How do I back up my hard drive?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
My screen on my lap top goes off by itself and wont go back on w/o restarting. So I'm going to drop my lap top off at Apple and let my Applecare do the rest...

But I don't want to loose everything if my hard drive gets dumped.

How do I save everything? I would be using my iPod as my back up drive.

Things I want to save:

writing papers



addresses from Entourage

Do I need to save the following?

Office? I have the orginal disk.

Anything else?



  • Reply 1 of 5
    curiousuburbcuriousuburb Posts: 3,325member
    Apple will offer back up your drive for you (usually for a small fee)

    Most Apple Authorized Service Providers will offer this as well.

    *this is possibly the easiest solution... zero work for you*

    If only your screen needs repairing, you might swap out the drive, slug in another drive and put the OS on it, so you're physically keeping your data with you (although this might be more work than backing up).

    Backups are always a good idea.

    The more vital the data is, the more copies, more often.

    Not sure if the "Home on iPod" will be officially released before your 'book needs service.

    Once that tool gets blessed for public use, it will likely become the default solution. Not invalidating some of the parallel methods of backup as wise precautionary practice, but perhaps 'automating' the precise process you're asking for help with.

    As for the backup... deciding what...

    anything you've got the original install disks for doesn't need to be backed up (at least not the app itself... you might want custom settings, dictionaries, templates, etc)

    if you've been following OSX's default file structure, you definitely want to back up your user folder and all its subfolders (which contain your unique settings). 3rd party Apps installed in the main system Applications folder or data parked outside of your user folder hierarchy may require copying,

    but my habit is to archive their installers, whatever works for you.

    Entourage may be a bit more tricky, because MS likes to use proprietary formats and locations for some of its data (Outlook used single aggregate .PST files rather than unique mailboxes, for example)

    As for the actual process (once you've collected all your "To Backup" data)...

    Versiontracker has Backup apps from Apple, dedicated Entourage backup tools, and a few more specialized things if you've got s/w that requires special help to archive.

    Got burner? CDR? RW? Superdrive? (as another alternative for extra-critical info)

    hope that helps clarify...
  • Reply 2 of 5
    millsdudemillsdude Posts: 135member
    Which of these back up programs is the easiest?

    I was thinking of buying .mac just for the back up. But I'm a student and don't want to drop the cash. How much is it?

    Is it worth it for me, to just use the backup?

    I do have a CD-WR

  • Reply 3 of 5
    millsdudemillsdude Posts: 135member
    how complex is that? I have about 7 gig free on my ipod. My hard drive has about 23 gigs on it. I have 10 gigs of music...
  • Reply 4 of 5
    curiousuburbcuriousuburb Posts: 3,325member
    Do a "Get Info" (CMD i) on your user folder to find out how big it is.

    That should give you a more honest number, but if your music folder duplicates the music on your iPod, maybe you don't need to back it up, so you might be subtracting 7GB from what you think you need to archive already.

    CCC is widely recommended as a true cloner, but if you don't need to archive your system itself (or the apps you can reinstall from original CD), check to see if just doing the user folder works better.
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