Question - if I delete files on my computer, and I have the external drive set a Time Machine - when I plug the drive into my computer, will the files I deleted in my computer then be deleted on the drive? Because it is saving the changes from my computer - it will also delete the files on the drive?????
The files you delete from your MacBook won't be deleted from the Time Machine external disk. However, when the Time Machine drive is full, Time Machine will delete old backups, so the files you deleted will be removed from the Time Machine drive. I don't recommend you to delete files and keep them only on the Time Machine drive. Instead, store them on another external drive.
The changes that Time Machine stores refer to the incremental backups it creates. This doesn't delete your files.
Also, I'm trying to see the files in the drive - they are there - it is showing in the number of GB used. The instructions etc. say go to the Dashboard - where is the dashboard? I cannot find it anywhere! I am not seeing my files in the drive.
You don't have to go to the Dashboard to see the files in the drive. Open a Finder window and choose the external drive in the Finder sidebar, under "Devices".
If you want to restore a file, go to the folder you want to restore files to, and open the Time Machine application (in /Applications/Utilities) > http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1427
Why isn't the Time Machine adequate for saving files?
In short, because time machine is a backup......your internal HD crashes, boom, install a new HD in your Mac and throw it all back onto the replaced drive thru the time machine backup.
Or you install junk etc, you can roll back your computer.
thats a backup.
Now, an ARCHIVE (vs. a backup)
meaning a SECOND HD at the very least,.... of stuff you dont DARE LOSE, pics, files, music, vids, private etc etc.......you toss onto a formatted HD you have stored in a safe or firebox.
Ive got collections Ive been working on for nearly 20 years, Dare lose it? NO WAY. Ive got at least 15 copies on HD's of that data, and on 100 year Archival DVDs, multiple servers around the globe.
A time machine backup is a FIRE EXTINGUISHER
An archive is a buried fire proof SAFE (either Hard drive(s)....and/or archival DVD,...and/or remote servers)
As an crude analogy.
No such thing as 'wasting money on a backup'
Ideally you need 2 external HD anyway, ....backup and archived important data.
* Also a lot of people use carbon copy cloner or (my fave) SuperDuper to make an exact copy of the HD that is bootable. So if the HD crashes, 15 mins you throw in the clone and your back and running.
external storage, quality too, is absurdly cheap right now.
Heres superslim external HD.
see this: only 7mm thick
Or better still this HUGE HD, which is very small, very reliable and very cheap:
2 Terabytes, 2.5" and only $119
Its "updated design" cousin is here for $7 more ($127)
Considering how many YEARS some people work on their data, and pics of dead loved once you CANNOT replace, .....its not only important, its IMPERATIVE people have at the very least 2 copies of that data.
What cost for priceless data when it comes down to a $65 hard drive???