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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

Backups, disc utility and RAID


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wix

 
Member Since: Jan 07, 2011
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Hi

I am new to the forum and so hi to all. I have bought a 2nd external hard drive to backup my files but i dont know anything about using Disc utility, the RAID and partition options and the best way for my to backup using the 2 hard drives. Can anyone offer any advice or a link to somewhere which explains these options?

Thanks, Wix
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wix View Post
Hi

I am new to the forum and so hi to all. I have bought a 2nd external hard drive to backup my files but i dont know anything about using Disc utility, the RAID and partition options and the best way for my to backup using the 2 hard drives. Can anyone offer any advice or a link to somewhere which explains these options?
RAID lets you combine multiple hard drives to accomplish various purposes, depending on which option is used. You can combine two or more drives as a "stripe" so they are seen as one large drive; use a pair so that one is an invisible "mirror" of the other (you will always have a clone in case one of the two dies); etc. Here's a link explaining RAID in more detail, however it really shouldn't be used with external hard drives (if it even can be). There are external RAID cases that hold internal drives… that's another matter and a great option for many needs.

What your best options are depends on your personal backup needs, the size of your internal drive, and the size of your external drive(s). The simplest thing to do, assuming any one of your external drives is large enough to hold all your files, is to use SuperDuper and clone your internal drive to one of those. Or both if you want two backups. Beyond this, I'd need more info about your needs and hardware to make other suggestions.
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wix

 
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Hi, thanks for the reply and info on RAID - i will check out the link.

I want to have a full backup of my mac; files, system files and apps and want to use the 2 external hard drives for 2 copies incase one dies. Incase my mac or hard drive fail i would like a bootable option saved to the drives too. Is this the same thing or are backed up files and a rebootable backup 2 different things? I had queried RAID thinking you could use that to do an automatic backup on both drives.

Can i use Superduper to do the above? If it saves a bootable backup too what kind of backup is this - what i mean is, can this backup and its contents be accessed to get to particular files or does a backup save save one single file only usable when rebooting if a failure occurs? I hope that makes sense?!

I looked at Time machine but i am on 10.4 OS so do you know of any other freeware software that i could use?

Thanks, Wix
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wix View Post
Hi, thanks for the reply and info on RAID - i will check out the link.

I want to have a full backup of my mac; files, system files and apps and want to use the 2 external hard drives for 2 copies incase one dies. Incase my mac or hard drive fail i would like a bootable option saved to the drives too. Is this the same thing or are backed up files and a rebootable backup 2 different things? I had queried RAID thinking you could use that to do an automatic backup on both drives.

Can i use Superduper to do the above? If it saves a bootable backup too what kind of backup is this - what i mean is, can this backup and its contents be accessed to get to particular files or does a backup save save one single file only usable when rebooting if a failure occurs? I hope that makes sense?!

I looked at Time machine but i am on 10.4 OS so do you know of any other freeware software that i could use?
Yes, SuperDuper can make bootable backups of your drive. It will be an exact clone of every file, hidden or not. RAID won't do "automatic" backups. Not exactly. RAID mirroring with 2 drives effectively does, but it's not appropriate for your setup.

Time Machine is a different type of backup system, but unfortunately not available for 10.4. It makes incremental, on the hour, backups of your personal files and whatever else you like, but not bootable clones of the whole system. It's a good way to maintain a series of backups of your personal files that you can reach back and recover if, say, you saved changes to a document and 2 months later realized you need the original. You just go back 2 months and grab it.

I use Time Machine, and keep a bootable copy (not a clone) of OS X on a separate partition and on a thumb drive for emergencies. I personally have no need to keep a full clone of the entire system. Anything important I need to recover in the event of a hard drive failure is on my Time Capsule.
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wix

 
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Great, thanks for that info, i will download superduper and read up on how to use it. I have a better understanding already and think i understand what you mean by partitioning the drive too for different backups. Thanks for taking the time out to explain.

Wix
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Lifeisabeach

 
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I have a better understanding already and think i understand what you mean by partitioning the drive too for different backups.
Well hold on. It's not a good idea to partition a drive for backups. If the drive fails, you lose everything, including the backups.

I have a second partition that boots a clean install of OS X, but it's not a backup per se. I use it to run utilities on the primary partition that can't be run while booted into that partition. I also find it helpful for some troubleshooting.
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