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How to restore your data from the cloud | Macworld

How to restore your data from the cloud | Macworld | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Online backups are an important part of a well-balanced backup strategy. But after disaster strikes, how exactly do you restore all that data you lost?

  Online backups are a useful component of a well-balanced backup strategy. Whether you rely primarily on cloud storage for backups (see “Backup Basics”) or use the cloud to supplement local backups such as bootable duplicates (see “Bulletproof Backups”), it’s crucial to understand how you will go about restoring your data after disaster strikes.

  Disaster is the operative word here. If you merely need to restore a few individual files or folders, usually that’s simple enough—typically you use either the backup client software installed on your Mac or the backup provider’s website to specify which versions of which files you want, click a button or two, and wait for the files to download. No big deal.

  But what if your entire hard disk dies and needs replacing, or your Mac is stolen and you have to start over with a new one? Such situations require a different strategy, because your online backups almost certainly don’t include every single file on your Mac; and in any case, even with a fast broadband connection, you may be looking at days or weeks to restore whatever data you keep in the cloud.

 One way or another, you must first get your Mac back to a state of basic functionality, and then—perhaps by stages—restore your crucial missing files from the cloud. How you go about that depends on what other backups (if any) you have available.

 

If you have no other backups

  Let’s start with the least pleasant scenario: Your only backups are in the cloud, and you have no local copies of your data at all. You have to do more work and wait longer to get up and running; but if you backed up all your crucial files, you will return to a happy place in due time.

  Set up OS X: Your first step is to make sure that your drive has OS X installed. New Macs, of course, come with OS X already installed. If you’ve had to replace a defective drive with a new, empty drive, you’ll need to install OS X on it before doing anything else.

 If your Mac shipped with an older version of OS X that included physical installation media (a DVD, CD, or flash drive)—or if you planned ahead and made yourself a recovery volume using the OS X Recovery Disk Assistant—then just start from that media and run the installer. Newer Macs (those released in the past two years or so) have no separate OS X media in the box; instead, they rely on OS X Internet Recovery. Hold down Command-R as you restart the machine, and follow the prompts to redownload Lion or Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store and install it on the new disk.

  Get your backup or sync software up and running: After getting your Mac working again, your next step is to download and install whatever cloud backup or sync software you used. Run the software and sign in with the same account you used previously.

What happens next depends on the type of software you used:

  For sync software, such as Dropbox (), SpiderOak (), and SugarSync (), you need only wait—all your synced files will download automatically in the background.

  For backup software, such as Backblaze, CrashPlan (), or MozyHome, follow the instructions for restoring the latest copies of your backed-up files. (You might want to skip restoring backups of email, contacts, and calendars, as I'll discuss in a moment.) Restoration speed depends on the throughput of your broadband connection. If you find that it’s too slow for your needs, you can either try moving your Mac to a location with a faster connection or request that the cloud provider ship your data overnight on a hard drive, DVD, or flash drive (for an extra fee, naturally).

  While you’re waiting for your files to download or arrive at your door, you can work on several additional restoration steps.

Reinstall your applications: Most cloud backup services don’t back up your apps. You’ll have to reinstall them from the Mac App Store (Apple menu > App Store), download them from the developers’ sites, or use original installation media to get all your apps back.

 

Redownload purchased media: Using iTunes, you can redownload previous purchases of media such as music, movies, TV shows, books, and iOS apps (which you may not have included in your online backups or syncs). And if you signed up for Apple’s $25-per-year iTunes Match service, you can download fresh copies of all your music tracks (even those not purchased from Apple).

  Use Photo Stream to restore photos: If you previously enabled iCloud’s Photo Stream feature, you can open Aperture () or iPhoto (), make sure it’s still enabled (check the Photo Stream preference pane in either app), and sit back while up to 1000 of your most recent photos download to your Mac.

  Sync email, contacts, and calendars: If you rely on cloud-based services for email, contacts, and calendars—particularly iCloud, Google, Exchange servers, and (for email only) other IMAP servers—getting your data back into apps like Mail, Contacts, and Calendar is usually as easy as signing in to your account(s) and waiting for the data to synchronize from the server to your Mac. It’s better to grab all this data directly from the server rather than restoring it from backups, because the server almost certainly has fresher and more current versions of all the data, and restoring from backups may result in irritating collisions with live server syncing.

