macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 12, 2008

I recently started using Carbon Copy Cloner after using only Time Machine as my back up solution. I do understand the purpose of each application TM and a cloner utility such as Super Duper or CCC but I was wondering what the best process is when using these two methods to backup you files.

For instance I use TM to back up my files as frequently as possible to keep all my recent changes updated, but I don’t see how I would keep my clone updated and make sure that when something happens I will have a workable boot disk and not something that contains corrupted files. In other words I think these cloner utilities have some sort of feature to keep your clone drive updated every time something changes but this got me wondering what if you update your clone drive and for some reason one of the updated file was corrupted, without you knowing it if course, now you have a backup that contains bad files and may affect your system (corrupted fonts files etc.) and when you realized that something is not working right in your system you may want to recover from your clone but you will basically end up with the same problem because the bad files were also backed up.

How do you ensure that your clone will always be ready and that it will not contain bad files?

What is your backup process? Be so kind and share your method.

Again, I’m ok with TM I just need to know how you guys are managing your clone drives using ether Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner.

Thanks a lot!


Staff member
May 3, 2009
I use Time Machine, which provides document/file retrieval for those times where I messed up, and either deleted a file/directory I should not have or edited/saved over something. Its great and its does a decent job for full system restore but I find other alternatives to be better.

I also back up my system using Carbon Copy Cloner and I use two separate external drives, the first one is a just a normal clone, the second one is to a portable drive that I take offsite.

The portable drive provides data protection incase something happens to my house or computer.


macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 12, 2008
Thanks a lot for your comments.

Do you keep your clone drive updated or no?



macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2008
West Suburban Boston Ma
I use SuperDuper, which is similar to CCC. I clone-backup regularly to 3 different external HDDs, one of which I keep in a fireproof box in the basement.

I think it's important to have more than one backup in case the backup and your boot drive fail, which could happen.


macrumors 603
Oct 31, 2010
Hamilton, Ontario
Thanks a lot for your comments.

Do you keep your clone drive updated or no?


yes update it atleast once a week, i choose the option to delete anythin gon the target disk thats not on the souce that way my backup is always the an exact match to my internal hard drive. of course you can have it more like time machine as well where each backup has a date and way if you every regret deleting something it will be in an older backup even though its not in the most current one


macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
I use Time Machine daily at 1am (set by time machine editor) and crashplan. I also have a CCC image on a firewire drive that I update infrequently. I thought about using the "back up to usb and store off site" but I stay too busy to be consistent about taking the usb drive off site. Crashplan offers a paid service where things are stored on their server and I don't have to think about manually carrying data around to achieve "off site backup."

Basically a backup "best practice" is to avoid relying on only one backup whether it's a USB/Firewire/NAS or even an off site backup because something can always go wrong but the likelihood of 2 ore more backups becoming wiped at the same time is incredibly low.


Dec 14, 2009
Yardley, PA
Just thought I'd point out that, in my fatigue this afternoon, I read your title wrong.

Turns out you're not trying to brak up your files, but back them up.



macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2010
I utilize external hard drives attached via usb to my MBP and iMac for TM backups. I utilize a firewire 800 drive for regular bootable clones of both. Just started looking into a NAS to replace current setup.


macrumors 6502
Feb 28, 2011
I have a question regarding CCC / TM backups.

I'm in the market for a new external that I can use for both my MacBook Pro and iMac for cloning purposes. I'll keep using my old external for just documents, music, videos and other important files. When it comes to using CCC, will it work with a partitioned external drive? I want to keep some of my old Windows computer documents on a separate partition (high school and college pictures / documents) and then use CCC mainly for my iMac using the same drive.

I didn't know if CCC would work on a partition like that or if I would be better off just putting my old documents on my older external / enclosure and using the new hard drive soley for the iMac backups. My MacBook Pro is almost an exact close of this computer as far as music, videos, pictures and regular documents. The rest of my editing stuff is backed up to a separate drive via Firewire.

Cliff notes; will CCC work on a partitioned external hard drive?
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