2 Replies Latest reply: Jan 11, 2011 9:49 PM by NA Smith
J Darrel Stickler Level 1 (10 points)
I'm an old techie with trust issues. I finally upgraded to Snow Leopard via a new 27" iMac. I've always used 3rd party backup SW, but Time Machine is very attractive.

My problem is just trust. How trustworthy is Time Machine? Apple does a good job, except of course when they don't. There's something reassuring about simple system level copies. I pile all my files into a single desktop folder (except iTunes). Even photos. I don't download to iPhoto, but put in my own directories (I use old version of iView MediaPro).

But it sure is a lot easier to use Time Machine to an external FW800 disk. Are there any exercises or things I can do to check and convince myself key files are being backed up and that I can see them? Like a lot of people, my data is my life and I'd cry a million tears to lose a couple decades of pictures.
  • Chris CA Level 9 (78,265 points)
    Like a lot of people, my data is my life and I'd cry a million tears to lose a couple decades of pictures.

    Especially if your info is that critical, I (and other) highly suggest you get another drive and make a bootable backup using a utility such as SuperDuper! Or Carbon Copy Cloner.
    Also, make another bootable backup and DVD backup of your important files and store them off site in another safe location.
    I use Time Machine and SD! and backup every three days.
  • NA Smith Level 2 (345 points)
    Hatter twigged me on to the fact that Disk Utility makes a bootable clone easily and reliably:

    * Obtain an external hard drive (with USB or FWire) and plug it in (format if first time)
    * Insert your OSX install DVD
    * Immediately restart and hold down the alt/option key until you see grey
    * Wait for the DVD icon to appear and click it
    * Click your language (English)
    * Wait for the Toolbar to appear (ignore the install splash page, of course)
    * On the toolbar click Utilities then Disk Utility
    * Click the hard drive at the top of the list on the left
    * Click Restore on the far upper right
    * Drag "Macintosh HD" over to "Source" field (it should 'stay' in the field)
    * Drag the external formatted hard drive into the "Destination" field
    * Click 'Restore' (bottom right this time)
    * Click 'Erase' in the pop-up window (last chance to cancel the operation)
    * Wait an hour or so to transfer data
    * When the indicator shows completion close Disk Utility
    * Close DVD installer
    * Reboot

    Time Machine is not bootable, and I for one had mine corrupted once. LOADS of people here emphasize the need to create two backups. TM should be one. With all Apple stuff read the manual / do the tutorial http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1427


    Snow Leopard can even disk utility clone without booting to disk - try it!

    I have an identical model of external hard drive and can just swap drives with a toolkit in case of emergency - that's my favorite advantage of a cloned drive.

    Message was edited by: NA Smith