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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 680v5 Cushioning Running Shoe B06XS2TQ5C 12 D US|CoralOn Running Men's Cloudflyer Sneaker Iron/Sky B019DKVQBO 8 B(M) US - Women's|Grey/Jade 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.Womens Nike Free TR 6 Training Shoes B01DL10N3S 7.5 B(M) US|Green Glow/Black/Glacier Blue/Hasta
- For the event that your Mac fails and you decide to replace it.Womens Nike Free TR 6 Training Shoes B00475JQMW 5 B(M) US|Black/White-Hyper Violet
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. NIKE Womens Free Focus Flyknit Mesh Breathable Trainers B01MDKNFOG 7.5 B(M) US|MulticolorThey 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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- adidas Originals Men's Superstar Vulc Adv Shoes B01HMZ2W2O 5 B(M) US Women / 4 D(M) US Men|Brown/Ftwwht/Goldmt
- Dansko Women's Demetra Ankle Bootie B01HHD2DES 42 EU/11.5-12 M US|Taupe Milled Nubuck
- Adrianna Papell Women's Hallie Pump B074KK21WS 11 B(M) US|Navy Attalie Lace
- Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Leather High Top Sneaker B01CRDRSIO 11.5 D(M) US|Black Mono
- Sam Edelman Women's Gala Slide Sandal B0767B3MV9 6 B(M) US|Denim Blue
- LifeStride Women's Xripley Riding Boot B071GF1XDQ 11 W US|Dark Brown
- Bella Vita Women's Ronan Boot B00U803702 9.5 B(M) US|Black Suede/Camel
- ElegantPark Women Pumps Closed Toe High Heel Platform Ankle Straps Evening Wedding Shoes B00HSHR8YE 11 M US|Black
- OLUKAI Pehuea Shoes - Women's B079333V26 10 M US|Vintage Indigo/Palm
- Spring Step Women's Cosmic Mary Jane Flat B005C2L9OW 38 EU/7.5-8 M US|Black
- New Balance Women's WX624v2 Training Shoe B007OX0G1E 11 4E US|White
- FSJ Women Fashion High Heel Stilettos Pointed Toe Pumps Evening Dress Printed Shoes Size 4-15 US B07DR81864 9 B(M) US|Butterfly
- Tretorn Women's NYLITE3BOLD Sneaker B074QNZW5N 12 B(M) US|Yellow
- PUMA Women's Suede Classic Perforati WN's Sneaker B076KRFH22 9.5 M US|Sunny Lime-whisper White
- NIKE Women's Lunarglide 9 Running Shoe B06W55YSJM 8 B(M) US|Pure Platinum/Chrome
- The North Face Women's Hedgehog Fastpack Hiking Shoe B00LNHXHYK 6.5 B(M) US|Q-silver Grey/Paradise Green
- ASICS Men's Gel-Lyte MT Fashion Sneaker B01ETZSDOQ 5 D(M) US|Black/Black
- Bella Vita Women's Nicky Ii Ankle Bootie B071RDVZRN 12 N US|Burgundy Super Suede
- Kenneth Cole REACTION Women's Hum Along Faux Fur Bootie Alpine Lace Snow Boot B071Z2DBN9 9 B(M) US|Black
- Skechers Women's Flex Appeal 2.0 Sneaker B01AHK5AG6 5 B(M) US|Charcoal/Coral Knit
- FRYE Women's Sacha Moto Shortie Ankle Bootie B01MT41FA8 7 B(M) US|Charcoal Cut Vintage Leather
- Nina Original Women's Zenith Pointed Toe Flat B01MRC0F70 9 B(M) US|A- Black
- New Balance Women's 1260v7 Running Shoe B01NA8X53Q 9 2A US|Dark Grey/Purple
- Native Unisex Apollo Moc Fashion Sneaker. B011PLNWPC 14 B(M) US Women / 12 D(M) US Men|Snapper Red/Cabo Blue/Shell White
- Vans Men's Sk8-Hi(Tm) Core Classics B01A620XIA 11 D(M) US Men's / 12.5 B(M) US Women's|Dress Blue / True White
- SoftWalk Women's Rocklin Loafer Flat, Black Suede, 8.0 2W US B00HQNGHHY 8 B(M) US|Black Suede
- Teva Women's Terra-Float Stella Lux Sandal B00ZFM7J34 9.5 B(M) US|Natural
- Womens Black Strappy Heels Platform Sandals Open Toe Shoes Elastic 8 inch Heels B01F647UMU 6 B(M) US
- Easy Spirit Women's Earthen First Walker Shoe B074919G3J 7 N US|Navy
- native Men's Ap Apex Ct Rain Boot B01MUA6FED 6.5 Women / 4.5 Men M US|Jiffy Black Ct/Jiffy Black/Natural Rubber
- Via Spiga Women's Eren Mid-Height Sneaker B074CYWP94 11 B(M) US|Black Leather
- Easy Spirit AP1 Sport Walking Shoe B000F5VLCQ 7 D|Parq Brn L
- Chaco Women's Sloan Hiking Shoe B0196Z7EOE 6 B(M) US|Baker Chocolate
- Keds Women's Triple Kick Jute Sneaker B072WBTRY8 9 B(M) US|White
- 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 Womens Nike Free TR 6 Training Shoes B01DL0QDN8 6.5 B(M) US|Dark Grey/Metallic Silver/Black 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. Nike Mens Zoom Cage 3 Tennis Shoes B06W2KKYRP 7.5 D(M) US|Black/White-anthraciteMy 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:Naturalizer Women's Jenelle Riding Boot B06XC7FZPK 7 W US|Brown. Nice.
Using SuperDuper!, I cloned the drive. When the clone finished, I rebooted the iMac and caused it to boot from the external drive.L’Artiste by Spring Step Women's Dezi Flat B015R5ILW6 41 EU/9.5-10 M US|Blue 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.Jambu Women's Cheyenne Vegan Ballet Flat B074KQZ1NR 8.5 B(M) US|Black 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,Trotters Women's Accent Ballet Flat B073BVWRSZ 12 W US|Red Linen 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,Finn Comfort Women's Newport Slip-On B0016G1LPA Women's US 9.5 / EU 40|Black Nappa 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. ECCO Women's Intrinsic Karma Flat Sporty Lifestyle B015KNZWNQ 38 EU/7-7.5 M US|Sulphur/Lemon NeonWhen 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,MVE Shoes Women's Crystal Rhinestone Slip On- Formal Glitter Flats B07B3R86TK 6.5 B(M) US|Silver*m33 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! Drew Shoe Women's Delite Mary Jane B0018APRKO 9 XW US|Black Calf/MeshYou’re getting the new OS X version, already installed in that computer. NIKE Men's Lunar Fingertrap Cross Trainer B00LYICV7M 9 D(M) US|Black 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.Trotters Women's Jake Flat B00HQ1GK0U 12 N 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: Walking Cradles Women's Anikka Espadrille Wedge Sandal B0743K6S94 6 D US|Blue Nubuck.
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Keep two backups of your computer:
- Time Machine