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Secular Humorist

Manual Backup

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I've been "manualy" backing up my mac for the last few months by simply dragging the "users" folder onto an external drive, and once the external drive starts to become full, I delete the oldest one and do the same thing again. The "users" folder contains the things that are most important to me: all my music, photos, and movies.

 

My question is this: Aside from everthing under the "users" folder, is there anything critical that I'm missing? I'm relatively new to Macintosh, maybe this should have been in the "switchers" forum. Anyway, I don't really mind losing my apps because I can always re-install them. And looking on the bright side, having my Mac crash would be a good excuse to upgrade to the new version of iLife. I also use MS Office, but again - I have the original discs so re-installing isn't a problem.

 

Any comments would be appreceated.

 

Thanks

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The ~/Library folder (that is, the Library folder within your home folder) contains countless number of important files such as your address book, ical calendars, and so on.

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The ~/Library folder (that is, the Library folder within your home folder) contains countless number of important files such as your address book, ical calendars, and so on.

 

... But since that's already under the Users's folder, it's already backed up. My only hope is that if I overwrite it with a backup, nothing bad will happen :(

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At this moment, I can only think of these additional items:

  • Keychains from /Library/Keychains
  • Various preferences from /Library/Preferences

Edited by haivu

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Pretty much everything is vital if you want to be able to get your Mac back exactly how it was. Your best bet by far has to be SuperDuper!. This is an application which backs EVERYTHING up for you, in a single click. There is a free version (not a trial) which allows this (and makes the backup bootable, so if your hard drive fails you can boot to the backup until you get a new drive) and then there is a pay for version which allows smart backups and scheduling. Well worth checking out.

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I would bet you are a recent switcher. This mindset of manual backups is something that I had when I first switched also. With a Mac it is so easy to just mirror your hard drive. Then if you ever have a problem you will not lose a beat. You can boot off the external drive and be working as if you were using your internal drive. Plus you can also reinstall OSX on your main drive and use the migration assistant to move your data/settings back while still starting with a clean install. Way better than anything even close to equivalent on windows.

Edited by joshr

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I would bet you are a recent switcher. With a Mac it is so easy to just mirror your hard drive. Then if you ever have a problem you will not lose a beat. You can boot off the external drive and be working as if you were using your internal drive.

 

You are correct, I'm a switcher (actually, I go both ways :rolleyes: ). I'll check out how to mirror my hard drive. Does that require any additional software, or is it built-in to OSX?

 

Thanks

Edited by Secular Humorist

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You are correct, I'm a switcher (actually, I go both ways :rolleyes: ). I'll check out how to mirror my hard drive. Does that require any additional software, or is it built-in to OSX?

 

Thanks

You can use either Carbon Copy Cloner [totally free but less recomended for some reason] or SuperDuper [free for a more basic ability set, cheap for the full version] along with a firewire hard drive to make a bootable clone of your main drive.

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If you have an intel mac you can boot from usb drives too.

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If you have an intel mac you can boot from usb drives too.

I didn't know that. It works the same as booting from a firewire drive?

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As others have mentioned, Super Duper! in it's free version will do just what you're looking for and can be configured to either mirror just your user files or the whole system (user files, applications, os). It's a really great app.

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My iTunes has been causing my system to crash so I decided perhaps it was time to do a clean install. It has been a year since i bought my G5. I got Super Duper. Should I do a complete bootable backup as it recommends, do a clean install and then bring over my files? Will it bring over the problem I am trying to get rid of? Will I be able to port everthing over wihtout reinstalling apps, entering all the keys etc?

 

Al

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Depends what you're trying to get rid of ;) I'd do a backup and then an archive an install if you've got the room on your hard drive. If not, do a clean install and use migration assistant. Since you say the problem is with iTunes, have you tried just backing up your library and reinstalling itunes? Never know, that might be all you need...

 

But an archive and install is painless, and you can get rid of the extra stuff that gets installed that most people don't need like extra printer drivers (2Gb saved!) and the extra languages (another 1Gb saved).

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