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How To Back Up Computer (Macbook) to External Drive
Old 08-10-2016, 11:54 AM   #1
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How To Back Up Computer (Macbook) to External Drive

I finally talked Apple Support into getting me an appt at the Genius Bar. Their confirmation requests that I backup my files (photo, music, software) before I come in. I have to confess that I'm not a regular backer upper as I've only done it once before also for the Genius Bar with instructions from them and can't find any notes I might have made at that time.

Question is if there are suspect viruses, etc. where would they be and would I
be backing them up also? I am backing up to external hard drive.

Which files/folders do I pick.....on the Mac finder,
I see categories like All my files, Desktop, My Name, , applications, and documents. Under My Name I see Desktop, documents, downloads, applications,movies, music, pictures, public and sites.

I assume you can move whole folders at once and not have do it with each item in the folder individually ?

Thanks for any help.
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:03 PM   #2
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Might be able to backup on iCloud. Which OS do you use?
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
I finally talked Apple Support into getting me an appt at the Genius Bar. Their confirmation requests that I backup my files (photo, music, software) before I come in. I have to confess that I'm not a regular backer upper as I've only done it once before also for the Genius Bar with instructions from them and can't find any notes I might have made at that time.

Question is if there are suspect viruses, etc. where would they be and would I
be backing them up also? I am backing up to external hard drive.

Which files/folders do I pick.....on the Mac finder,
I see categories like All my files, Desktop, My Name, , applications, and documents. Under My Name I see Desktop, documents, downloads, applications,movies, music, pictures, public and sites.

I assume you can move whole folders at once and not have do it with each item in the folder individually ?

Thanks for any help.
The genius bar people want you to have backed up your mac because there is a > 0% chance that if they service your Mac they'll need to replace the hard disk. If so, you loose all your data. That's bad.

The simplest way to backup your mac is to plug in a blank hard drive. It'll ask if you'd like to use it for Time Machine backups. Answer yes. It'll then backup everything you'll need to restore your files onto a new hard drive. This takes "a while".
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:07 PM   #4
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Might be able to backup on iCloud.
iCloud backup is for iOS devices (iPhone and iPad). The OP is asking about a Mac.
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:15 PM   #5
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iCloud backup is for iOS devices (iPhone and iPad). The OP is asking about a Mac.
If he wants to backup photos, music, contacts and the like, he can backup to iCloud from any Apple device. If he wants to backup SW and application data he might exceed the free 5GB and need an external device.
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Old 08-10-2016, 02:03 PM   #6
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When you back up, you likely back up any virus with your data and applications.

So keep your very old back, and make an entirely new one, so that you at least have some good files from before.
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Old 08-10-2016, 04:05 PM   #7
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Just do a time machine backup to an external drive. It'll save everything.
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Old 08-10-2016, 07:58 PM   #8
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Just do a time machine backup to an external drive. It'll save everything.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:33 PM   #9
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Thanks all for the helpful device. Somehow over the years I got the misconception that Time Machine backed up to the same HD as in the Mac
(partitioned, I guess). Didn't realize that it could do it to an external drive but after reading about it here , I went back to look at the Genius Bar rez instructions and it does say the same thing so thanks for that.

Time Machine backs up "everything" then? Photos, music,software including possible viruses?
I suppose better than nothing.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:40 PM   #10
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I recently sent my macbook pro into apple for a new display. I made 2 separate time machine backups to external drives. Then created a new empty admin account and deleted
my normal account. When it came back from apple I restored my normal account.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:47 PM   #11
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I recently sent my macbook pro into apple for a new display. I made 2 separate time machine backups to external drives. Then created a new empty admin account and deleted
my normal account. When it came back from apple I restored my normal account.

I almost understand this. Please tell why. What does it protect.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:54 PM   #12
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It protects your personal/financial data while in the hands of apple. They may even
ask for your admin password when you hand it over. If they are not going to send it
in for repair then you probably don't need to do it.
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:10 AM   #13
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When we sent a Mac in for repair (screen went blank) they needed the admin password. We removed the hard drive and replaced with the original drive with a clean system before sending in for repair. Not easy to do but we had experience with this procedure as we often upgraded drives.

DH actually ordered a new laptop and restored it from the removed drive so didn't miss a beat. I inherited the repaired laptop and another drive swap and I was up and running. I think they just had to replace a cable. I was due for an upgrade so it all worked out.

We are still using both those machines. It's been several years now.
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:36 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
Thanks all for the helpful device. Somehow over the years I got the misconception that Time Machine backed up to the same HD as in the Mac
(partitioned, I guess). Didn't realize that it could do it to an external drive but after reading about it here , I went back to look at the Genius Bar rez instructions and it does say the same thing so thanks for that.

Time Machine backs up "everything" then? Photos, music,software including possible viruses?
I suppose better than nothing.
I don't know about viruses, but time machine will backup whatever is on your Mac. I've restored from time machine backups a few times and all of the files and applications are there and the screen/desktop & icons are the same as the original setup.
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Old 08-11-2016, 09:24 AM   #15
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Question is if there are suspect viruses, etc. where would they be and would I
be backing them up also?
On my macs, the only times virus software has flagged anything has been in my mail files. Usually it's a PC executable that was sent to me as junk mail (so no risk for my mac anyway).

There are free anti-virus software programs you can run on macs like clamxav. I do have it installed but only do manual scans (which I might do once a year). The only reason I even do this is to meet the requirements for Vanguard's security guarantee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
Thanks all for the helpful device. Somehow over the years I got the misconception that Time Machine backed up to the same HD as in the Mac
Actually time machine will place some backup files on your main hard disk when the TM disk is unavailable (to maintain recent changes). I think it moves the files when you reconnect. I normally turn this off on my laptops.

As an alternative to time machine, I like making whole disk clones using CCC or SuperDuper. The advantage is that (1) it's easy to verify yourself that all your files have been copied, (2) less likely to be corrupted than a TM file structure and (3) you can use it as boot disk and be running with no downtime if you have problems with your main disk


Quote:
Time Machine backs up "everything" then? Photos, music,software including possible viruses?
I suppose better than nothing.
Yes it backs up everything unless you've set it to exclude specific files in the control panel (I usually exclude cache files, games, etc).
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:06 PM   #16
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It protects your personal/financial data while in the hands of apple.

So, when you get it back and re-add your original admin acct it just maps back to everything you had there before? Documents and all? Bookmarked browsers?
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:11 PM   #17
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when you get back, it starts up exactly like you shut it down - at least with a timevault backup. When I got rid of my old drive and went with a solid state drive, after the backup was restored it started up with Word open and a file my son was working on at the exact place he had stopped.

By the way, solid state drives are WONDERFUL for speed.
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Old 08-13-2016, 02:58 PM   #18
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So, when you get it back and re-add your original admin acct it just maps back to everything you had there before? Documents and all? Bookmarked browsers?
Correct, was same as before.
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Old 08-13-2016, 03:24 PM   #19
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1. Do a Time Machine backup to an external drive.
2. Sign up for a free Crashplan account. For the first 30 days it includes online (cloud) backup, unlimited quantity. It also supports free local backup (e.g. to your external drive) or to another computer in your household and also free peer-to-peer (e.g. to a friends computer). The backups are encrypted so there is no security issue even using a friends computer.

For your purposes, you really care about user data (photo's, documents, and so on) and not the OS files (as you can restore or reinstall the OS if needed).

While local backups are fast and nice to have (e.g. in your current situation), I would never rely only on local backup as you never know if/when your home is robbed, has a fire or flood, etc.
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