Can someone explain to me an easy way to backup all of a Mac's data into one archive?

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Hello. I am trying to find an easy way for a nontechnical mac user to copy all of her mac data into a nice archive for her to than implement in a future mac. She has to get rid of her mac laptop for the time being.



Is there a simple (and free?) program that she could run to do this? Thanks! She has Leopard, and I still am using Tiger, so I wasnt sure the best and easiest way for her to do this.



THanks very much!



=D

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleComputer View Post


    Hello. I am trying to find an easy way for a nontechnical mac user to copy all of her mac data into a nice archive for her to than implement in a future mac. She has to get rid of her mac laptop for the time being.



    Is there a simple (and free?) program that she could run to do this? Thanks! She has Leopard, and I still am using Tiger, so I wasnt sure the best and easiest way for her to do this.



    THanks very much!



    =D



    Time Machine, an app built into Leopard, can do that.



    You do a complete backup of the old machine to an external drive (Time Machine gives you the option to exclude files, so you shouldn't), then connect that drive to the new machine. At boot-up you get the option to restore your system from the connected drive, which results in a clone of your old machine-- apps, files, settings and all.
  • Reply 2 of 18
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Time Machine, an app built into Leopard, can do that.



    You do a complete backup of the old machine to an external drive (Time Machine gives you the option to exclude files, so you shouldn't), then connect that drive to the new machine. At boot-up you get the option to restore your system from the connected drive, which results in a clone of your old machine-- apps, files, settings and all.



    what about if there is no drive to do this to? I am pretty sure that she has mobile me. Can she just get everything into one mega archive, and upload it to the idisk feature? That way, she could download it whenever she finally gets a new comp.



    Can time machine take everything and put it into one easy zip archive?



    thanks!
  • Reply 3 of 18
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    iDisk can be used to backup/restore certain data sets, such as email, but it's a long way from being able to handle an entire system restore.



    External drives are dirt cheap, especially if you just need enough room to transfer over a single system. Also: way, way faster than trying to do something online, with far less chance of something going horribly wrong.



    The easiest/cheapest way is hook the new computer to the old and use Migration Assistant, but I believe you said that old computer wasn't going to be available by the time the new one shows up?
  • Reply 4 of 18
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    Carbon Copy Cloner (free, donationware)



    A blank external hard drive (preferably Firewire 400/800 for speed, USB 2) with it's own power supply. Not port power dependent.



    The external drive size must either match or exceed the drive being cloned.



    Don't use Western Digital external drives as they have a annoying sleep function that causes problems.



    First Disk Utility Erase w/Zero Option the new hard drive (or a old one) this wipes all data and maps off any bad sectors.



    It takes hours but you don't want a bad sector being written too with such valuable data. Needs to be done only once per drive to map bad sectors.



    Now run Carbon Copy Cloner (in a Admin user) and clone the entire boot drive over to the external. Will take a hour or so, depending upon how much data and all.



    After that is done, Disk Utility >repair permissions on both.





    Now you can 'hold option' and select the external drive to boot from, it will be a exact copy of the original.



    Send the computer off to be fixed, if it comes back with a new drive, simply option boot off the external and reverse clone (zeroing the new drive first of course)



    It's as easy as that.



    Time Machine is a joke in comparison and it doesn't work for Mail and other things, plus it's not bootable! Another cloning software is SuperDuper, but it's pay for, not free.



    Carbon Copy Cloner saved my arse one morning my drive was frozen solid.



    I booted off the clone, called Apple and the next afternoon had a new drive in and reversed cloned and booted.



    I lost no downtime, except a few minutes changing drives and booting.



    No files lost, since I backup, no apps or anything lost since the last time I cloned. Which should be once a week for most people.



    CCC has a auto-clone feature too, so one can set it and forget it.



    However I like to keep my drive disconnected, just in case a exploit rolls by.



    A note though, if your going to use the clone on another type Mac, it might not work. This is because certain Mac's have certain things for that particular type Mac. So only use cloning for the same type machines.



