I might be backing up my MBP for the first time in the next few days.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by a-m-k, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. a-m-k macrumors 6502a

    a-m-k

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #1
    Unfortunately, I didn't think of backing up anything. The only thing I need to replace actually is my "system preferences" (The one that you can change your background and whatnot... I understand there are at least two system prefrences.

    This happened a few days ago, that I deleted off a "system preferences" icon because I had two for some reason. I am new to this aspect.... I am still learning the tricks...

    I would like to know what do I have to do to insure everything is going to be ok? The only things that I know are there that I want to save is my Itnes library. Unfortunately, I was niave in thinkng that removing one innocent looking icon on my doc wasn't going to be a problem.

    I'm going to reinstall sooner or later, I just want to know how I would go about backing up my Itunes? Would setting up a Time Machine disk now be beneficial without system prefrences. I do have a cousin(-in-law) who is like us. (MAC-"geek") and he has offered to help when I find the disk I need.

    I have learned my lesson. I should have just put the "added" system preferences in a folder I created to clean up my doc.

    Thank you in advance for any information you can give me so I can be a bit prepaired for what I have to do after I reinstall OSX.
     
  2. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #2
    Before you do something drastic, a couple questions...

    You say you deleted a Systems Prefs icon from your dock. Did you just delete it from the dock or from the Applications folder within the dock?

    What happens if you click on the :apple: symbol at the top-left of your screen and choose "System Preferences" from the menu?
     
  3. newdeal macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    #3
    ...

    I would do a time machine backup onto an external drive and then once you reinstall use migration assistant to transfer it back. That said if you just removed it from the dock its not an issue the dock is just shortcuts not the actual application
     
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #4
    Seriously, if you don't have any backups, and anything goes wrong with your computer and you lose everything, that is exactly what you deserve. It's not "I might be backing up for the first time in the next few days". It's "Get in the car, drive to a shop selling hard drives _right now_".

    Step 1: Buy an external hard drive. Any cheap USB hard drive will do just fine. Just make sure that it is big enough. With current prices, I wouldn't bother buying anything less than one GB.

    Step 2: Plug the hard drive into your Mac and turn it on. Start "Disk Utility". Click on the icon for your new drive. Click on "Partition", choose 1 Partition + Format = "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". Rename the hard drive to "Backup" or something similar.

    Step 3: In "System Preferences", choose "Time Machine". Select your new "Backup" disk as the backup disk. In "Options", set the "Backup" disk itself as excluded from backups. Turn "Time Machine" on. Wait some hours until your Mac is completely backed up.
     
  5. 22Hertz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #5
    After following steps 1 and 2 you may use an alternative method to time machine...use disk utility to clone the entire drive.

    In the event of a catastrophe I can boot up to my external and be back up running in no time with everything identical.

    From there I can just clone my system drive from the external

    To do this you use Disk Utility -> Restore
     
  6. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #6
    Listen to ^^this^^! Heed it!
     
  7. bensnowden macrumors newbie

    bensnowden

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    Dec 2, 2010
    #7
    I'm assuming you mean 1 TB?
     
  8. OnAirNow macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Location:
    Scotland
    #8
    Newbie Backup Question: Time Machine vs Carbon Copy Or Similar

    Just got a new 1TB drive and I'm ready to do a backup of my MBP for the first time. Quick question (hoping to avoid a flaming here for asking an obvious question! :p ): is there a difference between using Time Machine as a system backup and something like Carbon Copy (or similar) and is one method preferable to another? Is it advisable to do both so that I've got a bootable copy as well?

    Thanks :)
     
  9. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    Mar 26, 2008
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    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #9
    There is a lot of debate on Time machine vs Carbon Copy Cloner/SuperDuper.

    time machine is incremental and works in the background. You can quickly restore individual files or whole system, but it takes time.

    SuperDuper/CCC make a bootable clone image, which you can immediately boot to and recover an entire system quickly. You can also access the Superduper clone.

    I prefer to use both, but to separate external HDs.
     
  10. mike457 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario
    #10
    Yes, there is a considerable difference. Time Machine backs up a state of your hard drive and allows you to recover files from that state, or even the entire hard drive. However, if you find yourself in the position that you have to do a full recovery from a Time Machine backup, you need to reinstall the operating system first and then restore the Time Machine backup. Time Machine is especially useful if you might need different states of the same file. To be effective, it consumes a lot of disk space and can slow down your system when it runs.

