Backup question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by MiniD3, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. MiniD3 macrumors 6502a

    MiniD3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    Hi Guys,
    Getting a new 27" iMac soon, hopefully 768GB SSD,

    I'm new to Mac and also "techno challenged"

    I have a ton of images on portable drives up to 3TB, some are 2TB

    Appears it will be a slow process as the drives are FAT32, (only 4GB at a time they tell me!)

    The scenario is,
    My computer is less than a GB,
    All my other drives are 2-3TB,
    Can Carbon Copy Cloner backup my portable drives? By transferring from one portable drive to another?
    Regards,
    Gary
     
  2. Paul-B macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
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    Europe
    #2
    You really should go for the Time Machine/Time Capsule solution. This is so easy, seamless and, until now, faultless. - And you get a wireless router thrown in...
     
  3. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    New England, USA
    #3
    A second vote for this ^^^ solution.

    You don't have to think about back up, it is done for you. And I have my TC wired into my cable provider router/modem, and it improves the wireless signal giving me the maximum available signal.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    I'll go against the others here, and recommend CCC as ALWAYS being the best choice.

    CCC requires more "input" (that is, you have to set it up and run it, instead of flicking the switch in Time Machine), but -- the rewards come if you ever NEED your backup.

    Anyone who's been a member of the MacRumors forums for a while has seen post after post after post from those who thought they were backed up with T.M., but -- in a moment of extreme need -- have discovered that their T.M. backup wouldn't mount or couldn't be used for some reason or other.

    With a CCC cloned backup, all you do is connect it and do a switch-boot, and the Mac will boot right up and everything is right in front of you in POFF (plain old finder format). You can copy-over one file, a folder, a group of files, or "re-clone" the entire drive if you need to.

    CCC also makes "duping" the contents of one drive (like one of your externals) to another drive -- quick and easy.
     
  5. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    I'll continue to disagree with you... and caution that this is bad advice. I have nothing against clones... I use CCC to clone my media as well. I do have a problem considering it to be sufficient backup.

    CCC (or cloning in general) does not have "usable" versioning. If you cannot back up the clock and recover from user and/or programatic error... then the backup strategy is flawed. Period.

    I think the best "PROGRESSION" of backup is as follows:

    1. Time Machine... full versioning... simple to use
    2. Cloud based backup - Crashplan+ seems to be the most popular. Disaster Recovery.
    3. Clone. Media for sure. Full drive if you need quick and continuous operation in an emergency. However... it is foolish to consider a clone to be backup. It is not.

    I would not execute #3 until I've already done #1 and #2. It is arguable if your should do #1 or #2 first. I would recommend both.

    /Jim
     
  6. snberk103, Mar 30, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013

    snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #6
    Just going to add my nickel in here (sorry, but we've outlawed pennies here so I have round up.

    I agree that a clone is only [part of a complete] backup [strategy]... but I wouldn't rank them as one being more important than another. The best backup is the one someone can start backing up to right now. It is never 'too early' to start backing up files. Whether it is TM or a clone doesn't matter as much as just to start backing up.

    I use TM to recover from user errors. I use a clone for hardware errors. TM helps you recover deleted or overwritten files. A clone gets you up and running in the least amount of time in the case of catastrophic failure.

    I have no patience for a cloud based backup. I have several external HDDs that I rotate through a safety deposit box. This gives a degree of versioning plus extra security of being off-site.
     
  7. MiniD3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MiniD3

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    Mar 9, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    Appreciate the feedback guys,

    Although there is some difference of opinion,
    Much appreciated, great to look at 2 sides of the story,

    Starting to look like I could use 2 of the options?
    Time machine and CCC?

    I do have large amounts of media and like to have a "clone" of each by just swapping out my portable drives

    Regards,
    Gary
     
  8. kapalua12 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    United States
    #8
    What if you have 2 iMacs that you want to back up?

    I have a 1 TB Time Capsule from 2010 backing up a 2010 iMac that has a 1 TB HDD.

    I just got a second iMac with the 768 SSD along with a new 3 TB Time Capsule.

