View Full Version : Clone or Drag & Drop?

06-15-2015, 04:24 PM

I have a MacBook Air 2013 Mid 2013 with 500 GB of storage.

I am trying to figure out the best way to increase storage and backup my files.

I currently backup my computer to a 2 TB WD MyPassport for Mac (A)

I have a bunch of videos that I have scattered on SD cards, some on my computer, and some in back up drives. I plan on making this more consistent by combining all my video files into one drive, another 2 TB WD MyPassport for Mac (B). Although I am also looking at a WD My Book.

So I have my Master Backup (A) and my Video Storage (B). I want to be able to store my videos ONLY on the Video Storage and have THAT drive have a backup of it's own (another 2 TB WD MyPassport for Mac). This would be C.

Several months ago I asked the best way to copy the contents of a device, and was told that cloning may be the best option, that is, cloning B onto C.

However, I wonder if it would be okay to drag & drop/copy & paste instead? Otherwise I would have to clone the drive every time I add new videos to B.

For example, say I have 20 GB of video on an SD card. I would save it from the SD card to Video Drive (B). In turn, I would copy and paste it from B to C.

I don't know if this would raise any issues, but I would like to be able to clear my SD cards. Right now most of my videos have been sitting on them for months.

Then, when I go to edit videos in iMovie, I will hook in Video Drive (B) to my MacBook Air, copy the files to my computer, and then edit them. Then I would in turn backup the edited videos to Video Drive (B), and then in turn copy and paste to C.

I have read about cloning, but I am using the same computer and same external hard drives for my data. It's a bunch of .mov and .mp4 files I am dealing with, and I don't think cloning is necessary for me. Plus I would have to clone the entire drive every time I save videos to B.

What I am basically asking is what kind of issues might I deal with if I drag & drop as opposed to clone, especially since I am not too familiar with cloning.

I just want to be able to get to files on C in the event that B becomes damaged/corrupt. That is, for C to become the new B, and then I would get another drive to backup C.

Thanks for any advice!

06-15-2015, 04:53 PM
Welcome to the Forums.

There's a lot to cover in your post. May I first start by making a few general comments, then move on to specifics.

Great that you are taking backups (BU) seriously.

As a general rule, each BU should have its own EHD (don't partition an EHD to take more than one BU - HD fails you lose both).

It's generally suggested that you start with a BU via Time Machine because this backs up settings, preferences, data, you name it, everything; and allows access to any inadvertently deleted files or folders so that they can be restored. And it works in the background. Set up & forget. BUT it is NOT bootable.

Cloning software like Carbon Copy Cloner & SuperDuper! also do incremental BUs and ARE bootable.

You might say that TM & cloning take care of your entire system, the lot.

Then we come to precious items like photos, videos, music, certain crucial documents and so forth. You've already thought this through. iPhoto, photos, iMovie, Aperture and iTunes (as examples) all have their own libraries which can be drag/dropped onto a EHD as a BU.

As I understand your post, one of your main concerns is the constant updating of your BUs. I don't see how this can be avoided. If you use TM, then it does all the work for you on an hourly basis - no worries there.
Yes, any cloning solution requires time; but after the first BU they too are incremental and you can set up automatic BUs at intervals to suit you - say at the end of each day (or week etc depending on how quickly you acquire new material).

Being specific: if I were you, I might consider (a) one TM BU running in the background (b) one clone, set to BU at the end of a specified time period (end of day for example). (c ) Manual drag/drop BU to EHD for all your videos. (d) Optional manual drag/drop BU to another EHD for your Libraries (some or all).

I think that covers my initial thoughts. Come back with yours.