Everything You Need to Know Before Making a Backup Choice on Your Mac OS X

March 25, 2013|  

Mac OS X

If you are wary of physical drive failures, corrupt files, or application errors on your Mac, then the best way to drive away these blues is to back up data. When it comes to backups, Mac users have two choices, i.e. Time Machine backups and hard drive clones. 

The Time Machine utility is built into OS X and can be used to back up all kinds of files on your hard drive. Some people prefer clones to drive backups as they present a bootable copy of your system. Let us take a closer look at each of these backup options.

Benefits to Using Time Machine 

With Time Machine, everything is automatic. You just have to start this Apple tool and leave the rest to it. It will keep running to make sure you have the most recent copy of each file on your hard drive. You can run this tool not only with Finder, but in other programs, such as iPhoto and Mail. 

You can check your favorite snaps in iPhoto or search contacts in your address book while running Time Machine. As a built-in tool, Time Machine can be used to create backups as soon as you get an external drive at least twice the size of your internal drive.

Benefits to Cloning Mac Hard Drives 

Cloning is a better alternative to Time Machine backups especially when you have less drive space. Cloning creates a replica of your Mac hard drive that consumes exactly the same amount of space as the drive. This manifests itself in that a clone contains exactly one copy of each file on the source. 

Furthermore, it is good to have bootable clones than to have just data backups in place. You can swap a bootable clone with your failed hard drive and get your system up almost instantly. 

Both Time Machine backups and hard drive clones are good backup choices for Mac users in their own right. In general, clones are preferred as offsite backups that are kept in a different location from the system. 

If you need to clone Mac HDDs, you can use Apple's Disk Utility. In case you want more cloning options, you can go for commercial Mac hard drive cloning software. 

These tools enable you to set preferences to customize the cloning process according to your convenience. Further, they support hard drives formatted with MBR Partition Map scheme. You can also choose to resize volumes on the destination drive to save disk space. 

About the Guest Author:
Benzamin Watson is a software analyst and loves to share his findings about Mac tools and here is one of his articles about how to clone Mac hard drive.