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Old Dec 8, 2012, 08:22 PM   #1
bobright
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Time machine or Carbon Copy Cloner?

I'm a new soon to be Mac owner just want to get some opinions why one over the other? Pros cons of each?

I'm hoping to settle on a backup method that I can do say once a month manually, don't really want to have a external drive hooked up at all times to my machine.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 08:26 PM   #2
GGJstudios
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Originally Posted by bobright View Post
I'm a new soon to be Mac owner just want to get some opinions why one over the other? Pros cons of each?

I'm hoping to settle on a backup method that I can do say once a month manually, don't really want to have a external drive hooked up at all times to my machine.
The most significant difference is CCC will make a bootable backup, which TM can't. That means if your primary drive dies, you can simply boot from the clone, rather than restoring or reinstalling anything. It also can do incremental updates, to keep the clone current. You can backup manually or on a schedule, or have it update every time the external drive is connected. I use CCC for all backups, but many also like TM.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 08:27 PM   #3
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I would go with carbon copy for your needs. Time machine defaults to hourly backups, which I hate. There are 3rd party apps that can change the default frequency of time machine, that would be up to you.

The latest version of carbon copy cost some bucks, but the old version is still free I believe and works with the latest version of mountain lion.

FYI
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 08:44 PM   #4
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I'd choose CCC or SuperDuper! over TM. I personally use SuperDuper! but only because it's faster (for me).

I had TM then formatted my external so I could use it to make a bootable back up. I feel that a bootable clone is more essential and important to have, especially with my older Mac.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 08:56 PM   #5
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I find CCC to be very useful for creating, well, bootable clones of your current configuration, and well worth the price now being charged.

However, there is value to Time Machine as well, as it keep a "historical" backup allowing you to "roll back" to a previous generation file, folder, or even your entire system. You can't do that with a "snapshot" clone which always shows only your current state. I don't find the hourly incremental backups intrusive at all ... I usually don't even know it is performing one as it normally only takes a minute or so.

I use both.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 09:38 PM   #6
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However, there is value to Time Machine as well, as it keep a "historical" backup allowing you to "roll back" to a previous generation file, folder, or even your entire system. You can't do that with a "snapshot" clone which always shows only your current state.
CCC can do the same thing with incremental backups and archiving.
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 11:18 PM   #7
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CCC can do the same thing with incremental backups and archiving.
Does it automatically do the archiving, or is that manually done by the user?

I was unaware of that capability, how is that done?

Thanks,


-howard
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 11:44 PM   #8
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Does it automatically do the archiving, or is that manually done by the user?

I was unaware of that capability, how is that done?
Managing previous versions of your files
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Old Dec 8, 2012, 11:48 PM   #9
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Cool ... I was unaware of that feature in CCC. Guess I should read the manual. That makes the paid version even more worthwhile!

Thanks...
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 12:04 AM   #10
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Making a lot of changes to files every day I love time machine... love being able to scroll backward in the GUI in a finder window, seeing the version of say an illustrator or photoshop file I wanted before I started making changes and just pulling it forward to current time. I've also had to do more major restores and loved that I could pull from whatever time and day was before I started seeing problems (I had a drive that was dying and I was backing up corrupted files).

I realize some things CCC does better because it makes an exact (bootable) clone, and can do incremental, but time machine is beautiful and does its magic in the background without any thought at all, and is especially useful now that I can choose more than one backup device.

Maybe use both. Time machine in the background, CCC for weekly cloning?
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 12:19 AM   #11
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CCC can do the same thing with incremental backups and archiving.
While CCC does archiving... it is really not the same as TM versioning. As far as I know... you cannot really "turn back the clock" *EASILY*. The old files may be there... but to recreate back to a specific date is difficult and probably error prone.

Having said that... I love CCC, and have been a happy user for years.