    Personally, I use the cloning method through SuperDuper. I run it once a week during the night, and it clones my entire hard drive to an external hard drive. If I lose my main hard drive, I can boot from the external hard drive and have my operating system and data files exactly as they were at the last back up. I can then fully restore my main hard drive by cloning the copy back over. This has saved my bacon a couple of times, and makes moving to a new mac really easy.
     
  11. OnAirNow macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2010
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    Scotland
    #11
    Thanks old-wiz and Mike457, I appreciate your advice.

    I think that at the moment I'm edging towards a Carbon Copy or Super Duper clone of the HD (btw, is there any real difference between the 2 programs? Is there a consensus one is 'better' than the other?). I think that if I had a desktop Mac perhaps Time Machine would be a sensible option if I had a HD constantly attached. As it's my MBP I think the backups would probably be only weekly so I'm not sure I'd get the full benefit of the differing states of files that TM seems so suited to.

    As an aside, does anyone include cloud backups in their routine? A friend recommended something like Backblaze? I suspect that given my upload speed my initial backup would be painfully slow! :eek:

    Thanks.
     
  12. gnasher729, Jan 8, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011

    gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #12
    I meant one TB :eek: but should you find a hard drive under one GB, then _don't buy it_. ;)


    Time Machine has the advantage that it keeps track of your history, as long as the storage lasts. So if you deleted a file a month ago and you figure it out only now, it will still be on your time machine backup from a month ago. With Carbon Copy or similar it would have been gone.

    If your hard drive crashes, then no backup = total disaster, Time Machine = big annoyance, Carbon Copy = smaller annoyance. But especially on a desktop machine or if you use Time Capsule, Time Machine makes sure that you actually _have_ a backup.
     
  13. OnAirNow macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
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    Scotland
    #13
    Gnasher,

    This might be one of those "how long is a piece of string?" questions, but you made a point I hadn't thought about with regard to TM. As its a historical backup, would you have an idea how long it would take the storage to run out? I guess it depends on frequency of backup and size of files? I guess someone must've filled up their TM backup at some point! 1TB is a pretty cheap option for externals HDs these days (I got mine for <£50) and I would've thought it would take a fair while to file that with 'standard', non-'pro' computing usage - emails, notes, word proc docs, keynotes presentations, occasional photos etc.

    Also, can TM be used with an online backup service or must it be a local HD?
     
  14. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #14
    AFAIK, TM cannot be used with an online service unless that service presents some means of mounting a remote volume.

    It can be used with a network share on your LAN however, so it doesn't specifically have to be a direct-connected drive.

    How far back in time you can go based on storage availability is so utterly dependent on how much data you change on a daily/weekly/monthly basis that I can't imagine drawing useful conclusions from other people's info. Someone who changes 100MB of stuff a day will see their TM backup go further into history than someone who changes 10GB of stuff a day.

    I have my TM backups going to an old desktop repurposed as a server in the basement. I've never noticed any slowdowns. I love how transparent it is as a system, I set it up and can forget about it. The one thing I did ensure was that Parallels 6 is set NOT to backup my Win7 instance; it's just for a couple pieces of software, so no big deal to recreate and TM sees it as an 8GB chunk of info needing to be backed up every time I use the VM.

    When I did a test restore a few days ago onto a spare HDD, it took about four hours to reload 110GB of stuff using a hardwired ethernet cable to the network. (backups are worthless if you can't restore; ALWAYS test your method at least once to ensure it will work! and it goes without saying that you should test it non-destructively... :D I swapped my HDD with a spare I had and did the restore to the spare; original was safely snuggled in an electrostatic bag away from the MBP)
     
  15. Tyler23 macrumors 603

    Tyler23

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    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #15
    I prefer CCC, just for the piece of mind that if my HD crashes, I can plug in my external and be right back where I was. Also, after having done the original full backup, I do an incremental backup every few days or so, just to adjust the changes in files/OS updates/etc. that have occurred in the past few days.
     
  16. OnAirNow macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2010
    Location:
    Scotland
    #16
    Can I ask, do you mean you do a full, bootable, clone of your HD and then subsequently backup only what's changed? In other words, my first step is to make a full clone of the MBP HD then continue to use the same external HD that clone is on to do incremental backups? That won't stop the backup being bootable?

    Thanks.
     
