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mrplow

 
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Member Since: Oct 01, 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 6,741
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Mac Specs: 27" iMac i7 (2011) 10.10, iPhone6, iPad Air, AppleTV2

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Again there are many solutions to keep email/calendat/address books in sync.

Personally I favour using google sync but it depends on your provider.

Setting up email to use IMAP will keep that in sync.

Keeping prefs in sync.... to my knowledge can only be done in two ways:
1. knowing where the preference files are keep and copying them from one place to another
2. doing a full backup and restore

Do your preferences change that much and that often?

To try and answer your questions:

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1. Can I simply go to the "restore from Time machine"option by booting from my system disk and then do a restore from the latest TM backup file?
Yes. This will replace anything in the target machine so you need to ensure that the latest files are in the backup or you'll lose data.

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2. Is there an easier way to do it?
Any one of the file sync apps mentioned are preferable. They are also automated so no user intervention is required.

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3. Will it have to recopy the entire thing or just the "new material"?
You can either do everything or manualy select what gets restored.

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4. What will happen to stuff that I have erased from the iMac but is still on the mini?
Doing a full restore will make the target match the source. Doing a selective restore will only over-write the files you've selected.

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5. I often read that TM doesn't, in fact, back up everything. Is this true and if so, what DOESN'T it backup that I might need on the mini?
Be default TM will backup everything need to restore a Mac back to fully working with all docs/apps/preferences intact. The only stuff that's left behind are temp files like the sleep file etc. That's unless you have excluded certain files/folders/drives in the Time Machine preferences.


Without sounding like a broken record (oops too late) there are so many ways to sync mail/calendar/address data across machines and devices that, once setup, will just take care of themselves. That IMHO is far, far easier and less time consuming than manually twisting a machine backup system to do the job.

External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post
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