Apple MAC Time Machine?

Discussion in 'all things Mac' started by bellgamin, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    As a Windows user, I make an image of my C drive every couple of days, onto a separate Hard Drive (HD), & retain images at least 1 month. I want to continue the same practice when I use my MAC.

    I am studying a User's Guide pending delivery of my new MAC laptop o/a Jan. 27. From what I have learned so far, MAC's Time Machine (TM) looks like it is much more powerful than Windows System Restore. However, I am uncertain as to whether TM is the equal of, say, Macrium Reflect.

    ==>QUESTION: Can TM fully restore my MAC if I have a major crash, or if I have to replace my HD, or if I futz around too much & screw up key system files?
     
  2. Spartan

    Spartan Registered Member

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    Correct. It's like Macrium Reflect, but creates snapshots constantly, and it's built into the OS natively.
     
  3. Alec

    Alec Registered Member

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    Time Machine's default use case is a little different, but sort of overlaps.

    Time Machine is more geared for the situation where you accidentally deleted a file that you know you had back in a certain folder a month ago, or you accidentally overwrote your file several weeks ago and you didn't realize it until today when you went back and opened it for some reason. In those type of cases, you can click on the Time Machine menu bar applet and click "Enter Time Machine" and the app will present you with a Finder window, and you can "scroll back in time" to basically any month and day for which you had Time Machine running, and you will see how your files and directories changed over time. You find your file or folder, select it, click restore, and... presto... you have your file back. So Time Machine is basically a versioned, incremental backup that is always occurring in the background.

    Yes, you can use Time Machine to restore your system if you totally blow up your current system drive... but it is sort of a two-step process (re-install OS, and then migrate your user data from Time Machine to the re-installed OS). See, for example, Apple's Support page at Restore you Mac from a backup. The Time Machine backup isn't a bootable system image that you can select at bootup, and... whamo... you're back in business. That is where the other 3rd-party disk cloning or imaging products come into play. They allow you to make a bootable clone of your drive, so that if the unthinkable happens you can just boot from it instead without going through the hassle of migrating from an old Time Machine backup.

    [EDIT: I would add there are other situations where a straight-up disk clone is better than a versioned incremental backup. For example, within Time Machine, you may exclude your Virtual Machine drive images (Parallels, VirtualBox, VMware, etc) from backup as they are too big and change too frequently. If your system disk blows up, though, then you've lost those if you are only using Time Machine. With a true clone you don't have to worry about possible exclusions and gotchas. You know it's a true and complete snapshot.]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  4. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    ==>Can anyone recommend a good 3rd party imaging software for MAC Big Sur?
     
  5. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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