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  #1  
Old 06-08-2019, 8:11 AM
mtenenhaus mtenenhaus is offline
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Default Apple Mac help please: our Apple Time Machine is malfunctioning..what to replace with

Hi, our trusty Apple Time Machine looks like it's dying. We got a lot of good years out of it but i guess it's time to replace it....the problem is Apple no longer makes them.

We really depended on it for easy seamless back up. That's really the capacity that we hate to lose. Right now we have DSL.

I don't want to use the Cloud. I need to keep it all in house, concrete and in my control. Somehow i lost countless files/lectures...years worth of work etc during my last attempt at using the cloud and will never go back. The material was never able to be recovered despite countless hours working with a variety of help line consultants. I know and understand that the Cloud is awesome but it's not for me. I'm probably just too ignorant in the land and language of computer stuff.

Wondering what's the easiest, seamless, most streamlined way for our family to back up our computers. It was so nice never having to have to remember each week to grab an external hard drive, hook it up to each computer, do a back up, put away the hard drive etc. I know it sounds lazy and silly but the Time Machine was so easy.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 06-08-2019, 8:25 AM
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Could you mean Time Capsule? (although I still see them for sale).

Time Machine is Apple's built in back-up software.
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  #3  
Old 06-08-2019, 8:44 AM
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Any good external drive can replace the time capsule. Combined with iCloud, you're pretty safe.
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  #4  
Old 06-08-2019, 8:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtenenhaus View Post
Hi, our trusty Apple Time Machine looks like it's dying. We got a lot of good years out of it but i guess it's time to replace it....the problem is Apple no longer makes them.

We really depended on it for easy seamless back up. That's really the capacity that we hate to lose. Right now we have DSL.

I don't want to use the Cloud. I need to keep it all in house, concrete and in my control. Somehow i lost countless files/lectures...years worth of work etc during my last attempt at using the cloud and will never go back. The material was never able to be recovered despite countless hours working with a variety of help line consultants. I know and understand that the Cloud is awesome but it's not for me. I'm probably just too ignorant in the land and language of computer stuff.

Wondering what's the easiest, seamless, most streamlined way for our family to back up our computers. It was so nice never having to have to remember each week to grab an external hard drive, hook it up to each computer, do a back up, put away the hard drive etc. I know it sounds lazy and silly but the Time Machine was so easy.

Thanks
Get two, 2tb external drives. It'll run you between $120, and $140. If your data isn't worth you spending that, I don't know what else to tell you. Copy your backups on both, identical. This is the simplest, old fashioned, most RELIABLE way to do it. NEVER rely on a SINGLE backup solution! DON'T rely on "The Cloud" (Geek-speak for someone else's computer), or RAID. If you set it up wrong, you'll lose your data.

Use either Windows imaging, or Macrium Reflect.

Norton Ghost is complicated.
Clonezilla is overly complicated for the average user.
Acronis is unreliable. If you change the destination drive, you risk Acronis not being able to access your data. If you switch to another computer, getting your Acronis license switched, is like pulling teeth. Acronis don't like you doing that. Experience speaking here!

Windows imaging, or Macrium Reflect, is the way to go here.

You may want to consider getting away from Mac. OR, you may find a Mac on Ebay. I buy hundreds of computers from Ebay, every year. Only a couple times were there issues, and even then, Ebay took care of it.

Alternatively, get away from Mac completely. If you do, I recommend the Lenovo T440p, or Lenovo W540. These machines are capable of doing just about anything you'll want to do. Especially, if you get them with dedicated graphics.

I run Pixar quality animations, Photoshop, Gimp, and AutoCAD on my W540 with nVidia K2100m graphics, like a hot knife, going through warm butter. W540, can be upgraded fairly cheaply, to 32gb/ram.

I've been doing this for 42 years. Sometimes, the "old-fashioned" way is best. Especially for doing backups. I haven't lost a single, byte of data in 25 years.

I didn't mean to open this post so harshly, but I can NOT tell you the number of times I've given this advice, and a month later:

Them: "I've lost all my data!" from someone I'd given this same advice to.

Me: "Did you purchase the external drives I advised you to purchase?

Them: "Ummmm.... no, it was too expensive".

Me: "How 'bout NOW? Sux to be you!"

Good luck.

Last edited by Dragunov; 06-08-2019 at 9:10 AM..
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  #5  
Old 06-08-2019, 9:54 AM
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You can replace the drive in them. Heat bottom with heat gun to melt adhesive, remove screws, pop out drive 3.5" drive, format new drive for mac, pop new drive in, replace screws, heat bottom and stick it back on. Done. I've done a few of them.

The failures are usually the cheap drives they use in them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtenenhaus View Post
Hi, our trusty Apple Time Machine looks like it's dying. We got a lot of good years out of it but i guess it's time to replace it....the problem is Apple no longer makes them.

We really depended on it for easy seamless back up. That's really the capacity that we hate to lose. Right now we have DSL.

