Questions about Time Machine and backing up

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by audiotronica, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. audiotronica macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2009
    Hi. I just got a 1TB external HD and I've been using time machine to back up all my files (200GB Macbook Pro). I had a few questions about this process.

    I backed up everything from my mbp onto the external HD. I was downloading a few large files (say an 8GB ISO) onto my mac and then I copied them to the external HD manually. I realized that what I'm doing is probably copying that file twice. One would be auto-backed up by time machine and the other would just be stored in the same drive.

    1. Should I ever have anything stored on my regular Mac HD backed-up in a separate place on the external? If time-machine takes care of it, it should only be in there, right? I just don't want to be wasting space on my HD.

    2. To a restore a file, do I need to manually go into the Time Machine Application and look for it in the archives and press restore? Or is there a way that I can do a search within the "Time Machine Backups" drive and simply pull it out? Going into the Time Machine app and looking through folders is kind of a pain.

    3. I backed up everything on my HD to the time machine drive. If I were to format my Mac, could I have my system completely restored using the time machine? I don't mean just having all my files in place, but having the machine run exactly as it does now..

    4. Will the files backed up ever be erased? It makes a back-up every hour and after a week it only becomes one backup folder for the week. What is in this folder? The LAST hourly backup? I just don't want my old stuff being erased because it's not new enough.

    Sorry for the total n00bishness and thanks...
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    No. There's no point.

    Yes. You can do this using your computer's restore disks. You'll be asked if you want to restore a Time Machine backup if one is connected during the setup process.

    If you know that you will be erasing the main system drive for some reason, backups made with Carbon Copy Cloner are even easier to restore. However, Carbon Copy Cloner is more work to maintain backups with, so I only use it when something needs cloning.

    Time Machine keeps hourly backups for the last day, daily backups for the last month, and weekly backups thereafter until the drive fills up. The oldest backups will be deleted to make room for new ones, but it will take a long time for that to happen.

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