How To Setup Time Machine On A Mac

In our role as a computer technician, we are often surprised (but less so as time goes on) at the amount of people who own a Mac & don’t backup.

We encounter this time and time again : a client reports of a ‘grey folder’ or ‘question mark’ when trying to startup their mac. They can’t use their computer, and they’re wondering whats wrong. We immediately report that ‘it’s most likely the hard drive is dead’ and they act surprised : ‘But it’s a mac!’.

So what? Mac’s use the same hard drives as other computers and hard drives fail no matter what kind of computer system they operate within. Look at the graph below. That shows the average failure rate (AFR) of Hard Drives over 5 years. The math speaks for itself.

Unfortunately, about 4/5 people DO NOT backup their data. Considering over one third failure rate of a Hard Drive in a 5 year span, this is nothing short of insane.

We have to report to them that all their files, important documents, entire photo collection (often dating back many years), and their entire iTunes library, with thousands of songs, videos, downloads and ebooks are all GONE. Whilst we can attempt a comprehensive data recovery from the drive, there is no guarantee’s of what is still recoverable.

Here’s how to setup time machine on a Mac

Step 1 : Purchase a External 1GB or larger Hard Disk Drive (~$100 for a 1TB From officeworks)

Step 2 : Plug It In

Step 3 : Say ‘YES’ to the prompt asking to use the new drive as a Time Machine Backup.

Seriously folks, just do it. It takes about $100 and 5 minutes to setup, and from then on it’s set and forget.  Time machine will do a once off full system backup. From then, it’ll backup every hour.

ALL Hard Drives eventually fail. Backups are a fail safe – they’re designed to be your fallback should all your important data just disappear forever.

If you need any help setting up a backup solution, recovering files from a dead hard drive, replacing a hard drive, or getting your Mac working again, please contact us on 0468 333 996

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