Time Machine versus Acronis True Image

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I'm planning to do a clean install of Yosemite. Sometime in the future, I'd like to be able to restore my mini & MacBook Pro to an earlier time when I frequently see the spinning beach ball & have to force quit apps. I know that I can use Time Machine to restore to an earlier time. Does Acronis Tru Image do the same thing? Does Time Machine nuke the hard drive prior to restoring OS X? Does Acronis Tru Image do the same thing? I want to get a Western Digital My Cloud Mirror to back up my computers.I can't restore from a WD backup like I can with Time Machine, right?
 

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As far as I'm aware, Acronis True Image is Windows only unless they all of a sudden developed a Mac OS X version. The equivalent software for OS X is Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper. You can find both of those applications and read up on them by doing some Googling. I would stay away from the WD software and only use tried and true methods of restoring from a clone.
 
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As far as I'm aware, Acronis True Image is Windows only unless they all of a sudden developed a Mac OS X version. The equivalent software for OS X is Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper. You can find both of those applications and read up on them by doing some Googling. I would stay away from the WD software and only use tried and true methods of restoring from a clone.

Very interesting! True Image for Macs! http://www.acronis.com/en-us/personal/mac-backup/
Unfortunately, one has to buy one program for each computer! Now I'll have to compare Mac cloning software.
 

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Well, thanks for the link. I've been an avid True Image user for years in Windows and it has saved my Windows hide many times. ;) However, I'm totally devoted to using Carbon Copy Cloner and have been since switching over to the Mac side years ago. CCC is tried and true software for OS X and I highly recommend it for cloning, backups, and just general restoring of data.
 
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Well, thanks for the link. I've been an avid True Image user for years in Windows and it has saved my Windows hide many times. ;) However, I'm totally devoted to using Carbon Copy Cloner and have been since switching over to the Mac side years ago. CCC is tried and true software for OS X and I highly recommend it for cloning, backups, and just general restoring of data.

I thought about it after I sent the post, & I'd rather back up personal stuff than the whole hard drive.

So, I have related questions. Time Machine only does full backups & incremental(or is it differential? I get the 2 confused.), right? I can't specify specific folders for Time Machine to back up, right? I have text documents that I want to save. I'm learning Java so I want to save the demo programs. I might want to learn Objective-C, so I'll want to save the demo programs. I'm ripping my music CDs & I want to save them. I want a centralized folder for saving all of my stuff. When I left-click on "MyfirstMac" under "Favorites" & then right-click on "Music" in the Finder, one of the options is "Make Alias". Is that equivalent to a shortcut in Windows? I noticed that the path is Macintosh HD > Users > MyfirstMac > Music. If I were to back up the "MyfirstMac" folder, it would back up Applications, Desktop, Movies, Music, Documents, Downloads, Pictures, whatever. I don't want to back up Applications, Downloads & Desktop. I just want to back up my personal stuff. I already manually back up stuff that I want to save. I can do it manually or I can use backup software. Either way, I want all my stuff in a centralized location so that I only need to back up one folder & all of my stuff would be in subfolders. Can I use "Make Alias" to do that? How?
 

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So, I have related questions. Time Machine only does full backups & incremental(or is it differential? I get the 2 confused.), right? I can't specify specific folders for Time Machine to back up, right?

The first backup made by Time Machine will be full, subsequent backups are incremental. However, in either case you can exclude whatever you wish from the backup and only include what you feel you would need to restore in the event of a HDD failure.

in the Finder, one of the options is "Make Alias". Is that equivalent to a shortcut in Windows?

Yes, an alias is essentially the same as a Windows shortcut. The alias icon even has the familiar arrow pointing inward the same as the Windows shortcut has.

If I were to back up the "MyfirstMac" folder, it would back up Applications, Desktop, Movies, Music, Documents, Downloads, Pictures, whatever. I don't want to back up Applications, Downloads & Desktop. I just want to back up my personal stuff. I already manually back up stuff that I want to save. I can do it manually or I can use backup software. Either way, I want all my stuff in a centralized location so that I only need to back up one folder & all of my stuff would be in subfolders. Can I use "Make Alias" to do that? How?

You really don't need an alias to do that. When you initially setup Time Machine to run and make the first backup, just exclude everything except what you want backed up. It doesn't even have to be in a centralized location. Time Machine will keep track of where everything belongs making it easy to restore it all or a single file or folder.

Don't overcomplicate your backup regimen. A bit of caution here also... if you have a total hard drive crash, you definitely want to have a least a clone of your hard drive contents for easy restore. That's why I use CCC in conjunction with Time Machine on a regular basis.
 
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When I had Windows, I created a shortcut for the Documents folder on the Desktop. Then I manually saved my personal stuff in subfolders. That's what I want to do with both of my Macs.

In Finder, why is there a Favorites section? Why is it called Favorites? When I click on Desktop, the path is Macintosh HD > Users > MyfirstMac > Desktop. It must be for my user account. I'm the only one that uses my mini. If there were more users, how would they show up in Finder?

Under Devices in Finder, I left-click on David's Mac mini then Macintosh HD > Users > MyfirstMac. When I right-click on Documents, there is no option to add a new folder. However, if I left-click on Documents under Favorites & then right-click on the Documents pane, there is an option to add a new folder. If I right-click on Documents in David's Mac mini under Devices, there is an option to make an alias. I suppose that the alias can go on the Desktop & then I can add folders to store my stuff. Then I only have to back up the shortcut on the Desktop. This is exactly what I want to do. I really don't want to do a full backup of the entire hard drive. I just want to back up my stuff.

This is confusing!
 
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It's not confusing at all -- the problem is that you're confused: you appear to think you're still using a Windows machine. Macs aren't Windows.

Open Time Machine's preferences, click on options, and drag the Applications folder or System folder to the "exclusion list." You will then be asked if you just want to back up your home folder. You do. That's it. Now just "your stuff" will be backed up, with none of the system of applications etc.

Time Machine doesn't offer incredibly granular file-by-file controls, but that's because its designed to work for normal people, not micro-managers. Indeed, very little Apple designs is intended for the um, "retentive" personality type. Understanding this will open a lot of mental "doors" towards understand that the Mac isn't Windows ... by design.
 

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