Venus Gets a Time Machine Backup

Over the years, I’ve developed a very elaborate — but pretty reliable — backup strategy. I keep all of my data on my file server. It backs up, offsite, automatically, to CrashPlan throughout the day. Once a month I make a backup to an external hard drive. I’ve never focused on backing up my laptop, because all of my data is on the file server. If something happened to my laptop, I wouldn’t be at risk of losing any documents, pictures, videos, or other personal files. But I’ve recently come around to the fact that even though something happening to my laptop wouldn’t be the end of the world, it would certainly be an annoyance to have to re-install applications, get settings back to where they were, and hope there wasn’t one stray important file stored only on my laptop. This recently weighed on me when I had to send my laptop in for service on short notice, and realized that anything could have happened to it in transit.

So, I decided to start using Apple’s Time Machine backup software, and bought a Western Digital Elements 2TB external hard drive for this. Time Machine is great because there’s very little configuration or setup needed, it “just works”. It backs up the entire laptop hard drive, so in the event of a catastrophic failure, you could use that drive to restore the entire machine as it was, either to the same laptop or to a different Mac. And it also allows for retrieving data on a file-by-file basis, with full version history.

My existing backup solution already made me feel confident in the safety of my important files, and now with Time Machine I also feel confident in the ability to restore my laptop itself.

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