Back Up Files in Mountain Lion with Commercial Software

You can use a third-party backup program to back up your files in OS X Mountain Lion. Backup software automates the task of backing up, remembering what’s on each backup disc (if your backup uses more than one disc), and backing up only files that have been modified since your last backup.

Furthermore, you can instruct your backup software to back up only a certain folder (Home or Documents) and to ignore the hundreds of megabytes of stuff that make up OS X, all of which you can easily reinstall from the OS X Install DVD.

Your first backup with commercial software might take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours and use one or more optical discs — CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, magneto-optical disc — or nonoptical media, such as another hard drive or any kind of tape backup. Subsequent backups, called incremental backups in backup-software parlance, should take only a few minutes.

If you do incremental backups, be sure to label all the discs you use during that operation; if you use multiple discs, number them. Your backup software may prompt you with a message such as Please insert backup disk 7. If you haven’t labeled your media clearly, you could have a problem figuring out which disc is disc 7 or which disc 7 belongs to that particular backup set.

One of the best things about good backup software is that you can set it up to automate your backups and perform them even if you forget. And although Time Machine is a step in the right direction and might be sufficient for your needs, it’s not good enough for many users.

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