Chapter 22. Backing Up Your Mac

This chapter is all about saving the important data on your computer so that you don't lose it. When you put funds into a savings account, you are essentially protecting that money from getting lost or spent on something other than what it was intended for. When you back up, or save, your information, you are protecting it as well, whether from yourself, someone else, or the Mac itself.

In this chapter we'll explore Time Machine, Apple's simple-to-use backup utility that ships as part of Mac OS X Leopard. I'll show you how to set it up and keep it going to make sure you don't lose any files. And if Time Machine isn't your cup of tea, I'll tell you about some third-party backup utilities as well.

Why and What to Back Up

This section of the chapter is for those of you who can't think of a good reason to take time regularly to back up, or for those who aren't certain what files they should be backing up.

Why back up?

What if your home burned to the ground and you lost everything inside? All of your family photographs were gone. Insurance papers and financial documents were completely destroyed. Heirlooms that have been passed down to you from several generations won't be passed down to your children. The books you've always loved to read were some of the first items to go up in the flames. Sentimental items such as your wife's wedding gown or your grandmother's Bible are ...

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