Apple Time Machine

The Apple OSX operating system has an automated data backup system called Time Machine. I use it to backup all of my work, emails, posts for the blog, everything I do on the PC.

I have an attached external drive that is actually two physical 1 terabyte drives configured in a RAID 1 format to act as one drive. When a backup is done, it is written to both drives. That way, if one of those drives fails, I buy a new drive and the system restores from the second drive to the new drive. With that, I have three copies of my date (one on each of the RAID drives and the original on my PC).

The good thing about the Time Machine, is that you configure it and then forget it. It will continuously monitor changes made and backup the changes hourly. I activated Time Machine when I bought my iMac.

One folder I have on my system is a Notes folder. I have several pieces of information in it for a project I am working on. Last night I noticed that all of my notes had disappeared. BUMMER!!!

When I got up this morning, I decided to work on the problem. Sometimes problems are easier for me to solve after a good nights sleep. Under the current OSX, Notes is a folder managed by the Mail client. I looked in the Mail Notes folder and it was empty. Nothing had changed since last night.

I clicked on the Time Machine icon and all previous Notes versions started to display. I had to go back to last Saturday to find my notes. I clicked on the “Restore” button of Time Machine and now my notes are back in my Notes folder and propagated to all my Apple devices by iCloud.

It couldn’t have been simpler. In this case the data I had lost would have just cost me some time to re-create it. However, let’s assume I had a hard drive crash and had lost all my photos. Those could not have been recreated. With Time Machine, I would just have to get a new hard drive and do a complete restore of all data from the Time Machine backup.

For writers, this can also be a life saver. Have you ever made changes to a document and three days later wished you had the original before you modified it? Time Machine will solve that problem too.

Time Machine is built into the Apple OS. You can purchase similar products for Windows and you can always do manual backups. An automated backup prevents one from forgetting to do a backup and losing critical data.

Here is the enclosure I bought to make my backup drive. As I said, I use RAID 1 to make a mirror copy of my data on two drives.

I bought it from Amazon and it matches the style of the iMac. There are many similiar devices on the market, but having one with built in RAID gives you extra security. With the voltage fluctuations in Panama, you never know when a PC is going to fail.

If you are not backing up your data, I suggest you consider what things you would lose that are important to your life.

Now that my Notes are restored, I can get back to my projects.

4 thoughts on “Apple Time Machine

  1. Don,
    I too back up all my data on two external drives. I do mine manually now though, as I became a victim of a trojan that ended up on all my drives via the auto backup feature. Although I restored from a previous date, the trojan was still in the drives, and I had to clean parts of all drives. I now back up each drive at different times every few days to hopefully prevent this. Hopefully you do not get hit like that.

  2. Out of curiosity, was this on an Apple OS or on Microsoft or Linux? I keep SOPHO anti Virus activated and the only problem I have ever had was in spam emails with viruses and malware aimed at Microsoft operating systems.

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