We cannot begin to tell you the number of people who come to us, in tears, with their computer in hand because their hard drive has failed.

In real life we often refer to death and taxes as the only guarantees. If you use computers then you should add the death of a hard drive to that phrase. It is not a question of if, but when your hard drive will fail. No one is immune and there is not a hard drive on the planet that isn’t capable of dying.

We know so many people with the attitude of “it won’t happen to me”. The problem is the five people who came in last week, with dead hard drives, proclaimed the same prophesy.

We don’t want you to loose all the information you have created for that major project, or even your family videos and photographs. This content is irreplaceable. Thankfully, there are a number options available that will assist in the preservation of your digital content.

At mac-fusion we understand backing up can be a daunting task and whilst we promote the 3-2-1 backup process we want to start by introducing you to the Time Machine backup process.

Time Machine is Apple’s very own application that comes preinstalled on your Mac. It is easily found within the Applications folder, or via the Dock.

In order to use Time Machine, you will need to assign a hard drive to act as the backup drive. This hard drive should not be an old spare that you have laying around, nor should it already contain valuable content. It is imperative that you consider purchasing a new hard drive that is dedicated purely as a Time Machine backup drive.

At mac-fusion, we sell a number of hard drives that will suit all needs, and budgets. The key to a successful Time Machine backup, is a hard drive that is at least twice the capacity of your Mac’s internal drive.

The reason for this additional space is so versions of content can be preserved. Imagine working on a large project, but you changed, or deleted an asset weeks earlier that proved to be vital to the conclusion of the project. With Time Machine, you can effectively go back in time to reinstate that asset and all its previous saved versions.

If you did use a smaller hard drive, Time Machine would still operate, just not effectively and overtime valuable information would be overwritten.

Choosing a hard drive doesn’t need to be a difficult task. Any well known brand that includes USB, FireWire, or Thunderbolt connectivity will work fine. You could even consider purchasing Apple’s very own Time Capsule.

The Time Capsule encapsulates a full wired and dual-band wireless router along with an internal hard drive. The capacities available include 2TB or 3TB.

Time Machine and the associated hard drive of choice, is a set it and forget it option. Your content will be backed up in the background, every hour, whilst you work or while your Mac is sitting idle. As you continue to backup more information, the oldest backups will be deleted as you run out of storage.

How Do I Set It Up For The First Time?

When you connect a new hard drive to your Mac, Time Machine will ask if you wish to use it as the backup drive. If you select to use it for this purpose, the application will then start backing up all the content on your Mac.

Depending on the amount of content, and the speed and connection of your hard drive, this process will likely take several hours.

If you decide to use Apple’s Time Capsule, the setup is a little different, but by no means complicated. You can find detailed instructions for setting up, and backing up, to a Time Capsule buy reading Apple’s official support articles or schedule an onsite and have mac-fusion do it for you.

Using the Time Capsule, also allows you to backup more than a single Mac. This is perfect should you have a desktop and laptop, or run a small office.

Restoring Files

Time Machine gives a simple and user friendly approach to restoring content when needed.

If you notice that you have accidentally deleted an important file or folder, simply go to the directory where it was previously saved, click on Time Machine in the Dock, and your Mac will transform into Time Machine mode. From this view, you are able to navigate through the different saved versions that are present on the Time Machine backup. You can easily click a date to jump to on the right hand side of the display, or you can use the up and down arrow keys to navigate between saved versions.

When you find the files you were looking for, simply select and click the restore button. You will then be sent back to the normal desktop mode, and the file or files you have selected will be copied from your backup drive, back to your Mac. It is that easy.

Now that you have a better understanding of Time Machine and the basic backup process, we beg of you keep expanding your options and consider the 3-2-1 backup processes that are laid out by dpBestflow.org.

A single backup is a good start, but it is far from enough.

If you have any questions about Time Machine, or backup in general, please call us or come into our store to discuss your specific requirements. A quick conversation may just save all those years of irreplaceable family memories.