Can someone help me with backing up on a Mac.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by DELTAsnake, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. DELTAsnake macrumors 6502

    DELTAsnake

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    Right now I have my PC set to use SyncToy every 4 hours to sync my user folder to a NAS drive and that's how I backup now.

    I can't find any program on the Mac that seems to just have the simple backup process that I use now with Windows.

    And from what I know of Time Machine and Super Duper they backup the entire hard drive.

    So first, why would I want to backup the entire drive? I mean, if my hard drive dies then wouldn't I just be able to replace the hard drive and get out the disk that comes with my iMac and reinstall just like I do right now with Windows.

    Second, I'm getting a 1TB hard drive, so neither of my 500gb backup drives are large enough for me to backup the entire hard drive anyway. So how would I backup just my user folder on the Mac? I'm going to setup my user folder on a separate partition to OSX, so I don't know if that makes it easier or harder to backup just the user folder.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    SuperDuper backs up the entire drive. You can exclude things from Time Machine's backup, otherwise it will do the entire drive as well.

    Yes, but you'd lose all of your documents, installed applications, etc.
     
  3. Morod macrumors 68000

    Morod

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Location:
    On The Nickel, over there....
    #3
    First question:
    What about your photos/documents/music/other media on your hard drive? Wouldn't you want backups of all your data that could not be replaced by installing a new HD?

    Second question:
    Right. Apple recommends an external HD to be about 1 1/2 times larger than your internal HD for Time Machine backups.

    As for your very first query, in System Preferences>Time Machine>Options, you can choose what NOT to back up with TM. So just have it back up what you want to have backed up.
    Hope this helps,
    Morod
     
  4. DELTAsnake thread starter macrumors 6502

    DELTAsnake

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    Sorry I wasn't clear there, I would backup my user folder as I do now, I just don't see why I would back up the program files and OS X folders.
     
  5. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #5
    Backing up the whole system saves you lots of time. If you re-install from the disks, then you have to wait and go through all of the software updates to get back to where you were at the crash. What if you've also installed, for example, Firefox or Opera? Then you have to download them again. The more applications you add the more work it is to re-install. And if you just re-install you lose your accounts and have to start over. It can be done, but it's a pain.
     
  6. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    I use CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner) for my backups. It can backup and entire drive that is bootable or you can backup just certain items, like a user folder. It can do incremental backups so it only backups new stuff or items that have been modified since the last backup and it can archive items you delete.
     
  7. blackscooby macrumors 6502

    blackscooby

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    #7
    I use Chronosync to sync up changed documents from my iMac to the NAS.
    Time Machine deals with the local backup to external drive, and then Chronosync to back up to NAS such that I can access all the docs from my other machines.

    IMHO it works well for my purposes. (Individual's results may vary !)
     
  8. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #8
    then just use the Time Machine preferences to exclude those things from being backed up by Time Machine.....it's no big deal to set that up

    The reason for backing up all the programs would be to save time in restoring them should you have to
     
  9. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #10
    There must be 100 ways to do this on a Mac.

    The mot primitive way is to run an "rsync" script out of the crontab to sync some folders to your NAS drive. This would eactly duplicate your current system.

    But Time Machine can do the same thing without haveing to learn how to type at the terminal window. By default TM backup up everything but you can tell it want not to back up.

    "Retrospect" is a very good backup program and it has a built-in scheduler and it can do exactly what yu want.

    I would suggests setting up a redundent backup system. Use TM to make hourly backups and then also buy a set of external drives and periodically copy backup sets to them and take one of the copies off site and keep the other(s) in a safe place away from the computers. I use a fire safe in another room for this. You need at least three copies of the data in at least two geographic locations if you want the data to survive for decade long time spans
     
  11. DELTAsnake thread starter macrumors 6502

    DELTAsnake

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #11
    I'll try playing around with TM first. I havn't had a chance to look through all the options on the Mac yet so I didn't know TM had a way to exclude folders. Sounds like TM will do what I need.

    But I'm still not sold on the idea of backing up the entire hard drive. After all you've got to format and reinstall your OS every couple of months anyway so a reinstall after a hard drive dies dosn't sound like a bad idea.
     
  12. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    That's more of a Windows mindset, though my Windows machine hasn't been reinstalled in over 4 years and runs smooth. I only reinstall when need be. I generally go a couple years in between reinstalls if ever.
     

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