Yet another external backup question

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Captain Sulu, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. Captain Sulu, Nov 1, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013

    Captain Sulu macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Sorry folks,

    I have already looked most of the recent posts on this one and to be honest, I don't really understand most of them so here goes.

    I have a shiny new iMac 8 ghz 1TB Fusion drive. I would like an external drive that automatically backs up the whole machine - saved photos, iTunes, documents, system files, apps etc - the full monty. From what I've read so far, the most basic, reliable and cost efficient option seems to be to use Time Machine hooked up to an external hard drive with a series 3 USB cable.

    My budget is £100 max and I'm not too fussed about download speed - I've got all day. So questions are:

    1. Does the external drive need to be specifically 'Mac / Time Machine compatible' or will any drive be OK;

    2. What sort of memory should I be looking at - 1/2/3 TB etc;

    3. Can anyone recommend a specific product on the market that will work straight out of the box; and

    4. What would you recommend as a possible low cost off site 'cloud' storage product; and

    5. Does all this sound OK?

    Thank you for any basic replies .:) Sulu

    Oh and by the way, is there a way that I can view my previous posts from my personal control panel page? Thanks
     
  2. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #2
    One as long as the external has a port that you have on your Mac any external useable. As long as you reformat the drive for OS X using /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility.app to reformat the drive. I suggest getting a blank external and buy your own external, it would be cheaper in the long run.

    For Time Machine the unofficial rule is to get an external about twice the size of your internal drive. So in your case I would suggest a 2 TB USB3 drive will let you go pretty far back in Time.

    IMHO this way you will be able to change out the drive in the external at anytime in the future or move the hard drive to a new case in the future.
     
  3. Captain Sulu thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Thanks for that.

    Is there a specific piece of hardware/product anyone can recommend that is pre formatted and that will work straight out of the box.

    Also, any recommendations for an offsite service. I've seen Crash Plan mentioned a few times on this forum.


    Sulu
     
  4. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #4
    The online stuff to me is for people that live in natural disasters lands (flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, etc.) areas. If you don't live in one of those areas you could always go the external router with something like DropBox for small things.

    For online things like CrashPlan or Carbonite (use the code Tekzilla for two free months) as well as others on MacUpdate Search for online backup.
     
  5. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #5
  6. Captain Sulu thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Thanks for that guys.

    Whenever I hear words like 'formatting' I break into a cold sweat. That sort of stuff never seems to work for me. The last time I fiddled with something on my PC it had to go into rehab. I'm a take-it-out-of-the-box-and-plug-it-in kinda guy. That's the extent of my computer knowledge and why I bought a Mac.

    My search has brought up the 'WD My Passport for Mac 2TB Portable External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0'. The user reviews on Amazon seem pretty good so it looks as good a product as any. And it's in budget - just.

    Wish me luck.
     
  7. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

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    #7
    Formatting is easy-peasy. You'll wonder what the fuss was about.
     
  8. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #8
    Click on your user name (top right).

    Click on Statistics tab (upper middle left)

    Click on find all posts by your user name.

    On the backup side, I would recommend Time Machine for your regular back ups and then have a third drive that you back up to say once a week using Carbon Copy Clone. Keep this HD off site and you are covered. I use a TimeCapsule (every Hour) and a Buffalo passport for my CCC back up.
     
  9. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #9
    I stumbled upon a deal for cloud backups that seems too good to be true...

    http://www.drivepop.com/dealnews/?aff=050

    * Disclosure: I have absolutely zero experience with this company and have no clue how well it works.
     
  10. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #10
    Whatever you do don't buy Western Digital media drives are having big problems in 10.9. Their software will corrupt data in 10.9!
     
  11. tech4all macrumors 68040

    tech4all

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    #11
    I wouldn't say never to buy Western Digital drives as they are fine drives. Wait until Apple/WD resolves this issue with Mavericks. If you're buying a drive now, maybe consider another brand in the meantime. But this bug should be temporary. Another reason not to be an early adopter to new versions of an OS. Wait a while until bugs have been worked out.
     
  12. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

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    #12
    You clearly didn't read the post. It's the crap manufacture software that erases the drive in 10.9. So Clearly the program is not 64bit and poorly written and not written with Xcode.
     
  13. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    #13
    Often the same drive will be sold in 2 models - 1 for windows and one for Mac. The only differences being the mac version is foratted HFS AND costs $ 20 more.
     
  14. Captain Sulu thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Thanks guys. If there is some concern about Western Digital, is there a name/make that you would recommend in general as an external backup.
     
  15. Captain Sulu thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
  16. kpac macrumors newbie

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    Aug 25, 2009
    #16
    I don't mean to be a d$ck or anything, but it seems like all the answers you got are not really about the questions you asked... My answers are in your quoted message above (in red... if it wasn't obvious).
     
  17. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Its not necessary because if you plug in a drive that isnt preformatted, a box will pop up saying "do you want to use this for time machine" and you click "yes" and then it says "do you want it formatted for TM" and you click "yes" and thats it.
     
  18. Captain Sulu, Nov 5, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013

    Captain Sulu thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    reply for KPAC

    Thanks for all your replies. You guys are the best.

