An overwhelming sense of eagerness overtook me after Apple showed off OS X Yosemite at WWDC. The redesigned interface and accompanying features, like a spruced-up Spotlight and the ability to take phone calls on your Mac, made downloading the beta version too intriguing to pass up.
Little did I know that moments after finalizing the installation, I would encounter a massive problem that would send me on an emotional ride.
Backing up your Mac via Time Machine is highly recommended, and super easy to do, as well. It’s really the only backup system I’ve ever found myself using on a regular basis, because it’s so simple to use and easy to set up. All you need to do is connect any USB drive to your Mac, head to the Time Machine preferences, and select that USB drive as your Time Machine backup. Mac OS X does the rest.
I was thinking, though, that since I back up my Macbook Air onto a 128 GB flash drive, it’s even more possible than ever that someone might get a hold of the drive and then be able to have all my backed up stuff on it. That’s not a huge deal for me, as I don’t keep much on the Macbook Air in terms of private stuff, but if I did, I’d want to keep those files extra secure.
Encryption could be the answer, and Mac OS X Mountain Lion makes it easy.
On my Macbook Air running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, when I click on the Time Machine backup menubar item, I see the option to browse other backup disks. That’s a pretty cool option, if I need to switch between different disks to backup my Mac; maybe to make a secondary backup for redundancy.
In Mavericks, the Time Machine menu bar icon doesn’t have this option any more, instead only showing Stop This Backup when backing up (or Back Up Now when it isn’t), Enter Time Machine, and Open Time Machine Preferences. If you’re wondering where the option to browse other backup disks has gone, you’re not alone.
Cult of Mac reader, Richard, emailed us today with the following issue:
I was trying to move my photos from my Mac to an external drive and during the transfer it kept asking me if I wanted to cancel or replace the image because that image was already there. I didn’t want to stop the process so I kept saying cancel. Afterwards, I realized that I was probably replacing images with the same number (e.g., img. 18) but that the images were probably different because, for example, I had simply reused sd cards from my camera and created a whole new set of images. Does this make sense? If I did indeed do that, are those images gone forever?
Yikes! We’ve all done this at some point in our Mac lives, some of us (looking right at myself) more than once. How can we get these replaced files back? There are three options that I know of.
Time Machine, Apple’s amazingly simple backup solution, debuted in Mac OS X 10 Leopard and changed the way a lot of us kept our Macs backed up. No longer were we tied to complex software like Retrospect, or easily forgotten manual backup systems. Time Machine made backing up our Macs easy and automatic. Even more importantly, it just worked.
Flash forward to today’s release of Mountain Lion, and Apple has quietly added a feature many of us have been wishing for, whether we knew it or not – multi-disk backups. One of the best practices in data backup plans is to create more than one backup, and then take one of them off site (if at a business, say) for safekeeping. At home, having more than one cheap, capacious hard drive to backup to is added peace of mind, considering how often those cheap, capacious drives can fail.
If you don’t use Time Machine, you might notice that every time you attach a new and/or blank hard disk to the computer you get asked if you want to use it for backups. Here’s a simple trick that will stop that happening.
Sometimes when our computers have been in use for many years it can help to clean house and start fresh. Restoring from a Time Machine backup via Migration Assistant doesn’t allow for picking and choosing which data you put back, but hard drive clones can help in a situation like this:
I have been putting off this for some time… but I am finally motivated to do a clean boot on my now getting older Macbook. Over the years I have collected many extraneous files, documents, apps etc. and am looking for a fresh start with that “new mac” feeling. I was wondering if you could provide a step by step procedure on how to best prepare for doing this. Obviously there are certain files, photos, music and applications that will need to be transferred or reinstalled, but beyond that everything can pretty much go.