Quick question about Time Machine backups...

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by dictoresno, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. dictoresno macrumors 601

    dictoresno

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #1
    I just purchased a new 2TB drive to replace the original 250GB drive in my iMac. I was able to install the blank drive in the iMac and installed the original 250GB drive into an external case and have it connected via USB and have already cloned the drive using disk utility (very easy I may add). If i wanted to use Time Capsule, are its backups actual mirror copies of the source drive? Is the OS actually installed on it too (bootable) or is is simply just copies of files that are backed up. If I ever needed to restore the files, will I need to have Mavericks installed on the drive im restoring or will the backups already contain the full disk image, OS included. Also, the 250GB drive is a full installation of Mavericks and all my files and is still fully bootable. Do I need to wipe it clean first or need to leave the OS on it for the backup, or does it not matter.
     
  2. prisstratton macrumors 6502

    prisstratton

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    #2
    I thought you said “Quick question……….” :):)

    I assume when you say “Time Capsule” that you actually mean Time Machine……moving forward on that premise:

    Time Machine backups are not mirror copies in the sense that you have a complete “single” snapshot in time of your existing drive (like with Carbon Copy Cloner). But they do contain all of your information and can restore your drive to a specific point in time (and this includes the OS).

    The OS is included on the backup and you can step back to a previous OS through Time Machine, it is bootable (but with caveats). You can boot to it for restore purposes only, you will NOT have a working desktop environment, just basic recovery tools.

    You do not need to have Mavericks installed, but you will need to be able to boot from some “source”. As I mentioned above you can (not done it myself) boot into a TM backup and restore it to a drive. But as added redundancy I would create a bootable USB drive from your Mavericks installer as an extra level of protection. Once you were booted and “looking” at your TM backup you can restore your WHOLE system to any point in time. When you step into the process and point your system at the TM backup it will show you the time and date of the last full system backup that you can use.

    If you intend to use your old 250 GB HDD as a TM backup, then it would be best to reformat the drive and start from clean. You do not need to keep the OS on it for backup/restore operations. Personally I do not think that 250 GB is large enough for your ongoing TM backups and I would reserve the drive on a shelf for a few weeks/months, until I knew that my present installation was okay. I would go and purchase a new 1 TB HDD for my TM backups (they are dirt cheap these days).

    I would also think about creating a different backup using another software (Carbon Copy Cloner, for example), just for added redundancy; and once you are happy with your present installation I would re-task your old 250 GB drive and would save independent Carbon Copy Cloner bootable images to the drive. Of course, that means purchasing the software, but I think it is worth it for peace of mind.

    We kind of covered a whole bunch of things here, I hope I answered all of your questions.
     
  3. dictoresno thread starter macrumors 601

    dictoresno

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #3
    wow!!! thanks for the reply.

    yea, the 250GB drive was a fully bootable into Mavericks (removed from the iMac) so ill go ahead and reformat it and just write time machine backups to it as that. and i know 250GB isnt much, however im only using 80 GB of my 2TB as of now, so it will suffice until i surpass that.

    and i keep a 32GB micro USB stick as a bootable Mavericks drive for reinstalling/recovery so i wont need anything like that on the drive. i want the backup just so i dont lose pics, music and movies. on my PC, i have to manually drag and drop files from the desktop to my other USB backup drive. its nice to have an automatic thing like time machine to do the backups for me. i appreciate your reply!

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    the things i highlighted in bold were my main concerns and questions that you answered. thanks a million.
     

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