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The Easiest Backup Ever


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mathogre

 
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Member Since: Jan 20, 2007
Location: Oakton, VA USA
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Mac Specs: White MacBook Intel C2D 2.2GHz, 2G, 250G, SD, Leopard.

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I just backed up my MacBook. It was the easiest backup ever. The ingredients were: an unused hard drive, a shiny new hard drive enclosure, a brand spanking new .mac account, and just a little bit of time.

HARDWARE SETUP

In April '06, we bought a Dell XPS 400 tower to replace a machine that had serious hardware failure problems. We got the new machine with a 250G hard drive, and I bought a second 250G unit to run Linux. Since I couldn't seem to make a Linux distro work according to my needs on that machine, the extra drive sat essentialy idle.

Enter the creative marketplace and thus the external hard drive enclosure. This little device holds a regular hard drive, and allows you to connect it to a computer via a USB port. I bought one today at a local computer store (MicroCenter). This evening I did a disk-ectomy on the Dell, and transplanted this 250G unit to the drive case. The disk-ectomy took all of 10 minutes, and the transplant took probably the same amount of time. I connected the enclosure to the electrical outlet and turned it on. The disk drive seemed to spin up nicely. The moment of truth had arrived. I plugged the USB cable from the drive into my MacBook. As was hoped, the drive appeared on the desktop. A couple minutes later the drive was formatted for the Mac.

SOFTWARE SETUP

Today I went for a full .mac account. I know there are advantages to using other services in regard to features such as much larger amounts of server side disk space. Still, a .mac account offers other benefits that are potentially useful to me, including a backup software package that's downloadable for free. There's value in that, for me anyway. After installing the code for the account, I downloaded and installed the backup software. I opened the package, and it looked as if it would do what I wanted.

BACKUP SETUP

In a handful of minutes I'd set up a backup scheme for my machine. Actually I set up what amounts to duplicates, as I'll backup to one directory (folder) one week, and another the next. Yes it's a minor annoyance that I had to create two separate schemes from scratch when I should have been able to copy the first and edit it to be the second. I'm sure I wasted all of two minutes. I was ready.

THE BACKUP

I told it to run the first backup. It did. Twenty or so minutes and 10G or so later, it completed. I tested it, and it looked great!

OS COMPARISON

On the other Linux box (old Dell), backup is mostly easy. I type a command and the backup begins. I need only feed it CD-RWs and a single command every time it's ready for a new disc. The price was paid up front in that I had to write my own backup routine. Changes to the backup configuration are expensive timewise, if infrequent.

The Windows backup is a nightmarish combination of Winzip and a limited capability disc burning package. It requires a few hours of my time. The reality is that a time-expensive backup routine is one that is hardly ever run.

IN THE END...

...this was the easiest backup ever. The upfront cost for time was low, and the monetary cost was relatively low too.

My current goal is to make my Mac my primary computer. It is so easy to use this machine.

I plan to use a similar backup scheme on the Dell. My guess (hope) is that I can backup that machine with similar simplicity as my Mac. Had I been able to make Linux work properly on the new Dell, that backup routine would have done both Linux and Windows sides. My cluelessness on Windows backup packages is based on never needing one; I always did it from the Linux side.

Linux is on the way out for me. I don't care to manage three different operating systems for personal use. I'm not stuck on using two either, but three is untenable. My wife believes she needs Windows, so she'll have it. I need some form of Unix, and I have it here in OS X. Linux just became too costly to me timewise. I want to be able to actually use my computer, not spend my life administering it.

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Niiice, mathogre! Very cool post!
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PapaNoHair

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathogre View Post
Linux is on the way out for me. I don't care to manage three different operating systems for personal use. I'm not stuck on using two either, but three is untenable. My wife believes she needs Windows, so she'll have it. I need some form of Unix, and I have it here in OS X. Linux just became too costly to me timewise. I want to be able to actually use my computer, not spend my life administering it.
I did basically the same thing. I had been with various flavors of Linux for 5+ years but as much as I liked it (in comparison to Windows) I was spending too much time administering my computer. Then Mac entered my life.............what a great OS!!!
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mathogre

 
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Member Since: Jan 20, 2007
Location: Oakton, VA USA
Posts: 3,269
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Mac Specs: White MacBook Intel C2D 2.2GHz, 2G, 250G, SD, Leopard.

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Thank you MHC, PapaNohair, and a few others! -_^

Evil Math Ogre Kgh-Ra
Integrate me. Differentiate me.
You can't hurt me. I'm e^x. Ha ha ha!

Homepage | Gallery
I was on the M-F honor roll for July 2007.
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Carol247

 
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Member Since: Dec 17, 2006
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Mac Specs: imac 20" 216 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GBSDRAM, 250 GB hd, Airport Extreme, Bluetooth 2.0

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Well, as we all know "it just works!"
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