Best Way to Back Up Virtual Machines

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Thunderbird, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. Thunderbird macrumors 6502a


    Dec 25, 2005
    Hi, I am a new switcher and expecting my iMac to arrive within days. I did a search for this topic before posting, but could only find scattered references to it.

    I'd like to run Win 7 on virtualization software, but not sure of the best way to back up, as I've been reading a lot about how Time Machine (unless you configure it not to) will save the VM folder as one large file, which of course could make the back up tens of GBs and bloat a drive quickly. I'm planning to connect an external HDD partitioned for both Time Machine (for incremental backups) and Superduper(for more easily bootable restore).

    VMware Fusion (for instance) recommends backing up within the VM itself. But this alone doesn't seem like a good strategy for catastrophic failure of a HDD.

    Just wondering then, what the best way is to back up Windows files and Apps to an ext. HDD with either Time Machine and/or Superduper?
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    I just periodically backup the VM file itself to an external HD. With Parallels, there are also some support files, though they're not that necessary.

    Time Machine isn't that practical, since every time you use the VM, it will flag as changed - causing TM to backup the multi-GB file. Parallels has a option which will automatically exclude the VM from Time Machine for you (rather than manually doing it in System Preferences > Time Machine).
  3. Thunderbird thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 25, 2005
    So I would just drag and drop the VM file manually to the external HD, and let Time Machine backup everything else automatically?
  4. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006

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