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  1. #1
    Backup advice appreciated
    Hi, I have a 2 TB HD Mac mini and a 3 TB Time Machine backup drive.

    The strange thing is that the Time Machine backup will restore individual files, but not the whole computer -- even the Genius Bar guys at the Apple store were baffled by this.

    Someone here suggested that I use Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper to backup my Mac mini. My Mac mini's HD is getting full of videos as well.

    I had an idea - convert the 3 TB backup drive to a videos drive, free up a lot of space on my Mac mini by transferring the videos to it, and back up both to an external backup drive.

    So I bought a 10 TB WD Elements drive as my new backup drive. On the new backup, I want to have:

    1. A Time Machine backup of the Mac mini
    2. A 3rd-party backup of the Mac mini (in case I have to do a full restore)
    3. A backup of my 3TB videos drive.

    My question is: should I partition the drive? Anything else I should know? Thanks.
    Last edited by Cybernettr; 02-14-2020 at 04:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Backup advice appreciated
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Members in this forum, and other forums as well, always recommend to keep backups on separate devices/drives. All drives will die and if one drive has multiple backups on it, then they are all gone.

    You should have one backup drive for TM of your internal Mac drive. Another drive for the 3rd party backup solution, and still another drive for the backup of your media files, if you keep them on a separate external drive.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  3. #3
    Backup advice appreciated
    IWT's Avatar
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    A warm welcome to Mac-Forums.

    Very much +1 for what ferrarr said.

    Never have more than one Backup (BU) on an External Hard Drive (EHD). It's one EHD per BU, be it Time Machine, cloned BU, Videos, Photos, Documents etc.

    But you are to be congratulated for considering a BU strategy. You may or may not be astonished by the number of people who never BU anything. We get this here a lot.

    Ian
    Ian

  4. #4
    Backup advice appreciated
    lclev's Avatar
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    I agree with what Bob said. I have multiple drives for backing up. More is better and partitioning a large drive to cover multiple backup options is not recommended. You loose that one drive all is gone.

    Lisa
    Recommend using Onyx to clean your Mac.
    If you have been helped, please add to their reputation by clicking on the icon in the lower left hand corner of the post.

  5. #5
    Backup advice appreciated
    Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybernettr View Post
    Hi, I have a 2 TB HD Mac mini and a 3 TB Time Machine backup drive.

    The strange thing is that the Time Machine backup will restore individual files, but not the whole computer -- even the Genius Bar guys at the Apple store were baffled by this.
    The Time Machine Interface is not designed to restore the whole computer but it can do so as part of a Restore of the Operating System. So if you device crashes and you need to restore the entire hard drive you can do that from the either the Restore Partition, accessed by booting while holding down the R key or booting from the Time Machine external drive using the Option key on startup. From there you can access Disk Utility and reinstall the operating system. As part of that process you can restore all of your files, folders, apps and data from the Time Machine backup as well. I don't understand why Apple were baffled by this, it has always been this way.

    As for BU's I agree wholeheartedly with what has already been said.
    Don't be an April Fool: WORLD BACKUP DAY MARCH 31st

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    The Time Machine Interface is not designed to restore the whole computer but it can do so as part of a Restore of the Operating System.
    That's what I and the Genius Bar guys were trying to do. I tried to do it myself first, and then I took it in (had to go out-of-state). I was sitting around at the mall for hours waiting for it to finish. It would churn away, acting as if it was working the whole time, and at the end, zero files had been restored. Like I said, the Genius Bar guys were baffled too. Yet the backup works fine for manual restores. Very frustrating.

    As for my current backup strategy, I have other backups too, but I'm trying to keep this particular one simple, so I'll actually do it on a daily basis. But thanks for the comments.

