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I am often asked if I have a backup of my Mac. And unfortunately for the person asking the question, I’m a little like the watchmaker who, when you ask him what time it is, he tells you how to make a watch. First the answer is definitely, “yes!”Durango Women's Chocolate Philly Accessorized Western Boot Round Toe - Drd0073 B00RCULK8C 6 B(M) US|BlackSperry Women's Saltwater Boot B00SJ2EPZM 8.5 B(M) US|Tan/ Navy In fact, I have 3 local backups of sorts.
I contend that you must have at least two different local backups, for two likely events:
- For the event that your hard drive fails and gets replaced.Vans Era 59 B01DXAC72M 5.5|Black/Italian Weave
- For the event that your Mac fails and you decide to replace it.J Slides Women's Alara Fashion Sneaker B076DQ5KKJ 9 B(M) US|Bronze
And if you have the two backups that I suggest below, you can recover from either event in just a few minutes to an hour or so.
So if you haven’t already, purchase two external hard drives. PUMA Women's Dare Trainer WNS Sheen Sneaker B071K7HCYK 9 M US|Birch-birchThey should be the same storage capacity as the drive that you are backing up. I like the Lacie Thunderbolt drives for this purpose. But you may like another drive better, and that’s just fine. As long as the drives are reliable, your data will be safely stored for the day that disaster comes.
So without belaboring the point, I will tell you what my two backup systems and my bonus backup (my 3rd local backup).
- SuperDuper! – hard drive clone.
- Time Machine – Apple’s built-in backup system.
And my bonus local backup:
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- FLY London Women's Yasi682fly Wedge Pump B06WWR9PSZ 37 M EU|Antique Silver/Black Franz/Mousse
- Giuseppe Zanotti Women's E800064 Wedge Sandal B075FBT364 9 B(M) US|Black Patent
- Merrell Women's Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe B01HFPP4P8 5.5 W US|Aluminum/Marlin
- Lacoste Women's SEFORRA Leather Sneakers B076T2ZBYF 10 B(M) US|White/Gold
- Pearl iZUMi Women's W X-Alp Summit Cycling Shoe B072Q12G65 37.0 M EU (6 US)|Black/Black
- Naturalizer Women's Haley Boot B00UVA18D2 10 N US|Black
- Pikolinos Womens Naturally Good Leather Almond Toe Ankle Fashion Boots B01BHTCIDY 41 M EU / 10.5-11 B(M) US|Brandy Tan
- Josef Seibel Women's Sina 11 Fashion Sneaker B01KXWX8KS 40 EU/9-9.5 M US|Platino
- Sam Edelman Women's Gio Slide Sandal B07679GQJB 6.5 B(M) US|Denim Blue
- Circus by Sam Edelman Women's Ola Slide Sandal B076XT2SMB 8 B(M) US|Shell Pink
- Dr. Martens Combs II Olive Fashion Boot B071GFW2HQ 11 Medium UK (US Men's 12 US)|Olive
- Pink Paradox London Women's Sweetie B00SVEORWY 7.5 B(M) US|Ivory Mesh Lace
- Nautica Women's Purser Slide Sandal B077126546 9 B(M) US|Red Stripe
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- SoftWalk Women's Hanover Boot B00HQQQXKC 9.5 N/AA|Black
- Cole Haan Women's Juliana 45 Pump B074CH4JJV 7 C US|Black Glitter
- New Balance Women's Coast V4 FuelCore Running Shoe B075R7J4GB 7.5 D US|Himalayan Pink
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- Naturalizer Women's Dev Riding Boot B071ZBDK5B 10.5 B(M) US|Grey
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- Steve Madden Women's Geneva Combat Boot B075Y8PLN2 5.5 B(M) US|White Patent
- Fabulicious BELLE-371 Women 3" Heel, 1/8 Platform Closed Back T-Strap Sandal B074F3CVH3 7 B(M) US|Blk Pat/Blk
- Sync to another Mac computer
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SuperDuper! is software that creates an exact bootable clone of your hard drive. You can find it at the Superga Women's 2790 Cotmultifox Sneaker B073ZN3ZZ9 41.5 M EU (10 US)|Pink site. Let me tell you how this averted disaster for me on at least two occasions.
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A few years back, I had an iMac that began failing after running for an hour or so. For a few days, the time to failure got a little shorter. I had a backup, but wasn’t looking forward to putting everything back on a new hard drive. I knew that cloning a drive was theoretically possible, but I had never put it to the test.
