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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

First backup questions


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jennymac

 
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I finally got an external drive for my iMac as I'm having lots of problems with it even though it's only a few months old.

Is there anything I should do in way of preparation (deleting emails, uninstalling programs I don't use, etc) before I do the backup? I searched, but didn't quite find what I was looking for. Thanks!
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chscag

 
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I recommend backing up everything. As a matter of fact it's probably best to create a bootable backup that can be used to boot your iMac in the event your hard drive fails. In order to do that or to use Time Machine, you must format the external drive as HFS +.

Great software for making a bootable backup = "Carbon Copy Cloner"

Bombich Software: Carbon Copy Cloner

Regards.
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jennymac

 
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Hey, thanks, although I'm not quite sure about how to format the external drive. Sorry for the ignorance!

I never backed anything up over many years of using windows and paid dearly for it several times. You think I would learn - guess better late than never!

Oh, thanks for the link to Carbon Copy - I have heard good things about the program.
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Nevermore

 
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Jennymac, not sure if you are asking how to format your external drive. If you go into Applications and look under Utilities, you will see something called Disk Utility. Disk Utility Help will give you detailed instructions but essentially, you are going to erase the external hard drive and during this process, you can name it if you so desire and choose the format for the drive (volume) you are erasing. You end up with a clean drive formatted as you choose (there is a drop down list in the dialogue box of Disk Utility). I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was to do.
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jennymac

 
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Apparently, the HD I bought is already formatted for the HFS+ which is cool. Rather late now, so I'll tackle this tomorrow. Oh, it came with USB, FW400, FW800 and SATA cables. Why they make most of them so short is still a mystery to me.

Guess since I have options, might as well use the 800. I've heard some not so wonderful things about Time Machine (and some good as well). So, I need to figure out which program to use. Thanks again for all your help, much appreciated! Jennifer
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harryb2448

 
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Also look at SuperDuper. After registration this has the advantage of Smart Backup where all files are checked and only new files need to be copied and saves time. Takes about fifteen minutes using Smart Backup.

If the iMac is PowerPC will only be bootable by Firewire, Intel units will boot also from USB2.
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jennymac

 
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I've heard of that also - ack decisions, decisions! It's an Intel iMac and even though I don't have a lot on here yet, I figured I might as well use the FW800.

Although I've read that the USB2 would probably be just fine considering I don't have a lot of pics, music, etc. I keep putting it off, but I WILL do it today! Thanks for all the suggestions!
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Nevermore

 
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and Time Machine. There is an application that lets you schedule Time Machine so I do it every three or four days and I do SuperDuper every night (each to a different EHD.) I plan on getting a third EHD like a Passport so I can take it to work every week. I will then have a spare EHD for my images (thousands), Time Machine on hand and SuperDuper at work. I used to use Web backup (Mozy) but I had a very difficult time with their Mac version so will use the Passport to achieve off site backup.

Anal, yes. But in 2007 I lost six month's worth of work through operator error even though I had backup (EXTREME operator error, argh). A couple of hard drives is about $500.00 for what I need, Time Machine is free and Superduper cost less than $40. If you asked me if I would pay $540.00 to get even 1/5 of my lost work back, I would write a cheque immediately.
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