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Thread: How do I back up without Time Machine?

  1. #1
    How do I back up without Time Machine?
    I am so frustrated AND scared. I know I need to back up my files as soon as possible because I heard a clicking noise coming from my internal hard drive.

    First I bought a Maxtor external hard drive, journaled it and proceeded to use Time Machine to back everything up. That was a washout because the Maxtor would go to sleep within five minutes of the process. Doing research showed that was a universal problem with that drive.

    So yesterday, I purchased a Verbatim with 1 TB of space, configured it to use with Time Machine and thought all was well. Nope, around 600 MB, I kept getting an error message that it couldn't write to it. I went to the Apple site for a fix, found one and went through the steps but the same thing happened.

    What I really need to do is to make a bootable copy of my drive so that when my internal fails, which seems inevitable, I can boot my G4 from it. Also, since I am getting the new iMac, I simply want to transfer my files from my external.

    I only store essentials on my internal and that is only 35 G on an 80 G drive.

    Why can't I just drag all my files over to the external?

    Not really understanding how backups work, I am lost.

    What are my alternatives. I was going to use Carbonite but I have a G4 PowerPC and Carbonite only accepts Intel Based Macs.

    I would appreciate any assistance. This is so urgent.

  2. #2

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    North Louisiana, USA
    Dragging the files from one hard drive to another will not produce a bootable clone. Also some applications will not run properly on the copy if you do things that way. For cloning and producing a "bootable" copy check out SuperDuper!, Carbon Copy Cloner - Home or even using Disk Utility (search its Help file for "restore a disk").

  3. #3
    Wow! I did everything you suggested and downloaded Carbon Copy. It ran without a hitch for 24 hours and cloned my hard drive to the new drive. However, a message said it would not be able to boot from the external because it was a USB drive and G4s do not allow that. Apple also said that FireWire booting is possible on all Macintosh models that have built-in FireWire ports with the exception of the Power Macintosh G3 (Blue & White) and the Power Mac G4 (PCI Graphics) models.

    No problem really because I was mostly interested in getting my files backed up. But I checked and my G4 doesn't have a PCI card. The new external is both firewire and usb and I do have firewire options on my computer. Does the apple fix apply to me?

    I can't thank you enough for your previous clear and wonderful solution. I was so relieved to see that my information went over to the new external seamlessly.

  4. #4

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    North Louisiana, USA
    Sorry I hadn't answered sooner. Missed this post somehow and didn't notice your update until I stumbled upon the rep bump you left for me (thanks).

    There were a number of G4 firmware updates over the years and not all updates apply to all models. I think you can get to the right updates by doing the following:
    1. Go to the Support Downloads Page
    2. Open System Profiler on your computer.
    3. In the main hardware section should be an entry for Model Identifier (such as MacBook Pro 5.1)
    4. Go back to the software support page and enter your model identifier into the search phrase.
    5. This should return firmware updates that might be relevant to your machine.

    At this point Apple has done users a huge favor. When you attempt to install a firmware update it generally won't install if you don't need the update or it is the wrong one. Check the read me files though just in case there are some specific installation procedures for the updates.

  5. #5

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    And after all that pesto G4's, and most G5's are not bootable from USB, even USB2 as it is simply too slow. You need a Firewire external case for your external HDD. SuperDuper should clone to the external in about 2 1/2 hours, and if you purchase the registered version for $29, Smart Backup will do a weekly update in about ten minutes.

    The external will be bootable using Firewire.

  6. #6

    coaster's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 04, 2009
    pesto, how is your internal hard disk running? I'm curious about that "clicking" noise. Some HD's normally make sounds that could be described that way.
    Throw the bums out!! Bye Bye Bums

  7. #7

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    North Louisiana, USA
    I have an old iBook SE that has made a clicking noise since not long after I got it. It is still kicking though I haven't used it often for the last several years. Clicking sounds often, but not always, are not a good sign.

  8. #8

    Member Since
    Jun 26, 2015
    alternatives to time machine
    I am actually also using more than one methods to backup data from mac and not just using time machine or icloud. This way, I feel more secure to get my backup more ready in case I need to restore them.

    alternative without software: Open Finder, choose Macintosh HD in the sidebar, go to Edit > Select All and drag it to your external disk. If you don't see this volume, open Finder > Preferences > Sidebar and tick Hard disks

    or with free software Cloudbacko It could backup files to free cloud storage. This helps you to get your files back anytime anywhere

  9. #9

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    North Louisiana, USA
    Glad you have a backup strategy but there are a few things you may or may not know. Keep the following in mind:

    1. The finder method that yo described is better than nothing but it does not produce a "bootable" copy. In other words in the event of a drive failure one would need to take the time to reinstall the OS before being able to get back to work. With a "bootable" backup one can get back up to speed in the time it takes to reboot the machine.

    2. The Finder "drag and drop" method does not produce a bootable backup because it leaves behind important invisible system files.

    3. Some online backup services do not handle Mac system files well during a backup. In those cases the backup does not produce a bootable drive. Not only does one need to reinstall the OS to restore from a backup it means you're often wasting your time (and bandwidth) uploading/downloading system files that aren't of much use.

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