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New Macbook Pro, how to back up?

3668 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Feb 4, 2011 4:46 PM by supermarvin76 RSS
supermarvin76 Calculating status...
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Jan 29, 2011 9:15 AM
I have recently purchased a 15" MacBook Pro, and I would like to know how to back it up. This morning i went out and bought this: http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/external/freeagent/portable-hard-drive /

I have transfered all of my photos into iPhoto. This is probably my main concern for backing up data. Previously, with my former PC I organized my photos with a folder system I devised. Anyhow, I have not plugged the external drive in yet. I will only be using this drive with my Mac. I plan to keep this hard drive off site, and use it to back up once a month or so. My questions are as follows:

1. The directions on the Sea Gate drive state that there is software I will need to install. Will I actually need to install that if I plan to use Time Machine?

2. I never having used Time Machine, is it fairly self explanatory?

3. Will Time Machine back up my photos out of iPhoto? Will it retain the organization in iPhoto?

4. When I deem it is time to do a back up, I plug the external drive in, is there anything I will need to do to make the back up begin?

5. Because I am a fairly paranoid person, after a backup, can I see all of my files in the external drive?

6. Is there anything else I should know about backup?

Thank you very much!
15" MacBook Pro i7, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • John Guo Level 5 Level 5 (5,165 points)
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    Jan 29, 2011 9:41 AM (in response to supermarvin76)
    Will I actually need to install that if I plan to use Time Machine?

    No, you just plug in your drive.

    I never having used Time Machine, is it fairly self explanatory?

    Yeah, you don't need a manual. Just plug in your drive and click on the Time Machine icon and follow the directions.

    Will Time Machine back up my photos out of iPhoto? Will it retain the organization in iPhoto?

    Yes and yes. Time Machine backs up everything.

    When I deem it is time to do a back up, I plug the external drive in, is there anything I will need to do to make the back up begin?

    Time Machine auto backs up every hour but if you unplug the drive Time Machine would wait until the next time it's plugged in. Once you plug that in, Time Machine will automatically backup in the background so you don't need to do anything.

    Because I am a fairly paranoid person, after a backup, can I see all of my files in the external drive?

    Yes, open Time Machine and you'll see your entire user folder in a timeline.

    Is there anything else I should know about backup?

    No.
    MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, LED Cinema Display, Wireless Keyboard, Magic Trackpad, Mac OS X (10.6.6), Time Capsule 2TB, iPhone 4 32GB, Aperture 3, Final Cut Express 4
  • S.U. Level 6 Level 6 (8,360 points)
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    Jan 29, 2011 7:57 PM (in response to supermarvin76)
    Welcome to Apple Discussions!

    How big of a hard drive do you have in your new MacBook Pro? It looks like it comes with a 500 GB hard drive, and the Seagate you linked is just 320 GB. For Time Machine, it's generally better to have a drive that is at least twice as big as your boot drive to allow plenty of space for all of the backups.

    Your new drive might be better to use for a bootable clone, which you can make using Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner. I like Super Duper myself, and would highly recommend it. It will make an exact copy of everything on your hard drive. You can download it and try it for free as long as you like. If you want to unlock some of the more useful features like Smart Update, you can register a copy for $28:

    http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html

    A drive used as a bootable clone should be the same size as your boot drive, but since your drive is likely not full yet, you could use the 320 GB drive for this purpose for a while anyway.

    It wouldn't hurt to have more than one drive for backup--it gives you an extra measure of safety, as two external drives aren't likely to fail at the same time. It never hurts to have two separate drives and two different means of making the backups. If you are seriously paranoid about your data, I think you will ultimately want both.

    Time Machine is really designed to be used as you work, making frequent backups for you so that you will always have an up to date backup. A bootable clone has the advantage that should your hard drive fail, you can boot from the clone and continue to work. The two really complement each other.

    I travel quite a lot, and use both methods. But what I leave in the fireproof safe are a set of bootable clones, made just before a trip.

    I'd recommend a bootable clone in addition to a Time Machine backup, and you can decide which you want to keep off premise.

    Good luck!
    MBP 17" hi res, 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, Mac OS X (10.6.6), iBook G4, 800 MHz; PowerMac G4 867 DP(MDD); PB G3 PDQ; PB 145B; 12" PB G4
  • S.U. Level 6 Level 6 (8,360 points)
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    Jan 30, 2011 2:29 PM (in response to supermarvin76)
    Good! The link made it sound like the 320 GB version. The 1 TB version will be perfect for Time Machine. If you decide to do a bootable clone as well, you can get an additional drive later on that would be the same size as your boot drive.

    When you plug in the drive for the first time, you will likely be asked to initialize, or format it. You do this with Disk Utility, and it's sop with new drives, as they usually come formatted for Windows. As soon as your Mac sees the drive, it will likely ask you if you want to use it for Time Machine. If you say yes, then Time Machine will start in backing up your drive. Easy as that. You may want to open up Time Machine preferences and be sure the box is checked that says "Show Time Machine status in menu bar" so you can tell at a glance when it is backing up. Also, always remember to eject the external drive before unplugging it, and you should be all set.

    Good luck, and happy computing!
    MBP 17" hi res, 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, Mac OS X (10.6.6), iBook G4, 800 MHz; PowerMac G4 867 DP(MDD); PB G3 PDQ; PB 145B; 12" PB G4
  • leroydouglas Level 6 Level 6 (13,370 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2011 6:44 PM (in response to supermarvin76)
    supermarvin76 wrote:
    The hard drive I have states on the box "For Mac". Would I still have to format this?


    Most external HD come with some sort of backup software installed. I would reformat just to make sure the drive was clean. If you where going to partition such a large drive now would be the time.

    Recommended, first partition for Time Machine, second partition a Bootable Clone, third partition any free working space you may want etc.

    Some might dedicate the entire drive to TimeMachine only.

    Apps/Utilities/Disk Utitlity for formating--> Extended journeled, GUID (under options)
    If you need more help here is a ref: http://db.tidbits.com/article/10307

    1. How do I load files from iPhoto into my DropBox?

    Drag and drop.

    2. I have heard there is no anti-virus, maleware, or other type of protective software I need to install. Is this correct?

    Correct.
    Mac OS X (10.6.6),  15" MacBook Pro6,2 glossy 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5 320GB HD 8GB RAM

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