My suggestion for backup is as follows:
  1. Time Machine for local backups and versions
  2. Crashplan+ for offsite disaster recover
  3. CCC to make a bootable backup (if needed)

Additionally, I use CCC to make extra copies of my media (photos, music, videos) across a pair of external drives. I have CCC set up to automatically perform a backup when I attach them to the iMac. I periodically (usually after big projects) update one, and rotate it with the one in my desk drawer offsite. I view this as a last resort offsite backup just in case my house burns and Crashplan goes out of business coincidently.

/Jim

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Making a lot of changes to files every day I love time machine... love being able to scroll backward in the GUI in a finder window, seeing the version of say an illustrator or photoshop file I wanted before I started making changes and just pulling it forward to current time. I've also had to do more major restores and loved that I could pull from whatever time and day was before I started seeing problems (I had a drive that was dying and I was backing up corrupted files).

I realize some things CCC does better because it makes an exact (bootable) clone, and can do incremental, but time machine is beautiful and does its magic in the background without any thought at all, and is especially useful now that I can choose more than one backup device.

Maybe use both. Time machine in the background, CCC for weekly cloning?
+1

/Jim
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 12:24 AM   #12
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I also like that Time Machine can support multiple backup systems by alternating each incremental backup between the drives.

I have a RAID-5 directly attached to my Mac Pro, plus it and all the other computers in my household backup to a Synology NAS tucked away in the basement over ethernet or WiFi. Both backups are kept up-to-date automatically this way by Time Machine. I also use CCC to keep a bootable copy of my RAID-0 SSD OS X boot/system disk on an internal hard disk just-in-case.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 01:22 AM   #13
bobright
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I have a question about these backups be it Time machine or CCC. If I have a backup clone from either one, would I be able to pull say my iTunes music collection and mp3s out of a backup? Is a Mac needed in order to boot from the backup then I would pull the files off it if I'd like? Say the iMac died on me and I wanted to transfer my iTunes to a windows PC

It's probably safe to say if I'm backing up even though the backup would have my iTunes music...it's probably better to still save the music by itself outside of the backup?!
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 01:44 AM   #14
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I have a question about these backups be it Time machine or CCC. If I have a backup clone from either one, would I be able to pull say my iTunes music collection and mp3s out of a backup? Is a Mac needed in order to boot from the backup then I would pull the files off it if I'd like? Say the iMac died on me and I wanted to transfer my iTunes to a windows PC

It's probably safe to say if I'm backing up even though the backup would have my iTunes music...it's probably better to still save the music by itself outside of the backup?!
Yes, CCC will backup all of your iTunes Media files and sync the exact same information as your previous computer assigned. The only thing you need to do is authorize the new computer and you practically have the exact same layout and settings as before. Also, I would personally use CCC for best compatibility for most applications, settings, files, and whatnot. Time Machine does not backup everything, whereas CCC does. The only issues that I've come across with CCC is apps with serials, such as the Adobe suite, Little Snitch, and Maya, but it's natural since it is licensed and protected (These all need to be reinstalled or inputted with a serial). In addition, Java is another, although it is a plugin, as well as Apple software updates.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 02:10 AM   #15
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Yes, CCC will backup all of your iTunes Media files and sync the exact same information as your previous computer assigned. The only thing you need to do is authorize the new computer and you practically have the exact same layout and settings as before. Also, I would personally use CCC for best compatibility for most applications, settings, files, and whatnot. Time Machine does not backup everything, whereas CCC does. The only issues that I've come across with CCC is apps with serials, such as the Adobe suite, Little Snitch, and Maya, but it's natural since it is licensed and protected (These all need to be reinstalled or inputted with a serial). In addition, Java is another, although it is a plugin, as well as Apple software updates.
So would I be able to pull my iTunes music mp3s off a backup (without running the boot up is what I'm saying)? Like say I'd want to just grab my iTunes music folder out of a backup and copy it over to say a windows machine is that possible?
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 02:47 AM   #16
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So would I be able to pull my iTunes music mp3s off a backup (without running the boot up is what I'm saying)? Like say I'd want to just grab my iTunes music folder out of a backup and copy it over to say a windows machine is that possible?
It seems that you want "syncing" instead of "backup". While the lines can be blurred between the two... a best practice is to separate the two. Develop a great backup system... and use dedicated tools for syncing.