    I'd love to make the wiFi signal cover a wider area as well if possible.

    How would you configure a backup plan for this setup?
     
  9. TX328F macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    How about a NAS device? For instance, you could get a Synology DS213 with 2 3GB drives. This would allow setting up Time Machine as well as centralizing much of the stuff floating around in one central location. This wouldn't be much more expensive than a Time Capsule (about $600). Unlike Time Capsule, the Synology NAS allows setting up the HD in RAID 1 for added security. In addition, using its standard functionality, you could implement a 'disaster recovery' strategy sending automatically your most critical data (encrypted!) to a cloud service like Amazon Glacier (.01 cents per GB).
     
  10. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    #10
    This is part of my backup process. I use SuperDuper! to schedule clone copies Monday through Friday to one backup drive, another scheduled clone copy gets done only on Sundays, and Time Machine backups to a ReadyNASDuo with different aged drives in RAID 1 - not same mfr or ages.

    I can always replace programs and start over with financial records, but since all of my pictures are now digital, I send them to SmugMug too. That way, what I consider the most important data is also backed up offsite. Additionally, although not part of my backup planning, I have stuff on Google Drive and iCloud.
     
  11. MiniD3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MiniD3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
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    Australia
    #11
    Thanks guys!

    To be honest, I'm not upstanding all of the jargon, sorry!
    I'm a real "greenhorn" here,
    So far, time machine appears to be accepted along with a more "robust" back-up if I have read correctly
    Regards,
    Gary
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    California
    #12
    I would "extend" the wifi network following these instructions from Apple using the two Time Capsules. Then just use one for each machine as your backup destination. You could use one TC for both backups, but it sounds like you have some drive space limitations there that would preclude that.
     
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #13
    "I agree that a clone is only a partial backup.."

    Definition of "clone":
    "clone |klōn|
    nounBiology
    an organism or cell, or group of organisms or cells, produced asexually from one ancestor or stock, to which they are genetically identical."
    (source: Apple's Dictionary app)

    How can a clone be a "partial" backup, when it represents EXACTLY what exists on the source volume (at the time of cloning)?

    Yes, incremental changes are made afterwards. There are a few instances where such changes, captured by Time Machine (if it works), might be of help.

    But the most common cries of help from the Mac end-user seen in this forum is
    "Help! My Mac won't boot…"

    Not a case of "lost files", but rather of a non-bootable computer.

    Time Machine is of little or no use in such situations.
    YOU CAN'T BOOT FROM A T.M. BACKUP (shouting intentional).

    You _can_ boot from the recovery partition, but that's useful only for running Disk Utility -- if DU doesn't fix the immediate problem, the only pathway to re-obtaining a bootable internal drive is a software re-intall, which may not be necessary (and I would reckon that in most cases is completely unnecessary). It should be noted that booting from a recovery partition offers the user VERY limited options. No software can be run other than Disk Utility or Time Machine (forget about using a 3rd party diagnostic utility).

    I've had "can't boots" with my own Mac, that were solved simply by booting from a different boot volume, then rebooting from the internal drive. Why should I have gone through a software reinstallation for that?
     
  14. kapalua12 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Thanks. I didn't know it was that easy. What "drive space limitations do I have?
     
  15. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #15
    From your description, it sounded like maybe you have too much data between the two machines to fit everything on one of the Time Capsules.
     
  16. kapalua12 macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Actually if the new iMac is the 768 GB SSD and the old iMac is the 1 TB, shouldn't the 3 TB new Time Capsule be plenty large enough in capacity?
     
  17. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #17
    We can debate the value of incremental backups, but the fact is Time Machine does it by default and is far easier to access the files/data than solutions like CCC. I know CCC can do incremental, but explaining to an inexperienced user how to do this and then also access the data is not easy.


    You should stop shouting that, because you are mistaken. You can boot to a Time Machine backup and easily use it to restore the entire system without installing the OS. The only difference between CCC and TM in this regard is CCC allows you to actually operate the computer off the backup drive if that is important to you.

    We can leave it up to the user to decide if spending $39.99 for this function is worth it when they already have a good and free backup utility in Time Machine.

