G4 [mirrored drive doors], 1.25 Ghz dual processor machine

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I have a G4 [mirrored drive doors], 1.25 Ghz dual processor machine that I bought new. I use it in a small, part time business, and it has worked well for me. I would love to get a new Intel machine, but financial circumstances make that impractical, and the economy's uncertainty causes me to be more careful.

As I say, it works fine, but I want to be prepared if it fails. I think it would not cost much to repair it, and it might not cost much to buy another one to keep as a backup.

One concern I have is to be able to make a working copy of my drive's contents, so I could start back up again on either a repaired machine or an alternate machine. I have read a bit about software that can clone my drive's contents, but am uncertain as to what sort of pitfalls might be discovered in that process.

What are the thoughts of the experienced here? Is it better to have a drive backed up, and then just take this one to have it repaired, or is it better to find another one that is like it, get it in working order, and have it setup up already?

I publish a small periodical with monthly mailings, use the computer for that, and also financial records and related business matters.

How can I most responsibly handle my needs for the future, so I am not caught with lost data and an inability to start up a repaired or different computer? I use Microsoft Office, Photoshop, InDesign, Soap, and Filemaker Pro. I have the disks, but doubt I could get the various patches that are now part of my installation, and that is why I think copying my current configuration would be critical.

Your thoughts?

Thank you.
 
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If your drive is not backed up you are skating on thin ice. Have a look at McBies comments here for some info then get yourself an Ext HD for a bootable back using Superduper then u have a degree of insurance for when your HD fails.
 
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I do have an external hard drive, a 250 Gb LaCie. I use it for incremental backups. Would it be better to get an entirely different one that can then be stored safely elsewhere?

I do periodically take CD backups of critical files off site, but obviously that does nothing for my operating system and other software.

I am going to look at Superduper! now.
 
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I note that you say the G4 works fine, so why might you seek to repair it; or are you simply planning for possible eventualities?

I'd hate to be labelled a prophet of doom, but I would not rely on that LaCie. I have read too many reports of failures. LaCie is not the brand of drive inside, but I can't remember right off what is used - it could be any one of three.

In addition to what Collin has advised, check Carbon Copy Cloner as a backup resource.

Further still, consider Disk Warrior as a form of insurance. Expensive, @ ~US$100, but there are numerous accounts of how it has saved a lot of embarrassment and heartbreak.

If you're happy with your G4 as it is, good, but there are several upgrades to hardware that you could consider, finances permitting. Take the time to check OWC Performance Upgrades; FireWire USB SATA Storage; Memory, more at OWC for the sorts of options available to you.
 
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I want to be as prepared as possible for any failure, so I can be back in service as soon as possible.

What brand of external drive do you recommend?
 
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Drive brand recommendations are largely a matter of opinion, so I steadfastly say "read the independent and impartial reviews". [Use Google.]

Your three main contenders are (alphabetically) Hitachi, Seagate and Western Digital. Samsung features, but is not popular in the Mac scene. From experience, my personal preference is Hitachi, but others will say differently.
 
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As hughvane states there are three main brands and all have their supporters, Personally never had a Seagate nor a WD drive fail (touches wood). Suggest connecting to the MDD via Firewire and you can then clone the HDD via SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner.

A Firewire external will be bootable on the MDD.
 
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As hughvane states there are three main brands and all have their supporters, Personally never had a Seagate nor a WD drive fail (touches wood). Suggest connecting to the MDD via Firewire and you can then clone the HDD via SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner.

A Firewire external will be bootable on the MDD.

I do not know the meaning of MDD and HDD.
 
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MDD - check your mast head on first post
HDD = hard disk drive
 
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G4 [mirrored drive doors], 1.25 Ghz dual processor machine
That was the heading - masthead - above your first post - it is also the comment in your Mac specs to the left.
 
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MDD is Mac speak for Mirror Disk Door is what you have and it has an internal HDD hard disc drive.
 
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I am guessing the best drive to buy would be a firewire drive. I am wondering if firewire drives can be either firewire 400 or 800, or will they be one or the other?

I think I will use Superduper! As I read the documentation for Carbon Copy, it seems there was some risk to their process.

Do any of you have experience making bootable drives, and do you offer any procedures to use in the event it is needed for that purpose? How do you use a bootable, external drive to start a computer and then put that image on it?
 
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Go for Firewire so u can boot off of it - not possible with a Power PC G4 and USB. If you get a 400/800 enclosure then it will be good for when u upgrade to the later processor.
 
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And you do not need a Firewire compatible HDD, just a Firewire connecting external case that takes 3.5" PATA or IDE drives, or for more money a SATA HDD. For what it is worth using SuperDuper do not find Firewire 800 that much faster than Firewire 400.
 
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Ooops already posted.
 
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I would move all the business stuff to another machine and keep the graphic seperate. I have machines that do nothing but graphics,they are never on the net etc.
 
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I would move all the business stuff to another machine and keep the graphic seperate. I have machines that do nothing but graphics,they are never on the net etc.

By asking, I am not disagreeing. Just curious. What is your reason to suggest that? What advantage do you feel that brings to you?
 

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