Recovering From A Hard Drive Failure


I use SuperDuper, and run a backup on a weekly basis. SuperDuper helped me recover from hard drive crashes in the past, and it couldn’t be easier to use (because you don’t really use it, after all).

However, I’m not as anxious about backups as I used to be. With the move from local storage to cloud services, I feel comfortable knowing that my documents always exist somewhere. I see this every time I set up a fresh install of OS X: my documents, passwords, and photos are in Dropbox and Evernote, my music is on Rdio, my purchased apps are on the Mac App Store, and if they’re not, I have a license saved in my Gmail account. My movies and TV shows are on Plex and iTunes in the Cloud.

Federico Viticci over at MacStories comments on how he’s more relaxed when backing up.

One benefit of using services such as Dropbox and Evernote is that your data is always on a server. It acts like a backup since setting up a new device often pulls the data down. This is very useful whenever switching device since setting a new one up automatically downloads the data.

But don’t let that fool you, it’s no substitute for a good backup plan. Dropbox does offer file versioning but since Apple provide an exceptional backup tool for free, there’s absolutely no excuse for not having at least a Time Machine backup. Time Machine backs up the entire Mac, not just what resides in your Dropbox folder. Most people don’t have a Dropbox account big enough to contain all their media so it’s a good additional step.

I’ve witnessed first hand Time Machine save someone’s bacon (including my own) and being able to easily roll back to a previous version of a file is an extremely overlooked feature.

Unless you’re constantly on the move then there’s just no reason why you shouldn’t have a constantly running backup plan. Consider it insurance for your data. You’d insure your home and car, so why not your photos and documents?