Tag Archives: backups

Dos and Donts for managing data on external hard drives

USBDriveIconXYour data is the most important aspect of your computer, and unfortunately we often don’t realize this until we’re faced with the possibility of having lost exceptionally valuable (if not priceless) work. This can happen as easily as a computer suddenly shutting off on you and no longer booting, or when you attach an external hard drive containing all of your files, only to find it will not mount and cannot be repaired. Continue reading

How to manage “No Backup for XX Days” warnings in OS X

TimeMachineIconXWhile enterprise-level backup options may offer robust solutions for workgroups, Apple’s Time Machine service is a great backup option to use for a single machine since it preserves the OS configuration along with all user data and applications. However, if you have used several Time Machine drives over time, you may find OS X suddenly showing Notification Center warnings that there have been no backups for a given number of days. Continue reading

How to centralize your Time Machine backups

TimeMachineIconXTime Machine in OS X offers a quick way to back up your entire system, but one requirement for this is you need to plug in your backup drive in order to keep the system backed up. For desktop systems this is a matter of simply keeping the drive attached and tucked away behind your iMac, Mac Mini, or Mac Pro; however, if you are a MacBook owner, then you might find yourself periodically misplacing your drive, or not having it with you, and then getting messages that you haven’t backed up in a number of days. There are two easy approaches to help prevent this, especially if you have multiple Macs available. Continue reading

How to encrypt your Time Machine backups

TimeMachineIconXWhen you enable FileVault on your Mac, you in effect prevent anyone from accessing your data without your password. Without encryption, someone can remove your Mac’s hard drive or boot to an alternative mode such as Target Disk mode and then access your data from another system; however, with encryption these efforts will be fruitless since your data is encrypted. This may be desired, but if you back up your Mac, then unless your backups are also encrypted you might undermine the purpose of using FileVaultĀ in the first place. Continue reading

Tackle OS X only booting in Safe Mode

FinderIconXSafe Mode in OS X is a limited boot environment where only essential system services are active. It is a great option to have when troubleshooting software problems on your system, and when you invoke it by holding the Shift key at startup, your Mac should show a gray progress bar and then an indication in the menu bar that you are in Safe mode. This mode should only be active when you specify it by holding the Shift key at bootup; however, Continue reading

How to restore files from Time Machine manually

TimeMachineIconXApple’s included Time Machine backup technology in OS X is a convenient and rather thorough way to make full-system backups of your Mac. It works by using multi-linked files on the backup drive to mirror unchanged data from a prior backup instance to a new one so both instances share the same data on disk. It then only copies changed data since the last backup, to the new backup instance. This approach allows Time Machine to create many snapshots of the entire system without any data redundancy on disk. Continue reading