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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    How do I back up my hard drive
    I am having a hard time backing up my Mac to an external hard drive. I am new to Mac, so some of these simple things are still stumping me. On my first backup attempt with Time Machine, everything was automatic and successful, but now when I try (using the Time Machine icon in the top left corner - right click - backup now), I get a message saying that the backup disk is not available. Please help. Thank you.

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
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    Simple Time Machine instructions.

    Instead of using Time Machine, you might wish to use the clone method of backup instead. Since Time Machine backups are not bootable, a clone can be very useful if for example your hard drive dies. Clone to an external drive using special software: SuperDuper (shareware) or Carbon Copy Cloner (donation ware).

    I use both methods of backup = Time Machine and Carbon Copy Cloner. I have two separate external hard drives which I use.

    Regards.

  3. #3

    McBie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeywhistle View Post
    I am having a hard time backing up my Mac to an external hard drive. I am new to Mac, so some of these simple things are still stumping me. On my first backup attempt with Time Machine, everything was automatic and successful, but now when I try (using the Time Machine icon in the top left corner - right click - backup now), I get a message saying that the backup disk is not available. Please help. Thank you.
    Have you checked the log files ... Launch TM and watch the logs ... there must be a reason why you get that error message.

    Cheers ... McBie
    A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
    The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.

  4. #4


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeywhistle View Post
    I am having a hard time backing up my Mac to an external hard drive. I am new to Mac, so some of these simple things are still stumping me. On my first backup attempt with Time Machine, everything was automatic and successful, but now when I try (using the Time Machine icon in the top left corner - right click - backup now), I get a message saying that the backup disk is not available. Please help. Thank you.
    1. You don't need to manually invoke Time Machine. It will back up automatically.

    2. If it says the drive isn't available, it's not available. It's turned off or unplugged or not mounted. Look at your desktop, do you see two drives there? If not, the Time Machine drive (usually a green icon) is not on, not connected or unmounted.

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