Apple excels at making what’s complex much easier. Take back ups. There are dozens of ways to back up a Mac. Apple’s Time Machine made it a rather simple affair.
Time Machine is great for what it does, but what it does it make finding lost files easier. It’s not so good at restoring your Mac’s hard disk drive when it dies. What most Mac users want is another set it and forget it utility.
The Day Your Hard Disk Drive Dies
It does not matter which Mac you have—notebook, iMac, Mac mini, MacPro—sooner or later the hard disk drive will die. Cease to exist. Sort of.
Put another way, you Mac disk drive will fail. The data is gone.
Data? What data? Photos. Movies. Documents. Music. What if you’ve backed up everything on your Mac to another disk drive using your Mac’s Time Machine.
Safe, right? Almost. There are two steps to recovery of a Mac whose hard disk drive has failed. The first step is getting a new disk drive.
The second step is restoring the disk drive to the same state it was in when the original died—all your files are back where they should be—Photos, movies, documents, music. Everything works again.
Time Machine is an answer, yes, but a slow process, the slow-boat-to-China method of restoration. Only one method is faster, easier, and works better. Cloning.
Send In The Clones
For Mac users, a cloned hard disk drive is a life saver, and just as easy to set up and use as Time Machine, but much faster at getting your Mac back up and running. In fact, using the back up utility CarbonCopyCloner with yet another disk drive is arguably the best first step to a great back up solution.
Why? It’s the cloning process. CarbonCopyCloner is a donationware utility which literally clones everything on your Mac’s hard disk drive to another disk drive. It’s an exact, bit for bit, file for file clone; a replica of the original which can be used in place of your Mac’s drive (while you wait for a replacement).
If you’re new to Macs and worry about your files should you hard disk drive die (and it will), then a cloned disk drive is the easy way to full recover (whether used in concert with Time Machine or not).
CCC Back Up Features
Using CCC to clone your Mac’s disk drive to another disk drive could not be much simpler. Attach the new external disk drive to your Mac (Mac Pro models can also clone internal disk drives). Start up CCC. Select the disk drive to clone (from) and the disk drive to back up (to). Click to clone.
The initial back up may take an hour or longer (totally depends on how many files you’re backing up), but the end result is a bootable back up disk drive. That means you can use that disk drive, plugged into another Mac, to start up and run perfectly.
Want to change out your Mac’s hard disk drive to a larger one?
Clone it first, swap the Mac’s disk drive, clone back again. Incremental back ups are done in minutes after the first back up.
CarbonCopyCloner also comes with a built-in Scheduler. Set it to back up your Mac whenever you want, including hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly, or automatically when you re-attach your Mac to the external back up disk drive.
Got a Mac attached to your home or office network? CCC can back up files from one Mac to another Mac across the network. What’s really nice about CCC as a cloning utility is that back up is painlessly easy—but it’s the exact same process to restore your Mac. Clone a new disk drive from the cloned disk drive.
Think of the worst case scenario. You start the day by starting up your Mac and it doesn’t start. The disk drive has died. Fried. Bought the farm. Pushing up digital daisies. What do you do? If you’ve cloned a back up disk drive using CCC, simply start up your Mac using the clone. All your files are safe and sound. Not bad for donationware, huh?