I don't want to use the Cloud. I need to keep it all in house, concrete and in my control. Somehow i lost countless files/lectures...years worth of work etc during my last attempt at using the cloud and will never go back. The material was never able to be recovered despite countless hours working with a variety of help line consultants. I know and understand that the Cloud is awesome but it's not for me. I'm probably just too ignorant in the land and language of computer stuff.

Wondering what's the easiest, seamless, most streamlined way for our family to back up our computers. It was so nice never having to have to remember each week to grab an external hard drive, hook it up to each computer, do a back up, put away the hard drive etc. I know it sounds lazy and silly but the Time Machine was so easy.

Thanks
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  #6  
Old 06-08-2019, 10:48 AM
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OP: Here's what I do.

First off, when the Time Machine backup app came out, I tried it and I thought it to be not intuitive and basically sucked. So, I searched for another solution. And I found it in Carbon Copy Cloner. It's been around for many, many years and I just upgraded to their latest. Not only is it excellent backup software, it can also make a bootable clone of your hard drive. This is extremely handy should your hard drive ever take a dump. All you have to do is open up your computer, remove the bad hard drive, and replace it with the one from the backup drive. It's that fast and easy. Of course, that means you must have the same form factor HD in your backup drive as is in your computer. It can also be used to upgrade your hard drive with little hassle. Buy your new hard drive, disk or SSD and presumably larger as well, make a clone of your current hard drive to the new drive, and then put the new drive in your computer.

CCC is very well designed and the extra bonus of having your backup drives ready and able to be used as main bootable drives is a huge plus in my book.

Here's how I have it set up. I run a first gen Mac Pro. That's the big one with the big silver case. It has four drive bays in it. The first has a 2TB drive as the main HD. The second has all the music that my Sonos system accesses. And the third and fourth are also 2TB drives like the main drive but I have them set up as mirrored drives. What gets written or deleted from one happens to the other as well. These are my backup drives. Should my main drive die, I open the case, remove the bad main drive and install one of the mirrored backups in it's place and I'm up and running. Brilliant.

The mirroring of drives is easily set up with Apples Disk Utility in the Utility folder in the Apps folder. Of course, you don't need to run mirrored drives for your back up drive and can run a single drive, but I like the idea of the extra security.

I have CCC set to backup nightly.

Another nice thing about CCC is they have a function called CCC SafetyNet. What does is to archive files you've deleted from previous backups. It will create a folder with the date of the backup and put in it anything that has been deleted or changed. And it continues to do this as space allows on the backup disk. I've never had to use it, but it's nice to know that should I delete something I wish I didn't, I have an excellent chance of recovering it.

If you don't have space for extra drives in your computer, you can leave the drive hooked up to the computer and it will only operate when needed. And if you don't want to leave the drive hooked up, I believe it works wirelessly as well. As long as you have your backup drive somewhere on your WiFi network, you can choose it as the backup. Put it in your garage, inside a fire proof safe you've modified to accept a power cord and a cable to a wifi router that would be outside the safe. (I'm assuming wifi can't make it through to the inside of the safe.)

This also means that every computer needs it's own backup drive, but that's a small thing.

I also have a G-Drive dual hard drive with easily removable drives. Mine is a much older version, but is similar to this:

https://www.g-technology.com/product...bolt-2#0G04085

Back when I bought it, they were available without the drives installed so it was much cheaper and I could choose the drives I wanted to install. Mine is set up to mirror to the two drives just like the two backup drives in my Mac Pro are set up. This drive I don't utilize nearly as much as my internal backup. Maybe once a month or so and then, because it's super easy to open the front of the case and extract the two drives, I take them to the garage and they go in my fireproof safe. The case stays attached to my computer so there's no cables or power cords to muck with. So that's another option.

I'm not familiar with G-Drive's current offerings but a call to them might bear fruit. My main concern is whether or not the drives in the G-Drive (assuming they don't sell them without the drives themselves) would work as the main drive in your computer should you need to swap them out.

Let me know if you have any questions. Bottom line.....CCC is brilliant!
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Last edited by sonofeugene; 06-08-2019 at 10:54 AM..
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2019, 11:27 AM
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We use SuperDuper over our wifi to a couple of 4T drives. (Western Digital Mycloud and a backup process on the WD that copies from that to a 'dumb' drive.)

That's a little slow - couple hours over wifi compared to less than an hour to a USB3 direct-connect drive (I do one of those every 6 months). But we run the task after midnight so it's done in the morning; really, doesn't use that much CPU or network.

It's also probably time to replace those remote drives; unfortunately, they don't last forever.
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Old 06-08-2019, 4:14 PM
mtenenhaus mtenenhaus is offline
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Thank you all for taking the time to post.

I have to take some time and carefully review everything you all wrote as i have no background or understanding of how these things work.

I really appreciate the information and i'm going to read it all a few times to let it settle.

I'm really trying to do the right thing....the Time Capsule seemed like a great way to go for someone like me but things change and things break.
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Old 06-08-2019, 4:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtenenhaus View Post
Thank you all for taking the time to post.

I have to take some time and carefully review everything you all wrote as i have no background or understanding of how these things work.

I really appreciate the information and i'm going to read it all a few times to let it settle.

