How do I go about backing up to an external FW HD, for 'restore' purposes

Discussion in 'macOS' started by thomasp, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. thomasp macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm considering buying an external firewire hard drive to back up my PB's hard drive prior to doing OS updates (and of course whenever I feel like it). The main reason is so as I can quickly restore my PB if an OS update goes pear-shaped, since I'm at university and don't have my installer DVD's with me.

    I have searched both the Guides and the forum for "backup" but haven't really found anything useful.

    What is the best way to go about backing up all of my hard drive (I'm using a 15" 1.5GHz Aug '05 G4 PB, with 80Gb internal HD) to an external firewire drive, so as I can then use the FW drive as a startup drive if my main HD gets crippled through a bad update, etc? I've seen this SuperDuper! software - will that back absolutely everything up?

    Also, if the unthinkable happens, how can I boot from the firewire hard drive? Do I just plug it in, turn it on and start the mac up? How can I tell my mac to start up from the external HD, as opposed to the internal one, during bootup? There's a key you press, but I can't remember what!


    Thanks for the help :)

    If this thread is in the wrong forum, please feel free to move it, and if I've missed an FAQ or similar about this topic, please direct me towards it :)
     
  2. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #2
    You can actually use Disk Utility (yourHD/Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility) to make an image of your HD that you can restore over top of the current OS X installation if needed. It acts kinda like Norton Ghost on the PC side, only with less options and its much slower from what I've experienced.

    Basically what you'll need is a HD thats larger than the internal HD. I would get something like a 160GB HD just to be safe as then you can put other stuff on it as well.

    Then plug the ext HD in and turn it on. Then get the Mac running just the way you want it and then go to Disk Utility (see above for directions to Disk Utility), and then click ONCE on your HD in the left hand column (click on the very top, not on what you call your HD). Then click on the File Menu and then select New, Disk Image from disk0 (thats your HD). and then select your ext HD as the destination. This will take quite a while depending on how much stuff is on your HD. YOU CANNOT STORE THE IMAGE ON YOUR INTERNAL HD! That wouldn't make any sense as you'd be making an image of your image and it would be a continuous loop. I would give this at least an hour.

    Then if you ever want to restore from that image, you'll need to boot from the OS X Installer CD or DVD and then plug in your ext HD and turn it on. Then after booting from the OS X Installer CD/DVD, go to Disk Utility and then click on the Restore Tab. Click on the Image Button and then select your back up image. Then select your destination (your internal HD) and click Restore. I would give about an hour for it to restore as well.

    If you do get something like a 160GB HD, you can partition it and then install Mac OS X on one of the partitions. You would basically go through with the OS X installation just as you would if you were installing to the internal HD, but when it asks where you want to install the OS to, just select your external HD (usually it will it have an orange HD icon instead of an aluminum looking one). Then if ever needed, you can boot from your external HD and actually run any Mac from it. If you ever need to do that, after hearing the Mac Chime (BONG!), hold down the Option Key (making sure the external HD is turned on BEFORE you turn your Mac on). It will boot to a purpleish screen scan for all bootable devices (HDs, CDs, DVDs, Network HDs, etc) and your external HD should appear. Just click on the button that represents your external HD and then click the --> which will tell your Mac to boot from your ext HD.
     
  3. blackstone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #3
    Yes, SuperDuper! works like a charm for me. I've used it to roll back from screwy updates a few times, and recently used it to migrate myself to a new hard drive after my existing hard drive failed. I can't think of anything easier.
     
  4. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Since I don't have the installer DVD's with me at Uni, and I'd rather leave them at home, can I just back up every single byte of my internal HD to the FW HD? Will this then work as a boot drive?

    You suggested creating a disk image on the external HD, then using the restore DVD to get the image back onto the internal HD - I don't really want to do this, as it means I have to have the installer DVD's with me at Uni, so I might as well not bother with the external drive and just back things up to CD occasionally.
     
  5. quigleybc macrumors 68030

    quigleybc

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Location:
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
    #5


    Can you copy your installer DVD's and bring the back ups with you to Uni ?
     
