Leopard: Time Machine Setup

Backup is now super easy in Mac OS X 10.5. Using an external hard drive, networked hard drive, or a separate partition, you can easily do serial backups of your data. These steps will walk you through the setup of Leopard’s Time Machine.

Leopard’s Time Machine will save serial backups of your computer so you can restore files and applications lost. Plus, it comes with a wonderful interface that allows you to look into the past backups and pull out whatever is needed.

There are only two hard steps to this.

You need to connect your system to a large backup drive.

A networked hard drive, an additional internal hard drive, or an external hard drive all work well, but obviously they must be connected.

Your system must be on.

Many people with a MacBook or MacBook Pro may find it difficult to leave their laptops connected to an external device and open for the backups to take place. A networked hard drive through an airport extreme router is a logical choice.

Once you have the hardware in place, the software is actually very easy.

1. Click the Time Machine icon in the dock

2. It will ask you to set your backup device. If not, you can do this later.

3. Next the Time Machine dialog box will open. Make sure the big off-on switch is turned to on.

4. You can use the Change Disk button to change your backup device.

5. You can use the Options button to change what partitions are actually saved. (You probably want everything.)

6. Close the window and resume your normal activities.

Later, a small Time Machine window will open and start the saving process. Obviously the first saves will be huge and take a while.

7. If you need to restore a file or application, click the Time Machine icon and you can browse back through time until you find what you need. (Can click on thumb below for a larger view)


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
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The Conversation

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  • Sami

    What if your external hard drive already has files on it that you want to keep?

    • jamescash

      Worked for me yesterday using a in-service external hard drive. Since capacity was limited due to previous Finder type backups, I set Time Machine to back up the user’s Photos directory.

  • Nice utility

  • ijokasu

    thanks for the inormation

  • Nice clear summary. But I’ve never heard if you can plug in a second drive to a Time Capsule and double its capacity.

  • indee

    I just bought a My Book Studio external hard drive to use for my Time Machine back up. However when i select it as the back up device i get a message
    “The file “.0017f2d768cd” could not be saved in folder “My Book”.” and the Time Machine Set Up will not let me select My Book.
    Any idea what i need to do to resolve this problem?
    My first back up with Time Machine was to a 500G LaCie, but I want to switch over to this new device with more storage space.

    • If you format it to HFS+ through Disk Utility, you shouldn’t have this problem.