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System backup for new MacBook Pro?

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October 18, 2012 10:17:24 PM

I'm a PC guy because I like to build my own and have some control. However I just ordered a MacBook Pro for a friend who is a non-techie since I can't build a laptop and I've had too many bad experiences with pre-build PC's, especially from the big names.

Do I need to do a system backup on the new Mac to avoid paying for a replacement if the hard disk ever dies (as is the case with manufactured PCs since they stopped providing system restore disks)? Or does Apple provide free OSX download in that event?

If a system backup is advised what is the preferred method? I'd rather not have to buy an external hard disk. Can I system backup to DVD or flash drive? From what I understand Time Machine will only backup to an external hard disk.
October 18, 2012 10:40:47 PM

Actually you can build a laptop(or atleast choose most of it's parts) if that makes you want to cancel the MBP( lol sorry Apple hate raging on here).

I have a friend who has a sister who backs up her computer on Blu-ray discs since on a $/GB basis it's pretty cheap. I'm under the assumption the MBP's "Superdrive" has Bluray functionality otherwise I can't really help you out.
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October 18, 2012 11:26:50 PM

I don't believe the MBP Superdrive supports BluRay. However as I understand the OS installed is only ~ 8GB, so 2 DVD or 1 - 8GB flash drive should do it. The question is whether it's necessary and if so what software to use.

I use Blu-Ray to backup photos and videos on my PC, but right nowt my concern is backing up the Mac OS, not user data
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October 19, 2012 7:51:09 AM

To answer your question, you do not need to do a system backup. With the latest Macs the OS can be reinstalled using just the Internet (strangely, though, you need a wireless connection).

But the best backup regime is to use an external disk for Time Machine backups; you can then restore the entire system - data and OS - in one step very easily without needing any boot disks. The latest versions of OS X provide the easiest disaster recovery solution that I have encountered on any OS.
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October 19, 2012 4:56:38 PM


So, unlike windows, if the hard disk dies and I have no system backup I don't have to buy a new copy of the OS?

When the new MacBook arrives I plan do the free upgrade from Lion to Mountain Lion. Will I also have to do this using WiFi rather than an Ethernet cable?
Ijack said:
To answer your question, you do not need to do a system backup. With the latest Macs the OS can be reinstalled using just the Internet (strangely, though, you need a wireless connection).

But the best backup regime is to use an external disk for Time Machine backups; you can then restore the entire system - data and OS - in one step very easily without needing any boot disks. The latest versions of OS X provide the easiest disaster recovery solution that I have encountered on any OS.

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October 19, 2012 5:16:50 PM

Yep. Apple know that your computer was supplied with the OS so you can reload it at any time.

You can do the upgrade via ethernet. It's just the bare-metal recovery with no install media that only works via wireless. Takes a little while but I can assure you it works.
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