Now that I’ve been using the Mac for a while, I began to think about backups. It comes with a feature called Time Machine, and there’s even a wireless drive that is designed to be used with this feature. At $200 for 1 TB, the drives are a bit pricey, and I missed the recent sale where you could get a 2 TB Time Machine drive for the 1 TB price.
I have an old 250 GB external Seagate drive that used to be in a PC. It’s in an enclosure now and has been collecting dust ever since I moved everything over to 500 GB drives and larger. So I thought I would try this drive with the Mac to see what would happen. I was presently surprised.
Running the laptop on the battery, I plugged in the 250 GB drive and the Mac immediately recognized it and assumed that I wanted to use it with Time Machine. I am not sure how it knew this. I just had to confirm that I wanted to start a backup, and it went on its merry way. I didn’t have to do anything else. I only had about 60 GB of data to back up, so there was plenty of space on the drive.
This is in stark contrast to the headache of backing up my current PC platform. Whether you do it manually or with one of the dozens of programs out there by Nero or Roxio, there’s usually too many steps involved and many settings on the PC. As it is I am now struggling with 2.5 TB of data backup that I run in segments over the course of the week because it takes so much time and manual effort to get it right. That, and when my PC virus scan runs, it takes about 6 hours for a full scan, which can sometimes run into a backup job, creating file locking issues.
Of course, the real test will come when I need to recover something from the Mac. I haven’t tried this yet, but I am hopeful. For now it looks like I’ll have enough real estate to do backups for a while. The Time Machine drive offers wireless backup, but that is a luxury right now.