Backup Programs Help

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by macnewbie310, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. macnewbie310 macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2014
    I've been researching how to backup archive files for days now, and perhaps I am a tech idiot because I can't figure this out. Your help would be so appreciated.

    I have a MBP with just 250 GB of hard drive space so I need to move files to external hard drives to make space. These files will no longer be on my internal HDD. I just purchased two 2TB drives from OWC for backup.

    When I look at programs like Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper, they seem to address copying files on an internal HDD and cloning it exactly to another HDD so that there are two identical copies of the drive, but how do people backup archive files on external hard drives?

    What I want to do is the following:

    1. Copy all of my pictures, music, and movies on my internal HDD to the two external HDD's. Then I I want to delete most of these files so I have room my internal HDD. I want to keep some pictures and videos (like my mother-in-law who passed away) on the internal HDD so that I have 3 copies of those pictures (on the internal and two external HDD's).

    2. As I download additional pictures and videos from my phone or camera, I would like to find a program that copies only the new pictures and videos to both external hard drives. I do not want to clone my internal HDD to the external HDD since there will be archived pictures on the external HDD that are not on the internal HDD. I also want actual copies of these pictures and videos that I can easily access from the hard drive. It seems that imaging or cloning a hard drive leads to a zip file of sorts that needs to be opened to restore the file. I'd rather have just actual copies that I can easily access.

    I keep seeing terms like clone, mirror, image, one-way synch, two-way synch, and it is all pretty confusing. I do not want a program that will synch my internal and external drives. There were some people using SuperDuper that lost archives files that were only on their external HD because SuperDuper deleted files on the external HD that were not on the source drive (internal HD).

    I've read through Bombich's website about Carbon Copy Cloner, but while CCC has the ability to not delete files on the destination drive, they say that it is possible that the software or operation error may result in deletion of those files, so they recommend having archived files on a separate hard drive.

    I would like to avoid having to manually transfer new files each time to both external hard drives. Given how small some of the HDs are in the MBP, I'm sure there are others out there facing a similar situation.

    If someone could recommend a backup strategy that would accomplish what I'm trying to do, that would be immensely appreciated. Thank you.
  2. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

    Jul 28, 2006
    Have you decided not to use the built in Time Machine?
    As I think it will do what you want.

    For example I have a setup with three drives:

    a) Internal drive in my laptop.
    b) External usb drive for extra data that doesn't fit on my laptop.
    c) External usb drive for Time Machine which holds a copy of all the files from (a) and (b).

    I can add files to (a) and (b) which are then automatically backed up to (c).
  3. macnewbie310 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2014
    Dark Dragoon, thank you so much for your post. All the posts I read about Time Machine were referring to backups of internal HD to an external. I didn't know Time Machine could backup two separate drives onto a single HD.

    I'll definitely look into this. My preference would still be to have the files saved to two separate HD, but perhaps your setup is the way to go. It is just my lack of searching skills, or is there just not much discussion on how to backup archive files?

    Thanks again!
  4. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    - Backup means to make a copy.
    - "Program" is used for PCs but the Mac version is usually referred to as "App" or "application"
    - It seems that you want to "move" your documents to external drives, not "copy."

    Are your pictures, music, and movies in iPhoto, iTunes, or another app, or are they sitting inside some folders?

    Dark Dragoon already suggested using an external drive to backup the other two drives.

    2. You can use "Image Capture", included with every Mac to copy photos / videos without putting them in iPhoto.
  5. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

    Jul 28, 2006
    Yeah, time machine can backup as many local drives (internal, usb, firewire, thunderbolt etc...) as you want. All you have to do is with Time Machine setup, plug in the drive you want to backup and then remote it from the list of excluded items.

    The only real limitation with Time Machine is that it can't backup network drives, but it doesn't sound as it this would be an issue for you.

    The other thing to think about is that Time Machine doesn't give you a bootable clone, unlike CCC which can. So if this is important to you then Time Machine won't be the right choice as your only backup.

