Thursday, April 29, 2010

Yes, Time Machine is a Must-Have

My iMac 27 was ready for pick up yesterday. I got the message when I got back from work. I did not leave my work phone number when I drop the iMac, but I phoned back last Monday and told the store to phone me at work. The store did not phone me at work and left a message at my home number. It was late and I did not have car. Today this morning there was heavy snow and wind, so I decided to work from home. At the lunch time, I went to the local Apple retail store to get my iMac 27" back.

I checked the iMac at the store. The hard drive was replaced and set back at initial setting. When it was turned on, a welcome screen and music were up. The first thing I did when I was back home was to migrate my time machine back. The job took about 3 hours. All my original settings, applications, movies, photos and data files are back! The only thing I did not backup was my dropbox folder, which I use DropBox cloud service to sync my files up to internet. When I logged in and started the, I was asked to re-connect and set up my local folder as DropBox, just as same way as I set it up. After that, all the files from my internet DropBox account were back to my HD. That's all, very smooth and easy.

I remembered that when I was at the store I saw two senior couple at the genius help desk with their iMac 24. It looked that they knew very little about Mac. The screen was white, the same way as I had before. I hoped that they had time machine to back up everything, files, photos and movies. What a nightmare if they did not.

Yes, time machine is a must-harve for Mac users.

Caution When You Turn TM on!

While I was writing this blog, I got a warning message from my time machine backup:

After I got my TM back to my iMac, I did not give it a thought about the content on TM. I turned TM on from system preference. It looks like that it was just doing a whole new backup appending to the TM. Since it is a TM backup, all the original content are gone, and only the last date one (restored) was kept. The new backup then starts a whole back again. As a result, double spaces are required and my external HD does not have enough space. Here is what I have now on the TM's external HD:

and here is the my TM failure (in system preference):

Therefore, my advise is that when you have your iMac HD replaced and then restored the TM's content, don't rush to turn on TM on the same external HD if you want to keep all the history files. Keep the TM in a safe place, and get another external HD as your new TM.

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