep. drive for documents & music, and then either a second timemachine or a superduper backup.
  6. patrickmacrumor macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2008
    It's not a bad idea to have at least two sets of backup. I also have a Fat32 external drive to which I put a copy of my most critical files. If my sole Mac is out for repairs, I can always read the files from a Windows computer.

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