Mac Backup/System Restore

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Mac Backup/System Restore

Postposted on Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:13 pm

Hello, Im trying to backup my aunts mac laptop up onto an external drive. I think that is what I'm trying to do at least. What i want is something that if it crashes i can completely revert it back to its pre backup state. I am not sure if this is a back up or a system restore however, does anyone have any suggestions on programs that are good for this and what kind of things i need to look for in an external hard drive for her? The operating system is mac os 1.4X tiger. I'm not great with macs, more of a PC person to be honest so any advice would be really helpful.

-Thanks in advance
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Re: Mac Backup/System Restore

Postposted on Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:30 pm

Welcome to TR! I would suggest Carbon Copy Cloner. It hasn't been developed in awhile now, but it still gets the job done. I believe it will allow you to create an image onto an external hard disk as well as run a direct hard drive copy. The only real issue would be that in order to restore the image it would take another mac to push it out.
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Re: Mac Backup/System Restore

Postposted on Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:29 pm

This is also part of what Time Machine can do for free - boot from your OS X DVD and under Utilities, you can restore from Time Machine. So you'll lost (at most) 59 minutes and 59 seconds of data, as long as the drive gets plugged in and backs up.

Carbon Copy Cloner is also free, and if you just want a single restore point it does a very good job. I've migrated to larger hard drives by use of CCC rather than Time Machine, because CCC is faster at restoring; it's just the "single restore point" and "manual back-up" parts I don't like.
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Re: Mac Backup/System Restore

Postposted on Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:42 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:This is also part of what Time Machine can do for free - boot from your OS X DVD and under Utilities, you can restore from Time Machine. So you'll lost (at most) 59 minutes and 59 seconds of data, as long as the drive gets plugged in and backs up.

Time Machine was introduced in Leopard; he's using Tiger.

That said, the best solution is almost certainly to upgrade to Leopard (or Snow Leopard, if you can wait that long) and then use Time Machine. It's almost completely automated; you basically plug in the drive, open the Time Machine preference pane and click 'go' and then it'll back up on an hourly basis to that drive whenever it's plugged in.
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Re: Mac Backup/System Restore

Postposted on Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:11 pm

Totally missed that, my bad. CCC would be my second choice.
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Re: Mac Backup/System Restore

Postposted on Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:42 pm

What kind of external hard drive should i look for? Can i use a USB hard drive or so i have to use something with fire wire. Also, pushing it along with anouther mac isn't an option so do i just need to upgrade to leapord? My aunt is intending to upgrade, but part of the reason she wants a backup is that shes not sure she will like it. Will CCC be able to revert back an entire OS upgrade?
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Re: Mac Backup/System Restore

Postposted on Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:50 pm

Depends on if it's an iBook/Powerbook or a Macbook/Macbook Pro. If it's Intel-based, it'll boot off of USB so I'd get a USB 2.0 drive. If it's PowerPC I'd get a Firewire drive because USB 2.0 isn't bootable on PPC Macs but USB2.0 is.

Otherwise, there's no recommendation/limitation. Anything can be formatted HFS+ with Disk Util.

Run /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility
Go to the partition tab
Click on the Options button
Choose GUID for an Intel Mac, or choose APM (Apple Partition Map) for a PowerPC machine
Use Carbon Copy Cloner to copy the disk
Test it out by rebooting, holding the Option key. You'll see your internal and external drives in a boot selector. Choose the external and click the arrow button (Intel macs have an arrow right below the selected icon, and PPC macs have a sideways arrow button). It should boot right up and everything should be there. If so, your backup is good.

CCC will revert everything on the disk, so yeah, if an OS upgrade goes bad and you backup right before you install it, it'll restore everything. What I don't like about it is that it's manual - you have to start the app and tell it to back up.

WD has some external "Mac edition" drives that come with a Mac auto-backup util. Depending on how you trust your aunt to back up her data, you might want to look at those instead.
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Re: Mac Backup/System Restore

Postposted on Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:20 pm

Shard wrote:My aunt is intending to upgrade, but part of the reason she wants a backup is that shes not sure she will like it.

Just head to an Apple Store or look for somebody with a newish Macbook and use one with Leopard for 5 minutes. If she doesn't find anything she dislikes about Leopard in that amount of time, she won't find anything to dislike. The UI is basically Tiger's with a lot of shiny 3D; only thing I didn't like is they changed the spotlight menu's Show All to just open a normal finder window instead of the filter-able one they had in Tiger.
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Re: Mac Backup/System Restore

Postposted on Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:56 pm

the upgrade isnt much of a difference, a few effects here and there and speed tweaks, its mostly made for intel macs, and its the final system to support powerpc.
it works exactly the same overall, one of the bigger differences id say really is that it allows for newer versions of programs to be used; other than that there shouldnt be much to not like that isn't already there.
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Re: Mac Backup/System Restore

Postposted on Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:39 pm

I think it's a little more than that. Personally, I can't stand Tiger anymore without being able to customize my grid spacing.

(note: if you don't like iTunes, don't get Leopard)
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