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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.5 - My Backup Plan - comments?


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jsgreen

 
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I'm a noob Mac user with a 20" iMac 750Gb HD running Leopard. I have ordered an external HDD (750 Gb) from OWC and want to use it as a backup drive.

Afer a bunch of Google searches, here is the plan I have settled on (wishing I could give credit to the sources of the ideas but I forget):

I plan to use Time Machine for regular backups, but am aware that doing a full system restore might be better using Super Duper (when it becomes available for Leopard).

Create partitions on the external HDD:

1) 10Gb for an image of the Leopard install DVD (in case I lose the DVD or can't boot from the DVD drive)

2) 300Gb partiton for Super Duper for System Restore (when it becomes available for Leopard)

2) 3??Gb (whatever is left over) partition for Time Machine to do its voodoo

Am I missing anything here?
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goobimama

 
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1. Time Machine does not lock you out of the partition. It just creates a Backups.indb folder and works from there.

So, you don't need to create so many partitions cause you will end up losing a lot of space. And transferring files among partitions also takes time. So you just make 1 partition. That's it. 1 partition.

- Plug the drive and enable Time Machine on it. After the backup, you drop in your Leopard DMG (though you should make it a habit to keep these kinds of discs in the safe)
- Then whenever you need to make a super duper backup, just target your external drive and make that backup in a new folder.
- You can even use that drive to store your movies and other heavy files.
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bobtomay

 
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Except SuperDuper will erase the entire partition when creating a bootable backup. Having the bootable backup available is one of the big pluses for me.

See no issue with your plan. Only question I would have is what size is your internal drive? There is no reason to have the SuperDuper partition any larger than your internal drive.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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goobimama

 
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Hmm. Didn't know about Super Duper canning the entire drive... But anyway, why you want to use both Super duper and Time Machine? Restoring your system with a Time Machine backup is just as good...

@tomay: His internal drive is 750GB just as it is on the external.
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jsgreen

 
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Thanks for the replies.

My goal with using Super Duper is to have a total system restore option - in the event of having to reformat the internal HD, I'd like to avoid having to reinstall Leopard from scratch. I thought that Super Duper would compliment Time Machine and enable me to do that. For less-extreme backup needs cases (lost files etc.) I would use Time Machine.

J
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Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
Except SuperDuper will erase the entire partition when creating a bootable backup. Having the bootable backup available is one of the big pluses for me.

See no issue with your plan. Only question I would have is what size is your internal drive? There is no reason to have the SuperDuper partition any larger than your internal drive.
Not entirely true if you mean the previous backup gets wiped with the new one. So unless I misread or misunderstood, when you buy your licence the whole SuperDuper! backup options become available including scheduled backups, simply adding only the newer files to your previous backups, etc.

I use that option, keeping the previous backup and only updating files if they have been modified or are brand new files. Of course this makes for a backup that grows in time: I usually check the entire backup and when I spot things I have no further use for because they have been copied over on DVD, for example, I delete them from the SuperDuper! backup.

If you use SuperDuper! only as a freebie then yes the only backup option available to you is to wipe the previous backup and create a new backup from scratch on top of the older one.
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goobimama

 
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Quote:
My goal with using Super Duper is to have a total system restore option - in the event of having to reformat the internal HD, I'd like to avoid having to reinstall Leopard from scratch. I thought that Super Duper would compliment Time Machine and enable me to do that. For less-extreme backup needs cases (lost files etc.) I would use Time Machine.
Time Machine does just that. When you pop in your Leopard DVD and boot from it, you can from the menubar select "Restore from Time Machine". You can get back to the exact date at which your system crashed. Time Machine does not save system files (which are installed from the Leopard DVD. The rest of the files are automatically restored...
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bobtomay

 
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You might give Time Machine a try and see if it will do all that you want. It just might. Have not tried it myself. Do not really feel the need to save previous versions of files. In all the years of my computing, don't think I ever wanted the version of a typical file I had created from a month ago.
The files I typically want to restore are system files due to playing around where I shouldn't.

This leads to Superduper. As MHC said the free version will erase and copy every time. There are a few ways to use it with the paid version. The way I use it is by creating a bootable backup. An exact copy of my internal drive. This option will erase everything on the partition while making the copy. After that, it will do incremental backups. That is, only backing up new and/or changed files and also deleting those you have deleted from your internal drive. I believe there are other options with it I have not used.

I have used my Superduper partition to restore my internal drive at least 3 times in the last year after mucking up my system files. And it's pretty sweet. Approximately 30 minutes and right back to my pre-muck time without having to pull out my OS X disk or re-installing any of my apps. Of course your time will vary based on how much data is on your backup. With this option if the nightmare happens and your internal drive fails - no big deal. Re-boot to the backup and keeping on working until you have time to actually replace the internal drive.

Can see uses for each type, and could see how both the SuperDuper and Time Machine might be beneficial for some users.

(thanks goobi, missed the first sentence somehow)

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
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goobimama

 
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Quote:
Do not really feel the need to save previous versions of files
Well it doesn't really save previous versions. It saves 24 versions for the day, then recompiles that into 7 versions per week, and so on. So by the end of the month you are left with only one or two I think.

As for your superduper + tinkering with system files, I have a question. If super duper kabooms everything on your hard drive onto an external, won't it also transfer the damaged system files as well? So if you want to recover a file, it will be corrupt on the system as well as on the external...

I guess you don't keep it plugged in for all of eternity, but I'm just saying, what if you did?
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bobtomay

 
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With SuperDuper!, you can set a schedule for your backups. It doesn't just automatically run once an hour like I'm hearing Time Machine does. I had it set to back up only 4 times a week. I just don't create the type of documents on my home machine that make it necessary to have a backup of stuff I created an hour ago. One to 2 days past is enough for me. I have a second partition that I keep all my movies and music in. So, if I have a file I'm concerned about in the meantime, I'll put a copy of it over there also or just start a back up manually. I keep a copy of everything I download and install on the system on this second partition also, which makes re-installing any app from the last day or 2 hassle free.

Most of the time when mucking about in the system, your goofs become apparent pretty quick. If I find I've screwed something to the point where I see it's going to take longer than a half an hour to fix it, or have to start a new thread for something I messed up or not really sure what it was I did, restoring the internal drive to a day or 2 back is a reboot away.

Let me just add, the above works very well for my home system, where my time is mine. It is not what I do for backups on my work system where time is money.

But, as to your question, yes, if you allow a back up to occur after mucking about in the system, your mucking is transferred there also. But, I know when I've been messing about, and I'll cancel the next backup until I'm sure it's ok. Then I can still run the backup manually if I don't want to wait for the next scheduled time.

Time Machine looks like it would be a great backup tool at work. There, I am creating excel spreadsheets all day. Sometimes it would be nice to be able to go back 10 minutes on that machine.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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jsgreen

 
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Time Machine will be my primary backup - for the normal everyday "Whoops I didn't mean to delete the entire iTunes directory and move it to trash and then empty trash..."

I bought Super Duper as a "just in case" clone - hopefully will never need to use it but when I do, $28 was well spent.

My other partions are just paranoid - a dmg of the Leopard disk and an install I can boot to (probably overkill).
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