/Jim
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 03:09 AM   #17
bobright
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It seems that you want "syncing" instead of "backup". While the lines can be blurred between the two... a best practice is to separate the two. Develop a great backup system... and use dedicated tools for syncing.

/Jim
Yeah, regardless if all my music is in a CCC backup it's best to probably just keep another set of my music some place else by itself since you can't pull it from a backup. Is the backup just one big ISO image file?

I have another question, I know the backups pick up files notes or whatever addition as you add stuff to your Mac, but what if you delete stuff? Does it delete it accordingly on your backup as well? If so that is just awesome.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 03:16 AM   #18
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I had been hit few times with disk crashes just when I am about to make a backup from the last of 20+ days before.

Learning my hard and painful lesson, I am mixing Time Machine Backup with CCC to get the best of both.

I am using NAS and Time Machine backup my Mac over WiFi to the NAS. So it always happen quietly on the background as long as I am around the NAS's network.

The "quietly backup behind the scene" is very important because it's human to forget the backup or think "it won't happen to me".

Using the NAS approach, you don't have to be reminded about plugging a disk into your machine and start backing up.

TM has all the versions I need when I really mess up with some files.

CCC on the other hand, is used sparingly to clone my entire drive. I need to remember to plug in my external drive each time for me to clone the drive.

When my disk crash or Mac broke down (spill coffee on keyboard) and I am in hurry to have a system to use, I can bring the CCC clone drive to another Mac, boot it up and I am off on my work. Problem is files on the clone drive may not be up to date.

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Old Dec 9, 2012, 04:11 AM   #19
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Is the backup just one big ISO image file?
It depends upon the program you use for backup. Time Machine keeps things in a "sparse bundle"... but inside... all the files are there. You really should not be mucking around inside. CCC keeps all the files in a duplicate folder structure.


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I have another question, I know the backups pick up files notes or whatever addition as you add stuff to your Mac, but what if you delete stuff? Does it delete it accordingly on your backup as well? If so that is just awesome.
Well... in my opinion... that is exactly what you DON'T want to happen. The big value of a backup is that it remembers everything that you have ever done. So... lets say you delete a folder by mistake... but dont notice it until a year later (say your 2005 beach vacation pictures. You can go back in time and get those pictures, even though you deleted the folder a long time ago. This is known as versioning.

CCC does move deleted files into a separate directory structure... but it can get ugly fast. By contrast... TM lets you turn back the clock to recover everything... or a subset of your data at a certain date.

TM is extremely good at versioning
CCC is extremely good at creating a bootable image.

I tend to think of bootable images as NOT backup... because of the inherent weakness in versioning. I think that TM and CCC combination are great.

Whatever you do... also make sure you have an automatic off-site backup as well. I use Crashplan+.

/Jim
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 04:39 AM   #20
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I cast my vote for SuperDuper, which as served me flawlessly for some time now. It's very simple. Makes a bootable drive. Costs $27.95.

http://www.shirt-pocket.com

I can't compare it to the other programs being discussed. I have no relationship with the company, just a happy customer.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 04:50 AM   #21
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It depends upon the program you use for backup. Time Machine keeps things in a "sparse bundle"... but inside... all the files are there. You really should not be mucking around inside. CCC keeps all the files in a duplicate folder structure.



Well... in my opinion... that is exactly what you DON'T want to happen. The big value of a backup is that it remembers everything that you have ever done. So... lets say you delete a folder by mistake... but dont notice it until a year later (say your 2005 beach vacation pictures. You can go back in time and get those pictures, even though you deleted the folder a long time ago. This is known as versioning.

