Best way to backup before upgrading to Lion

Discussion in 'macOS' started by hajime, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. hajime macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #1
    Hello. As Lion will be out anytime from now, I am considering whether to upgrade to Lion as soon as it is available or wait for about two months. I recall that when Snow Leopard came out, there were various issues including compatibility problems. Right now, I am using Snow Leopard and as far as I know, Lion will not be available in disc format. Before upgrading, which method do you recommend? A full backup using Super Duper or Time Machine? Thanks.
     
  2. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #2
    Get an external hard disk that uses the fastest port on your Mac and 'clone' you Snow Leopard (using something like the free Carbon Copy Cloner). This way you will have a bootable backup in case the 'upgrade' goes haywire.
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    "Before upgrading, which method do you recommend? A full backup using Super Duper or Time Machine?"

    Forget Time Machine. You don't want to use that.

    Instead, use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper.

    Either one of these can create an exact "dupe" of your internal drive that is FULLY BOOTABLE. You _can't_ boot from a TM backup, and I've seen numerous posts from folks here who have TM backups and can't "get at them" in a moment of extreme need.

    Use CCC to do a full backup of your internal to an external drive (or partition).

    Then, TEST your backup to make sure that you can boot from it, and that it is indeed an exact copy of your internal source drive.

    Actually, if you have sufficient capacity on your backup drive (you'll need about 4gb), you can download the Lion installer TO THE BACKUP DRIVE (instead of the main drive), and then, install 10.7 right onto your internal.

    You will then have a "clean copy" of Lion on the internal AND you will have your old System on the backup. This gives you the ability to test Lion BEFORE you abandon the old System. If there were problems or something you couldn't live with, you could wipe the internal and "re-clone" your backup onto your internal drive.

    You probably won't need to do that. But if you go the "bootable clone route", you will still have that option....
     
  4. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #4
    Thank you all of you for the advice. Using TM may be a bit risky. We don't know how well Lion's TM will handle TM backups from Snow Leopard. Better clone the entire drive.
     
  5. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
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    Boston
    #5
    TM is also slow, it took me 8+ hours to restore (off of time capsule) and only 2 hours from a cloned image on an external drive, using CCC
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #6
    That's because of the Time Capsule, especially if it was done wirelessly. For me it took roughly an hour from an external drive, about the same what it would have taken with CCC backup.
     
  7. maflynn, Jul 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #7
    Yeah, I realize that was a factor but it was still exceedingly slow, even when you factor the bottleneck
     
  8. ssblakemac25 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    #8
    I understand backup, but...

    I am cloning my disk right now with CCC to ensure I have a bootable version. I also have enough space to copy Lion after download to the external so I can install a clean version.

    But here's where I have a question - assuming all goes well and Lion installs correctly, can I use my TM or CCC backup to restore my user folder, which contains my documents, folders, etc...?

    I have the same question/concern about installed applications. Can I restore the applications folder to avoid having to reinstall and update all of my applications (assuming they are Lion compatible)?
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    "But here's where I have a question - assuming all goes well and Lion installs correctly, can I use my TM or CCC backup to restore my user folder, which contains my documents, folders, etc...?
    I have the same question/concern about installed applications. Can I restore the applications folder to avoid having to reinstall and update all of my applications (assuming they are Lion compatible)?"

    At the appropriate time in the installation process, the installer will ask you if you wish to install user accounts and data from another computer.

    Yes, you want to do that.

    You need to select the cloned backup as your source.

    The installer will then "migrate" your user accounts, apps and other relevant data to the "fresh copy" of 10.7.

    When finished, you will have a clean copy of Lion with your accounts and apps.

    And of course, you will also have the cloned backup of Snow Leopard to keep handy for the time being. You might just want to keep that around, anyway -- even if you don't boot from it much. It's ALWAYS a good idea to have a second bootable drive around.
     
  10. ssblakemac25 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    #10

    Cool. Thanks for the info, Fishrrman. I have never installed a Mac OS before, so I was not familiar with the process.
     
  11. Saphire macrumors member

    Saphire

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Great thread,:D I only bought my machine last week but have already loaded programs I would like to keep, I have now downloaded ccc ready to clone my drive in anticipation to getting Lion installed. I just need to free up one of my old PC external drives to format and put the Mac backup on.
     
  12. Saphire macrumors member

    Saphire

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    Jun 25, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    Now I have cloned the disk so I can boot from it can I still use the disk for incremental backups.
     
  13. ssblakemac25 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    #13
    If you used Carbon Copy Cloner you can do incremental backups. Just tick the box when you select the "destination" disk.

