2 Backup Questions for Mac newbie

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ericinboston, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. ericinboston macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    Hi all. I am a relative newbie to the Mac (Mini Aug 2007 right after the refresh with OS 10.4.x if I am correct)...yet I am a Windows/PC expert.

    I am looking to back up my Mini via 2 scenarios:

    1)I'd like to image my Mini drive so that I have a backup. Programs like Norton Ghost and Macrium Reflect do this very simply in the PC world with about 5 mouseclicks...allowing me to save my image on an external hard drive (usually as a single file or even a set of, for example, 700MB files).
    Likely someday I will replace my 5400RPM 160GB drive with a 7200RPM 500GB drive and would like to restore my image back to the new, larger, drive. What software/freeware would you recommend for me? Also, do you have a weblink that will show me a step-by-step example of imaging a drive to a new, larger drive?

    2)I'd like to "back up" my iPhoto pix and application...but I'm not sure exactly how and where iPhoto saves all my pix. If I wanted to copy/export all my iPhoto pix from 1 Mac to another Mac (and maybe even newer OS or newer iPhoto), how would I do it? What is the recommended approach?

    Thank you very much in advance.

  2. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    To answer your first question, you can use software such as Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner to image your drive.

    For your second question, there are a few ways you can back up your iPhotos. You don't need to back up the application, as it is on your OS install DVD or on the iLife install DVD. Your iPhoto library is located in your Pictures folder in your home directory. Just copy the entire thing and then copy it to the same location on your other computer.

    If you just want to copy a few photos, then launch iPhoto and highlight the photos you want, go to the menu and choose export, and save them to a flash drive or something and then import them into iPhoto on the other computer.

    Even easier is to make sure both computers are on the same home network, launch iPhoto on both computers and turn on photo sharing, and then share them across the network. Just click on the shared library that appears in the left sidebar, wait for the thumbnails to populate, select the images you want, and drag them into the library.
  3. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    There are a few apps that do cloning. I use Carbon Copy Cloner, there is also SuperDuper. Just a few clicks. They will create a bootable copy (Well, CCC will I assume SD will as well).

    For everyday backups, Time Machine is the simplest (literally 1 click) and cheapest (free) solution, especially if you use iPhoto's folder structure rather than your own, which would be difficult to manually backup selectively you'd just back it all up anyway.

    If you have a large external HD, you could partition it, one partition for TM, one for CCC or SuperDuper. AT the moment my dedicated 1Tb TM HD is only using about 120GB and not really growing, due to the efficient way it stores data (incremental) hourly backups for one day followed by daily for a month then weekly after that so unless you are adding a lot of new data it seems to stabilise after a while. Perhaps not perfect for everyone, buts totally automagic, works seamlessly with Mac apps, just one click to use it, and a few more to tell it what to exclude if you only wanted to backup some folders.

    Also consider offsite backup, not much use putting all your eggs in one basket, if fire, flood, theft could take it all however good your backup at home.
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    To clone your boot disk, you can use either SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner. Both have devoted followers. I use SuperDuper, and it makes a bootable clone. I do this before running Software Update so if I get a bad update I can easily go back to the previous version of OSx. The programs come with pretty decent instructions, not that I needed it; I just connected an external drive, invoked SuperDuper, and a few clicks and it was running.
  5. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    Thanks everyone for your fast replies!

    Yes, old-wiz, you pretty much hit my uses cases...I usually clone/image my drive:

    1)when doing patches to the OS
    2)before installing any heavy duty apps or new hardware
    3)in order to buy a new drive, clone my existing to it, then power up my new drive (and theoretically everything continues to work)...and eventually take my old drive and format it and make it a data drive or something.


Share This Page