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Old Jan 11, 2011, 04:42 PM   #1
SanFranKyle
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What's the best way to backup my 13" Macbook Pro?

Gonna buy a portable harddrive this weekend and get to the long overdue backing up of my computer.

Do I use time machine, or some other program? Is it better to create bootable backups or not if I'm planning on backing up every few days?

What works best for you guys?
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 04:46 PM   #2
tjb1
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Time Machine or CCC...Time Machine backs up data, CCC makes a bootable clone.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 04:48 PM   #3
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I use Time Machine on one external, and then Carbon Copy Cloner on the another.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 04:48 PM   #4
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There is no "best" way. if you're not very tech-savvy and don't want to mess around too much, TM works just fine.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 04:54 PM   #5
SanFranKyle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-key View Post
I use Time Machine on one external, and then Carbon Copy Cloner on the another.
does CCC update the bootable copy, or will I run through space really quickly backing up multiple bootable copies
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 04:56 PM   #6
NickZac
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Backup wise, some people use Time Machine, some use Carbon Cloner, some use miscellaneous systems, and some use a combination. If your external has the size, having the capability to boot from it isn't a bad idea at all as it is another safety net. I make a Carbon Clone about once every 2-3 weeks, use Time Machine every day (it runs much quicker for me and only changes files that have been changed), and also use an external USB flash drive for critical files. Time Machine is a great back-up system and many will say it is all you need, but depending on the level of value you place on your data, you may want to use more than 1 method as you can't have too many backups.

I would look for a hard drive that can do USB3 as you may wind up using it in the future and it is faster than USB2, the current standard. More than likely, the next gen MBP will have USB3 capability although it is not certain.

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firew...b/eliteclassic
Here is one of many examples offering multiple connection options. It can do all USB versions including USB3 which makes it useful now and useful later. Also, the enclosure is really solid. You can also get it in both FW400/800, USB2, and eSATA, but it is much more expensive and may not be as good of a choice for the future.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 05:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanFranKyle View Post
does CCC update the bootable copy, or will I run through space really quickly backing up multiple bootable copies
It does incremental backups, meaning the first backup will copy the whole 232GB (for example), but subsequent backups will only backup the additional 4GB or 312MB of data.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 05:02 PM   #8
Mac-key
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanFranKyle View Post
does CCC update the bootable copy, or will I run through space really quickly backing up multiple bootable copies
CCC does update the bootable copy.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 05:07 PM   #9
Eddyisgreat
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I used to futz around with bootable copies but now I don't bother with it. I can restore my OS backup in about 30 minutes anyway.

Otherwise superduper was my primary choice, but I abandoned it because it wasn't very flexible. I Now use retrospect which is much more expensive but allows my server to play 'traffic cop' to all my machines and detects/backs up mobile clients automagically as well as backing up alternative formats like NTFS for bootcamp and (eX)FAT for externals. It's basically a multi platform time machine on crack.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 05:27 PM   #10
SanFranKyle
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cool thanks guys. Probably grab a 500gb or a 1TB external drive. Any recommendations on good drives I could grab at Bestbuy? Are they all decently reliable between WD, seagate, etc, or is there a standout that I should try to grab? (features like USB 3.0 aren't important to me right now as if I need to back up it won't be a time issue)
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 05:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SanFranKyle View Post
cool thanks guys. Probably grab a 500gb or a 1TB external drive. Any recommendations on good drives I could grab at Bestbuy? Are they all decently reliable between WD, seagate, etc, or is there a standout that I should try to grab? (features like USB 3.0 aren't important to me right now as if I need to back up it won't be a time issue)
I prefer WD and I managed to snag a 2TB drive at Best Buy two weeks ago for about $110.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 06:46 PM   #12
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I've used both SuperDuper! and TimeMachine.

I prefer SuperDuper! because I like a bootable backup. For example, if my hard-drive completely failed, it takes me literally 10 minutes to just put the other drive in and I'm back where I was.

SuperDuper, like CCC does updates to your clone if changes were made on your drive.

Ideally, I would like to keep a TimeMachine drive and a SuperDuper cloned drive, but right now I don't have an extra drive for TimeMachine.

For my system drive backup, I put a 7200rpm seagate bare drive into a OWC USB 2.0 enclosure. The drive is the same one I have in my MBP, so if I need to swap, it's an exact clone, right down to the model/speed/capacity of my main drive. The drive was $65 from Newegg, and the enclosure is around $17 from OWC, though OWC sells both and sells a package deal for under $100 I believe.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 06:54 PM   #13
Matthew9559
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I use Time Machine for the whole computer and a separate HDD to backup software,movies,music, and photos.

