Official Backup FAQ or Start Backing Up Now!

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bobtomay

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That would be GUID to boot an Intel Mac.

The other two options are:
Apple Partition Map - to boot PPC Macs
Master Boot Record - for Windows
 

Slydude

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Nice catch. I was still trying to figure out what was wrong with that statement by the time you posted the answer.
 

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Thanks to each of you for your reply! I was glad to hear specifically that Mike T., chscag, and Rod S. have successfully used My Passport.
Bobtomay, thanks for the clarification that partition should be GUID; and thanks to slydude for confirming!
Much appreciated!
 

Rod


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That would be GUID to boot an Intel Mac.

The other two options are:
Apple Partition Map - to boot PPC Macs
Master Boot Record - for Windows

Oops, thanks for the correction I have edited that post accordingly, must have been thinking of fly spray.:Blushing:
 

Rod


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Thanks to each of you for your reply! I was glad to hear specifically that Mike T., chscag, and Rod S. have successfully used My Passport.
Bobtomay, thanks for the clarification that partition should be GUID; and thanks to slydude for confirming!
Much appreciated!

No worries ELK, I have edited that reply, silly me, a bit of brain fade there.:Blushing:
 
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I've never done a TimeMachine backup or cloning, I have simply saved important stuff piecemeal on thumbdrives or CDs as backups (which has become rather pack rat-like over a few years). Since the price of externals has dramatically decreased of late, I am investigating and considering this much more efficient method!
According to this macworld article I can use a single external drive (of sufficient size) to backup both my macbook and my husband's iMac. Would this require partitioning or other different steps than if it were just one computer?
 

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Uh, I've been a member here for a little while. I read this entire thread, followed links from the original post, and have searched for an answer online as well. Not saying I haven't missed something, I simply want to know if there are additional steps when backing up two machines to the same external harddrive. I guess specific questions for clarification are no longer welcome around here. I'll remember to begin all future questions with "after searching this forum and the internet for an answer..."
 

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Uh, I've been a member here for a little while. I read this entire thread, followed links from the original post, and have searched for an answer online as well.

I guess specific questions for clarification are no longer welcome around here. I'll remember to begin all future questions with "after searching this forum and the internet for an answer..."

And how is posting this helpful?? We can't read your mind…so I really do not know what you have done prior to asking your question…or what your level of computing expertise is. But let me please clue you in on something. When someone begins a posting with this statement:

"I've never done a TimeMachine backup or cloning, I have simply saved important stuff piecemeal on thumbdrives or CDs as backups (which has become rather pack rat-like over a few years)."

It's generally a pretty good assumption that the person posting this info is not a computing expert…or at least…is not a data backup expert!

This is why I suggested reading post #1 of this thread. So if there were some things you did not know…post #1 of this thread would provide a GREAT overview of a subject that you have already admitted...you don't know much about…and haven't done before (a Time Machine backup or a hard drive cloning).

- Nick

p.s. It's been about 3+ years since you've been active on Mac-Forums. If you visited more often…and were more active…I and others might have a better idea of your computing knowledge & expertise!;)
 
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Forgive me. Setting aside my error in improperly identifying myself or my level of expertise, I specifically asked twice if anything is required in addition to the provided information in order to backup two computers on a single external. If you don't want to give me the answer (which I have not found on my own), please allow someone else to tell me?
 

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According to this macworld article I can use a single external drive (of sufficient size) to backup both my macbook and my husband's iMac. Would this require partitioning or other different steps than if it were just one computer?

Partitioning would be best. Theoretically, Time Machine would be able to separately identify the backups and not mix them up. However, for safety sake, it's best to partition the external hard drive and name each partition. Use simple names that are not confusing: Mary's backup, John's backup and so on. You get the idea.

As inexpensive as external hard drives are nowadays, it may be better to buy two drives, one for your Mac and the other for your husband's Mac. The reason this may be better is if for example, the single hard drive should fail you would lose both backups. Keeping the backups separate on separate hard drives is a safer route to take. But of course, that's completely up to you to decide.
 
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Thanks, chscag, I appreciate the info and point of view. Will consider two drives.
 
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Back up and bootable disk

As a longterm PC user who is now transitioning back to Mac (used Mac's in college over 20 years ago) I want to make sure that I set things up correctly from the get go. In that I backup my pc's with 2 online cloud services, DroboN5 system (NAS) on the home network as well as external HDD drives (yes, I like redundancy, I find the Mac choices a bit befuddling. I have ordered a LaCie 2big 6TB-2 Thunderbolt system backup drive that I plan to use Time Machine for. Plan to also use another HDD external drive to make as a bootable disk. Am I making this overly complicated or will the LaCie also serve as a bootable disk through Time Machine?

