GoFlex Time Machine Backup Understanding

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I have had my Mac Book for 3 years now and bought my first portable hard drive today. It had Memeo on the GoFlex. I choose to use the Time Machine to back up. It worked fine but I am not sure what to do next and what Time Machine is really for.

All I want to use the portable hard drive for is to backup my Pic's and Doc's files. Time Machine backed all my files plus all the Applications. I guess that is ok but what good does having the entire hard drive backed up if the Mac Book is lost, stolen or damaged and I get a new MacBookPro?

What happens when you download the hard drive to a new Mac? Does it load the apps along with the files?

I would like to do a clean install of Snow Leopard and or if I can find one I would like to do a clean install of Leopard. Doesn't using Time Machine download everything on the hard drive of the MacBook and if there is a problem some file or app, wont the problem be transferred to the portable hard drive and onto the new or wiped clean MacBook?
Can, when using Time Machine, you pic and choose what files and apps go on to the new or cleaned MacBook?

Should I of used Memeo or other software instead of using Time Machine to just save the files I want to save?
 

chscag

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2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
Time Machine will back everything unless you specifically exclude those things you don't want. It's best to allow TM to backup your entire hard drive. In the event you ever need to reinstall the OS, the TM backup can be user to recover your pictures, documents, and other data.
 

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