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Tom Briant

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

A warning to everyone planning to tweak their Macs…BACKUP FIRST OF ALL

I write to you from a resurrected system. I did something dumb yesterday and paid the penalty of waiting several hours for Time Machine to reinstall my Mac from a backup. 


Twice. Ouch.


I feel very lucky. The last time my Mac blew a rod and needed to be reset through Time Machine, I found out I hadn’t backed up for several weeks. I spent several hours typing in my bank transactions from printouts into Quicken. 


Excuse me while I tap on the screen. Hello, you there, writing about the delicious fish tacos you ate last night on Facebook? Or playing a first-person shooter? 


Take A Moment out of your busy day to check your system. Did you plug in your backup drive? Does it work? Check It Out. 


Restart your system. At the “bong!”, hold down the Command and R keys. This will cause your system to boot from the hidden partition Apple provides for fixing messes.


Click on Restore from Time Machine. 


See if the Time Machine drive appears. If necessary, unplug it and plug it again. There, now it appears.


Now click on the drive’s icon to see if your backups appear. How recent are those backups?


You might even to want to see if  you can restore your backup. Buy a sufficiently large external hard drive and try to restore to it while you sleep or go to work.


Now try to boot up from that external drive. Ah, the moment of truth…


For all of  you saying, “Well, backups are inconvenient,” value your time at least $20 an hour and ask how long it would take to recreate all those files you’ve accumulated. All of them. 


That’s a lot of money, now isn’t it? So plug in that external hard drive and back up!


Oh, and regarding my categories of people who will come up with the next big things in personal computer hardware and software? If I didn’t include you, I’m sorry. 


Now get to work. 


I’m don’t know. Prove Me Wrong.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog

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