Time Machine

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Hi, i have recently migrated over to mac and i am still trying to become familiar with some of it's tools. I have Time Machine set up and backing up to my external hard drive, however, can someone help me with the following questions about Time Machine:

Question 1
Can you actually access the backed up files on the external hard drive with ease or does OS X convert them all to some backup file type of it's own

Question 2
If i deleted a file last week and realize that i now need it, can i roll back to a previous snapshot of last week, copy the file that was deleted from that snapshop and come back out of the old snapshot and paste it into your current setup

Question 3
If i wanted format my hard drive and carry out a fresh install of Lion and then copy my personal user files back to my mac, how can i accomplish this with Time Machine... for instance, 2 months down the line, i reckon i will have installed a lot of junk and played around with the system a lot in order to get an understanding of the mac world, while all along i will be making changes to my personal and work files... i would then like to format the hard drive and set up fresh again... but how can i copy my personal files back once i have carried out the fresh install

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help
 

chscag

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1. The files and folders can be restored individually from the Time Machine backup to your hard drive. And yes, you can view them by mounting your TM external drive and opening TM.

2. Yes.

3. You're not dealing with Windows. It's not necessary to format and reinstall as OS X does not create a lot of junk files nor does it have a registry.
 
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cool, thanks for your help... as per your answer to question 3... i know i need to move away from thinking like Windows but i can't help thinking that a refresh every 6 months could only be a good thing... i used to do it on my last laptop every month, which only took 5 mins to complete. I used that laptop everyday for 4 years and it was always quick off the mark and never kicked up... just thought every 6 months would be a good idea with the mac... what you reckon... thanks again for your help...
 
M

MacInWin

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OSX is not Windows. You can do the refresh, if you want, it won't harm anything, but it is not necessary and probably won't make any difference in operation. Unlike Windows, OSX doesn't have a registry to get cluttered up with junk.
 

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