Your guide to making easy and reliable backups in Mac OS X!

Take Control of
Easy Mac Backups

Joe Kissell

There’s more to a solid Mac backup strategy than turning on Time Machine and hoping for the best. In this ebook, backup guru Joe Kissell explains just what you need to know (and no more) to set up easy and reliable backups using Time Machine and other tools that fill in for Time Machine’s limitations.

This product has been discontinued.

This ebook is no longer for sale.

In this book, you’ll find answers to questions such as these:

  • How can I get the maximum benefit from Time Machine?
  • What features should I look for in an external backup drive? And, should I use a Time Capsule, Apple’s all-in-one Wi-Fi router and backup appliance?
  • Should I use an online cloud backup service, such as Backblaze, CrashPlan, or JungleDisk?
  • Should I use USB or FireWire to connect my backup drive?
  • What’s a versioned backup, and why should I care?
  • Why is having a bootable duplicate important?
  • How can I easily and effectively keep an offsite backup?
  • Time Machine is acting strangely. What should I do?
  • How do I migrate existing backups to a Time Capsule?
  • What’s the difference between an online sync and a backup?
  • How do I restore a file from TimeMachine?
Joe Kissell

About Joe Kissell

Take Control publisher Joe Kissell has written more than 60 books about technology, including many popular Take Control books. He formerly wrote for publications such as Macworld, Wirecutter, and TidBITS. He lives in Saskatoon with his wife and their two sons.

What’s New in Version 1.1

The previous version of this book, Take Control of Easy Mac Backups version 1.0, was essentially a second edition of Take Control of Easy Backups in Leopard, and featured extensive modifications. Version 1.1 is a much smaller update, focusing on new developments in the year or so since version 1.0. The biggest changes are these:

  • A new section about a synchronization and backup program called Synk
  • Updates to the discussion of hardware-encrypted drives in Consider Other Factors and NAS devices in Should You Buy a Time Capsule? to cover new hardware options
  • Assorted modifications to the chapter Set Up and Use Time Machine, mainly involving third-party products and services
  • A new sidebar called Restore the Data, Not the Application
  • Information on how to restore data from GarageBand using Time Machine
  • A new section on how to Restore a Disk Using Time Machine
  • A vastly expanded discussion about what to do when your Time Machine volume runs out of space—Migrate to a Larger Time Machine Disk
  • A tip about how you might be able to Encrypt Time Machine Backups
  • A few Synk Tips for those using Synk for backup
  • Information on the new Dolly Drive service

What Was New in Take Control of Easy Mac Backups 1.0

Take Control of Easy Mac Backups has a new name, but it is essentially a second edition of Take Control of Easy Backups in Leopard with extensive modifications throughout. The biggest changes are these:

  • Updates to account for the (few) differences in backup behavior between Leopard and Snow Leopard
  • New and improved terminology throughout the book for several common backup features (see the Introduction, p. 8, for details)
  • A new section about ChronoSync and updated details on CrashPlan
  • A completely new discussion of Retrospect, which covers version 8.x
  • An expanded and updated section, Pick a Hard Drive, with new information on FireWire 800, pocket-sized hard drives, hardware-encrypted drives, and full-disk encryption software
  • Updated information on using Time Machine with some third-party NAS devices in Should You Buy a Time Capsule?
  • An updated and expanded discussion of Time Machine (Set Up and Use Time Machine, p. 48). In particular:
    • A new section about how to Set Up Your Time Machine Hardware
    • Details about utilities that provide more information about what Time Machine is doing in Find Out What Time Machine Is Really Up To and let you change its behavior in Modify the Hourly Backup Interval
  • New ChronoSync Tips and a revised list of Retrospect Tips
  • New or updated information about various online backup services: Backblaze, CrashPlan, Jungle Disk and MozyHome
  • A new sidebar (Online Syncing: Almost Backup, p. 95) that discusses Dropbox, iDisk, and SugarSync

If you’ve already used the first edition of this ebook, Take Control of Easy Backups in Leopard, to set up a working backup system, there’s no need to reread this entire book or totally revamp your setup, because my overall strategy remains essentially the same. My advice is to focus on the sections referenced in this list that describe new or updated backup software, devices, and services, as they may be able to save you some time, effort, and money in the future.

Does the book have in-depth coverage of Time Machine?

Yes, it certainly does.

What if I want to go beyond Time Machine?

The ebook also discusses other programs that address areas where Time Machine isn't currently a good choice.

Does the book cover backup strategies for large organizations?

Nope. It focuses on backup strategies for single computers and small networks but does not cover the specific needs of large, institutional networks.

I want a more comprehensive ebook about backups. Can you help?

Yes! Our best-selling title, Take Control of Mac OS X Backups, is extremely comprehensive. Almost frighteningly so.

  • Read Me First
  • Introduction
  • Quick Start to Easy Mac Backups
  • Understand Joe's Basic Backup Strategy
  • Decide if Time Machine Is Right for You
  • Pick a Hard Drive
  • Prepare Your Hard Drive
  • Set Up and Use Time Machine
  • Use Other Versioned Backup Software
  • Create a Bootable Duplicate
  • Store an Extra Backup Offsite
  • What to Do When Disaster Strikes
  • September 2011 -- Although we do not intend to update this particular ebook again, Joe continues to write about making backups for the Take Control series. His latest is <cite>Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac</cite>.

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