Backup Challenge - need advice

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by StofUnited, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. StofUnited macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2010
    I just transferred all my files from an external drive to multiple drives on my new Mac Pro.

    My question is - can I create a complete Mac Pro backup to my external Drive and not have to start from scratch since it is all well organized already and mostly backed up?

    I am sort of nervous to just wipe the external drive and do a full backup since I have about 1.3 TBs of data. Will take a long time and might be extra risk involved too.

    Can someone help me plan the right strategy and make it not so scary?

  2. cnstoll macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2010
    If you don't want to wipe that external, then...

    1) Get a new external
    2) Download SuperDuper!
    3) Partition the new external into multiple partitions match the size of the drives in our mac pro
    4) Use SuperDuper! to copy all the files from each drive to it's partition on the external.

    Seems like that would work. But really you're gonna need to provide more information about how many drives you have in your Mac Pro, how big they are, and what you're using them for.
  3. VideoFreek macrumors 6502


    May 12, 2007
    cnstoll's strategy will work, and as he/she says, it is difficult to give more specific advice without knowing more details about your setup.

    A few additional pointers:

    1. Have a minimum of two backup sets (copies of your data), in addition to the files on your MP. Actually, the more the better, but your level of redundancy needs to be balanced against the cost of media and the complexity of managing your backups.

    2. Ensure that you have at least one backup set offsite at all times. Ask yourself what happens if your house/business burns down or is robbed. I simply take externals containing my home backups into the office, where I can store them securely. Another option is to use a "cloud" backup service like Mozy, Carbonite, Crashplan, Arq, etc. to store your critical data on the internet. This has drawbacks, though, in terms of storage costs and recovery time (how long would it take to download 1.3tb of data?).

    3. SuperDuper will work, though personally I use ChronoSync (about $40) as I find it much more flexible and capable. Other options exist; you can find threads on this topic here at MacRumors.

    4. Consider encrypting your is very easy for someone to walk off with an external containing all of your personal data. You can do this easily by backing up to an encrypted disk image (e.g., you could create an encrypted sparsebundle for each of your physical data drives in the MP).
  4. studiox macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2004
    Stockholm / Sweden
    You can use TimeMachine if you have free space. TimeMachine does not wipe your drive, it just adds a folder called TimeMachine and stores the backup files there as far as I can remember (anyone else might be able to verify)
  5. StofUnited thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2010
    My situation is not complicated. What I am trying to accomplish in not having to do a total backup of what I already have copied on my MacPro and my 2TB external drive.

    Here is what I have.

    Drive 1 - OSX/Apps 'small'
    Drive 2 - 600 GB of Data
    Drive 3n4 Stripe - 800 GB of Data.

    All that is on Drives 3 thru 5 already has a copy on the 2TB external Drive.

    I have run Time Machine removing all those folders from the Time Machine list.

    I was hoping to find a backup software solution where I could tell it to recognize what is on both drives already and only backup changes hereafter (including changes to already copied folders/files) - but it seems that is too much to ask for.

    What I will probably do is simply split what I already have copied to the backup and anything I do in the future to separate folders on the drives so I can use TM to only work on the new future stuff.
  6. m3coolpix macrumors 6502a


    Dec 24, 2007
    Carbon Copy Cloner can do this, it just takes a bit of the scheduling feature to set it up. Their website has example scenarios which helped me a lot in setting up my 'perfect' backup solution.

  7. StofUnited thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Are you saying that I can use CCC to in essence map the files that are already copied on both the MP and External Drive - and it will recognize it is already backed up? . . . . And then thereafter will recognize any changes to those folders and back them up?

    I have searched thru CCC website and haven't found anything like this.
  8. m3coolpix macrumors 6502a


    Dec 24, 2007
    I've not done your exact scenario. CCC always, at least from my use, has to do an initial backup, and then will do the changed files thereafter.

    The scheduler portion has a lot of scenarios, and you can script your own if you want. I had a complicated setup a couple years ago, but have simplified it all with the price drop of the terabyte drive options.

    Biggest thing is it's not the prettiest interface, so you have to dig through it.

    But, it is free to try everything in depth and without restrictions. If you like what it does, there's an option to donate. I did a while back.

    I used (purchased) Super Duper and a few others over the years of owning a Mac. But CCC has been my mainstay for backup for a couple years now.
  9. VideoFreek macrumors 6502


    May 12, 2007
    The aforementioned ChronoSync can do this, but all depends on whether the data structures on your MP drives match those on the external (i.e., the folder/file arrangement). One nice feature of CS is that it can show you what it will do before it actually does it; this allows you to tweak the settings to get it to do exactly what you want it to do. You can obtain a fully-functional 30-day demo for free, so I'd give it a try.
  10. StofUnited thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2010
    I'll take a look - thanks VideoFreek.
  11. StofUnited thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Okay - now I am really confused looking into all this stuff. A new question:

    If I backup multiple drives to a single drive - will time machine or CCC know to rebuild only that one drive if it fails (and leave the other healthy drives alone)?

    Also - with CCC I am afraid that I can't use a drive that already has data on it cause it might wipe stuff that is there.

    I am so confused. I am going to have to start from scratch somehow, somewhere :(.
  12. m3coolpix macrumors 6502a


    Dec 24, 2007
    You may be overthinking this. ;)

    Just get another external drive the same size as what you transferred originally. Sounds like it might have been a 1.5T drive.

    Then use CCC to back up to once from your Mac Pro. It can (if you want) remember the steps for you to replicate what you did the first time. After the first backup, it starts incremental backups (less time). You can even set up those steps as a automated system.

    For restore, it's always been a bit manual. You pick and chose what to restore.
  13. sboerup macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    I use SuperDuper to clone a number of my drives to identical brand/sized drives. But, if you want to backup numerous drives onto one large drive, you can clone drives to a Disk Image (sparse image) that will do incremental backups with Smart Copy. I find this piece of software invaluable for my business.

    I chose it over CCC because it seemed faster and found it easier to use and I like the interface and simplicity. So, in theory, you could copy all of your 4 drives onto ONE large drive (although I wouldn't advocate this!), it is possible and all of them would be accessible as a disk image.

    It's really hard to recommend a backup solution without knowing all the details.

    I HIGHLY advocate using cloned drives over Time Machine . . . I want to be able to access my data on a Mac/PC, and not need special software or devices to do so (Time Machine, Drobo, etc). It will involve more drives, but having clones is key for a business and system uptime.
  14. dknightd macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2004
    Silverkeeper may do what you want.

    I use ccc to make disk clones, but silverkeeper to backup data directories.
    It will do incremental backups to a preexisting directory.

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