Adding HD's and backup scheme for New iMac - advice?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by shaunb83, May 30, 2011.

  1. shaunb83 macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2008
    I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new 27" imac with SSD+ 1 TB HD.

    I know that this isn't going to be sufficient storage into the future, so I wanted to get some advice about backup strategies and adding hard drives in the future.

    For right now, I'm planning on adding a 2 TB drive to act as a time machine back up (Firewire 800), and then having a separate 2 TB HD that I'll transport to and from my work as an off-site back up. This will probably just be USB 2, as I can leave it running overnight and then take it back to work.

    I'm not sure whether to have the off-site back up as a bootable backup (using Chronosync or Superduper), or whether to back this up sequentially as well?? Is there any way to have a bootable back up that also has sequential backups??

    Once Thunderbolt enclosures become available, I'm planning on adding a separate 2 TB drive to add as a scratch disk for video and photo work. I guess I might need a separate backup drive for this as well if I end up using this disk for storage (which is probably inevitable).

    Would like to hear from other people what their strategies or plans are, esp. with integration of thunderbolt (which still isn't available as far as I know for enclosures etc??).

    Would you recommend having separate enclosures, or is it worth investing in a hot-swappable docking station? Do people have any recommendations for good docking stations?

  2. discofuel macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2010
  3. discofuel macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2010
    If you want a bootable off-site backup, instead of cloning the Time Machine drive, you could clone both your internals to the off-site backup using CCC.
  4. shaunb83 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2008
    Thanks - I guess as long as you have the system discs, and a clone of your time machine backup, then you should be able to restore your system regardless from the time machine backup right?

    The main advantage of the bootable backup is not having to reinstall the operating system if the HD fails, you can simply plug it in and be up and running almost instantly?

    Using CCC to clone the time machine drive is a good idea - I hadn't thought of it, up to now I had been switching HD's from the time machine preferences, which does seem to confuse time machine on occasion.

    Thanks for the ideas.
  5. discofuel macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2010
    Exactly. You wouldn't even need your system disks.

    Yes, but would be slow to boot from USB drive. FW800 would be better.

    The other option you could do is set Time Machine to continuously backup your data drive, and CCC to regularly clone your system drive incrementally, both to the same drive.
  6. kuebby macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2007
    I have 2 externals connected to my iMac:

    -1tb WD drive (USB) that's used solely for Time Machine. There's really no reason to go FW800 for a TM drive, speed isn't really that important since the backups are done in the background

    -1tb OWC RAID enclosure. 2x1tb drives running RAID1 to have redundant backups of movies, TV shows, photos, music, etc
  7. archer75 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2005
    I use time machine with a 2tb external. Soon I will add a crashplan or carbonite account for offsite backup of some files.

    I also have a 16tb WHS box that I can store data on as well that has redundancy.
  8. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2010
    While I like the idea of a CCC clone of the TM disk, and taking it offsite, I'd suggest you have more than one method of taking backups.

    If the above scenario is the only backup approach, you are dependent on TM totally. If it screws up, then your backup is toast.

    I like the idea of two or preferably three backup methods, but I'm paranoid.

    I have TM, plus CrashPlan making three more copies (one to an old PC, one to a drive on an Airport Extreme, and one to a USB drive), and a limited backup via Backup.

    When my iMac arrives in June, I'll revisit the strategy
  9. shaunb83 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2008
    Ok thanks, so the consensus seems to be:

    (1) A time machine back up on site to enable recovery from simple screwups or HD crash

    (2) An off-site back up - perhaps just cloned from the main HD once per week using CCC, superduper or Chronosync, which enables recovery of files in a reasonably-up-to-date state in case of theft/fire etc.

    (3) Some other scheme for video/music/scratch disk for editing home movies etc. Perhaps a raid set up, with an additional off-site back up drive for this.

    Man, this is getting expensive in a hurry!


    Thanks everyone!
  10. johnfkitchen macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2010
    Having a bootable OS X system from which you can restore the real boot disk (SSD), on either a partition on the HDD or on an external drive can save you recovery time when the system image gets broken for whatever cause. (Probably finger error or software glitch!)
  11. gcthompson macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2010
    I've got a time-machine backup drive and also use BackBlaze for an offsite backup.

    I also make physical copies of files to an external drive when i remember...

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