As for the HDD, all of the well known manufacturers are great. Some people complain terrible luck with WD or terrible luck with Seagate. In the end they all fail at about the same rate. The difference really depends on what speed and size you want. Thats about it. I have used Samsung,WD, and Seagate in the past. Everyone of the companies has failed me at one time or another.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 09:08 PM   #14
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I second, or third, or fourth CCC. Time Machine doesn't suit me. I prefer bootable clones. CCC will update the clone whenever you want it to if you set up a scheduled task.

The first time you run it you should do a "Backup Everything" clone. Then when it's done, create a task that just updates changed files and set it to run every so often. For me, I have it set to 3 hours. I keep a second clone that updates every 24 hours and a third that is also portable and is also 3 hours.

Believe me, CCC is better than Time Machine. TM has one thing going for it. Integration with OS X. But CCC makes bootable clones and that's what I find more convenient.

Zero downtime if my internal HD dies. Zero. With TM, I would have to wait hours for a backup to restore. With CCC, it's as simple as booting from one of the clones and off I go just exactly as I was before.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 09:19 PM   #15
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Many will argue that you need 2 or 3 backups. All this depends on your needs. For me, I want to ensure I always have a backup incase my computer fails. As such, I only use 1 backup...a Time Machine backup.

My theory is if my computer fails, I'll get a new one and restore my data using the Time Machine backup. If my Time Machine hard drive fails, I'll go buy a new one (they are fairly cheap) and do a new TM backup.

The risk I assume is if both the Hard Drive and Computer fail at the same time. I find this highly unlikely, so I accept that risk. Now, I must protect against losing possession of the computer and external disk simultaneously. For this, I have a second TM backup. However, I only use this drive about 2 or 3 times a year. It is not a consistent backup. Just a means to recover the bulk of my work, photos, etc.

Again, completely up to you on how much backup you need. In terms of which program. I'm a huge fan of Time Machine. I haven't used CCC...but I hear good things about it.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 09:23 PM   #16
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I had it happen once. I had two backups at the time. One backup died, the same hour my internal HD died. Unlikely is not as unlikely as you would hope when you aren't expecting it.

HD's are cheaper than dirt these days. 2TB costs $100 now. It's actually more expensive per GB to get less than 2TB.
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 09:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasoco View Post
I had it happen once. I had two backups at the time. One backup died, the same hour my internal HD died. Unlikely is not as unlikely as you would hope when you aren't expecting it.

HD's are cheaper than dirt these days. 2TB costs $100 now. It's actually more expensive per GB to get less than 2TB.
Again, I know it is possible and I know Murphy will probably bite me some day. However, I'm so busy that I find it more cumbersome to dig out 2 hard drives and do multiple backups. If I had a desktop I know I would have a dual backup system. As for my laptop, I only carry 1 external hard drive with me (a 2TB partitioned with FAT and OSX Extended Journaled). I also have an external at my house partitioned the same way, but I only backup to it about 2 or 3 times a year. Not because of some elaborate planning, but rather out of shear laziness!
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Old Jan 11, 2011, 09:35 PM   #18
GGJstudios
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanFranKyle View Post
Gonna buy a portable harddrive this weekend and get to the long overdue backing up of my computer.

Do I use time machine, or some other program? Is it better to create bootable backups or not if I'm planning on backing up every few days?

What works best for you guys?
I use CCC to make a bootable copy, then use incremental backups to keep it current. Any hard drive will work, as long as it's formatted properly:


HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
  • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
  • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backups of Mac internal hard drive.
  • To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
  • To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
  • Maximum file size: 8EiB
  • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
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Old Jan 12, 2011, 09:23 AM   #19
NickZac
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Oh yeah, it is probably a given but as silly as it may sound, keep a copy of your hard drive some where that is different than your computer. I keep an external in my gun safe, which is fire proof, water proof, impact shielded and bullet proof (don't call me paranoid, I just really like my things). My mother has 2 externals used for back-ups in which she copies one every week and takes it to the safe deposit box, brings the one currently in the box back, then next week updates that and begins the process all over again. Home fire/water damage is a real possible threat, and no hard drive, SSD, HDD, MVP, etc can survive water and/or fire.
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Old Jan 12, 2011, 10:01 AM   #20
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I took my Time Capsule and Partitioned the drive to have one portion for my Time machine backup, and the other part for a wireless external hard drive, i keep a copy of my stuff on my main computer and on the 2 partitions.
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