CCC does move deleted files into a separate directory structure... but it can get ugly fast. By contrast... TM lets you turn back the clock to recover everything... or a subset of your data at a certain date.

TM is extremely good at versioning
CCC is extremely good at creating a bootable image.

I tend to think of bootable images as NOT backup... because of the inherent weakness in versioning. I think that TM and CCC combination are great.

Whatever you do... also make sure you have an automatic off-site backup as well. I use Crashplan+.

/Jim
It gets ugly as in that folder can get filled up if you delete too much stuff and can muck up a backup? I like that Time Machine can revert back to a certain date, does the latest backup reflect deleted stuff though?

It's good to have that option to still save stuff you deleted but at the same time if its things like pictures with bad lighting or songs I don't like or want on iTunes...I don't really want to have those in my bootable backup.

I appreciate the insight it's more understanding
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 05:00 AM   #22
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It gets ugly as in that folder can get filled up if you delete too much stuff and can muck up a backup? I like that Time Machine can revert back to a certain date, does the latest backup reflect deleted stuff though?

It's good to have that option to still save stuff you deleted but at the same time if its things like pictures with bad lighting or songs I don't like or want on iTunes...I don't really want to have those in my bootable backup.

I appreciate the insight it's more understanding
I would recommend that you separate "backup" and "bootable clone" in your mind. It is easier to think of them as two different things.

With backup... you can restore any subset of your machine back to a specific data (including the most recent backup). Hence... if you were to restore to a new HDD using the newest backup... you would not have any of the old deleted files. However... if you wanted to restore any folders (or the whole machine) back to a certain date... you could do that and restore things you deleted.

A bootable clone is "mostly" a snapshot of the date that it was backed up... Unlike a backup... it is bootable. Personally... I do not need a bootable clone. I have plenty of machines to work from while I restore a broken machine. It just is not an issue for me.

/Jim
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 10:49 AM   #23
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So would I be able to pull my iTunes music mp3s off a backup (without running the boot up is what I'm saying)? Like say I'd want to just grab my iTunes music folder out of a backup and copy it over to say a windows machine is that possible?
Yes, you can pull any selection of files or folders from the CCC backup. It looks exactly like the drive that was cloned. It's not stored in an individual backup file. Browsing and accessing the backup with Finder is no different than browsing and accessing your internal drive.
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It gets ugly as in that folder can get filled up if you delete too much stuff and can muck up a backup? I like that Time Machine can revert back to a certain date, does the latest backup reflect deleted stuff though?
If you are archiving older versions of files with either TM or CCC, you need space for those backups and they will grow in size over time. It won't "muck up" a backup.
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It's good to have that option to still save stuff you deleted but at the same time if its things like pictures with bad lighting or songs I don't like or want on iTunes...I don't really want to have those in my bootable backup.
While you can select what does and doesn't get backed up, you can't specify not to backup a photo if it has bad lighting or a song because you don't like it. You can specify not to backup a picture or music folder, but not selectively backup based on your human-thinking criteria.
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Old Dec 9, 2012, 03:21 PM   #24
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While you can select what does and doesn't get backed up, you can't specify not to backup a photo if it has bad lighting or a song because you don't like it. You can specify not to backup a picture or music folder, but not selectively backup based on your human-thinking criteria.
I know right what I am talking about is if I simply deleted a bunch of bad photos I didn't want anymore. If I were to "clone" my machine at its current state without said photos I don't want anymore and deleted. I'd want my clone to reflect that and not have these photos I've deleted...it looks like from what you and Jim are saying that'll be the case. The clone will have files you either added to your machine or won't have stuff you deleted e.g photos songs at that current time it's cloned.

Then on the other hand like Jim said the TM backup method gives you the option to roll back to a date and then you would see these photos/songs before you deleted them at a certain point think I've got it understood

Last edited by bobright; Dec 9, 2012 at 03:33 PM.
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