4 macs, 5 hard drives, 1 backup drive available, What's best approach?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mactotheend, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. mactotheend macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    #1
    I have 4 macs in the house. One has 2 hard drives. Am upgrading all to Lion. I have a 1TB Lacie external and want to back up all of them onto it. The sizes of the individual HDs are 128, 230, 300, 60 and 128, so there is room, technically speaking. Just want to back them up and put the Lacie somewhere safe. Don't want anything fancy or automatic, manual, occasional backup is okay with me. Can it done simply with Disk Utility and partitioning? I'm by all measures a newbie, so be easy on me and thanks.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
  3. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #3
    You could use CCC like the above poster said, or you could partition the drive into 5 partitions, and run Time Machine on each computer to their own partition destination.
     
  4. mactotheend thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    #4
    Does OS make a difference?

    As I said before I am upgrading all to Lion, but currently one machine is Leopard, two are Snow Leopard and one is already Lion. I intended to back them up as they currently exist then upgrade the OS, that way if something went amiss I would at least be able to get back to where I started. Once all of the machines are current with Lion I would back them up again. Is this possible, and are there any issues that I need to know about? And when I was looking at Disk Utility trying to figure out the partition thing I saw where I could specify Extended, Extended (Journal) along with a couple of other options, what's all that about and what would be my best path? Sorry, I said I was a newbie.
     
  5. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #5
    That's actually a very good idea to back things up this way before upgrading multiple systems.

    In Disk Utility, choose the partition style Extended (Journaled).

    For future backups, you might want to consider getting a Time Capsule. It would allow you to run Time Machine on all your computers over your home network. That way, you can have a backup that you don't have to manually maintain. HERE are some refurb models from Apple.
     
  6. mactotheend thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    #6
    Which OS do I use to format the HD, does it make a difference?

    Does it make a difference which version of the OS I use to partition the 1TB HD? Also, do I partition the HD for the size of the individual drives or just size it a bit larger than what amount is on the individual drive? For instance, if it is a 250 GB drive but I am only using 80 GB of it, do I partition for 250 GB or something around 100 GB. I realize the storage utilized will eventually exceed the 100 GB, but for now do I need to go to the 250 GB partition from the start? Aside from the eventual, growing utilization what else do I need to take into account? Is Time Machine difficult to use if I want to force an immediate backup? I like the network backup with Time Capsule, but only 2 of the 4 Macs are at the house any appreciable time the other two are away at school mostly. That's why I would probably opt to do the manual backups as I can and get the 2 student Macs to sit still long enough. Thank you for your help, hopefully I'm about ready to start. I think I still might have a few more questions but so far I am starting to feel more comfortable with trying it.
     
  7. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #7
    Do you want to be able to reboot from the backup drive, or is it OK just to have a copy of the data?

    Personally I wouldn't partition - instead I'd create a set of sparsebundle dmg disk images - one for each of the drives I was backing up - and store these on the unpartitioned drive (well, one big HFS partition).

    This way, you're using the minimum amount of space necessary (sparse dmgs don't waste space), and the backup drive will still have space left for other stuff.

    Create the dmgs to be at least the size of the drive you're imaging. Mount the drive on the computer you're backing up, then mount the relevant dmg. Use CarbonCopyCloner to back the internal to the image.
     
  8. mactotheend thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    #8
    Don't need to boot from hd, data is okay.

    But I have no idea what a sparsebundle is. I have made dmgs before but have not had to specify size so I am not sure if we are talking about the same thing. A disk image of the drive sounds good to me. If a system would crash would I then just copy the disk image to the new or cleaned drive and open it?
    I just found out that one of the MacBooks will not upgrade to Lion, it's only a 32 bit processor. The other 3 macs are 64 and will support Lion. Does that complicate the single-drive-for-backup idea that I want to pursue? Also, could someone reread my previous post and take a stab at answering my partitioning questions? I appreciate the idea of the .dmg route but don't have CC and wanted to employ any combination of Disk Utility and Time Machine to get it done. That way I don't have to have several copies of CC installed and DU and TM are already on all 4 machines. Thank you everyone for your time and help.
     

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