I wasn’t sure about Time Machine when it was announced, sure it was great to have regular, up-to-date backups with no effort but I couldn’t believe that restoring would be as easy as Apple said it would be. Unfortunately I had a chance to test Time Machine to its fullest in the week just gone.
My iMac was feeling a little sluggish so I ran the cleanup scripts in a program called OnyX, the program has never let me down before but as the scripts were running I noticed the whole contents of my home directory beginning to disappear. I panicked a little but new Time Machine had just completed a backup before I ran the scripts.
First I tried restoring all my data from Time Machine piece by piece but it was taking far too long. The solutions was easy, boot of the Leopard DVD and select the option to restore my whole system from time machine, 45 minutes later the computer rebooted and I was greeted with my old system, all my files, back where they used to be like nothing had happened.
My Aperture library was backed up separately using vaults because Time Machine always insists on backing up the whole library, the restore for Aperture was another half-hour and all my photos were back too.
I couldn’t have asked for an easier restore, yet another shining example of Apple’s software. I won’t personally be using OnyX again but a word of warning, if you don’t use Time Machine, back up your system as frequently as you can afford to. You think data loss will never happen to you but more than likely it will and it saves a lot of trouble (and possibly heartbreak) if you have good backups.
Check back soon for more tales of survival.