Carbon Copy Cloner Vs. Time Machine

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ghsNick, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. ghsNick macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2010
    I'm using both right now on my partitioned 1 TB hard drive.

    I have a 500GB HD on my iMac so it works perfectly since I split it 50/50.

    I had a question about CCC though...I've heard it's better/faster than Time do I set it up.

    I have it running backups every hour (just like Time Machine) but I was wondering if I checked the right options for scans.

    And I made a small "Lion" Partition to my Hard Drive bc it wanted to backup the re-install in case something happens (it only took up 1 GB) that correct too?

    Attached Files:

  2. aarond12 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX USA
    I've never heard that CCC is "better/faster" than Time Machine. The way I use both is for two separate purposes.

    I use Time Machine all the time since it's integrated into the operating system and completely transparent. It does a great job of keeping track of every revision of every file on my system.

    I use CCC for backing up an entire hard drive for use with another computer. I guess you could use it as a full backup to another drive, but you lose a lot for revision changes and being seamless.

    In the case of a total drive failure, Time Machine is a little more difficult to restore because you have to install the operating system, THEN restore your backup. CCC is better because you can restore everything... but you STILL need a working computer to duplicate the data to the new drive.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I prefer Carbon Copy Cloner, primarily because it creates bootable clones of my drives, which TM can't. That means if I have an internal drive failure, I can simply boot from the backup drive.
  4. ghsNick, Jun 25, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

    ghsNick thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2010
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    LOL, no, you won't kill your drive by running backups. The frequency is determined by your specific needs. How frequently are you adding/modifying files? How critical are those modifications? If you had a drive failure, how far back are you willing to go in restoring from a backup? Can you recreate an hour? 4 hours? A day? Those kind of questions will help you determine what backup frequency is best for you.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Are you writing BOTH backups to the same eternal disk. If so that is pointless and a waste of time and space.

    The best way to use Time Machine is to get is it's wn disk that is at least twice the size of the data you need to backup, at least 2X the size.

    Then use a program like "Carbon Copy" to copy all your data onto a set of disks that you rotate through some off-site location.

    The threat to your data is not so much a hard drive failure but a power surge that will destroy ALL of the drives you have plugged in or a fire or a theft of the equipment.

    Gues what? Everyone who has lost data do to a fire or theft said that a fire or theft is very unlikely. But after you connect Time Machine the chance of a drive failure causing lost data is small (to drives would have to fail at the time time for you to loose data.) so the next most likely cause is lightening hitting the power line a mile from your house or a fire or theft. Keep some backup copies off site.

    But splitting a backup drive is counter productive.
  7. ghsNick, Jun 25, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

    ghsNick thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2010
    Ok good looks! I don't want to be counterproductive and split my backup drive.
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Generally speaking, yes, but some are more effective than others, of course.
  9. Sackvillenb macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2011
    Canada! \m/
    I don't think that's true. I use both time machine and carbon copy cloner for backups on the same drive. Now, I agree that it's important to keep multiple backups in multiple locations, but that's beside the point (but a very good point to remind people of). Having 2 backup types on one drive is still very useful because time machine provides the automated incremental backup complete with versioning, while carbon copy cloner provides a directly accessible and bootable direct copy of your most recent version of everything.

    Of course, it's a pain to do both backup types, but that way ou have the best of both worlds. Apple should simply add in a bootable backup function to time machine. It would be really easy to do... maybe someday... or with Mountain Lion! :)
  10. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    I agree with the advice to use Time Machine for daily backups and general convenience and CCC to a different HD to make periodic backups of all HDs (except the TM drive).

    I keep my CCC drive offsite and make monthly backups of the 3 (non-TM) drives in my MacPro and the HD in my wife's Mini.

    It is highly inadvisable to make both TM and CCC backups on the same drive. What if the drive dies? You lose everything.
  11. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I use CCC to backup my external hard drives and TM to backup my internal drive. I would never use CCC to backup my internal drive because TM is more automatic and I like the versioning. And I can't find a drive big enough to backup ALL my external drives and my internal drive using TM.
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    CCC can do automatic backups and also supports versioning.
  13. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    CCC is the better tool then. I'll try to see if I can replace TM for everything.
  14. 24Frames macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2012
    Neither tool is better. They are different tools for different purposes.
    Think of Time Machine as a versioning tool.
    Carbon Cloner produces a bootable snapshot of your drive.

    I recommend the following, using 4 external drives:
    2 Rotating Time Machine Backups, with a Time Machine backup performed at least daily.
    2 Rotating Carbon Cloner or SuperDuper! backups.