  You can redownload previous purchases in iTunes, even if you didn't back up those files. Select 'iTunes Store' in the sidebar, click the 'Purchases' link, select a type of media, and then click 'Not on This Computer' to view the items you can download.

 

If you have only a Time Machine backup

  Let’s say you wisely supplemented your cloud-based syncing or backups with Time Machine (but have no other local backups). This means you can restore every single file on your disk, including OS X itself and all your applications, to their state at the last time Time Machine ran. You can do so even if you install a completely new, blank drive. In this case the smartest move is to start by restoring the Time Machine backup (see “How to restore data from Time Machine”), and then to use your cloud sync or backup software for any files that may have changed since your last Time Machine backup. (In all probability, there will be few if any of these.)

  I should mention, however, that if you use Dolly Drive () to store your Time Machine backups in the cloud, restoring your whole disk over the Internet may be impractical (and it will certainly be very time-consuming). Dolly Drive recommends, as I do, that you also have a bootable duplicate (or “clone”) of your startup volume on a local hard disk, and that you restore that duplicate before downloading files from the cloud, as I'll cover in the next scenario.

 

If you have a bootable duplicate

  Restoring a disk from a bootable duplicate is simple. Start from the duplicate and then, using an app such as SuperDuper, select the duplicate as the source and your internal disk as the destination.If, in addition to cloud backups, you made a bootable duplicate of your entire disk, restoring that first will give you the fastest path, by far, to complete data recovery. Attach the disk containing your duplicate to your Mac, and then restart the machine while holding down the Option key. Select the duplicate and press Return to start your Mac from that disk. Then run whatever app you used to create the duplicate, such as Shirt Pocket Software’s $28 SuperDuper or Bombich Software’s $40 Carbon Copy Cloner, to reverse the process. Select your duplicate as the source and your new, empty internal disk as the destination.

  Within a few hours, the restoration should be complete. Use the Startup Disk pane of System Preferences to set your startup volume to be your internal disk, and restart. Your Mac should now be exactly as it was the last time you updated your duplicate, which, if you take my advice, will be no less often than once a week.

  Now, all that remains is to download any files you backed up to the cloud since that duplicate was last updated. For syncing services such as Dropbox, you don’t have to do anything; the download just happens automatically in the background. For certain backup apps (notably CrashPlan), unfortunately there’s no automated way to say “restore all files modified since date x.” You may have to either manually select the files you want to restore or restore everything, which will involve overwriting many files with identical copies from the cloud. That will, however, eventually get your disk back to where it was.

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Hard drive teardown - YouTube

Bill opens up a computer hard drive to show how it is engineered. He describes how the "head" reads the magnetic information on the disk; reveals how a voice...
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Fix inaccessible and grayed out folders in the OS X Finder

Fix inaccessible and grayed out folders in the OS X Finder | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
All files and folders that you encounter when browsing the Finder in OS X should be displayed in regular font and icon color; however, there may be times when this is not the case, and one or more ...
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How to cull your iPhoto library of duplicates and bad photos

How to cull your iPhoto library of duplicates and bad photos | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Many of us have huge iPhoto libraries packed with duplicates and poor images. Follow these steps to weed the keepers from the clunkers.
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The Software and Services Apple Needs to Fix

The Software and Services Apple Needs to Fix | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it

Marco Arment's excellent post on Apple's current state of development has this pithy sentence:
…the software quality has fallen so much in the last few years that I’m
deeply concerned for its future.
Apple has huge cash reserves, is massively profitable, and none of that
seems likely to falter, nor is that by any means what Marco meant. None of us think Apple will go out of business. Rather, that we will lose the
reasons we have selected using Apple's products over those of other

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9 password manager recommendations for OS X and iOS

9 password manager recommendations for OS X and iOS | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Following today's release of the top 25 worst passwords used in 2014, if the passwords you use are among them, or if you are using your same password over and over for your various online services,...
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Unlocking Disk Utility’s hidden secrets

Unlocking Disk Utility’s hidden secrets | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Disk Utility has a lot of talents, some less well known than others. Topher Kessler explores some of its more esoteric (though useful) features.


