As far as backup strategies go, Time Machine is a pretty good addition to your backup strategy. You get hourly backups, can go back and retrieve accidentally-deleted files and can even restore your system from it. At both home and work, I use it as part of my backup strategy, filling in the spaces between regular clones of my system. In fact, the only thing I dislike about Time Machine is how long it takes to create its initial backup if you’re backing up to a shared drive over a network.
Recently, I took the opportunity to centralize the majority of my storage in my home to drives attached to an older MacBook Pro. As part of this project (which is the topic of a different article down the road), I put a 2.0TB drive in an older USB 2.0 miniStack, and wanted to use this as the Time Machine drive for my current MBP. The problem was that—regardless of whether I connected to that drive via WiFi or via Ethernet—Time Machine kept telling me that a backup of the approximately 250GB would take around a week or more to make.
Obviously, this was not acceptable.
Drawing from various sources on the Internet (where, apparently, there are a large number of people with similar complaints), I was able to paste together a solution that enabled me to get Time Machine’s initial backup time to reduce from over a week to just under two hours.
Note: I performed these steps in OS X 10.8.3; while this certainly should be possible with earlier (and I would assume later) versions of OS X, your mileage may vary. Article Continues…
We’ve talked about backing up your data quite extensively here on the OWC Blog. We’ve talked about different backup strategies. We’ve discussed mirrored RAID devices like the NewerTech Guardian MAXimus and how they can fit into your backup scheme. We’ve touched on how you need to keep an eye on your backup software to make sure it’s doing what it’s supposed to.
It’s in the vein of that last one that we bring you this little tidbit from Lloyd Chambers of MacPerformanceGuide. It seems that Lloyd has found a bug in Time Machine that may cause your Mac to ignore drives under some circumstances. We highly recommend checking out the full article out for the complete analysis of the issue.
The lesson to be learned from all this is that when it comes to backups, the more the merrier. While some backup is better than nothing, it’s always safest to have multiple backup methods in place at once. While I do use Time Machine here on my work machine, it is mainly for retrieval of accidentally-deleted files (I use this a lot more often than I care to admit) and to supplement my daily cloning of my drives using Carbon Copy Cloner. This current method has worked for me for several years now, and has saved me from at least one major drive crash, so I’d say it’s functional. I’d also rotate those clones out at least weekly, but that’s not a practical solution at this time.
So what are you using for backup?
We talk a lot about backups on the OWC Blog, but that’s just because they’re so important. After all, your irreplaceable data is just that: irreplaceable. If you lose it, it’s difficult and/or expensive to get it back… and even then, it’s not a guarantee. By far and away, the simplest way to avoid unfortunate data loss is to have a backup of your data.
There are lots of different ways to back up your data. Apple’s Time Machine is a simple way to make sure any changes to your system are backed up. You simply plug a FireWire or USB drive into your Mac . You can also make a clone of your system, making a complete snapshot of your system at a particular point in time. There are also third-party utilities, such as Prosoft Data Backup and NovaBackup (both of which come included with all OWC and Newer Technology storage solutions) which offer ongoing incremental backup – meaning they will automatically update your backup set to your current data status on an automated basis. While Time Machine is great for its ability to give you back in time capabilities, Prosoft Data Backup 3, in particular, allows for a current, clean, alternative data backup set that is kept up to date without all the history versioning. It also offers options for multiple in-time backup points, such as weekly backups or monthlies – something helpful for record keeping.
Then, there are combinations of these, for even more security (such as a daily clone for your main drive, and filling in the interim changes with Time Machine). Article Continues…
Apple released an awesome backup feature called Time Machine back in 2007 when OS X 10.5 Leopard was introduced. Why? Essentially Apple spent the decade building awesome computers in the digital life concept of music, photos, and movies. Apple likely realized that backup solutions, aside from cloning the entire computer, were a bit heavy and hard(ish) to implement by general users. With Time Machine, Apple essentially made a backup solution that’s easy-to-use, works in the background, and is essentially “plug in and forget about it”. “Backup made easy,” if you will.
The amazing thing Time Machine does is that it creates incremental backups, allowing you to step back in time to a previous version of a file. This feature has saved my butt more than a few times when I’ve accidentally overwritten a master Photoshop file, or whenever an important file goes missing. I can just go into to Time Machine and retrieve it from the past.
Time Machine also does a massively valuable trick… it’ll let you restore your Mac to a previous state in the OS. Yup, you can make your Mac go back in time as a whole as well! Article Continues…
From my quick assessment perusing popular online forums, Apple’s announcement last Thursday of the next version of OS X, Mountain Lion, has struck a nerve with some people among the Mac faithful. If you’ve listened to the OWC Radio Podcast, you may know that I’m more the Lion fan in the group while my counterpart in the podcast, OWC Chris, is not so much a fan as you can read in his recent OWC blog post.
For me, I’ve really liked the Lion upgrade overall. Adobe said they wouldn’t support CS3, but lo and behold, CS3 works better for me in Lion than it ever did in Snow Leopard, all while being unsupported by Adobe. Go figure, but that’s more of an Adobe issue.
I use Lion at home on my family Macs and use Snow Leopard at work. I didn’t change the scrolling characteristic as I always try to walk a mile in the OS makers’ shoes before deciding if I don’t like something just because it’s different. So I kept Lion’s new scrolling feature, and I can easily switch from home use and work use even though they scroll different. Admittedly, I’m a heavy iPad user so that might have aided my learning curve a bit. Article Continues…