Time Machine

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by oo7ml, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. oo7ml macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    Hi, i have recently migrated over to mac and i am still trying to become familiar with some of it's tools. I have Time Machine set up and backing up to my external hard drive, however, can someone help me with the following questions about Time Machine:

    Question 1
    Can you actually access the backed up files on the external hard drive with ease or does OS X convert them all to some backup file type of it's own

    Question 2
    If i deleted a file last week and realize that i now need it, can i roll back to a previous snapshot of last week, copy the file that was deleted from that snapshop and come back out of the old snapshot and paste it into your current setup

    Question 3
    If i wanted format my hard drive and carry out a fresh install of Lion and then copy my personal user files back to my mac, how can i accomplish this with Time Machine... for instance, 2 months down the line, i reckon i will have installed a lot of junk and played around with the system a lot in order to get an understanding of the mac world, while all along i will be making changes to my personal and work files... i would then like to format the hard drive and set up fresh again... but how can i copy my personal files back once i have carried out the fresh install

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can help
  2. Dnix macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    1) Yes you can explore the backups, in a normal Finder window. There's no encryption or anything.

    2) Yes that's basically how it works. You'll see it's pretty intuitive how they do it, when you first try it.

    3) Migration Assistant.

    You can distinguish between System Files and Settings or Personal files aka "Home Folder" stuff. So you move over whatever you want. "Drag-and-drop" from the Time Machine disk is possible too.
  3. oo7ml thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    Ok, thanks... as for the 3rd Questions, you mentioned migration assistant... i was thinking of partitioning my macbook drive in 2:

    One for system files and the other for user files... then when i have a fresh install done with all of my apps in settings in place, create a clone of the system files drive....

    The second drive would hold all user files and could act independently to the systems files drive...

    What do you think of my above approach... thanks again for your help
  4. Dnix macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    You could, I guess.

    I'm not sure I see any huge benefit. If you're using only a single drive that is large enough to hold everything, anyway!
  5. oo7ml thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    Ok cool, so could i set up two time machine profiles as in i can control what i take back from each of the system files profile and the user files profile (i will never need to role back on this... it will just be used as a backup)
  6. Dnix macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    Maybe I wasn't clear...or maybe you do got it, I don't know. I'm a little tired lol. :)

    But again, basically how it works is...

    Time Machine backs up whole disks. Since you will be splitting the disk in two, it will show up separate in OS X - so each slice should have it's separate directory on the TM disk.

    The selection thing is when you are restoring data. Via Migration Assistant to a fresh install, or just in general dragging / dropping, whatever...

    TM pretty much dumps everything though. Most you can select is which disk(s) to backup, or not backup.
  7. oo7ml thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010
    Ok, cool, thanks... this is exactly why i think it is a good idea to partition... i always believe system data should be separate from user data
  8. oo7ml thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2010

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