To enable this feature you must expose Disk Utility’s Debug menu, which Apple uses for testing the app’s features during development. Here’s how:

1. Quit Disk Utility

2. Open the Terminal utility

3. Run the following Command:

defaults write com.apple.DiskUtility DUDebugMenuEnabled 1

4. Relaunch Disk Utility

With this menu enabled, choose the Show every partition command near the bottom and any hidden partitions will appear. You’ll see, for example, an EFI partition appear on bootable drives and a Recovery HD partition for those drives that hold one.

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Samsung T1 is a tiny 1TB SSD that's blazing fast, but pricey $600 [REVIEW]

Samsung T1 is a tiny 1TB SSD that's blazing fast, but pricey $600 [REVIEW] | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
The Samsung T1 portable SSD is a tiny, attractive storage drive that packs serious speed.
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Sleep and power settings possibly behind Wi-Fi dropouts in Yosemite

Sleep and power settings possibly behind Wi-Fi dropouts in Yosemite | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Along with its perks and new features, OS X Yosemite has not been without its share of problems, with at least some of these being associated with the inability to keep your Mac connected to Wi-Fi....
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Fix Adobe Flash update installers not opening

Fix Adobe Flash update installers not opening | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
In the past few days, Apple issued an update to its XProtect anti-malware system in OS X, part of which blocks versions of Adobe's Flash Player internet plug-in for security purposes. If you need f...
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My email software isn't accepting my Gmail username and password - Gmail Help

If you're repeatedly prompted for your username and password, or if you're getting an 'invalid credentials' or 'web login required' error, make sure your password is correct.

Your mail app might not support the latest security standards. Learn how to allow less secure apps access to your account.

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OWC In-Line Digital Thermal Sensor Solves iMac Hard Drive Compatibility Issue | Blog

OWC In-Line Digital Thermal Sensor Solves iMac Hard Drive Compatibility Issue | Blog | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it

Beginning with the Late-2009 model, upgrading the hard drive in your iMac was no longer as simple as installing the new drive of your choosing. 

As we reported on the Rocket Yard, Apple changed the game when it came to hard drive upgrades. In Late 2009 and 2010 models, Apple introduced a different cable for each brand drive that forced users to install the same hard drive brand in order to upgrade.

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Hands On: Big Mean Folder Machine 2 (OS X) | MacNN $15

Hands On: Big Mean Folder Machine 2 (OS X) | MacNN  $15 | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it

So at tax time, or year's end, let it gather up all your work documents and arrange the lot by month. If you're archiving to physical media like DVD, tell BMFM to divide all your photographs by month, and then make folders that are the right size to go on that shiny disc. Or go the other wa, and tell BMFM to create one single folder containing every audio track you created since you got your Mac.

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Apple issues 10.10.2 update and security updates

Apple issues 10.10.2 update and security updates | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it

Apple has released the awaited 10.10.2 update for OS X Yosemite, bringing a number of fixes for outstanding stability bugs and security issues, including some long-standing problems with Thunderbolt

If you have been waiting to upgrade your Mac to OS X Yosemite, at this point you might consider doing so. Generally by the time the second update is out for a version of OS X, Apple has addressed the major bugs that people are experiencing, so it may be a good time to consider the upgrade.

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Easily send large e-mail attachments with iCloud in Yosemite

Easily send large e-mail attachments with iCloud in Yosemite | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Sending attachments via e-mail to a colleague or friend is perhaps the most common approach for sharing files, and is a method that is nearly as old as e-mail itself; however, one limitation that m...
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Resolve iOS update and restore errors - Apple Support

Resolve iOS update and restore errors - Apple Support | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
When you're updating or restoring your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch in iTunes, you might see this message: "The iPhone [device name] could not be restored. An unknown error occurred [error number]."

Here's how to resolve specific iOS update and restore errors.
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Sleep and power settings possibly behind Wi-Fi dropouts in Yosemite

Sleep and power settings possibly behind Wi-Fi dropouts in Yosemite | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Along with its perks and new features, OS X Yosemite has not been without its share of problems, with at least some of these being associated with the inability to keep your Mac connected to Wi-Fi....
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LastPass introduces native password manager for Mac | MacNN

LastPass introduces native password manager for Mac | MacNN | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it

Password management service LastPass has announced a dedicated Mac client. The software saves logins, credit cards, and other data, and has several unique features as a local app. One of these is Quick Search, which speeds up finding logins and any associated notes. Users can also point their default web browser to a site automatically via a keyboard shortcut; LastPass will automatically fill in login fields.