    Keep an offsite backup of critical data.
  15. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Maybe...depending on your uses. I don't find CCC's versioning to be useful, unless I missed something (been a while since I used it). It writes them to a separate archive folder. I guess I like TM better for this.

    But CCC and TM are completely different backup strategies. For example, since I use two Macs I don't have much use for CCC at all. I just use the laptop if the desktop fails and vice versa. When I've had to completely reformat a disk I just migrate from the other one. That may become more difficult in the future, I grant you.
  16. kafene macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2007

    I just purchased CCC. Used to use it for backups and such, but Time Machine was really convenient... until it kept saying I'm running out of room. I've had to do complete backups and start over several times on my 1 Tera drive to backup my Macbook. Time Machine has NEVER warned me that it's going to toss old stuff (which I wish it would)... it just tells me it's out of space.

    I'm now doing backups of entire drives using CCC and using Time Machine to backup ONLY particular folders I use most often, and not Systems folders or Applications folders. This makes my backups something I can fall back to in case something horrible happens.

    I keep another backup off site in case my house burns down or something.

  17. MacPC macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2006
    Personally, I prefer CCC over TimeMachine because CCC Clones the entire hd. while it backs up all my files. Because it has the OS as well as the boot loader, it allows me to recover from hd disaster much quicker.
  18. Oldmanmac macrumors 6502

    Mar 31, 2012
    Does TM automatically not copy system files or do I have to set it up that way?
  19. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    It will by default automatically copy system files.
  20. 1erCru73 macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2012
    I use both, and seperate drives

    CCC to clone disk, use in case of primary disk failure. SuperDuper is another option though both are paid apps now.

    TM for when I need to restore specific files/folders. I know CCC can do this, but I find the native intergration with TM easier for me.
  21. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Neither will truly track file versions...for instance, if a file gets amended twice or more between backups.

    Much better than nothing, though!
  22. willygg, Oct 17, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012

    willygg macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2012
    I disagree

    They aren't the same. Apple have got a bit sloppy with TM recently.

    I run several Mac labs and studios in a university. Up until a few weeks ago, we used TM to back up 50 macs to a central xServe (sparse bundles). Lots of data - film and audio stuff. TM gradually became more and more flakey with various updates, until it broke completely a few weeks back. We just couldn't get it working again, and didn't have the time to go through endless work rounds. We are now trialling CCC, and it seems much better.

    For network backups, I would say CCC wins hands down in terms of stability.

    Also, TM tends to slow Macs down quite drastically, especially when working on audio/video, so we had to use 3rd party software to schedule them to night time, as TM does not have this feature built it. CCC does.

    All in all, I would say CCC is much better for enterprise level network backups, if that's your thing.


    Sorry - forgot to add, CCC gives you much more flexibility over archiving/pruning files etc. TM doesn't give you as much and therefore takes up more disk space.
  23. LJohnston macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2012
    Restore More Important with iMac Drive Replacement

    Hi - I had just been aimlessly using TM until I started reading information on the Segate Drive replacment program. Now I will be confronted with needing to restore and from what I have been reading Carbon Copy Clone is likely the way to go as I could boot to it and restore to the new drive. This is particularly important to me as I am running Parallels on the Mac as well and it seems like any time that needs to be tampered with it is problematic.

    I do have a question for those more knowledgable than me. I read that all drives may not be bootable on an iMac. As a result I figured it was time for me to do a better job and I ordered a LaCie 2T to use as it said it was bootable. Is it really correct that my 500GB WD MyBook USB drive or for that matter a 500 GB eSATA WD drive that I put in an enclosure would not be bootable if I put the clone on it? I've seen that referenced in several places but it doesn't seem real logical to me.

    Interestingly enough the eSATA drive (connected USB) frequently drops and I get a message that I have not properly ejected... It then is momentarially found and I go on about my business but it is unsettling. I'm hoping the new 2T drive connected FW800 will not experience this same event. Thanks in advance for any comments.
  24. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I haven't read anything about specific drive models not being bootable.

    Here's a simple approach:
    1. Buy an external enclosure and put your old drive in it.
    2. Install your new drive in your Mac.
    3. Boot from your old (external) drive by holding the Option key on startup.
    4. Use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the old (external) drive to the new (internal) drive.
    5. Boot from the new internal drive.
    6. Your now running on your new internal drive and your old drive is now an external drive, useful for backups or additional storage.
  25. eco7077 macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2010
    one question?

    If i am having Kernel panics and i want to erase my mac's disc?
    When i get everything back from CCC, will i have the same problems?

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