I began by searching for software that would make an exact, bootable copy of the hard drive. K-Swiss Women's Court Pro II T CMF Sneaker B073WR7DXK 6.5 B(M) US|White/Black/WhiteMy research turned up SuperDuper! I figured out that if I let the computer power down and cool off, it would run long enough to finish the cloning of the drive. That was fortunate, and not usually the way things work out.
I purchased an internal hard drive and connected it with an adapter that turns an internal drive into an external drive. Bonus:Nike Women's Free Running Shoe B010RSI0N8 7.5 B(M) US|Black/White. Nice.
Using SuperDuper!, I cloned the drive. When the clone finished, I rebooted the iMac and caused it to boot from the external drive.Skechers Sport Women's Empress on The Spot Fashion Sneaker B01MSJ7G3J 8 B(M) US|Taupe To my amazement, although much slower than the internal hard drive, the computer booted up and I saw my desktop screen exactly as I expected. Every icon in place.Skechers Women's Ultra Flex Bright Horizon Sneaker B01MS9T5OT 6.5 B(M) US|Black Charcoal I tried a few programs to convince myself that I had indeed cloned the drive. All of my little tests worked perfectly.
To finish the job, I found an explanation of how to replace the internal iMac drive on YouTube. I removed the failing drive from my iMac and put the cloned in its place. I closed everything up and powered up.
The iMac was working exactly as before the change, only better. The hard drive was faster and had a higher capacity. Win win.
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This case, rather recently, made me glad that I follow my own rules of backing everything up (twice) before applying an OS X update. In this case, I was updating to El Capitan (OS X 10.11), so I made my usual SuperDuper! clone, as well as the Time Machine backup.
Upon installing the update, I got the spinning color wheel. After several attempts to restart the process, it stayed spinning over night. I made an appointment for the local Apple Genius Bar, hopefully they could help my finish the update.
They had never heard of a Retina Macbook Pro SSD drive failing–until that day. Apparently, by downloading the update,Vans Authentic B015Z4AS9S 4.5 D(M) US|Cornstalk Black the drive accessed an area that had not previously been accessed. And so I was caught in a loop. The update had gotten to that spot where the old OS was no longer available,Salomon Forces Quest 4D GTX Burro B0118EM5V8 7.5 D(M) US|Navajo but the new OS had not been fully installed.
The Apple Genius asked if I had a backup. I smiled and simply said yes. I wanted to tell him all about my various backup procedures, but I refrained.
So, the procedure at this point was to replace the SSD drive. Steve Madden Women's Gills-l Sneaker B01MYF0MUR 6.5 B(M) US|LeopardWhen asked if I wanted them to restore from a backup, I declined. I knew that I might have better results with my SuperDuper! backup than with the Time Machine backup.
In this instance, where only the hard drive is being replaced, SuperDuper! is by far the easiest recovery. I followed the instructions on the Shirt-Pocket website:
- Boot from the external drive (a clone of my hard drive)
- Open SuperDuper! and tell it to restore everything
- Wait until SuperDuper! is done and quit.
- Shut down the computer
- Remove the external drive
- Boot the computer as normal
As I had experienced previously, everything came back exactly as it had been before the failure. I then updated to El Capitan without incident. I’m writing this post from that computer.
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In this case, the hard drive may or may not have failed,New Balance Women's WX623v3 Casual Comfort Training Shoe B00V3NEDJW 8.5 D US|White/Silver but some other vital component has failed, and the best option is to replace the computer. Here’s where Time Machine really shines. Time Machine brings a new computer as close to the same as your old computer as it possibly can.
In the case of a new computer, you probably don’t want a clone of the drive! Naturalizer Women's Marianne B01I4P644I 9 N US|MauveYou’re getting the new OS X version, already installed in that computer. New Balance Women's 520v3 Running Shoe B01N66JNET 10 D US|Black.
Trust the Apple Time Machine to bring over all your settings and apps to the new computer.
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What was the third backup (of sorts) mentioned earlier? That’s the sync between my main computer and my travel computer.Ryka Women's Vida RZX Cross-Training Shoe B07577XK5R 6.5 B(M) US|Iron Grey/Hyper Pink/Yucca MintThat’s the topic of another post. I’ll write that one soon. If you’re interested, ask about it in the comments below. I’ll gladly tell you what that third backup is all about. Hint: adidas Women's Pureboost X Element Running Shoe B01N1UKS5G 6.5 M US|Energy Blue/Energy Aqua/Noble Ink.
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Keep two backups of your computer:
- Time Machine