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sw55 02-16-2010 06:31 PM

Time Machine - has anyone used it to recover their HD

I've been using Time Machine to back up my 1 TB hard drive, which is about 75% full. I use a 1.5 TB HD as my backup.

What I'm wondering is if anyone has had any experience actually relying on Time Machine to recover all their files after a HD crash. In the event of a crash, I want to be able to buy a new Mac, plug in my 1.5 TB backup drive, and restore my HD to what it was before the crash, with all the files, programs, etc.

My friend said that Time Machine is good for retrieving, say, a file that he accidentally deleted. But is it good for my purposes as well, or should I be doing something different. Manually backing up my data by doing compares and copying over changed files periodically is another option, but is certainly alot more work than letting TM do it's thing.

Any comments?

TattooedMac 02-16-2010 06:38 PM

You cant use TM as a bootable HD if your fails. If you really want to be safe you need to make another partition on your ext and make a bootable clone using either Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper.

TM is good to retrieve files when you need them but it isnt bootable.

When your HD fails with either of the others you can boot from the Ext and use you MAc without a problem until you can replace your Internal.

Personally i like and use SD as my clone and as a separate backup.
It really is a must in this day and age.
Hope this helps some :)


EDIT: if you got anymore specific questions please ask away :)

clayneal 02-16-2010 06:43 PM

Perhaps this will answer some of your questions.
Mac 101: Time Machine

And as my friend TattooedMac has said a good bootable back up is also very nice to have . Personally I use carbon Copy as well as time machine.


Kash 02-16-2010 07:32 PM

While a Time Machine backup is not bootable, it can certainly do what you're asking. Just fire up the OS X setup from the disc, then use the option to restore from a Time Machine backup. It'll copy over the necessary files and you'll pick up exactly where you left off.

J.Fo 02-16-2010 09:19 PM

Time Machine can indeed do what you are asking. I updgraded the hard drive on my MacBook a while ago, and after re-installing OS X, I was asked if I wanted to restore my computer from a Time Machine back up. I selected yes, and it copied all of my files and settings back to the computer exactly the way I left them on the old hard drive. It was literally like turning on my computer again, only now I had an additional 200GB of storage.

Have fun!

vaiman 02-17-2010 06:12 AM

+1 for Time Machine and Carbon Copy. Very good

I used Time Machine last month on a new drive and it worked with no problems. Like most Mac stuff.

Jaygray 02-17-2010 08:06 AM

I've never used it to restore after a HD failure, but I did use it to transfer all my apps and files from a whitebook to my new unibody MBP and it worked flawlessly.

+1 for TM

chas_m 02-17-2010 09:40 AM

I recently used TM to restore my hard drive. I didn't have a crash, I just wiped it to test TM's restore ability (I also had a "bootable clone" on another drive so I wasn't worried).

It worked PERFECTLY. I was really impressed.

chscag 02-17-2010 12:38 PM

Same here. Time Machine in combination with cloning software is a great safety net. Like chas_M, I too have restored an entire hard drive from a Time Machine backup, and like he said... I also had a bootable CCC backup standing by "just in case".


GXT 02-17-2010 06:23 PM

Time Machine with Snow Leopard Works!
With Snow Leopard, Time Machine is available off the Install/Upgrade disk so no other software is needed. Just pop the new disk in (its really easy if you have the right screwdriver), boot the Snow Leopard DVD, go to DIsk Utilities to partition/format the disk, plug in you old disk thru a usb, then go to utilities/Time Machine and restore to whatever point you want.

Note: Time Machine is pretty fast. I restored about 100 GB is less that 2 hours.

Also Note: OS X disks prior to Snow Leopard don't have this option???

chas_m 02-17-2010 09:01 PM


Originally Posted by GXT (Post 1002377)
Also Note: OS X disks prior to Snow Leopard don't have this option???

No, that's incorrect. Time Machine was introduced with Leopard and is included on Leopard OS disks.

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