  17. a-m-k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    a-m-k

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #17
    Yeah, I have learned from my mistakes, not that big of deal since I can back up things... I assume. I will be getting in touch with someone who knows MAC. There's a chance I didn't do anthing that major at all... I don't know.

    Oh, and for the person who said I deserve what I got, I only hope you don't do something as stupid as dumping something on the keyboard. It was an honnest mistake and I wish I could go back and just put it in my "additonal program" file until I knew it was ok to remove, I seriously though it was going to be OK since I had two icons for the same thing. If I posted something about not being able to use my MBP at all, then you could laugh, it was just "system prefrences", and if you are absolutely perfect and have NEVER had an error of any kind reguarding your MAC, then you can belittle me, but I doubt you are so please, just mind your own business. What you said wasn't helpful to my situation wich, in time, will be corrected and I learned NOTHING from your comment. AFIAK, the only thing I can't do is just use "system preferences". Mistakes happen.
     
  18. Tyler23 macrumors 603

    Tyler23

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    Atlanta, GA
    #18
    With Carbon Copy Cloner (my backup method of choice), you first (with a clean External HD preferably) make a complete, bootable clone of your HD. You can then change the settings from Full Clone to a setting that will allow for your bootable clone to remain intact, but it will then make alterations to the bootable clone based on your activities since your last backup.

    So, when I did the first backup, a full, bootable clone was made of my HD. Since then, I have added new music files, photos, apps etc., and deleted some of the same. Since then, I have plugged my External back in, ran CCC with its incremental backups option, which basically keeps the bootable clone intact, while updating your system to its current "as is" state.

    It's a great little thing, CCC. :cool:
     
  19. OnAirNow macrumors newbie

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    Apr 16, 2010
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    Scotland
    #19
    Thanks for the reply.

    I did the backup last night, though opted for the option that *wasnt't* the clone but CCC still says it's a bootable backup and I plan to do the incremental backups based on this original.

    Hope that was the right thing to do! :eek:
     
  20. Tyler23 macrumors 603

    Tyler23

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    Atlanta, GA
    #20
    Why not do the full clone? I'm not really sure how that all works..as the incremental backup backs up what has changed..so if you had nothing backed up before, did it do a full clone anyways?

    hmm..
     
  21. a-m-k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    a-m-k

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #21
    Clone? Though, its too little too late, but I am ging to be buying an external hard drive to prevent this kind of thing happening again. (At least if it does, I will be more prepaired for it.)
     
  22. a-m-k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    a-m-k

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #22
    Well, I bought an external har-drive yesterday and think I have it set up. (Thankfully, I have my cousin-in-law down the street who's a MAC "geek", too.) I think I backed up things and now all I have to do is re-install OSX. (Even if I could have done that sooner, I really couldn't because OSX was pre-installed and I didn't think of buying the current OSX disk.)

    So I am fairly sure I am going to be ok. First big error was a walk in the park compaired to what I used to have to deal with.
     
  23. davidlv macrumors 65816

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    Apr 5, 2009
    Location:
    Kyoto, Japan
    #23
    First, it is "Mac" not "MAC", which is something to do with networking, not sure what. You really should have a viable OS X Install DIsk, one that works with your hardware, the SL disk is only $29 from Apple. Running the default install from that disk will not delete your data or settings, unless you specifically erase the disk using the Disk Utility application. Doing a reinstall and subsequent updates is the perfect solution for a mistake like yours (accidentally deleting the System Preferences application or some other system-related file). The no-backup situation is another thing altogether, with the potential data loss aspect, but of course if you had a bootable clone you could have just copied the application back to the HD.:cool:
    We all make mistakes like that, don't take it too seriously, if I had a dime for every error I have made in the course of over 25 years using a Mac, I could buy us both a BIG backup drive!:eek:
     
  24. a-m-k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    a-m-k

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #24
    About the "Mac" thing. Once I saw it as "MAC", I don't think I saw it here, though.

    Seccondly, I have one of the greatest cousins, ever. He's my natural cousin's husband, but he's awesome. He got everything back to the way it's supposed to be. :)

    Thirdly, if anyone remembers me talking about the disk that I "said" I didn't have, it was "hidden" in the black folder that contained the "everything Mac" and the "everything else" booklets.

    So, I was better off than I thought. Thanks for the advice to a "newcomer" who has a lot to learn. My cousin suggested I take classes to enhance my mac knowledge. How would someone find such classes?

    Thanks, everybody!
     

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