Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Improve Mac backup with Disk cloning

Can you imagine the worst thing that can happen to your computer? Your system may get inaccessible either due to some logical reason or physical reason of hard disk failure. Physical reason includes scratched platters, broken read/write arm, hard drive motor failure, humidity or moisture in the drive, manufacturer defect, firmware corruption, overheated hard drive, head crash, and water or fire damage to the hard drive.

Logical reason includes failed boot sector, master boot record failure,
drive not recognized by BIOS, operating system malfunction, accidentally deleted data, software crash, corrupt file system, improper shutdown, software malfunction, data corruption, and computer virus .

Your computer can fail and that too without any backup of your important data. As we know prevention is better than cure so it is always suggested by experts to have an updated backup of your drive. Creating a backup of your data can be compared with buying an insurance policy. It will help you to stand unaffected even after a severe data loss situation. You can simply restore your entire computer system and continue your daily activities as usual. For data based enterprises, losing data means losing money. 

How to backup Mac machine?

There are various ways to keep backup of Mac machine. It can be done either by using built in time machine or via some third party tools like Stellar Drive clone, CCC, Super duper etc.. 

How to back up your Mac with Time Machine -

When you connect an external hard drive to your Mac for the first time , it asks if you want to use it for backups? Click Use as Backup Disk and System Preferences will open to display time machine preferences. The backup drive is called time capsule. Time machine always keeps incremental backup. 

Incremental backup- It includes only those things that have changed since the previous backup. The another ways of creating back up are Cloning and Imaging. 

Steps to take backup with Time Machine:-

1. Click on the Time Machine icon located in the OS X menu bar

2. Right-click the drive and select “Back Up Now” from the pop-up menu

3. It will start manual backup of your data.

4. You can exclude some items from backup to conserve disk space. 

Now, if you delete any important file accidentally, you can recover it from Time Machine. Click the Time Machine icon from your Dock to enter Time Machine and retrieve the file. When you keep backup in external hard drive, it is called an offline backup. Time Machine also comes inside offline backup method. Another method is ' online backup'.

Online backup is the method of storing data on remote server. Drop Box, Black blaze are the famous online data backup solution for Mac people. Drop Box helps you to store your data at remote server via internet. You can store data up to 2 GB free of cost but, after that you'll have to pay as per the plan. The users can access and modify the remotely stored data from anywhere and at any time. 

Disk cloning – The best way to reduce data loss

Hard disk cloning is one of the safest way to protect and preserve your important data from hard disk failures . Cloning means to create an exact replica or copy of your data.

Many people get confused with the terms of 'Cloning', 'Imaging'. The functionality and purpose of cloning is similar to imaging but the difference is clone is bootable but image is not. You can boot your system by clone. When you create clone, size of destination drive should be equal or greater than source but it is not necessary at the time of Imaging. 

When disk cloning is useful?
- To create exact copy of your data
- To set up systems for new users

I have used Stellar Drive Clone to create my Mac backup. It offers you the safest mean to create back up of your Mac.You can create sector-by-sector image of your hard drive or any specific volume. If your system is infected with a virus, you can easily get back your system to its original state by restoring all data from the clone. 


Cloning:- You can create exact copy of your Mac hard drive or any selected volume and keep them in other places. 

Imaging:- By this option you can make an image of any selected volume and restore back from image as it's original state. 

Tools- You can create a Boot DVD of the software to clone the Boot volume of your Mac
System Requirements for this software-

Processor:Intel, PowerPC (G3 or later)

Operating System: Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8, OS X 10.7,OS X 10.6, OS X 10.5, OS X 10.4 and OS X 10.3.

Memory: 256 MB RAM

Hard Disk: 25 MB of free space 

What to backup – Plan to backup

One should make backup plan but, what to backup is the most important thing. For example, if you wish to make multiple backups of personal data then keep an off-site (like CD, DVD) backup. The rest can be backed up to the Time Machine drive attached to your Mac. Now, you have to decide, which data is the most precious for you.

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