Thanks,
Brian
 

chscag

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Plan to also use another HDD external drive to make as a bootable disk. Am I making this overly complicated or will the LaCie also serve as a bootable disk through Time Machine?

It's always best to have redundancy with your backups which it seems you've planned for. One thing you need to know... Time Machine backups are not bootable. You will need software which can clone your hard drive and be able to boot with the clone. Being as you're coming from the Windows world I'm sure you're familiar with Acronis True Image. That's the type of software you will need. Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper are similar to Acronis. I use Carbon Copy Cloner in addition to Time Machine (2 separate external hard drives).
 
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It's always best to have redundancy with your backups which it seems you've planned for. One thing you need to know... Time Machine backups are not bootable. You will need software which can clone your hard drive and be able to boot with the clone. Being as you're coming from the Windows world I'm sure you're familiar with Acronis True Image. That's the type of software you will need. Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper are similar to Acronis. I use Carbon Copy Cloner in addition to Time Machine (2 separate external hard drives).

Thanks for the reply. I use Acronis with the Drobo 5N. I have also ordered 2 additional 4TB drives to add to the Drobo which I had planed to format for MAC. I had read that Drobo is not very compatible with Mac, but am willing to try it anyway. Worst case scenario is I format it for the PC and then I have an additional 4TB of storage (RAID 1 setup). It is the bootable disk part that I am not sure of in regards to the Drobo and the LaCie drives. I have thought I would just get another external HDD drive to make it a bootable disk to keep in a drawer until it became necessary.
 
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Would this be a good back up for my mid '11 iMac? "Good" for my needs:
I have a 500GB HD installed with 420 free, so I assume 1TB is adequate/ overkill.

Though it says "compatible for Mac" I'm sure it has to be formatted. How onerous is that?

Now if my iMac hard drive blows up and I replace it, will what's stored on the external mirror onto the new hard drive seamlessly? I'm asking if it clones, but I don't think it does.
 

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Yes, that particular drive should be OK for backing up your iMac. However, it will not operate at USB 3 speeds as your 2011 iMac is USB 2 only. And yes, it has to be re-formatted as the drive comes factory formatted to NTFS (Windows proprietary format.) Formatting it is easy with Disk Utility. Be sure to format it as Mac OS Journaled (HFS+) GUID partition scheme. (should be the default) You can use the drive for Time Machine backups.

I also recommend you make a clone backup using either Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper on another separate external hard drive. That way, if your iMac drive goes bad you can replace it and then clone back from the external. By the way, your 2011 iMac uses a Seagate 500 GB hard drive which have been problematic. I had the same exact machine as you and my drive failed after two years of use. Fortunately it was covered by extended Apple Care and replaced for free by Apple.
 
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I also recommend you make a clone backup using either Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper on another separate external hard drive.

This is where you got me lost. Two external hard drives for back up?

By the way, your 2011 iMac uses a Seagate 500 GB hard drive which have been problematic. I had the same exact machine as you and my drive failed after two years of use. Fortunately it was covered by extended Apple Care and replaced for free by Apple.

Wasn't the issue with the 27" models?
 

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This is where you got me lost. Two external hard drives for back up?

Yes. You need two EHDs. No point at all in having all your Backups on one EHD. Drive fails; all is lost.

So answer to first point is if you have more than one BU, the "rule" is one BU per EHD.

Second aspect to this question. Why two? Well most folks would agree Time Machine is a very good starting point. It does all the work in the background. Set up (easy) and leave alone till you need it. But Time Machine is not bootable, as pointed out above. Hence the recommendation for a second BU in the form of a clone. Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) and SuperDuper! (SD) are the two most often advised. Nothing really between them. Some say SuperDuper! is easier to set up, but that advantage has been addressed in the latest version of CCC and, relevant or otherwise, CCC also clones your recovery partition.

So two quite different styles of BU. Advise having both; each on its own EHD.

(And that's really just the start! A lot of people have yet another EHD for storing iTunes & photo libraries and precious documents. It's only when you lose something that you realise how important that thing is/was in your life. Take my word on this!)

Ian
 
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dotdotdot, I used to question the need for two external backup drives. That was until the day my internal drive died and when I replaced it the backup drive failed during the restore process. I tried to recover the backup but in the end I lost almost everything. Now I have two backup drives. The two are refreshed twice daily by scheduling TM and Carbon Copy Cloner to run at noon and midnight. I use two different ways to backup because TM is NOT bootable, but a CCC clone is bootable. I test the boot ability once a month. I'm contemplating a third backup to store off-site that would be refreshed about once a month.

So, it's up to you. In the words of Clint Eastwood, "Do you feel lucky?"
 
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