I'm really trying to do the right thing....the Time Capsule seemed like a great way to go for someone like me but things change and things break.
All drives break. They still sell Time Capsules. Should be easy enough to swap out one for another.
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Old 06-08-2019, 6:57 PM
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What is the size of your personal files you're trying to backup? I can make a suggestion based on the size.

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Old 06-09-2019, 1:14 PM
mtenenhaus mtenenhaus is offline
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Thanks

Primarily they're lectures with tons of photos....each lecture probably runs somewhere between 170MB and 300MB

I have left apx 80 such lectures, lost perhaps 15-20 lectures.

the documents are small in size generally.

I lost quite a few of my lectures recently....It's taken me 3 full days to try and recreate just one lecture. Since then i've completely severed any connection to anything outside of my laptop but i did buy a portable hard drive and supposedly it copied my laptop.
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Old 06-09-2019, 2:32 PM
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Again, give very serious consideration to CCC.

https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/70...on-copy-cloner

https://bombich.com

Another advantage of CCC is that since your backup is a true clone of your hard drive, it's organized the same way so you can find files. (Many backup programs completely change the way your files are organized. Start exploring a CCC backup and you'll find it's an exact copy of the source drive. And you can boot from it even if you haven't actually swapped hard drives. And, you can try it for free. And when I've had questions, the actual owner and developer responds to me. And they've been around for decades.

It's so good, you could just take your backup drive with you, hook it up to someone else's Mac, and boot from the hard drive and it would be as if you were using your own computer.

And if you don't wat to bother with the idea of having your backup drive the same type/form factor as your computer's dive, that's OK. If your computer's drive fails, just install a new one and rather than loading the OS and software, etc., just hook up the backup drive to the computer, boot from the backup drive, and simply clone it to the new drive. Restring is that easy. Three clicks.

There's no other Mac backup software I'd ever consider using.

(And, no, I don't work for them.)
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Last edited by sonofeugene; 06-09-2019 at 3:10 PM..
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Old 06-09-2019, 6:52 PM
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thank you so very much. i really appreciate the help.
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Old 06-14-2019, 6:59 PM
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I'm using super duper. Excellent product it's been around for a long time. You van incrementally back up files and it's super fast. For a backup device use the Samsung ssd drive.

Samsung

4.7 out of 5 stars**1,565Reviews

Samsung T5 Portable SSD - 500GB - USB 3.1 External SSD (MU-PA500B/AM


https://shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/...scription.html

Hope this helps...pm if you have questions.

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Old 06-14-2019, 7:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofeugene View Post
Again, give very serious consideration to CCC.

https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/70...on-copy-cloner

https://bombich.com

Another advantage of CCC is that since your backup is a true clone of your hard drive, it's organized the same way so you can find files. (Many backup programs completely change the way your files are organized. Start exploring a CCC backup and you'll find it's an exact copy of the source drive. And you can boot from it even if you haven't actually swapped hard drives. And, you can try it for free. And when I've had questions, the actual owner and developer responds to me. And they've been around for decades.

It's so good, you could just take your backup drive with you, hook it up to someone else's Mac, and boot from the hard drive and it would be as if you were using your own computer.

And if you don't wat to bother with the idea of having your backup drive the same type/form factor as your computer's dive, that's OK. If your computer's drive fails, just install a new one and rather than loading the OS and software, etc., just hook up the backup drive to the computer, boot from the backup drive, and simply clone it to the new drive. Restring is that easy. Three clicks.

There's no other Mac backup software I'd ever consider using.

(And, no, I don't work for them.)
Super super dude...they've been around longer than bombich's ccc...
No, I don't work for them either...

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  #16  
Old 08-16-2019, 1:46 PM
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I’m running a disk station at home. All our computers run backups to it. With my Mac every time it’s on the homes network it’s sees the disk station and automatically backs up. Has the side benefit if being a complete home server and media server that connects to all of our Rokus


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Old 09-09-2019, 4:57 PM
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I think your question has been answered. And as long as you have the Time Machine software icon still running on your desktop - you can add any remote drive you want to it for auto backup.
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Old 09-09-2019, 6:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toyman321 View Post
I’m running a disk station at home. All our computers run backups to it. With my Mac every time it’s on the homes network it’s sees the disk station and automatically backs up. Has the side benefit if being a complete home server and media server that connects to all of our Rokus


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Another nod to getting a diskstation for the hardware part. You can point time machine to it or use Synology's backup software.

I have an older one that is similar to this current model, I loaded it with 4TB drives and I use Raid 5:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...4_bay_nas.html

If you don't need that much space/speed, you can get something like this, put a pair of drives in it, and use RAID 1:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...skstation.html

edit: oops, sorry didn't see this was a zombie thread.
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  #19  
Old 09-11-2019, 6:47 AM
Rvg2151 Rvg2151 is offline
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Most USB External drives will do the trick just make sure its USB 3.0 at least if your just backing up one mac. The synology solutions is the most cost effective IMO for a network time machine backup but remember that either solution I mentioned is just one backup and as a rule in IT or computers you should have at least 2 separate backups of everything because hardware does fail and no one backup solution is fool proof.
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