    Since you have a exact copy of your original boot drive, you can pick it clean over time and also catch things Migration Assistant or Time Machine will miss.



    Cloning is the way to go for a total backup of a boot drive. It's also great doing before those new OS X updates or new application installs that could hose your machine. You have a option to return to the previous state.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    <i>Can time machine take everything and put it into one easy zip archive?</i>



    No and it would be too large to upload anyway. Being tens of gigabytes.



    Better off using a physical drive, a external drive and clone the whole mess. Get everything for sure that way.



    A external drive should run about $120 for 500GB or so, depending where and when.



    Be sure to download and use Carbon Copy Cloner on the machine being cloned, for her it's Leopard. Remember use a Admin user.



    A Tiger version of CCC would cause problems on a Leopard OS.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,935member
    Time Machine stores everything in an expandable .DMG file, also known as a sparse disk image. So if you want to access it, all you have to do is open the dmg file. You don't need the Time Machine app to open a Time Machine backup. Since its in a .dmg file its just like opening a regular .dmg file for an application installer, update, etc. The Time Machine interface does make it pretty easy to find things you may be missing. Its pretty slick and works quite well. Its more than just a pretty interface.



    Backing up to mobileme is a bad idea! It would AGES to accomplish each time and be very frustrating when trying to recover something. Also, its a very expensive way to backup. The easiest way is to get an external HD and back it up to that. Then you can take it where ever you need to. Or even store it away from everything in case of a fire, flood, or some kind of other natural disaster.



    This is exactly what Time Machine was created for. To make a backup of your entire system and keep it up to date. Time Machine is built into Leopard so this would be a free solution beyond getting an external HD. Either way you'll need some kind of external source. Trust me when I say you will NOT want to back up to any online storage site, including mobile me. Like others have stated, external hd's are large and inexpensive these days.



    The very first time you plug in an external HD with Leopard, if Time Machine isn't setup it will automatically come up and ask if you want to make this hard drive a Time Machine hard drive. If you click yes it will automatically prepare it and start backing up. The initial backup will take quite a while. It really depends on how much space is being used. After the initial backup, most backups from there won't take any longer than 5 minutes. Most of the time less.



    Both CCC and Time Machine will accomplish the same thing. If this friend isn't computer literate Time Machine may be a better choice simply because it has a simple user interface for finding things and is automatic. You basically just set it, leave the external HD turned on and plugged in and forget it.
  • Reply 7 of 18
    kaiwaikaiwai Posts: 246member
    Assuming that she has all her original software then all she needs to do is backup her user directory - assuming she hasn't done anything stupid like saving her documents outside her user directory.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kaiwai View Post


    Assuming that she has all her original software then all she needs to do is backup her user directory - assuming she hasn't done anything stupid like saving her documents outside her user directory.



    Yeah, without knowing the particulars of a given user's setup, I think it's always your best bet to just backup the whole shebang.



    Takes a while, and some disc space, but if it's a one-shot it's worth it to be certain you got everything.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,935member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Yeah, without knowing the particulars of a given user's setup, I think it's always your best bet to just backup the whole shebang.



    Takes a while, and some disc space, but if it's a one-shot it's worth it to be certain you got everything.



    I agree! I like the comfort that my entire system is backed up. You may have things that are necessary that aren't in your home folder such as certain plug-in's for some type of app, or something like that. You may have an app that you need that wouldn't get backed up by just copying your home folder.



    Time Machine is the best way to do this. Its simple enough to where anyone can use it, its on a schedule, is easy to use to restore, works flawlessly with Leopard, etc. You really can't go wrong. Plus, like I posted before it doesn't store things in a proprietary file and is easily accessed without the Time Machine interface.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    Time Machine stores everything in an expandable .DMG file, also known as a sparse disk image.



    Wuh?? You're serious??
  • Reply 11 of 18
    kaiwaikaiwai Posts: 246member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    I agree! I like the comfort that my entire system is backed up. You may have things that are necessary that aren't in your home folder such as certain plug-in's for some type of app, or something like that. You may have an app that you need that wouldn't get backed up by just copying your home folder.



