MacBooks: Backing up when you know you will have to restore from backup

My wife’s 2016 MBP is scheduled for a trip to an authorized repair because of a display problem.

She’s already fully backed up to Time Machine, and to Backblaze, which is important because she has a TON of files that are not backed up to a shared drive option, like iCloud or Dropbox.

I feel like I’m safe, but I’m wondering if I should to a special backup this weekend, knowing there’s a good chance I’m going to have to do a restore. Time Machine is currently backing up over wifi to our Mac Mini, and I’m not sure what a restore-over-wifi would look like. And I don’t want to do a clean install, because I’d still have to move a ton of files over from TM.

Any suggestions? What would you do if you thought a potential restore was imminent?

I would definitely make a bootable clone on an external USB drive using either SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner.


Agree with that, and I would boot the clone and
ensure it can be accessed upon completition.


Agree: bootable clone to an external drive.

Easiest app I’ve used and recommend is SuperDuper!, most comprehensive one for power users I use and recommend is Carbon Copy Cloner. I believe both do cloned backups for free but you need to pay for the app if you want to do subsequent incremental backups.

great advice, which I will take. I’m going to buy a new drive just for this.

related question -
I can buy a SSG external today with roughly 500 MB/s read/write speeds. Or I can wait a bit and buy a Sandisk drive with roughly 1 GB/s speeds. (not locally in stock.) Do you think it’s worth the hassle to get the faster drive.

Really appreciate the help!

For backup, no. I would spend the extra money to pay for a license for SuperDuper or CCC, which will unlock some valuable extra features.

If you wanted to, say, move your Photos library to an external drive, maybe.

If it’s a bootable backup just get the fastest option that can easily contain the drive you’re copying (with at least 20% free space left over). If it’s not a bootable backup I’d just get a cheaper spinning drive.