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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!”New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 1080v7 Running Shoe B01FSIX5C8 10 B(M) US|Ozone Blue Glow/Lime Glowadidas Women's Alphabounce Beyond W Running Shoe B0711QVJBG 11.5 B(M) US|Grey Four/Carbon/Dark Solid Grey 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.SF Forever Link Remy-18 Women's Jogger Sneaker-Lightweight Glitter Quilted Lace up Shoes New B07BJCBRKS 10 B(M) US|Black-27
- For the event that your Mac fails and you decide to replace it.Merrell Women's Jungle Moc AC+ Fashion Sneaker B01N5GBJ1V 8 B(M) US|Andorra
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. BZees Women's Trilogy Sneaker B076C21DQT 6 B(M) US|GreyThey 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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- Easy Spirit Women's Luna Mary Jane Flat B07BT697PM 10 B(M) US|Blue
- Skechers Women's Go Walk Joy-Paradise Sneaker B074S5MDVW 9 W US|Navy/White
- Ariat Women's Fusion Athletic Shoe B01C3ALUYO 6 B(M) US|Ox Blood
- Massimo Matteo Womens Penny Keeper B06XDMCMXM 5.5 B(M) US|Black Bison
- CLARKS Women's Cheyn Whisk Riding Boot B01N6F8FDK 12 B(M) US|Dark Brown
- ECCO Women's Fara Tie Fashion Sneaker B01MZEFU4X 36 EU / 5-5.5 US|Black Nubuck
- New Balance Women's 415v1 Cush + Sneaker B075R7N3QM 10 B(M) US|Red
- Sam Edelman Women's Darrah 2 Ankle Boot B06XC82GXR 10.5 B(M) US|New Putty/Tan Multi
- Walking Cradles Women's Joy Dress Pump B01K38NSOI 10.5 XW US|Navy Lesther
- Mark Nason Los Angeles Women's Sequoia Sneaker B074BHJHP5 10 B(M) US|Lilac
- Forever Link Women's Sparkle Bead Crystal Embellished Metallic Dress Ballet Flat B072F56HPN 10 B(M) US|Champagne 25
- Stuart Weitzman Women's Nearlynude Heeled Sandal B01M31Q5QN 10.5 W US|Adobe
- KONHILL Women's Lightweight Athletic Running Shoes Walking Casual Sports Knit Workout Sneakers B07BSC82GH 9 B(M) US|2106 Black/Pink
- Sam Edelman Women's Petty Ankle Boot B018HL1ZCK 8.5 W US|Black Suede
- La Sportiva Testarossa Climbing Shoe B0002XLELY 44.5 M EU
- Merrell Women's Murren Mid Waterproof-W Snow Boot B0194546DI 7 B(M) US|Bracken
- Katy Perry Women's The Sissy Pump B073HGWTC2 6 B(M) US|Ivory/Multi
- NIKE Women's Flex RN 2018 Running Shoe B075ZYK86R 8 B(M) US|Anthracite/Hyper Pink/Wolf Grey
- Easy Street Women's Proper Pump B077ZGYCVW 5.5 B(M) US|Black Patent
- ON Women's Running Cloud Sneaker B01HNYHNW8 5.5 B(M) US|Coral/Shadow
- FONEX Clear Heels for Women Stilettos Pointed Toe Prom Shoes High Heels for Teens Transparent Dress Pumps B07FPDDHD6 8.5 M US|Pink
- CLARKS Women's Haydn Harvest Flat B00I69VTNY 6 B(M) US|Brown Lizard Print Leather
- Blondo Women's Velma Waterproof Riding Boot B01D2830WQ 12 B(M) US|Black Suede
- NIKE Women's Juvenate Running Shoe B00R54PE82 10.5 B(M) US|Black/White/Black
- NIKE Women's Court Royale Casual Shoe B07CY6HWQT 7 B(M) US|Multicolour (Black/White 001)
- Hush Puppies Women's Power Walker Sneaker B001AWWV7M 8 XW US|Black
- Wolky Comfort Jewel B01AL8WEEU 37 (US Women's 5.5 - 6.0) B(M) US|Black Flower Print
- KEEN Women's Uneek Slice Fade Sandal B00ZG2TKU8 5.5 B(M) US|Poseidon/Periwinkle
- ASICS Gel-Quantum 360 4 Women's Running B077MDJHJJ 6.5 B(M) US|White/Mid Grey
- Dr. Scholl's Women's Kinney Lace Sneaker B074ZPHT7C 10 B(M) US|Blush Microfiber
- Steve Madden Women's Lancer Fashion Sneaker B01N5W6BZ1 8.5 B(M) US|Black
- SoftWalk Women's Willis Sneaker B073BZ74B7 9.5 B(M) US|Black
- KEEN Women's Terradora Leather Wp-w Hiking Shoe B01MTOZ5AH 11 B(M) US|Mushroom/Magnet
- Easy Street Women's Prim Dress Pump B01HN77KRS 11 E US|Navy
- Stuart Weitzman Women's Nearlynude Heeled Sandal B01M5GCHHM 8 W US|Beige
- 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 NIKE Women's Free RN 2017 Running Shoe B06X6JHL5B 7 B(M) US|Glacier Blue/Metallic Silver 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. Tretorn Women's Eve Sneaker B074QVGJ8Q 9 B(M) US|Vintage 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:ASICS Women's GT-1000 6 Running Shoe B01MTKKP73 9 B(M) US|Black/Black/Silver. Nice.
Using SuperDuper!, I cloned the drive. When the clone finished, I rebooted the iMac and caused it to boot from the external drive.Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Leather High Top Sneaker B01CRDRUSW 7 D(M) US|Black Mono 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.Naturalizer Women's Marianne B01I4P644I 9 N US|Mauve 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,Skechers Women's Ultra Flex Bright Horizon Sneaker B074BW6J1Y 9 W US|Navy Pink 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,New Balance Women's WX608v4 Training Shoe B01MS13BMV 7.5 B(M) US|Grey 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. New Balance Women's 711v3 Cross Trainer B0751PL92N 10.5 B(M) US|Pigment/WhiteWhen 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,NIKE Women's City Cross Trainer B01MY0NUBO 9 B(M) US|Black/White 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! New Balance Women's WX624v2 Training Shoe B007QUTLM0 7.5 D US|BlackYou’re getting the new OS X version, already installed in that computer. ASICS Gel-Kayano 25 Men's Running Shoe B077MQ5LMY 9 2A US|Carbon/Mid Grey.
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.Jambu Women's Cheyenne Vegan Ballet Flat B074KQKRSM 6.5 B(M) US|BlackThat’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: ara Women's Bel Ballet Flat B005AE56GO 8.5 N US|Navy Leather With Patent Tip.
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Keep two backups of your computer:
- Time Machine