    With the setup I mentioned in my last post all your files would be located on two separate drives. However since Mountain Lion, Time Machine has the ability to backup to multiple drives, though I don't think many people make use of this.

    So you could for example have a setup like:

    a) Internal drive in laptop.
    b) External usb drive for extra data that doesn't fit on my laptop.
    c) External usb drive for first Time Machine backup which holds a copy of all the files from (a) and (b).
    d) External usb drive for second Time Machine backup which holds a copy of all the files from (a) and (b).

    Which would store all the files in three locations, on (a)/(b) and on (c) and (d).

    This would also mean that files you have deleted or older versions of files you have modified would also be stored in two places as well.

    I'm not so familiar with CCC, as I only use it from cloning.
    So someone else would need to comment on whether it is suitable for what you want to do.

    With regards to archiving, it is my understanding that CCC will do this in a sort of similar way to Time Machine where it will store older versions of your modified/deleted files in a separate folder in the root of your backup drive. Versus Time Machine which uses a folder structure and hard links. Though with both you should be able to navigate to and access your files from Finder (though better to access Time Machine through its interface.).
  6. macnewbie310 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2014
    Hi Consultant,

    I am new to the Mac world, and when I purchased my first MBP, it came with just 250 GB, which is why I am in this conundrum. On my PCs, I install multiple large HD for backup purposes.

    All of my pictures and videos from my iPhone are in iPhoto. My movies and music are all in iTunes. But pictures I take with my DSLR camera are in folders, and they are imported using Lightroom.

    It sounds like going the route that Dark Dragoon suggested may be the best way. Thanks!


    Dark Dragoon,

    Thank you so much for this explanation! Researching this a bit more, I think your solution is the right one. I had (wrongly) assumed that Time Machine could only backup one drive to another drive, but since it has the ability to back up two drives to a third drive, then that should be all I need. I may end up getting a 500 GB hard drive just to create a clone just in case disaster strikes on my internal HD but that is a separate issue.

    Thank you for your help!!!!

  7. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    On all MacBooks with hard disk (not SSD drive), it is very easy to replace the internal hard drive with a larger one. The easiest method is buying an external 2.5" hard drive, using Disk Utility to copy your complete hard drive to the new one, boot from the external drive to make sure it works, and then swapping the drives (unscrewing a few screws in the MBP, unscrewing a few screws and sometimes careful use of brute force to open the external drive, and then exchanging the drives and screwing everything back in place). You need a size 0 philipps screw driver to open the Mac and a Torx 6 screwdriver to unscrew the drive; I got a set of 33 tiny screw drivers on eBay for £1.99 :D )

    That's a really nice new feature of Time Machine; it can automatically switch between two backup drives so that each is a complete backup. Another thing to do: Make sure at least one backup is hidden from burglars. If a thief takes your MBP and all three hard drives you are stuck. If you keep one backup drive because it's hidden away, you can restore everything.
  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    If you got a MacBook Pro, you can change the HD easily. Standard 2.5" drive will work. If you get harddrive I suggest getting 7200rpm. SSD is also available with up to 1TB storage.

    You can even remove the optical drive and put in second 2.5" HD in a MBP if you buy an adapter.
  9. macnewbie310 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2014
    Gnasher729 and Consultant, I will definitely have to look into changing HDs. I guess Macs can be as customizable as PCs. I just thought I was pretty much stuck with whatever came with my MBP.
  10. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    iFixIt has great step by step photo guide on how to upgrade / replace Macs parts
  11. macnewbie310 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2014
    Thanks Consultant! I have a 256 GB flash drive (SSD), and it looks like at this point, I can only replace my drive with a 480 GB SSD for my MBP, which is a mid 2012 model.

    On another note, I setup the drives the way Dark Dragoon recommended, and it works. Just to be safe, I partitioned part of the Time Machine drive to clone both the internal and the archive external hard drive and so far so good.

    Thank you everyone.

Share This Page