Backup Advice Please!

Keysmark

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 9, 2010
68
0
I bought a 27" iMac today. Estimated delivery is Aug 3rd to 9th. Specs:
2.8 GHz Quad Core i5
8 GB Ram
1 TB HD

Currently I own a 2007 MacBook Pro with a 250 GB HD (original 200 GB HD died).

Using Firewire 800, I back up my HD on a 500 GB LaCie External drive which I partitioned into two 250 GB segments. I back up with Time Machine in one segment and clone my drive using Super duper in the other segment.

I usually back up once a week since I am retired and use my computer for personal use and storage: music, photos, etc. Thus, no need to do constant backups. I run an additional
back up before installing new software and Apple updates. With a 1 TB HD, I will also now store videos (trips, etc). I do not expect to come anywhere close to filling up the hard drive.

The bigger apps that I run are Smart Music, photo enhancing with Adobe Photoshop Elements, and an Online Trading program.

So, with this info, I would appreciate some backup recommendations for my new computer?

Thanks,

Keysmark
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,595
2
Seattle, WA
I'd get a 1.5TB external hard drive (for future proofing, so even if you do fill up your hard drive you can still do a full backup) and then use Time Machine.
 

Keysmark

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 9, 2010
68
0
I was hoping to get a little more specific help.

Thanks again in advance.

Keysmark
 

Tumbleweed666

macrumors 68000
Mar 20, 2009
1,657
60
Near London, UK.
I was hoping to get a little more specific help.

Thanks again in advance.

Keysmark
The first thing I'd do is not put all my eggs in one backup HD. You may think you are getting better protection but its marginal because one HD failure obviously nukes both.

I also don't understand the comment about backing up once a week since the Mac is for personal use? Even with TM running and backing up every hour, its not going to take any more appreciable space than a weekly backup, and it would mean, for example, that you could get back several days worth of perhaps painstaking photoshop edits after a problem. TM only steps down to daily backups after 24 hours, so even if you edited a photo over the entire course of a working day, the next day there will just be the last version of it backed up, not say 10-12 copies.



You might also wish to consider offsite backup, there are various online providers, or you could just take a weekly backup which you leave somewhere else - might be a friend or relatives house. I
 

Keysmark

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 9, 2010
68
0
What Size Backup Drive Do I Need?

I just bought an iMac with a 1TB HD. I do not expect to fill the drive anywhere near capacity.

My question is: How big of a backup drive do I need. I will be cloning the iMac drive using Super Duper.

Will a 1TB backup drive suffice, or do I need a larger backup drive? I am not sure if a 1TB backup drive will give me a full 1TB of usable drive space.

I am assuming that if I clone my drive, that the Backup drive needs to be at least as big as the internal drive. Is that true? Or do I only need a drive big enough to hold whatever percentage of the internal drive that I use?

Please forgive the neewbee questions.

Keysmark
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,442
6,736
In your original post, you wrote:
"I usually back up once a week since I am retired and use my computer for personal use and storage: music, photos, etc. Thus, no need to do constant backups."

If that's the case, my advice is to STOP using Time Machine, period. You already have a SuperDuper clone "at-hand". Since you don't need "constant backups", increase you incremental backup using SD _twice_ weekly, and you should be fine.

TM wastes space on [often unecessary] backups upon backups upon backups. Neither is the TM backup bootable in a moment of need.

Others will chime in and say "TM and SD do different things". Indeed they do. But you've already stated above what YOUR needs are, and SD fulfils them much better than TM.

My suggestion for a backup solution for the new iMac?
1. Get one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/Syba-Connecla...?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1253062702&sr=1-22
(that's what I bought -- there are many, many other USB/SATA docks available)

If you absolutely have-to-have Firewire 800, Other World Computing sells their "Voyager" dock with USB2 _and_ Firewire 800. It's more expensive, though.