    However, this doesn't keep a backup like Time Machine. It will overwrite files on the destination disk that have changed on the source. You won't be able to restore to a previous version of a folder/file.
     
  14. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #14

    So, either cloned backup from CCC or Super Duper will work?

    I guess it is time to get an external drive slightly larger the size as the HD of my MBP. Clone the laptop using CCC or Super Duper. When Lion is available, save the installer in that drive and use it to install a clean copy of Lion. Then, migrate user accounts, apps, etc. Once it is done, put it in a safe place. Buy ANOTHER new drive to clone Lion later. We don't know if there will be serious problems within months after installation of Lion. Is this a good strategy?
     
  15. Daniel97 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    #15
    bit confused as ive just done this

    i have a 1TB external drive

    i have partioned it 500/500.

    one side is a CCC one side is a TM.

    Do i need the CCC side to be 500? I only have used 70GB of space on my 320GB HD so surely worst case that partition only needs to be 320GB? Its not like TM is it where the space it uses gradually increases?
     
  16. ssblakemac25 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    #16
    It doesn't need to be 500GB (or 320GB). CCC only uses as much space as is used on your current drive. The reason most people suggest a HD that is that same size or larger than you current is so you can do incremental backups up to the full capacity of your drive.

    If you were to make an 80GB partition, and use CCC to clone your 70GB to it, then add 12GB of music or photos, you will not be able to get a complete clone.

    However, if you're looking at this just for install/restore purposes, you should be OK with a smaller partition. Since you'll be migrating to Lion, you're probably safe with the SL partition being just a little larger than your current used space. For the Lion partition, I would suggest going just a little larger than your total hard drive space, so you have room to grow.
     
  17. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #17
    "If you used Carbon Copy Cloner you can do incremental backups. Just tick the box when you select the "destination" disk.
    However, this doesn't keep a backup like Time Machine. It will overwrite files on the destination disk that have changed on the source. You won't be able to restore to a previous version of a folder/file."

    I _think_ that CarbonCopyCloner now has an option to "archive" files that are removed from an incremental backup.

    That is to say, when you do an incremental backup, if CCC finds a file on the backup that has been _removed_ from the source, it will move that file to a separate "archived" location. The file will not remain on the cloned backup, but it continues to "exist" in an archived location.

    Looks like when you run CCC, you have to:
    - under "cloning options", select "incremental backup of selected items"
    - check "delete items that don't exist on the source"
    - ALSO check "archive modified and deleted items"

    Disclaimer:
    I haven't actually tried to do this, as all I want is a clone of my current source drive (I don't need to maintain archived items).

    But it looks like the option is there.
     
  18. Daniel97 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    #18
    okay so -

    can i change my partition whilst there is data stored or must i wipe the drive first and then start again with a new partition?

    i am going to install a 128GB SSD in my MBP so i could have a 128GB/872GB Partition am i right?
     
  19. JTToft, Jul 15, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011

    JTToft macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #19
    - Yes, I believe so. Try it in Disk Utility. If you cannot, you will just get a dialog box saying "This is not possible" (or something to that effect). Remember, the partition needs to be unmounted while resizing it.

    - Certainly, yes.


    I am just going to make sure my Time Machine backup is up to date before upgrading to Lion. I don't really need the benefits of a complete bootable clone, but if I find the time or I am bored I might do a CCC cloning just to try it out.
    I'd say the risk of data corruption or data loss on both one's internal system drive and one's external Time Machine backup is minuscule - especially during the very short period of time of upgrading to Lion.
    As for possible compatibility issues in Lion with Snow Leopard Time Machine backups: I'm confident that Apple has that covered.
     
  20. niksimpsons macrumors member

    niksimpsons

    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    #20
    OX Lion is most latest and upgraded version of OS X series launched by Apple just one day back! But if you planing to upgrade your snow leopard you need to know some Mac OS X Lion Compatibility Information and finally some points to be kept in mind just before upgrading to Mac are discussed here: http://www.macintosh-software.net/blog/before-upgrading-to-os-x-lion/
     
  21. scouser75 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #21
    I have created several Mail folders which are "ON MY MAC". When I use CCC will these also be backed up fully? Or is there another method of backing these up? Also, the same questions applies to all my Calendar and Address Book entries.

    Apologies if the question is a little daft. It;s just that I really cannot afford to loose any of these things.
     
  22. scouser75 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    #22
    If I did download Lion onto my Back-up drive, can I then go and DELETE my internal HD (which is my bootdrive) and then install Lion over the now blank Internal HD?

    Also, can I then go and use CCC to bring in ALL my documents, iTunes acct, iPhoto pics etc back onto my Internal HD?

    Thanks
     

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