Time Machine vs Drag & Drop

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by RainCityMacFan, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. RainCityMacFan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2007
    Hello all,

    I just got a new 2TB drive and found an old 500GB drive to backup my data on.

    I'm at a dilemma if I should use Time Machine to backup my data or just drag and drop files that I find valuable. The only problem I see with Time Machine is that my external HDD will not be plugged into my machine 24/7, maybe once a week.. or a month since most of my valuable information that changes on a daily basis are sync'd through Dropbox.

    My other data are previous school work, picture, music, immigration docs, etc things that are pretty static.

    So what are the pros and cons of using Time Machine vs drag and drop? And what would you use in my situation?
  2. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

    Jul 28, 2006
    Time Machine has a few advantages over drag and drop.
    1) It backs up all of your data, so you won't accidentally forget to backup something.
    2) It saves versions of your files, if you accidentally overwrite a file, remove something you need later or need to revert to a previous version of a document you can do so with Time Machine but not Dropbox.
    3) On laptops Time Machine saves local copies so if the backup drive isn't attached all the time it will still backup your files and then transfer the local backup to the external drive when its attached.
    4) Recovery is potentially easier as you can restore from a Time Machine backup during reinstallation of the OS.
    5) Time Machine works from inside some applications, for example in Mail you can restore emails, iPhoto can restore photos etc...

    One downside is that Time Machine will take as much space as needed to store the versions of the files. Though this isn't really an issue if the backup drive is dedicated to backing up your machine. Expect Time Machine to use more space than you are currently using.
  3. RainCityMacFan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2007
    Right does it matter that I use a dual SSD/HDD system where some folders in my home folder such as movies/etc are symlinked to my HDD?

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