    If your drive completely dies, you can pop in a new, blank drive and option key boot to a TM backup, format the disk and click restore and the entire OS and all data and apps are put back on the new drive exactly like CCC would do. No OS install is required.

    ----------

    It depends on how you use your machine and what kind of work you do, but yes, I would think that would be big enough.

    TM saves "versions"... so if you are editing 10GB videos all day long and TM saves six versions of those files a day (just an example), you can see how it would fill up fast. But sure, if you just have some photos/music/documents 3TB would be plenty.
     
  18. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    #18
    I consider cloning to be my primary method of backup, with Time Machine a secondary source. The two times that I needed a backup it was because my Mac wouldn't boot. It was drop dead easy to hold down the Option key and boot directly from the external cloned drive. I checked for changes on Time Machine (none) and kept working. This is, IMO, the best reason to have a clone... you can almost immediately reboot using Option and get right back to using your computer.
     
  19. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    Location:
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    #19
    Yes, a Time Machine backup is absolutely a good place to start. Start using it now, and figure out how to recover in case of a complete failure of your hard-drive. There is no point in backing up your files if - when you need them the most - you don't know how to restore the backup. I've read too many threads on this forum where someone had a good backup but couldn't/wouldn't use it because they didn't know how. You might want to print the instructions on recovering from a TM backup and file it since you won't have access to the internet unless you have a second computer. Start with the Apple Knowledge Base pages...

    As you've noted - there is a difference of opinion regarding what should be your 'primary' backup (i.e. your first backup). But note that everyone is suggesting more than one. You have to ask yourself - how important is the stuff you are storing on your computer? If you suffer a total loss of data, how bad is that? If all you have are iTune purchased music and applications, then you can get those back easily enough. If you have a bunch of family photos that exist no where else - then those are impossible to recover in the event of a total loss. Most people here have lots of irreplaceable 'stuff' on their computers, so they have multiple and redundant backups.

    Using just Time Machine is a good place to start, but there are too many ways to lose both the computer and the backup at the same time. There are the catastrophic failures of a house fire, burglary, and a big flood, etc. But these are occurrences. However is your stuff is 'irreplaceable'. Then there are the much more likely minor 'accidents'. Your kid sister leaves the tub running upstairs and the water drips through the ceiling and onto your desk. Less than a litre of water (much less if you are unlucky) could short out your TM and your computer. Your cat could decide to redecorate your desk, and toss everything to floor. If the hard drives were writing at that particular moment you could have two crashed drives... i.e. no computer and no backup. A lightening strike nearby could zap things. A shelf could collapse. Any backup that is physically close to your computer is vulnerable to the same sorts of damage that your computer is.

    So... A TM is a good place to start, because the odds are that the worst thing that will happen is that your computer's hard-drive will fail. But how 'irreplaceable' is your stuff?

    I like a cloned backup (SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner) because I get an exact duplicate of the system. A TM machine backup makes getting back an individual file very easy, and you can 'reach back' in time and get back a file you deleted or accidentally overwrote weeks ago. It's great for fixing user errors. But TM is not so easy to make a full recovery from. (It can be done, but the cloned backup is easier to recover from). You can also boot from a cloned backup if you need to... there are several diagnostic and repair scenarios where this is very useful.

    Also, if you have access to a second computer you can boot that second computer from your cloned backup and use it as if you were on your primary computer (with some hardware limitations). As an example, if your primary computer goes into the shop for repair - for a week - you can borrow your kid sister's Mac, and boot from your cloned backup. Your desktop, your files, your email, etc etc will all be there and it will be as if you are on your own computer. Though slower. You can get your vital work done with little to no interruption. When your own computer comes back you simply copy the contents of the drive you have been using back to your computer (new emails, new documents, etc) and carry on.