    Time Machine is the best way to do this. Its simple enough to where anyone can use it, its on a schedule, is easy to use to restore, works flawlessly with Leopard, etc. You really can't go wrong. Plus, like I posted before it doesn't store things in a proprietary file and is easily accessed without the Time Machine interface.





    WHY ARE YOU BACKING UP APPLICATIONS?!



    You have the original software already - the ONLY thing you should be backing up is your personal files, one off files that if you lose you can NEVER recover.



    Jesus H Christ, someone bring troop of soldiers carrying clue by fours as to administrate a fatal beating to macxpress.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    MacTripper--

    GREAT discussion should be put in genius bar "how to "





    i've done the same with super duper and works very easily

    can't you go to an apple store for a new harddrive install ??

    you might be able to find a local service person that can do the clone AND install the new drive

    i did that with my imac g3
  • Reply 13 of 18
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,935member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


    Wuh?? You're serious??



    Yes, I'm very serious because thats how it works. If you don't believe me, mount a time machine backup and you'll see its in a sparse image file. You can open the image file up and browse it manually, drag files from it, etc.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,935member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kaiwai View Post


    WHY ARE YOU BACKING UP APPLICATIONS?!



    You have the original software already - the ONLY thing you should be backing up is your personal files, one off files that if you lose you can NEVER recover.



    Jesus H Christ, someone bring troop of soldiers carrying clue by fours as to administrate a fatal beating to macxpress.



    Well for one thing, if you run an update and it screws it up, or something else I can recover the old app without the hassle of reinstalling and bring it up to date where it was before. There are many reasons.



    Also you can restore your Mac right back to where it was if your HD goes bad. This is the whole point of Time Machine.



    Maybe you should use your head before trying to insult someone!
  • Reply 15 of 18
    kaiwaikaiwai Posts: 246member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    Well for one thing, if you run an update and it screws it up, or something else I can recover the old app without the hassle of reinstalling and bring it up to date where it was before. There are many reasons.



    Also you can restore your Mac right back to where it was if your HD goes bad. This is the whole point of Time Machine.



    Maybe you should use your head before trying to insult someone!





    If you took some time to listen instead of using a megaphone:



    "Hello. I am trying to find an easy way for a nontechnical mac user to copy all of her mac data into a nice archive for her to than implement in a future mac."



    We aren't talking about recovery or anything about that; we're talking about a person wanting to back up their personal data - end of story.
  • Reply 16 of 18
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kaiwai View Post


    If you took some time to listen instead of using a megaphone:



    "Hello. I am trying to find an easy way for a nontechnical mac user to copy all of her mac data into a nice archive for her to than implement in a future mac."



    We aren't talking about recovery or anything about that; we're talking about a person wanting to back up their personal data - end of story.



    And we don't know anything at all about the state of that user's system. Perhaps she has downloaded quite a few apps and configured them as she wishes. Perhaps she has installed some apps from borrowed media. Perhaps she has installed apps (or documents or files) in places other than her user folder.



    Since we don't know those things, the best advice is to just copy everything, so that when she sets up her new machine she can be absolutely certain that all is as it was.



    No harm done if it wasn't necessary, beyond a little time and disk space, and a lot of headaches saved it it was.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    Yes, I'm very serious because thats how it works. If you don't believe me, mount a time machine backup and you'll see its in a sparse image file. You can open the image file up and browse it manually, drag files from it, etc.



    You oughtn't to. What you're saying is true in the only case of backing up over the network. Happy exploring Apple's products!
  • Reply 18 of 18
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,935member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post


    You oughtn't to. What you're saying is true in the only case of backing up over the network. Happy exploring Apple's products!



    Your response makes ABSOLUTELY no sense. I'm explaining how Time Machine works. Not how CCC works or anything like that. The way I explained it works no matter what backup medium you have. You have build your own external HD, buy an external HD, buy a Time Capsule, etc. Time Machine all works the same way.
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