Backing up my MacBook

macOS and Mac Apps

I have my documents, music and whatever files manually backed up on multiple external devices, so I am not worried about losing them. But how does it all work if the Mac should crash and need a clean install of OSX? Windows machines have a partitioned hard drive which you can boot to and recover to factory settings and you can make recovery CD's. My research so far, says you can't make recovery CD's for a Mac. But does it have a partitioned recovery system? I know that time machine can back up files and settings to an external hard dtive, but does this include Mac OS? Or should I just make a bootable OS on a thumb drive? Yes, they are probably dumb newbie questions, but It's my first Mac and only had it 5 months. I now can use VoiceOver efficiently enough to operate the computer on a daily basis so want to get to know it inside out just like I know Windows computers. Might take some time but have to start by asking questions.

Greetings from the Netherlands.



Submitted by Tyler on Thursday, February 4, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Yes, there is a recovery partition. Boot into it by restarting the Mac while holding down command R.

Press command f 5 and Voiceover should come on. This let's you install OS X, either in place or clean, check and repair your disk with Disk utility, and more.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Friday, February 5, 2016

There is a recovery consoul in osx. Simply hold down command plus r at start up for about 30 seconds then let up and start voiceover. I would personally make a bootable usb drive though. See the guide I wrote on applevis on how to do this. It is an excerpt from my book on el capitan. It should help, keyword, should.

hope that helps a bit.

Submitted by Thomas Byskov Dalgaard on Friday, February 5, 2016

Hi Maanling!

I have never used Time Machine, because I didn't like the way it works. I know for a lot of users this is a great way of backing up, but it didn't work for me. Please note, I am not affending Time Machine, just pointing out that I had to find another solution for my backing up needs.

So after searching a little I found Carbon Copy Cloner

The nice thing about this program is that it can backup almost anything you may want. The key is to make tasks. A task tells CCC where to backup from and the destination where to store your backuped content. You can then allow it to check your files with a checksum. This simply means that it controls if any damage has ben done to the data on the source and the destination. This however takes longer while backing up, but for my personla point of view: Better safe than sorry.

I actually don't think there has ben a podcast about this lately, I know that an old one was done back in 2009 or 2010, but CCC has changed it's interface since then, but the basics are mostly the same. I believe the podcast is found on the Blind Geek Zone under the Blind Cool Tech archive page if you want to get a basic description on how it performs.

The program costs a little as you can see on the website, but it is werth it. The developer has worked hard on making the program accessible to Voiceover users, and the support is simply just amazing. The documentation is exelent, and hits almost any userbase. You can get information on how to backup your entire Mac in just three steps, or you can be as advanced as you like and do some very advanced tasks. The documentation is very well written, and the language is so clear that even I, who didn't know anything about backup when I started looking at it was able to read up and understand most of it after reading a few pages. So I highly recommend reading that. There is also a try-before-you-buy download that lasts for 30 days.

If your harddrive on your Mac fails one day, and you have backed up with Carbon Copy Cloner you can boot up from your backup and restore from the disk itself without loosing any data at all. That has saved me a few times, when I played with something, that I never ever should have touched... I just had to plugin my backup and restore from their.

Why do I like Carbon Copy Cloner over Time Machine that is free software and is on the Mac? Well, Time Machine lets me backup but I can not just boot into my backup and restore files from there, I have to use the recovery on the harddrive. For most people that might not be an issue, but I have tried once, (on my own computer) that the recovery HD was gone, so I guess it would have failed for me to use it. CCC will often create the recovery drive when you do a full system backup from your internal harddrive to an external media, so even if the disk itself fails, there is always a plan B you can use. That recovery can also be copied back to your internal mac if it all crashes one day, so you can use it later on.

Just some thoughts.

Best regards Thomas

Submitted by Maanling on Friday, February 5, 2016

Yet again you all provided useful information. Looks like I need to purchase another thumb drive.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Friday, February 5, 2016

Luckily you can go to somewhere like big lots and get a 7 gig drive for about $8 or so. Walmart or target also sells them for quite cheaply as well.

I also am starting to like ccc better then time machine. It just seems easier to use, and the support is wonderful. The developer acknowledged he needs to work on some stuff, but he gave me step by step instructions. If wanted I can do a podcast when I have time to breathe, maybe sometime this week before I take my mac in.

hope that helps.

Submitted by Maanling on Saturday, February 6, 2016

Nope, nope and uhm... Nope. None of those stores exist in the Netherlands. Lol. But I can order a drive inline for maybe 12 euros. I also feel like I never have time to breathe. Very behind on podcast subscriptions. But maybe making one for ccc is a useful idea.