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raymac46

Does anyone know how Apple's backup software works? My neighbor has a Mac that needs an O/S upgrade to use a new mouse he bought. Go figure. Apple will do that for him no charge apparently.

But he needed to back up his data files. He ran a backup with Time Machine and it backed up 37 GB of 80 GB on his system. He doesn't know whether he got the files or the O/S or both, or how to see what's in the backup. He just went with the defaults, didn't select any particular files to back up.I don't know if he can even review the files in the backup. I assume that is possible.

I know nothing about Macs, can't go see his system either because of COVID restrictions. He's got the backup on a USB external drive.

 

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striker

See this support document for a start:

https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/back-up-files-mh35860/mac

 

I'm on a Mac since 2013 and used Time Machine now and then, up to Mojave (10.14.6). It has been able to restore the complete OS, also individual files as well.

 

Here's another maybe simpler link but it might be a little out of date:

https://www.idownloadblog.com/2015/07/11/how-view-and-restore-specific-files-time-machine/

 

Hope it sets you on track a bit...

 

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raymac46

Thanks, striker. I hope the default backup will at the very least back up his documents and photos. He doesn't need an O/S backup as he is scheduled to get an upgrade to I believe El Capitan tomorrow.

I try not to support Macs as I don't own one but sometimes you have to help. He didn't even have a micro USB cable even though he had the external drive (1 TB 5400 RPM Western Digital.)

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striker

When using Time Machine first time it makes a complete backup of the whole system. Following Time Machine back ups only create backups of changed files anywhere on the system installed. Basically it just adds a backup of changed files after a complete system backup, meaning you can go back in time (hence its name 'Time Machine') even to the very first state the machine was in when making that very first backup.

 

If on some particular future moment (after the very first backup) one needs a specific file, it can be taken out of time machine, aka restored to the state the backup file was in at the moment the backup was made.

If his system backup up 37 GB out of 80 GB, it just basically means the backup of 37 GB contains all changed files since the last backup he made on his machine. The remaining part will be in Time Machine.

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striker

So he's probably running OS X Yosemite v.10.10.5 on that machine. Well upgrading to El Capitan should give no problems whatsoever, I've upgraded this machine of mine from Mountain Lion 10.8.5 to Mojave 10.14.6. I've never entered into any problem with it. Just let it do its things via the Apple upgrade proces. However, always let him make a Time Machine backup at all costs, better safe than sorry. 

If he doesn't trust the proces he can always backup his photos and documents by other means, flash drive, another external USB drive, what ever. Even store it in the cloud (iCloud) from where it can be retrieved at any moment.

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raymac46

Thanks for the advice. Since he has plans to take it in to the Apple Store to get his upgrade I assume they'll make sure all his data files are secure before upgrading.

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  • 2 weeks later...
raymac46
Posted (edited)

Forgot to mention that my friend's update went well and he can now use his mouse. His data was preserved and that is always a good thing. 😉

Edited by raymac46
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