Backup of User Data only

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by drsox, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #1
    I just want to be able to "preserve" my user data, not the complete OSX installation.
    By this I mean, Emails, Documents, Spreadsheets, iTunes Library, Downloads etc
    I'm going to be using Office2011 for some of this this as I'm familiar with the Win7 version.

    So I don't want to use Time Machine, but will probably use Carbon Copy Cloner.

    What specific folders should I be selecting for backup ?
    If I select the Users directory under my OSX drive, does that capture all the files ?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    "I just want to be able to "preserve" my user data, not the complete OSX installation.
    By this I mean, Emails, Documents, Spreadsheets, iTunes Library, Downloads etc"

    If you're going to use CarbonCopyCloner, you should probably just clone the _entire drive_ and be done with it. The advantage of doing this is that you're not only creating a backup of your "user data", you're creating a "bootable clone" of the internal drive.

    That means it's an exact copy, and it also means you can BOOT FROM IT in a moment of extreme need (example: you turn on the computer and it won't boot).

    With a bootable clone, it's easy (literally, trivial) to boot from your external backup. You'll be up and running again in a couple of minutes, and you can then use the utilities on your backup to "attack the problem" on your main drive.

    Once CCC creates the original bootable clone backup, subsequent backups will be "incremental" and go much faster.

    If you are dead-set on backing up only your user data, you can probably just create a "finder copy" of your "home" folder somewhere else. CCC can be set up to exclude everything but the home folder as well.

    But again -- if you use CCC, do the right thing and create a clone of your entire drive. Someday, you're going to be very happy that you took the time to do just that....
     
  3. drsox thread starter macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #3
    OK, I should give you some more info then.
    The backup location isn't a location where a bootable clone can be created. It's on a RAID NAS formatted to a different spec.

    As I indicated before, I'm not that bothered if I have to recreate the OSX installation - I've already reinstalled Lion 3 times as part of this OSX learning process - inc Bootcamp.
    I guess what I could do as well is to re-enable Time Machine, with the specific sole objective of creating a re-loadable drive image or make a one-time clone on another external drive and just leave it alone for when disaster strikes.
    But I'm more after preserving my data for the moment.

    Tell me some more about this "Finder" copy - how do I create that and how does all the user data get copied/linked to it ?

    Thanks.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    "As I indicated before, I'm not that bothered if I have to recreate the OSX installation - I've already reinstalled Lion 3 times as part of this OSX learning process..."

    It would have been much easier just to "re-clone" a software installation from a good backup.

    Reinstalling again and again is like smashing you head into the wall over and over -- it just feels so good when you finally stop.

    "Tell me some more about this "Finder" copy - how do I create that and how does all the user data get copied/linked to it?"

    Just select the home folder, and "drag/copy" it to a new location where you want it to reside. Nothing more than that.
     

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