Backing up Mac's to a PC

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by sanclemente, May 17, 2005.

  1. sanclemente macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2005
    I'm trying to get out of the PC world and into a Mac. I currently have a win XP pro desktop and, unfortunately, have to buy a PC laptop for the business school program I am attending. My fiance has a Powerbook with Panther on it and I'm going to buy a Mac Mini (If I can't by a Powerbook, since I'm required to buy the PC laptop, I'm getting my Mac fix somehow). My question is, if I wiped the two harddrives in the Dell and made it a barebones XP machine, can I use it as a network server and back-up the two Macs to the dell's second harddrive? They will all be connected by an Airport Extreme. I've shard files back and forth between the PB and my Dell, but I want something more robust and something I can automate so I am not just copying, connecting, and manually moving files between the two. Thanks.
  2. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    I don't see why not. It will be slow, but it should work. Remember that the most important things you can back up are your documents, music, and pictures. You can always relode and install software. It should work the other way around also. You can back up your PC documents to your Macs.
  3. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    For most data files that aren't generated by Apple-written software, this should work just fine. But for things like applications and the system files, I don't think it'll work because the XP filesystem won't handle the resource fork correctly - ditto (I am guessing) for data written by any Apple programs (e.g. iLife, iWork, Final Cut).

    There are ways around this if you're a coder; but I'm guessing you're not (no offense is intended here btw).
  4. ct77 macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2004
    To retain Mac resource forks and other Mac-specific parts of the files, you can use Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC).

    It would work like this -- you use CCC to backup the /Users folder and all subfolders into a .DMG file. This is how you retain the Mac-specific file attributes, like resource forks, etc.

    Then, you can copy that .DMG (it will be pretty big) over the hard drives that live inside the PC's.

    If your Mac ever goes down, your restore procedure is:

    1. Reload OS X and your apps.
    2. Copy the .DMG file back to your Mac, double-click to open it, and use Finder to copy the Documents you need to restore back into your user accounts.
  5. sanclemente thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2005
    How about this, if Carbon Copy Cloner can create a .dmg, can I set up the XP system as a netwrok drive on the Mac, and then schedule daily back-ups that will do all that for me? Or is there a software program that will take care of that?

    No offense on the coding, I only minored in CS so my coding is limited to JAVA and assembly (and those could be considered intermediate at best)
  6. ct77 macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2004
    Definitely. Carbon Copy Cloner supports this directly, so you don't even need to write a line of code! :D (That's the way it should be on a Mac, anyway!)

    Start up Carbon Copy Cloner and configure the backup the way you want it to be done.

    So you select your source drive, your target drive (the XP machine's disk), then you go into Preferences and select "Create Disk Image on Target" and optionally (but recommended) "Repair Permissions Before Cloning".

    Next select the items you want to be copied (could be your entire system, or just the /Users folder... whatever you decide).

    Next you need to authenticate (click the lock icon). Then go into the Scheduler and configure when you want this backup that you've configured to occur.

    And I think that's all there is to it! I've used CCC many times to backup my own system, but haven't tried the scheduling functionality personally.

    One thing to note -- Carbon Copy Cloner is not yet Tiger-compatible.

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