    So, TM and a cloned backup are each part of a more complete backup strategy. There is a difference of opinion about which one to do first, but very few argue that having both is better than just one. But.... a cloned backup that sits next to the computer is still vulnerable to the same physical dangers as a TM drive and the computer. So the final aspect of a full backup strategy is put a copy of your stuff - at a minimum the 'irreplaceable' stuff - 'off-site'... that is, away from your house. Some people use the Cloud. They upload their content from their computer to a company on the internet that stores it for them. Easy to use, they take care of all the physical stuff, etc etc... Personally - I find this slow and expensive... but do your own research. Other people find them the best thing since sliced bread. Though I do use Dropbox to store documents - however, that is more for sharing than backing up.

    Personally, I have several external HDDs that I use for my cloned backups. Periodically I take the current one and put it into a safety deposit box, and bring the one there home. If I had a bigger box I'd leave two in the box. I leave one plugged into the computer at all times and it gets written to every night. The 3rd one I store, ready to be used in case the current external HDD fails. That is to say, if the external HDD that is plugged into the computer fails one night, I can easily put a working HDD in its place to ensure that my nightly cloned backup still occurs while I wait for a new external HDD to replace the failed one.

    I have heard of a group of photographers who happen to live on different continents. Every month they FedEx each other their photographic library on external HDDs to protect their images in case of a continental disaster. So if North America is wiped out by the super volcano in Yellowstone, the American photographer's images will safe in Europe and/or South America and/or Australia. The photographer's safety is of course another matter.

    Hope this helps.



    Sorry. I was writing in shorthand and assumed people would fill in the blanks. I've edited my post to reflect that I meant that a cloned backup is only part of a complete backup strategy. OK?
     
  20. MiniD3, Mar 31, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2013

    MiniD3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MiniD3

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    #20
    Thank you for taking the time to post your detailed reply,

    Much appreciated,
    I now have a better handle on this,
    Regards,
    Gary
     
  21. kapalua12 macrumors 6502

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    United States
    #21
    WIth the use of Carbon Copy Cloner, does the amount of disk space used up on the drieve on which the clone is made take up just the amount of space your internal disk is using or does it create a clone that is the same number of BG as the drive being cloned?

    Reason I ask is with an internal SSD, the drive has been written to all over the place and is not defragmented so I would think the clone would take up 768 GB of space. Is this correct?

    I know on my PC's when I use Acronis, the disk image is considerably smaller than the raid 0 volume it's imaging.
     
  22. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #22
    I am pretty sure that it just takes up the space the files actually use.... so less than the 768GB. At least that is the way it works for spinning disks and I don't know why an SSD would be different. In this case 'Cloning' is not taking a bit for bit copy, but rather a file for file copy. The backup disk will have each whole file written before it moves to the next one... in essence a perfectly defragmented drive.

    I am pretty sure that is how it works, but before you make any bar bets on this just wait a few days to see if someone corrects me. Even better, drop the people at CCC a note... I am sure they will be able to give the best advice possible. Perhaps you could then share it, eh?
     
  23. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

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    Columbia, SC
    #23
    The clone size using CCC or SuperDuper! is the size of the actual files, not the storage size. For instance, I have a 1 TB Fusion drive, but only 210 GB of space is used, so I can do a SuperDuper! clone to 2 external SSDs that are nominally 250 GB each (Samsung 840 Pro's). I don't use CCC anymore, but I know it works the same way.
     
  24. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #24
    It should be pretty obvious. The reason that it is a "partial backup" is because it ONLY has the data that existed on the drive at the time of cloning. There are many reasons why that could be only a subset of your data.

    If you want to base your entire backup strategy around "time to recovery"... then fine... use only clones.

    In my case (and most people that I know)... the reason for backup is to preserve ones data. Personally... I couldn't give a damn how quickly I could recover from an event... if I wasn't sure I would get back all of my data.

    It is pretty simple... backup protects your data. Data is not necessarily where you think it is. If you clone an incomplete set of your data... then your clone is incomplete.

    On the other hand... backup (with versioning)... has all the data you computer currently has (maybe incomplete)... as well as all the data that it ever had.

    As I said... I do use clones (of my media). I have no need to clone my entire system. I have multiple computers that I can use at will... providing that I have my data. I prioritize protecting all of my data by backup... which is MUCH more than the data that currently resides on my drives.

    /Jim
     

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