Backing up by just copying files

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by DanK104, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. DanK104 macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2006
    I have three computers (new iMac, iBook, eMac) on which I plan to install Leopard in a week or so (Thanksgiving weekend project!). Naturally I want to have a backup of everything before I do the installations. Simplest way to do this would be to just copy everything onto my external hard drive (I just bought a new Western Digital "My Book" 750GB FW drive for use with Time Machine). There is enough space on the hard drive for everything, and I would just attach the drive to each computer in turn. Once Leopard is installed, working, and Time Machine is up and running, I could trash the copies I had made.

    MY QUESTION: Is there any reason not to just copy the files to the external hard drive, as opposed to using an actual backup program to do it???

    If copying is not a good way to do this, any suggestions for an easy to use backup method for a one-time backup?

    (Note to whoever is going to ask me why I haven't been doing backups until now: I have, with Retrospect. But when I got my new iMac recently I didn't re-install Retrospect, knowing that I would be switching to Time Machine real soon).

  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    You could do it your way.

    Personally I'd partition that 750GB drives in to 3 partitions big enough for each of the machines you need to back up, then use SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner to make 3 nice full and bootable backups.
  3. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Same here. That way everything is backed up instead of just your files.
  4. DanK104 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2006
    Okay, makes sense (doing three partitions).

    Should the partitions basically be the size of the used disk space on the HD I'm backing up? Are Carbon Cloner and SuperDuper fairly equivalent?
  5. neilhart macrumors 6502


    Oct 11, 2007
    SF Bay Area - Fremont
    Hey I agree with the advice given. I would use SuperDUper (free) and make partitions about 10 to 15% larger the the sum of the space to be backed up.

    If you have to boot to these backups and do something, the extra space would allow you some head way. I have gone back in to Tiger on each of my machines for one reason or another so I feel the effort was well worth it.


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