Backups

How to upgrade a Mac OS Time Machine drive

20090329time-machine-step-0Since it’s wholly automatic and completely transparent, it’s silly not to make use of the Mac OS Time Machine utility — as long as you’ve got a large enough external drive for it to work with, of course. I’ve been using it with a 320Gb Seagate FreeAgent Pro external USB drive, but this only gave a backup history of about a month with my 320Gb MacBook Pro drive (which has about 90Gb in use).

So, since I also had an old 500Gb Western Digital MyBook drive lying around, I thought I’d use that for backups instead — not only would its greater capacity offer a few more weeks’ backup history, but its FireWire 800 port should make Time Machine a bit quicker to work with, too.

Rather than simply plug in the MyBook and use it as a new Time Machine drive though, I wanted to transfer my old backups and simply add to them. There’s no obvious way to do this, but it can be done easily enough — here’s how. (more…)

Where does iTunes keep its iPhone backups?

Whenever an iPhone is synchronised with iTunes, iTunes makes a backup of (most of) the iPhone’s data. You can view the iTunes’ backup history by going to Preferences > Devices.

picture-7iTunes maintains some kind of history for successive backups, but I have no idea of the underlying logic. You would imagine that three or four backups would be queued and older backups retired as new ones are made. But no, that doesn’t happen. Instead iTunes seems to purge its backup history on a schedule of its own devising — I’m guessing maybe daily, but I haven’t yet bothered to try and find out.

The problem is that when something goes screwy with your iPhone or iPod Touch (like erasing your contacts during a Google Mobile Sync…) and you fire up iTunes to restore it from a backup you now to be good, you can bet that the backup will have been purged. (more…)

Backup your iPhone contacts to Google with iTunes

If you want to use Google Mobile Sync to keep your iPhone synchronised with your Google Calendar and Contacts, you’ll have to backup any existing contacts on your iPhone first, otherwise Google Sync will delete them.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to do this and you can use iTunes to upload your contacts to your Google Contacts list. You can then set up Google Mobile Sync and sync those same contacts (along with any others) back to your iPhone. Here’s how. (more…)

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