Wondering if the Mac Time Machine backup application is worth using? It is. Mac’s Time Machine is, without a doubt, the best personal backup system on the market today. It not only automatically backs up your entire system - every application, setting, preference, email, photo, document, music file - but it also remembers the state of your system on any given day in the past.
If you have a Mac Pro running OS X 10.6 or later, you need to get an external hard drive to use the Time Machine. Your external hard drive should be at least one terabyte in storage capacity - as always, more is better. Once you buy that external hard drive, all you need to do is plug it in. Here’s what Mac’s Time Machine does:
To set up the Time Machine backup, all you do is connect your external drive using the system (SB, FireWire or Thunderbolt) connector. You can also use another internal (non-bootable) drive. Once your Mac detects the new drive - and you haven’t already specified a Time Machine backup device - the system prompts you to use the new drive as the Time Machine backup disk.
The first time you activate the Time Machine backup the system performs a complete backup - actually, it makes a spare copy - of everything on your Mac Pro. Block out some time for this first backup, as it could take about an hour, depending on how full your hard drive is.
Once the Time Machine application is set up, it continues to work in the background automatically backing up your system each hour. (Look for the spinning “reverse-time” icon on your Mac main menu bar as an indication that the application is running.)
Entering the Time Machine in operation for the first time is a treat for new users. Say you wanted to retrieve a previous version of an application file that you inadvertently ruined. You know that the file was in good condition when you shut down the day before.
Just click on the Time Machine Icon on your Mac menu bar and select “Enter Time Machine.” Select the date and time from the vertical bar on the right of the Time Machine window and navigate to the file you need to restore or retrieve. Once you locate the file you have the option to overwrite the previous version (if any) or to keep both the old and new versions.
You can do anything from restoring a data file (or a corrupted application file) to replicating your system on a new hard drive using the Time Machine. To learn more on setting up the Time Machine, see the Mac Basics tutorial.