2. Pick up one or two "bare" 1tb drives. Newegg.com is a good source, other drive deals can be found at dealmac.com.

3. Set up the dock and drive, and clone your iMac internal to the external using SuperDuper (just as you use it now).

4. Do incremental backups twice weekly.

5. For "extra protection" get a SECOND 1tb bare drive, and do a clone to that one, too. Keep it either "offsite" (different building than the computer is in, such as a safe deposit box), or, if that's not possible, it might be worth buying a small "fire-resistant data box" that you can keep down in the basement.

Do "rotating backups" between the two bare drives, and you're probably more "protected" than 95% of the other retired personal computer users in the world.

BTW, lately, I like CarbonCopyCloner better than SuperDuper. Just seems a little easier to set up and use. And of course, it's free.
 

Tumbleweed666

macrumors 68000
Mar 20, 2009
1,657
60
Near London, UK.
If that's the case, my advice is to STOP using Time Machine, period. You already have a SuperDuper clone "at-hand". Since you don't need "constant backups", increase you incremental backup using SD _twice_ weekly, and you should be fine.
I beg to differ, the OP says he doesn't , but he'll realise he did need constant backups about 3 seconds after he accidentally realises he just lost, days worth of detailed photoshop edits. All because he wouldn't plug a disk drive into a port, select "yes", and leave it alone.

TM wastes space on [often unnecessary] backups upon backups upon backups. Neither is the TM backup bootable in a moment of need.
First law of computing=There is no such thing as an unnecessary backup.
In any case, TM does not take backups of backups of backups. It doesn't even take backups of backups. It just takes backups of changed files.
Re bootable, of course its not either/or. Use both.

Others will chime in and say "TM and SD do different things". Indeed they do. But you've already stated above what YOUR needs are, and SD fulfils them much better than TM.
"TM and SD do different things" :D
He just doesn't realise yet he needs frequent backups but he will when he's 13 days after his last backup (because he forgot one), and ooops there goes the music, the edited photos, that email from 6 days ago he needs, etc.
Disk space is cheap. Time isn't.

Do "rotating backups" between the two bare drives, and you're probably more "protected" than 95% of the other retired personal computer users in the world.
Indeed he would, but wouldn't it be even better to be more protected than 99% of the other retired personal computer users in the world?


One other KEY thing you should do, however and whatever your backup strategy is. Test it occasionally by making some restores. You really don't want to discover that you backups haven't been working for the last 3 months, when you come to use them in your moment of need :eek:
 

Keysmark

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 9, 2010
68
0
Well, again, thanks for all your input.

I have pretty much decided to get 2 external drives: one for Time Machine & one to clone using SuperDuper. I am currently using one drive with 2 partitions.

I still do not need to backup my, not so intensive, "work" 24 times a day (hourly), but I do agree that I should back up more often, probably daily with TM and weekly with SuperDuper. I use SD as disaster recovery in order to restore everything, if lost. I can certainly live with a week old restore.

My next project is to research what drives to buy. Any additional advice on that would be helpful.

Keysmark
 

Undo

macrumors member
Feb 22, 2010
42
2
Florida
Opinions on external drive reliability?

Does anyone have any opinions on most reliable external drives? On these forums, OWC drives are often recommended, and diglloyed is a veritable OWC evangelist.

But OWC has some of the lowest average reviews on Amazon. Of the better reviewed drives (Seagate, LaCie, Western Digital), up to half of the comments are complaints about drives failing after just a few days or weeks.

Are there any specific models that you can rely on to have a life expectancy for at least as long as your computer itself? I would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.

EDIT: Just want to qualify my comments about OWC on Amazon. There are very few reviews, so I understand the low average isn't really saying much. So what are your reviews on OWC? Thanks.

EDIT: NEVERMIND!! 4 hours after I posted last night I found the External Hard Drives buyer's guide. (I forget about the "Guides" tab!) I decided on the 1.0TB OWC Mercury Elite-AL PRO QUAD eSATA/FW800/400+USB2 Performance Dual Drive. Now I just need to decide on a Mac.
 
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