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OSX 10.10 Yosemite: iCloud Drive explained The Ars Technica Review

OSX 10.10 Yosemite: iCloud Drive explained The Ars Technica Review | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it

More weirdness lurks. At the top level of iCloud Drive, badged folders appear for each iCloud-enabled application. You can’t Get Info on these folders either; the Finder just beeps in protest.

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How to Set Up Apple’s Family Sharing

How to Set Up Apple’s Family Sharing | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
  • One credit card. Up to six of you can buy books, movies, apps, and music on your master credit card. When your kids try to buy stuff, a permission request pops up on your iPad, iPhone, or Mac. You have to approve each purchase.

  • Younger Appleheads. Within Family Sharing, you can now create Apple accounts for tiny tots; 13 is no longer the age minimum.
  • Shared everything. All of you get instant access to one another’s music, video, iBooks, and app purchases — without having to know one another’s Apple passwords.
  • Find one another. You can use your iPad to see where your kids are, and vice versa (with permission, of course).
  • Mutual photo album, calendar, and reminders. When you turn on Family Sharing, your Photos, Calendar, and Reminders apps each sprout a new category that’s preconfigured to permit access by everyone in your family.
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The Best Portable Hard Drive | Wirecutter

The Best Portable Hard Drive | Wirecutter | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it

After 30 hours of research and nearly 40 hours of testing, we determined that the 2TB Seagate Backup Plus Slim is our new favorite portable hard drive. 

The 2TB Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the best portable hard drive for most people because it’s reliable and sturdily built. It’s also more compact, lighter, and faster than our previous recommendation, the WD My Passport Ultra.  January 8, 2015

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Making more of Migration Assistant

Making more of Migration Assistant | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
Perhaps it's been ages since you've used Migration Assistant to move data from one Mac to another. Or maybe it's new to you. Either way, Chris Breen offers helpful tips for its use.
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Comcast Disable Home Hotspot

Comcast Disable Home Hotspot | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it

I hope to save others some time by providing the steps I discovered for disabling the Wi-Fi 'hotspot' from a Comcast / Xfinity account. The following steps are from the Comcast / Xfinity site:

Introduction:
We encourage you to keep your XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot feature enabled as it allows more people to enjoy the benefits of XFINITY WiFi and you will no longer need to provide your private XFINITY WiFi home network password to guests.


This Wi-Fi signal is completely separate from your secure XFINITY WiFi home network and won't slow down your home broadband connection.
Enable or Disable XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot Feature via My Account:
1. Navigate to the 'Users & Preferences' section of 'My Account'.
2. Under Service Address, click the 'Manage XFINITY WiFi' link.
3. A new window appears indicating, "When XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot is enabled, your XFINITY Wireless Gateway will broadcast a second signal, 'xfinitywifi,' providing a separate network for your guests while keeping your private XFINITY WiFi network secure - at no additional charge."
4. Under the Manage XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot option, if your wireless gateway is enabled with the Home Hotspot feature, the Enable XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot radio button will be selected. If your Home Hotspot feature is disabled, the Disable XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot radio button will be selected.
5. To enable or disable the feature, choose the Enable XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot radio button or the Disable XFINITY WiFi Home Hotspot radio button.

?
6. Click Save.
7. You will be presented with a confirmation message at the top of the Users & Preferences page.
Disabling the feature takes effect within a few minutes.
However, enabling the device will take up to 24 hours if you live in a region that has been enabled for the feature.
8. If you are presented with information about XFINITY WiFi but do not see the Home Hotspot radio buttons, you have a device that has not yet been enabled for the feature.

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EFI and SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Macs - Apple Support

EFI and SMC firmware updates for Intel-based Macs - Apple Support | Mac Tech Support | Scoop.it
This article lists firmware updates that were released for Intel-based Macs. They update the firmware that originally shipped from the factory. If your computer isn't on this list, then you don't need an update to the factory firmware.
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