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  1. #1


    Member Since
    May 13, 2010
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    Specs:
    MBP 15" i5
    question about backing up
    Okay, I know this topic has been discussed ad nausea um, however despite reading all the threads on this and many other sites, I am still unsure as to my best ave. for backup. My main concern is in backing up photos (family, personal), music, movies, and my files (documents). I am entering law school in the fall, and I don't want to have any issues with my documents. So, Time Capsule looks unstable at best, and can't be partitioned, boo. What about external HD, should I use time machine with them, or should I just back up my files onto a HD? Is there a third party app I should use? Sorry, I am completely new to macs, but I am very impressed with my MBP so far. Please share your thoughts.

  2. #2

    McYukon's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 14, 2009
    Location
    Near Whitehorse, Yukon
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    2,052
    Specs:
    2012 MBP i7 2.7 GHz 15" Matte - 16 GB RAM - 120 GB Intel SSD - 500 GB DataDoubler Mac OS 10.9
    Basically its up to you how you backup, as long as you do.

    You can use a External HD and use TimeMachine to backup on it, that will work and it is the easiest to do.
    Or you can use a backup software to do it like, CCC or SuperDuper
    I personally use SuperDuper to backup my MBP HD to a 250GB External HD whenever I remember to do it.

    I know some people that have a HD that TimeMachine uses to backup the whole computer HD, then they have another HD that they use to just backup the their user folder using CCC.
    Use the reputation system if a post helps you!
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  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jan 18, 2010
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    1,466
    Specs:
    2.8 GHz 15" MacBook Pro OS X 10.7.x & some old Macs
    As mentioned there are several ways to backup your data and it's your preference as to which one works better for you. Many people use a basic external hard drive with Time Machine so unless you need the wireless capabilities of Time Capsule it's not worth it IMO.

    Also as mentioned by McYukon in addition to Time Machine some people have Carbon Clone Copier or SuperDuper to clone their computer's hard drive. The benefit of these software is that you can boot from them if your computer hard drive dies rather than having to install a new hard drive and then transfer all your data over from Time Machine. I believe you also need a Firewire external hard drive to make it bootable though.

    The benefit of TM is that it will automatically backup your data every hour so if you make any mistakes you can restore from a more recent backup. It's also very easy to setup and use. Just realized that if you delete something from your computer it will eventually be deleted off TM.

    The last option is that you can just manually copy your files over to an external hard drive which will save you more space because you are only transferring specific files rather than backing up your whole hard drive. Although this does mean that if your computer hard drive dies then you only have those files that you specifically saved.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    May 13, 2010
    Posts
    6
    Specs:
    MBP 15" i5
    thanks y'all, I appreciate the input. I think I will just buy an external HD, so I can upgrade my iPhone this month for my father's day gift instead of buying a Time Capsule. If I only copy the files, music, movies and what not that I want to save to a HD, if my MBP crashes will it be easy to move all of those things back over? Is one of the online storage options better for my situation? I would assume not for movies and music, but for files I am thinking it might be. Also, if I just want to move individual files over, there is no need for an application to do this, right? Thanks!

  5. #5

    Collin Bl's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 07, 2009
    Location
    Napier NZ
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    3,303
    Specs:
    27 iMac+Thunderbolt, iMac 20, 2TB dual TC, AppleTV, iPh4S
    My focus is on least down time when things turn to S... So a Bootable back up from Superduper to an Ext Firewire HD means that you can continue working while your Mac is away for repair. Just a case of using another Mac <steal our partners> to boot from your Ext HD and then once your Mac is back copying the latest back onto the HD with a Smart Update <only files that have changed> Time Machine just takes a bit longer and needs an OS to boot off.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jan 18, 2010
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    1,466
    Specs:
    2.8 GHz 15" MacBook Pro OS X 10.7.x & some old Macs
    Quote Originally Posted by n8dawgbu View Post
    thanks y'all, I appreciate the input. I think I will just buy an external HD, so I can upgrade my iPhone this month for my father's day gift instead of buying a Time Capsule. If I only copy the files, music, movies and what not that I want to save to a HD, if my MBP crashes will it be easy to move all of those things back over? Is one of the online storage options better for my situation? I would assume not for movies and music, but for files I am thinking it might be. Also, if I just want to move individual files over, there is no need for an application to do this, right? Thanks!
    If you really want to do manual backups then I can't stop your but remember the best backups are the ones that you do often and Time Machine hooked up to an external HD is basically automatic.

    Anyway to answer your questions, if you are manually copying over only specific files then yes it's easy to transfer the files back and forth. It's basically the same process as dragging/moving files from one folder to the other in Finder except the folder is on the external HD.

    You can use online storage but if you have slow internet speeds then it will take a long time and you do have to find out how much data a month your ISP will allow you transfer. It is a nice option for smaller files. I don't use them though. I recommend trying out Time Machine first and if you don't like it then just reformat the external HD and do your manual backups with specific files. You can actually try all the methods and then use the one you like best. Make sure to reformat between each method.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    May 13, 2010
    Posts
    6
    Specs:
    MBP 15" i5
    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessMac View Post
    If you really want to do manual backups then I can't stop your but remember the best backups are the ones that you do often and Time Machine hooked up to an external HD is basically automatic.

    Anyway to answer your questions, if you are manually copying over only specific files then yes it's easy to transfer the files back and forth. It's basically the same process as dragging/moving files from one folder to the other in Finder except the folder is on the external HD.

    You can use online storage but if you have slow internet speeds then it will take a long time and you do have to find out how much data a month your ISP will allow you transfer. It is a nice option for smaller files. I don't use them though. I recommend trying out Time Machine first and if you don't like it then just reformat the external HD and do your manual backups with specific files. You can actually try all the methods and then use the one you like best. Make sure to reformat between each method.
    If i go the Time Machine route, how many gigs do I need? I have 320 on my MBP. Do i need alot more, or just a little more, or what? Thanks!

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Jan 18, 2010
    Posts
    1,466
    Specs:
    2.8 GHz 15" MacBook Pro OS X 10.7.x & some old Macs
    It's a good idea to get more than your current hard drive size. How much depends on how far back you want TM to temporarily keep your old data. 500 GB will probably be good enough for you unless you constantly add and delete large quantities of files.

  9. #9

    McBie's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location
    Belgium
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    2,883
    Specs:
    2013 MBA 13" - OS X 10.12.latest
    Play it safe and go for a 1 TB drive ....

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  10. #10


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
    Posts
    20,911
    Specs:
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    I have two external HDs dedicated to backups. I use one for Time Machine, and one for bootable clones (handy for quick recovery and troubleshooting). The TM runs automatically every hour, the cloning program runs automatically every other day. I feel like I'm well-covered for anything short of a house-destroying disaster.

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