This post was updated 10/31/14
We just had full moon, and it seems like it brought a ton of new Data Recovery jobs into the MacMedics offices. Spooky!
Now that it’s Halloween, I offer you the perfect metaphor for your Mac’s (or iPhone’s) Back Up. Don’t play “Trick Or Treat” with your valuable data.
When we have clients show up at our Mac Lab with data we can’t recover it just breaks our hearts. We’ve got a great track record for Recovering AND Rescuing data for folks (Usually for just $399 w/ free 1TB Time Machine drive so you never lose your data again BTW), but there are cases we we can’t help with. We will refer these jobs off to Clean Room recovery firms, and often they can save your data in exchange for fees as high as $2500. But, not all data can be saved, and about 10% of the cases we refer, there’s not a positive result, and that data is gone forever.
As soon as you buy a new Mac, or get an old Mac’s hard drive repaired, you need to have a back up program running. On any Mac that is running Leopard (10.5) or Snow leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8), Mavericks (10.9), or Yosemite (10.10) use the built-in Time Machine! It’s very, VERY powerful, and has been used to save lots of our client’s data. Plus it’s the MOST POWERFUL feature that is BUILT IN to the Mac’s modern OS!
The important thing is to PLAN AHEAD. Your back up is not complete if it’s not:
1. Automatic (Use Time Machine and this point is covered)
2. Redundant (Double your back up with a clone of your data and this point is covered)
3. Off-Site (Take your double back up off-site or get Mozy and this point is covered)
See how easy it is to be 100% covered! Now think of how much better you’ll feel knowing this little project has been taken care of and that your back up has been certified! If you need help getting a back up in place, we can help. On-site, In-lab, or even Remote Desktop Support, we’re there, and we’ll help get your back up configured and tested!
While all of us at MacMedics are HUGE fans of Time Machine, it’s not 100% infallible. MacMedics recommends that you ALSO back up your hard drive via a “clone” use Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner, as that way you can “test” your back up to insure you have a good, bootable copy. With a “clone” back up AND a Time Machine back up, you’re covered for TWO types of back ups, and you’re DOUBLING your chances for a successful recovery.
This might also be a good time to enhance your back up plan by adding an off-site back up. MacMedics hosts our own in-house CrashPlan backup server for your important data! So, if you want to expand into a cloud backup, we can help!
We had a client in with a bad MacBook hard drive just a few days ago, and she was mostly backed up, but she was working a major project for her employer that had huge amount of Excel data in it. All she wanted was that one folder. Sadly we could not get it for her. If she had set up Mozy, even if she did not have a back up drive *a common problem for portable computers), her data would have been “automatically” backed up AND “off-site” thus completing two points of the golden triangle of data protection. Best of all, it would have been 100% free!
We have tons of posts on Time Machine and we even have a free White Paper on it If you’d like a copy, let us know. If you’re not using an automatic backup, your data is at risk!
Also, don’t forget that hard drives don’t last forever. Our rule of thumb for hard drive retirement is as follows. In Apple laptops the hard drive should be proactively replaced after 2 to 3 years years. In Apple desktops the hard drive should be proactive replaced after 3 years. You can find out more about this on our website http://www.HardDrivesDie.com.
There’s one more thing I would like to mention here. iPhones and iPod touch models also need to be backed up. All you have to do is to sync with you Mac from time to time. People are starting to treat these portable Apple products as stand alone devices, and when you think about it, many people are generating data on their iPhones and iPods just like they do on a computer.
You’ve got photos, e-mails, text documents, bookmarks, files, contacts, calendars, and videos that all can be generated or sent to your mobile device. All you have to do is connect to iTunes, and it will back up your device. Apple also has iCloud, which offers a PAID service that will allow you backup your entire iOS device to the cloud. This is however not automatic, and it IS something you have to pay for. Photos in My Photo Stream are saved on the iCloud server for 30 days. To save or back up these photos, you must copy them from My Photo Stream to your Camera Roll on your iOS device. You can then back up your Camera Roll using iCloud or iTunes.
There are not too many ways to get mission critical data off a dead iPhone. We can often do it, but the data is all stored on the logic board of your iPhone or iPod touch. If it gets wet, gets dropped, or gets lost or stolen, then there goes your data. If we can’t get your logic board to fire up, then we don’t have access to your data.
Be sure to read “The Nine Things We Wish We Did Before Our House Burned Down“. We have the list line by line and a link to the original post, which is a “MUST READ” for anyone that has a house OR a computer