  6. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #6
    Also, you can always use Carbon Copy Cloner to make an exact copy of your current HD to an external HD. Then if problems, arise, just do the opposite and use carbon copy cloner on the ext HD and clone it to the HD in the PowerBook.

    Just remember that if you do that, it will overwrite everything so if have boughten music after you made the image or used carbon copy cloner they will be gone. If you use Quicken to do your checkbook, anything added to that will be erased, any programs added since then will be gone, etc... So its still a good idea to keep a backup for those items as well. This is why I said that you'll want to get something larger than a 80 GB HD for those purposes as well. Its also good for storage of things like Mac OS X updates, application updates, etc. That way you don't have to find and download them all over again, but rather just install them off your ext HD.
     
  7. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #7
    The reason why you'll need to Installer CD/DVD is that you cannot restore a HD thats in use. You could try booting from your ext HD and then push the back up image to your internal HD, but I don't remember having any luck with that and I think I ended up booting from my installer CD and then pushing the image back over to the internal HD.

    I would just do what others said and make a copy of the installer Discs/DVD and carry them along in your laptop bag. Then if you lose them, so be it, no biggie. You're out .50¢ instead of $50 or so for original replacement restore CDs/DVDs

    BTW the image thing WILL NOT work with Mac OS 9. I've been there done that. It works great for OS X, but not OS 9.
     
  8. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    With regards to copying the installer DVD, I have no DVD burner - at university or at home.

    Is it possible just to essentially drag and drop (or use something like Carbon Copy Cloner) every single file from my internal HD to the firewire HD - will the FWHD then run as a boot drive? Or would it be better just to partition it and install OSX on it? How would I go about updating this to the latest version?
     
  9. blackstone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #9
    SuperDuper! will copy every single file over and then "bless" the target drive to make it bootable. You do NOT need to boot from a separate drive to copy everything in SuperDuper! (or, for that matter, to do the same thing in Carbon Copy Cloner).

    If FOO is your main drive that you normally boot from, and BAR is your backup drive, then all you have to do is instruct SuperDuper! to clone FOO to BAR. If FOO ever gets corrupted, then you boot up from BAR and use BAR's copy of SuperDuper! to clone BAR to FOO.
     
  10. emaja macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #10
    SuperDuper does exactly what you seem to want it to do - make an exact, bootable copy of everything on your internal HD - and yes, it will be bootable if you instruct SD to make it so and if you are cloning to a FW drive.

    Yes, you can do a backup using Disk Utility and yes, it is free, but SD does it soooo much better. You can make incremental clones, which update only the files that have changed since your last clone, saving a TON of time. You can also schedule the clones. SD can do it all from repairing permissions prior to the clone and the actual cloning itself unattended.

    Very nice piece of software and I highly recommend it.
     
  11. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Thanks for all the replies :) I'll look at getting an 80Gb LaCie HD from Computer Warehouse (I'm a student, so don't really have the budget for much more :D)

    I read somewhere that not all FW drives are "bootable" - is there any way to find out whether a drive is or isn't without actually buying it and installing the OS on it?

    Also, just to confirm, you hold down the Alt/Option key during startup to change the boot drive?


    Cheers for the help - much appreciated :)


    Edit:

    One other question: if I buy a bus-powered (not mains powered) HD, are these still bootable, or do the firewire ports on a PB not activate until the computer is fully started up?
     
  12. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    South of the border
    #12
    G3s won't boot from firewire. Otherwise, as long as it's a mac formatted disk and has been "blessed" it should work as a startup drive.

    Xupport allows you to create a bootable backup of your system onto an external drive.

    Holding down the Option key will bring up the boot disk menu, allowing you choose from any available systems to boot from.
     
  13. thomasp thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    That's OK - the only G3's we have back home don't have firewire ports :D

    I assume FireWire drives can be formatted through Disk Utility, without the need for booting from a CD/DVD.
     
  14. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    South of the border
    #14
    Sure - as long as your internal is working normally. Format it it as MacOS Extended for the safest option. Then use whichever app you like to make the backup onto it.

    If your internal goes down, then you apply in reverse - boot from the external, format the internal drive (checking for truly dead-drive errors) then bootable-backup the external onto the internal.
     

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