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

disk image backup for Mac?? which software?


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callagga

 
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Hi,

Background: I was considering getting Retrospect Express (or Retrospect) for my Macbook (OS X v10.4.10, Intel) to perform disk image based backup to my external disk drive (a MyBook 500GB) connected via firewire.

Q1 - Does Retrospect Express (or Retrospect) offer a disk image feature, so that all of my hard disk is backed up, such that if I lost my whole disk drive and installed a new one I could set this new disk up with one "recover disk" command? That is I'm asking if Retrospect can be used like "Ghost" can be used on a windows platform, where it takes an image?

Q2 - What's the most popular approach or software that Mac users use for this?

My Requirement - The requirement I'm trying to solve is that if my Macbook HDD fails bad, I can buy a new one and recover the whole disk image in one hit from my backup on my external disk drive (MyBook)

What I've noted with Retrospect - I did try to do a backup using Retrospect Express, however it hit an issue and said that backup sets could only be up to 2GB in size, hence wouldn't allow me to image my current MacBook disk which is sitting at about 60 GB usage.

Thanks
Greg
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novicew

 
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Try SuperDuper
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callagga

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novicew View Post
Try SuperDuper
Actually downloaded Superduper to try...

Got a "MyBook is not a Macintosh-formatted disk" - My Book is formatted as Windows_FAT_32, which cannot properly host HFS+ files along with all their attributes, resources and ownership. To use My Book with SuperDuper!, use Disk Utility to erase it, selecting "Mac OS Extended" or "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" as the format.

Q1 - Should I make this change in format? Is it worth it for Superduper as backup?

Q2 - Will it mean I can't use my MyBook (Western Digital external HDD) on Windows as well as Mac after this if I go to a Mac HDD format?

Q3 - Which is recommended out of "Mac OS Extended" or "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)"?

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Aptmunich

 
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1) If you want complete, mountable disk backups that you can boot off or restore entirely with 1 click - then yes.

2) Yup - unless you install additional software for Windows called Macdrive. But if you want to transfer files to a Windows computer you could also just network the 2.

3) Journaled.
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bobtomay

 
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1) Yes it is worth it for SuperDuper

2) Yes - only if you format the entire disc as a single partition
No - if you do as I have done - create 2 partitions on your external drive. I use one small partition strictly for a bootable back up of my internal drive and use the other partition for everything else.

Qualification - I did use HFS on both of my partitions and then got MacDrive for allowing my BootCamped XP to read and write to this drive. As a relative newcomer and not having done any other hard drive partitioning on the Mac side as of yet, I do not know if Disc Utility allows the option of formatting one partition as HFS and the other as FAT32.

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Aptmunich

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
1) Yes it is worth it for SuperDuper

2) Yes - only if you format the entire disc as a single partition
No - if you do as I have done - create 2 partitions on your external drive. I use one small partition strictly for a bootable back up of my internal drive and use the other partition for everything else.

Qualification - I did use HFS on both of my partitions and then got MacDrive for allowing my BootCamped XP to read and write to this drive. As a relative newcomer and not having done any other hard drive partitioning on the Mac side as of yet, I do not know if Disc Utility allows the option of formatting one partition as HFS and the other as FAT32.
I do the same:

I have formatted my external drive into 2 partitions: One for an entire install backup, one for other data.

But you can't format the 2 partitions to use different formats. They either have to both be HFS+ or both something else.

I have 2 separate drives: One HFS+ for our Macs, one FAT32 for swapping files and moving things to PCs.
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callagga

 
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Tks,

How much space do you allocate to the boot partition?

Is there a reason you go for a separate partition for booting?
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The boot partition size will be different for everyone and what you believe you may end up needing. Take a look at how much space you are currently using on your internal drive and where you think it may be in a year.

At the time I partitioned my external, had used 30GB of space after 4 months with my Mac and could see this reaching 40-50GB. Since I have a 750GB drive, I used 75 GB for my back up partition, probably would have gone with 60GB on a 500GB drive. You just want to make sure it's adequate, as you don't want to have to be re-partitioning and wondering where to move all your stuff to while in the process 3-6 months down the road.

I personally use a separate partition, because I knew I would be installing files in the multi-GB size, moving them around, editing them, re-encoding, deleting them, and all kinds of uses to the larger partition. And, I just like the idea of a dedicated back up partition.

And, when using SuperDuper, say you wanted to delete your existing back up for any reason and create a new one, SuperDuper erases the partition when you create the initial full back up. This would not be good if you've got a few hundred GB of movies or music on that partition.

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Aptmunich

 
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I just created the external backup partition to be exactly the same size as my internal drive. My Macbook only has 80GB and I keep around 10GB of that free. So the 10GB I'm wasting on the backup partition isn't that much of a loss... and I know my automatic backup will always be able to run and won't run into space issues.
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Here's a comparison chart of backup software. It's a bit more than a year old but I think the info is still good. http://blog.plasticsfuture.org/2006/...tware-harmful/. It supports the claims that SuperDuper is really the way to go.

You can use Disk Utility to create different file systems on the same hard drive. For instance I have a 500GB external harddrive with three partitions. Two are HFS+ for backups and one is MS_DOS for common use between OS X and my Parallels WinXP.

HTH

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callagga

 
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I'm still quite getting the benefit of having 2 partitions? Why wouldn't one just have one large partition, noting that the backup will still occur OK wouldn't it. Is it just as a means of ensuring that a minimum size is set aside for the backup area itself?
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Aptmunich

 
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Well, it helps keep things organized.

SuperDuper! does a file/folder backup by default - not an image backup. This lets you boot off the backup drive if you need to.

The Smart update feature Superduper uses look at your original and backup drives and deletes or adds files on the backup until it's identical to your internal drive. This helps you avoid duplicate files and gets rid of stuff you no longer want.

If you stored stuff on the backup partition that wasn't on your internal drive - Superduper would delete it. Hence the need for a separate partition.
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