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

Please recommend backup software


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MattSharp

 
Member Since: Oct 24, 2006
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I have been reading reviews of backup software that runs on Mac OS for a good chunk of the afternoon, but I still haven't been able to figure out what the best option for my situation is. So let me tell you what I have and you can recommend the best option.

I have a dedicated backup server running Linux (a luxury when you have lots of extra components lying around). Until recently only of the four computers that it backed up was a Mac so I just used iBackup and manually backed up my machine as needed. Now we have added a 2nd Mac, meaning two of the four computers are Macs. Despite it's *nix backend, my friend told me about resource forks in Mac OS X which means it not as simple as just using like rsync to backup and have everything work.

After reading about Time Machine's limitations (mainly needing a dedicated hard drive per computer that is just for backing up files) I realized I neede another option.

So what I am looking for is software to install on my Mac(s) that can backup to a networked drive (I have my backup machine setup so I can mount the drive and read and right with no problems). It has to be able to do automatic, incremental backups, so I can optimize space usage. I want to be able to backup my entire machine (not bootable), or at least whats "needed" so that if my hard drive dies, I can replace it, and basically copy files over and have it be just like the state it was when I last backed up (a la Migration Assistant).

Maybe I am asking for the world, but it can't hurt to ask. Hopefully some Mac geek more veteran than me has the answer.
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beowolf

 
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I pretty much have the same setup as you do. I tried many programs I could get my hands on, including the ones that are not free. The best I have seen up to this point is Mac's very own Backup 3 which I am only able to use for the trial period of my .mac account. It does very nice incremental backups with mounted volumes as well as idisk. The GUI is also pretty good since it allows you to visualize the system for a given date, pretty much the same structure of the upcoming time machine.

One quick note on the time machine, though. Apple website says you can use one drive to backup multiple computers.
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MattSharp

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beowolf View Post
I pretty much have the same setup as you do. I tried many programs I could get my hands on, including the ones that are not free. The best I have seen up to this point is Mac's very own Backup 3 which I am only able to use for the trial period of my .mac account. It does very nice incremental backups with mounted volumes as well as idisk. The GUI is also pretty good since it allows you to visualize the system for a given date, pretty much the same structure of the upcoming time machine.

One quick note on the time machine, though. Apple website says you can use one drive to backup multiple computers.
Well the problem with your current solution is that when your .Mac trial ends you have nothing.

I did check out the Time Machine website (I have previously gone by this FAQ: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=223065, which was using a year old MacWorld article) and it does say that you can backup to a disk or OS X server (hopefully this means any disk). So maybe that was just old info I read and this won't be a problem.

Thanks.
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beowolf

 
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Well, yeah, that's the biggest problem with Backup right now. Some how-tos are flying around which claim to trick backup to think you have a valid .mac account so that you can keep using your own resources via Backup but changes in Backup 3 seems to cause a lot of problems with that trick.

For the time machine, I understand your worries. On Apple's site it clearly says that you can backup multiple computers to an "airport disk". On the other hand, it is expected to be able to backup to any mounted external disk. What I am not sure is whether it will require a dedicated partition or something while doing that or whether good old mounted ext2fs partitions will work. time will tell.

In the meantime, I am also expecting suggestions for a nice backup software (hopefully before my .mac trial ends and/or I get leopard).

Thanks in advance
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goobimama

 
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Well TUAW seems to be pretty worked up about SuperDuper...
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