Time Machine question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bobright, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. bobright macrumors 601

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    So soon to be new iMac owner and was reading up on Time machine as a way of backing up your system music, photos programs etc in the case of a computer failure.

    I am looking to purchase a 1TB model and have a WD 1TB external hard drive, this would work as a backup method right?

    I also was wondering do you need to have this external hard drive hooked up to the mac and have it on and constantly running? Or is it possible to hook it up to the machine periodically and do manual backups?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    Yes, any external drive will work, as long as it's formatted properly.
    If you want TM making regular periodic backups, yes, it needs to be connected. I prefer using Carbon Copy Cloner to make a bootable backup, then updating that backup whenever I plug in my backup drive, or on a schedule that I determine. Time Machine can't make bootable backups.
     
  3. sage1 macrumors newbie

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    I don't have a HD back-up yet, it's on the short list of things to do. I had planned on using TM but will have to look at other options I guess.

    Maybe you can shed some light on this for me... In disk utility you can make a disk image of your HD. Why not do this and set the destination for the new external HD? Would the disadvantage to a disk image be that it's a non updatable copy? Would this method be good when doing a back-up of an old machine before transferring to a new imac?

    A lot of questions, thank you in advance. S1
     
  4. bobright thread starter macrumors 601

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    Is that right so what does TM make backups of only your music, photos ? Does TM or CCC preserve music ratings and playlists within iTunes? That is what I am most worried about losing.

    I do like the fact that with Carbon Copy Cloner you can do incremental backups and it doesn't have to always be connected. I will probably end up going that route. Does it update your iTunes library with the addition of new music or changes within your library - and the files change accordingly within your backup?
     
  5. bobright thread starter macrumors 601

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    not to be rude but make your own thread plz
     
  6. sage1 macrumors newbie

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    Seemed related, but whatever Sheldon.
     
  7. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

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    I would recommend using Time Machine but get a much larger HD than your existing WD drive. You can then use the WD for creating a Bootable Clone using Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper. Yes you will have 2 backups however redundancy in backup is smart computing. Both TM and Boot Clones have their places. I would recommend reading the following articles from MacWorld. What you will find is there are a number of backup strategies out there but the common thread in these articles is redundancy is a good thing!

    http://www.macworld.com/article/157414/2011/02/mybackupplanlex.html

    http://www.macworld.com/article/156643/2011/01/how_i_back_up_frakes.html?lsrc=top_1

    http://www.macworld.com/article/141363/2009/07/backup.html

    http://www.macworld.com/article/164120/2011/12/new_years_resolution_a_backup_plan.html
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    Both will copy everything stored on your hard drive.
    Neither updates your iTunes library. They only perform backups of whatever you have on your system. Incremental backups will overwrite any file that has changed, whether it be a single .mp3 file that was updated with new metadata information, or your entire iTunes library, with updated playlists, ratings, etc. You can also choose to archive old versions of files, reflecting a version history.
     
  9. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

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    #9
    This information is 100% incorrect! Both TM and a Bootable Clone will back up iTunes libraries. TM will even backup all data stored on external HD unless told not to.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    Read what you quoted. It is completely accurate. I didn't say TM and CCC wouldn't backup iTunes libraries. I said they would. I said they wouldn't update the library. They can backup or restore your library, and update the backup, but they don't update the library.
    No. TM and CCC don't do anything to the iTunes library. They create a copy of the library as a backup, or they can overwrite the library during a restore, but they do not update the iTunes library as you add music or make changes.
     
  11. bobright thread starter macrumors 601

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    Well what I am getting at when I mention "update" my library on the ext hd is for instance say I made a backup with Super/CCC of my current iTunes library and music collection.

    OK now say I've added a few albums to my iTunes over the course of a week.

    Now say I go and make another backup of my current iTunes w/ the recently added albums. The external hard drive would reflect those added/updated albums? As well as added artwork or ratings within my iTunes correct?

    Basically anything I change added/deleted music within my iTunes....as long as I backup through CCC periodically those changes carry over to my external HDD?
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    Yes, that's correct, and not only your iTunes, but any other files, apps, system settings, etc. that have been added, changed or deleted since your last backup. All changes will be reflected on the backup when you update the backup. Of course, at your discretion, you can also choose to exclude items from backup.
     
  13. bobright thread starter macrumors 601

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    That is great to know although the only problem I can see with that is what if you get a completely new Mac, say perhaps the old one crapped out and it's got a different OS. Could you still load up and restore the bootable backup? Or at least music or files from it?

    I guess in my case since I'm more worried about my iTunes and music I should probably just solely back up "music" if given that option.
     
  14. GGJstudios, Dec 30, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    Yes, you could. And if you elect to make a bootable clone of your entire drive, if your hard drive crashed, you could simply swap the internal and external drives and boot up. That's the benefit of a bootable clone. You can either selectively restore the items you choose, or boot from the clone and not miss a beat.

    You can backup as much or as little as you like. You can keep that backup current with updates with whatever frequency you choose. You can restore a single file from your backup, or your entire drive, if you choose.
     
  15. bobright thread starter macrumors 601

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    That is just awesome didn't think of it that way. If it were just a hard drive failure you wouldn't skip a beat you could simply use the external and everything is there. You are better off cloning the entire drive then if it's that simple. I should probably just purchase CCC right now. :)
     
  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    More good news: Carbon Copy Cloner is free.
     
  17. bobright thread starter macrumors 601

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    Errr or download and once it's set up and all working on my new iMac I will definitely donate.

    The next headache I'm going to have is getting my iTunes library/ratings/music from my PC transferred to this new Mac. :(
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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  19. bobright thread starter macrumors 601

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    I've read a bit on it and do already have my music and iTunes folder already saved onto an external HD.

    The thing is the location my iTunes library files point to is H / My music / and in here is where all my albums were on my PC. I'm not sure how it's going to be recognized on the Mac as when I transfer the files over they will no longer be on the hard drive letter H. It might give me the dreaded "cannot find song or file" message since the songs will be in a new folder once transferred to the Mac.
     
  20. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    1. Make sure the drive is mounted on your Mac.
    2. Go to iTunes > Preferences > Advanced on your new Mac and change your iTunes Media folder location from H:/My Music and browse to the same folder (which won't have a drive letter in the path).
    3. Quit and restart iTunes. It should find your music.
     

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