Monday, June 23, 2008

Time Machine Restore

Although few people do it, restoring from backup is the only way to ensure that your backup and recovery system works. Since upgrading to Leopard, I have been using Time Machine to back up my laptop over the network (onto a and external hard drive connected via USB to my Airport Extreme). What better way to test a restore from Time Machine than to put in a bigger hard drive and restore? I figured if it didn't work, I would still have my old hard drive (still working but too small).

I am happy to report that the restore went perfectly. The general instructions are to be found here. The only difference is that I restored from the network rather than directly through the USB port. The one little hitch I ran into was that it took a couple of times for the utility to see my new local hard drive.

I am the kind of person who is frequently shocked when things work as advertised so I was in awe that, after I swapped out the hard drive and ran through the process, it was like nothing happened but the free space of my hard drive grew. All the software was as I left it. Even my BASH history was intact. The only thing missing was my "Downloads" - I had to recreate it. I guess this is because Mac regards this as a temporary space and not worth recovering.

So, don't hesitate to set up Time Machine. It could help you recover from a massive hard drive failure, a stolen laptop, or any other disaster - as if it never happened.