Manual backup - which files to choose?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by mortenjensen, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2012
    I would like to setup a manual backup of my mac (no time capsule).
    Which files should I ensure to backup - besides desktop, documents folder, video folder.

    All my mail is imap-secured.

    Just wondering, which files on the mac os and so on, I should ensure to backup.


    PS: On windows, I used a small program called second copy to back up files automatically. Is there a nice little program that can work in the background backing up?
  2. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I recommend Carbon Copy Cloner for creating bootable backups of your entire drive. You can also select individual folders, but backing up your entire drive is recommended.
  3. macrumors 68030

    Mattie Num Nums

    Mar 5, 2009
    Carbon Copy Cloner is great for making images but I like SuperDuper as a backup solution. For file backup a rule of thumb is, if you are a clean user all you need to do is backup your users folder (~). If you are storing things all over the place then you may have a harder time.
  4. macrumors 68030

    Jul 13, 2008
    Well the easiest way to do a "manual" backup is to use Time Machine. It gives you control over what you want to back up by exclusion (you could exclude everything BUT your user folder). Just works. And more efficient in terms of copying and storing than using the Finder to copy stuff, and easier to restore if you need to.

    Take a look at Backup as well. I think it's still included with every Mac, and it's a very handy backup solution. And free.

    But note the two different backup schemes: one does versioning, one does archives. You didn't specify which kind you wanted.

  5. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    For clarification, Carbon Copy Cloner can backup with versioning or archiving, can backup only selected files/folders, and the backup files can be browsed with Finder and files restored with a simple drag and drop. It can also create bootable backups, which TM can't do.
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2012
    Thanks for all the replies.
    I am not thinking of versioning - only a regular backup. On my old PC, the program I used copied only the changed files. It worked pretty well and fast.

  7. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    TimeMachine does this very well, the first back up is a complete and then the rest of the backups are differential.

    I've not used Carbon Copy Cloner in this manner but from what I've read it can do incremental backups as well.
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2012
    Don't you need a time capsule in order to use time machine?
  9. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No, Time Machine is the software that does the backups. Time Capsule is a device that Apple sells that you can use for backups. You can also use any external drive with Time Machine.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2008
    I've been using ChronoSync for years. I think I originally chose it because I was syncing work files between my desktop and laptop but I now use it to back up changed files from both machines to an external.

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