  7. #7
    Backup advice appreciated
    Rod's Avatar
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    Sorry Cybernettr, I'm completely confused here, as I take it your computer is working fine what were you trying to restore to? If you were attempting to restore to a different drive I dont think that is possible. It is, as the title implies a "Restore" function. That is, it will restore to the source of the backup to the source, not an empty HD.
    If you want to create a copy of your device's internal drive then a bootable clone is what you require. You allow the clone to run your device while it performs a process of duplication onto a target which can be an empty (previously formatted) drive.
    I have done this a few times with Carbon Copy Cloner but I don't think it can be done with TM. What has me confused is that the Apple guys obviously thought it could be done so maybe I've got it wrong. Please clarify.
    Don't be an April Fool: WORLD BACKUP DAY MARCH 31st

  8. #8
    I was having a variety of niggling problems with my Mac mini. When I called Apple support under warranty, when normal troubleshooting procedures that they walked me through failed, the next advice was to do an erase and reinstall. I did that and found that the restoring files part from my Time Machine backup failed, as described. That's when I took it into the Apple store, where the same thing happened.

  9. #9
    Backup advice appreciated
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    What procedure did you use trying to you use for this: "I did that and found that the restoring files part from my Time Machine backup failed, as described."

    Usually, when you erase and reinstall the OS, during the setup there is an option to copy you information from; another Mac, another disk, Time Machine, or a winOS PC. That is when you should select your Time Machine backup drive?
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    What procedure did you use trying to you use for this: "I did that and found that the restoring files part from my Time Machine backup failed, as described."

    Usually, when you erase and reinstall the OS, during the setup there is an option to copy you information from; another Mac, another disk, Time Machine, or a winOS PC. That is when you should select your Time Machine backup drive?
    Yep, that's what I did, I selected Copy from Time Machine, and that's what the Genius Bar guys did too.

  11. #11
    Backup advice appreciated
    Rod's Avatar
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    So at the moment where are you at? Do I take it that you now have an erased device with a fresh copy of the macOS but none of your original files?
    From what you said originally it sounds like you can restore individual files from TM is that what you have done?


    Sent from my iPhone using Mac-Forums
    Don't be an April Fool: WORLD BACKUP DAY MARCH 31st

  12. #12
    Backup advice appreciated
    Rod's Avatar
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    You also wrote that you had been having troubles with your Mac Mini. What troubles and was it after an upgrade or something else changed?


    Sent from my iPhone using Mac-Forums
    Don't be an April Fool: WORLD BACKUP DAY MARCH 31st

  13. #13
    Backup advice appreciated
    Rod's Avatar
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    The reason I ask is because a few people have had troubles using TM after upgrading to Catalina. I have been recommending users erase their old TM backups after upgrading and make new ones. Catalina has a different structure to Mojave and it seems to cause some problems. Personally I create a new TM backup after each major system upgrade.


    Sent from my iPhone using Mac-Forums
    Don't be an April Fool: WORLD BACKUP DAY MARCH 31st

  14. #14
    Backup advice appreciated
    IWT's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Rod.

    Either your Time Machine is in some way corrupted or the Backup (BU) on it is from a different Operating System, possibly with a completely different File Format. For example, Mac OS X Extended (Journaled) aka HFS+ on the TM backup and any OS on your Mac using APFS (Apple File System).

    Which brings me to ask - as I don't see this in the your posts so far - which OS is currently on your Mac? And which OS was the TM backup made from?

    Ian
    Ian

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    So at the moment where are you at? Do I take it that you now have an erased device with a fresh copy of the macOS but none of your original files?
    No, all of the original files had to be restored manually (dragged over). I know that is not the ideal situation because it can cause permissions problems. So, I had the Genius Bar guys do it under warranty.

    I am still on 10.11.6 because this Mac is working fairly well and I am now afraid to update the OS because of the restore problems, in case something goes wrong with the update.

    However, I am considering upgrading because there is software (newest RapidWeaver) that I want to use that won't run on this version of the OS. That's one reason I am rethinking my backup strategy.

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