Backing up your new iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by lucasfunkt, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. lucasfunkt macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2012
    I'm interested to hear people's plans for how they intend to back up the data on their new iMacs when they eventually arrive.

    If the price is not too high I will probably get the fusion drive with 3TB, how would you recommend me to back this up?

    I'm not considering Apple's time machine because it seems way too expensive so this is where I see my options. I can buy a 2TB external hard drive for around £65 but the cheapest 3TB is about £120.

    I may as well get two 2TB drives for roughly the same price as a single 3TB one, but if I was to do that I'll never be able to use the time machine function effectively will I?

    What would you guys recommend, and tell me what your plans are?
  2. lexvo macrumors 65816

    Nov 11, 2009
    The Netherlands
    That is a large price difference between 2 and 3TB. Here in The Netherlands the difference is smaller.

    Anyway, I think I would buy an external HDD of at least 3TB to use with Time Machine. It is the easiest option and after installing it will all run automatic.

    And: if you loose all your data because you don't have a backup, you'll gladly pay £120 to get it back :D
  3. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    I use Carbon Copy Cloner and an external hard drive for backup. It's not automatic but it does provide you with a bootable hard drive.
  4. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
    A toaster style usb 3 external drive holder and carbon copy cloner.
  5. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    I'm backing up 5 macs using time machine to a 2 tb time capsule, and also making a carbon copy cloner backup of my work machine weekly.
  6. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2012
    I use an external 1tb 2.5" drive with time machine. The things that I like about the 2.5" drives is that they don't require their own power supply. There is a shelf/rack that goes behind the iMac where you can put external drives without having them in your face all day

    Here is the link for the backpack
  7. WesCole macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2010
    CCC has an option to schedule backups automatically. I have mine running every night at 2AM. CCC will also send you an email letting you know it completed successfully or if errors occurred. I have an email waiting for me every morning from my CCC software. :)

    Edit: Might as well throw my backup system out there. My iMac (which houses pictures, videos, music, irreplaceable stuff) gets backed up hourly via Time Machine, cloned via CCC nightly, and backed up off-site via CrashPlan. My Air only gets backed up to Time Machine since it is my secondary computer and I could restore all the stuff on it (nothing irreplaceable). My mom's MacBook Pro gets backed up to Time Machine, also, but I am thinking about adding her to my CrashPlan account since she has photos and videos she couldn't replace, too.
  8. lucasfunkt thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2012
    I still don't fully understand the difference between a 2.5" drive and a 3.5" one. Do all 2.5" drives not require their own power supply where as almost all 3.5" ones do? Are 2.5" drives 5400rpm and 3.5" 7200rpm, it's really hard to find this information when looking to buy one, they mention the size (2.5, 3.5 ect but not the rpm)?

    My question still remains is it better to pay £130 for 2 2TB external HDD, so 4TB of storage?
    Or pay £120 for one 3TB drive for just 3TB of storage?
  9. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2012

    2.5" external drive take their power from the usb port.
    3.5" external drive will have one usb cable and one power cable that you need to plug in a power outlet.

    2.5" drives usually cost more than a 3.5".

    If you get 2 drives (2tb) you will have 2 devices using one USB port each and connecting to 2 power outlets.

    Having one 3tb drive will consume 1 usb port and 1 power outlet.

    Two drives will also make more noise and consume more electricity.

    There is no right answer, you need to find if capacity is more important.

    I would personally go with one 3tb.

    I still prefer 2.5" drives, since you don't have to connect them to a power outlet.
  10. grassfeeder macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2009
  11. The DRis macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2010
    Oceanside, CA
    A 2.5" drive is typically used in a notebook sized computer. A 3.5" drive is used a desktop computer. Things need to be scaled and compressed for the 2.5" drive so I will typically be more expensive, but not always.

    Right now I just back my MBP up to an external drive I got at Costco. I will be purchasing a Synology DS412+ or similar NAS unit this Christmas. If you don't want to go all out but just want a reliable, quality NAS, look at Synology's single drive units.
  12. lucasfunkt thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2012
    Thanks but I don't have any need for it to be network attached storage, it's just me and my iMac.

    I'm not looking for anything fancy just a cheap storage device to back up my stuff, as it stands that 3rd TB of disk space is way over priced when compared to the fire 2 TB.
  13. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    The first thing you need to consider is how much data will you have. If you will largely fill your 3TB iMac... then a 2TB backup drive will not work. I would probably recommend that you ignore the minor price differences between HDDs... and buy one with enough capacity to hold 1.5-2 X your data size.

    Secondly... you need to consider your off-site backup strategy. I would strongly recommend that you avoid any strategy that requires manual intervention. Humans have good intentions... but few follow through and actually manually rotate drives on/off site. A much better way (and more secure way) is to use the cloud. There are several good cloud providers: Carbonite, Crashplan, Mozy, etc. I personally use Crashplan+ and think they are ideal.

  14. smoking monkey macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

    Mar 5, 2008
    You Only Live Twice

    Not sure if others have asked, but do you plan on filling up the 3TB drive on the iMac? How much of the 3TB drive do you intend to use internally on the iMac? A 2 TB external TM backup drive could be plenty if you don't go over 2TB worth of data on the mac.
  15. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2011
    Land of eternal Spring
    If i were you, i'd get a Western Digital My Book II or the thunderbolt version, or something similar, you can set it up to use the two disks in mirrored mode so you have two disks with the same info, you can use it for time machine or carbon copy cloner (both if you don't fill up your iMac) and then also use something like crashplan or backblaze.
  16. dndlnx macrumors 6502


    Dec 9, 2010
    File server running netatalk (AFP), backed up with Time Machine. Better than a "Time Capsule".
  17. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Not better. Just different. The time capsule also provides routing and wireless functions for me in one convenient package. So i would argue my time capsule is better.
  18. dndlnx macrumors 6502


    Dec 9, 2010
    I would imagine an Apple-branded device with router function to be slightly limited.

    If it works for you. Sometimes convenience is better than flexibility.
  19. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    The OP is worried about cost... so I would not recommend spending more for mirrored drives. They tend to offer almost no added benefit. You are already protected against single drive failure by having your primary data on your Mac... and backup date on the external HDD.

    However... your advice to have a second backup to the cloud is very sound advise... and something that I would advise nearly everyone to do.


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