    KPAC - as I understand it, Time Machine backs up hourly for 24 hours and then makes daily backups for the past month etc. So if you do delete a file on your hard disc, hasn't it already be saved in the hourly/24hr/weekly backup process and can't you therefore retrieve it from your external drive?

    I'm afraid I don't understand it when you say

    "DON'T DELETE FILES (ON YOUR MACHINE'S HARD DRIVE) THAT YOU HAVE TRANSFERRED ON YOUR EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE"

    Rookie question.

    Sulu
     
  19. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #19
    Any external disk drive will work for Time Machine. Ideally you'd like it to be twice as large as all the data you have that needs to be backed up. this will allow for multiple versions. 15 times works too. I'd just get 2TB USB disk and you should be in budget. Always use the largest and newest disk you own for Time Machine. Buy several and rotate them

    But, it you like you can connect two of these drives and Mac OS X will make a redundant copy. Now if the backup drive fails, you still have a backup. Expect these drives to fail about one per ever thee years or so. but it varies greatly.

    As for cloud storage. It matters where you live. If you are in the UK yu may not want to use a company in the US. That said "Crash Plan" is working for me but imam also trying out "back blaze" and find it is MUCH faster and far simpler to set up. One difference is when it comes time to restore data. With Backblaze you select the files you need, click "ok" then wait for an email with a like to a BIG zip file that you download. Crash Plan makes all you data available on-line and svn on your ISO device so you can use it from other computers or via the web.

    Both service have a free trial you can download.

    One thing you MUST do with test each backup method about once a month. Try and recover some files. Delete one junk files and pretend you care about getting them back and actually do go and get them.

    I would use the two Time Machine disks and rotate them, keep one off-line and inside a fire safe in some other place like where you work. Then periodically you swap it with one of your two like TM disks. Take one to the office and bring the old one back home, this what you never have all three in the same building.

    the cloud is a LAST RESORT backup as it might take weeks to get your data ro they might just screw up and trash your data and not tell you.

    Thing to worry about are hose fires, theft of the equipment. Lightening hitting a utility pole and frying everything that is plugged into AC. So keep a copy unplugged in a safe and not near your computer and the cloud too, as a last resort backup.

    You will likely need a larger budget because one disk is not enough.

    ----------

    Floooding hess, but you forgot about

    Theft of the equipment
    house fires
    lightening striking the power utility equipment
    Operating system of other software failures that trash your file
    operator error that trashes your files
    The odd chance of two strives failing on the same day (happened to me)

    So if you live in a place where any one of those things might happen, you need some off-site backup too.

    Next consider how long you need to keep the data. Is it OK to loose it every 3 or 5 years? Does it need to last 50 years or longer. If you indeed to keep this data for 50 years then just figure that three or four of those things I listed about WILL happen, maybe even all of them. You goal should be to still be TWO copies of the data even in a worst case like a house fire.

    You don't ned cloud storage for off site. You can swap disk drives with a remote location or use CrashPlan to swap data with some friend or relative if both have high speed Internet and a few extra TB of storage. In fact a three-way peer to peer crash plan setup might be ideal if paired with multiple local disks
     
  20. Captain Sulu thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Thanks for all your answers guys. I have transferred all my iTunes and photos to the iMac and it works! The PC is off to the graveyard. I feel so much better already.

    One final backup question. Does anyone know what kpac means by:

    "There is only one thing you must always remember : IT'S ONLY A BACK UP IF YOU HAVE THE SAME FILE, ON TWO DIFFERENT DRIVES. DON'T DELETE FILES (ON YOUR MACHINE'S HARD DRIVE) THAT YOU HAVE TRANSFERRED ON YOUR EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE"?

    Surely the point of a backup is that you can retrieve deleted files.

    Sulu
     
  21. macs4nw, Nov 7, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013

    macs4nw macrumors 601

    macs4nw

    #21
    But only if that back-up doesn't die on you. To have a true back-up, you must have at least 2 copies of the file in question; your original file, and in case that is not retrievable for some reason, the back-up copy. If as mentioned above, you were to delete the original file, you no longer have a go-to copy if your back-up were to fail. Trust me, the chance of that happening isn't as remote as you might think.

    If you value your music and photos, and other misc files, your best strategy is to have even more than two copies, ie your original files, primary back-up, secondary back-up, stored off-site, and cloud storage. HDDs are so inexpensive now, there's really no reason not to have that extra layer of security.

    Starting with ML (OSX 10.8), TimeMachine allows for multiple back-ups allowing you to have back-ups of all your files, on multiple hard drives, in multiple locations. Your Time Machine takes 'snapshots' of all the changes that have occurred on your computer, and remembers which 'Time Capsule/HDD' needs which updates, so that a secondary TC/HDD which you might have at work or any other location, will get all the missed changes, that have happened since it was last connected, the moment you plug in that drive.

    Kudos to you! A smart move on your part to immediately think of a back-up strategy!
     
  22. Captain Sulu thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    Thanks for that. I learned the need for a backup the hard way.

    Sulu
     
  23. kpac macrumors newbie

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    #23
    That's what I meant indeed. Well said.
     

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