Cloning as opposed to Time Machine?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Wie Gehts, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. Wie Gehts macrumors 6502

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #1
    I am wondering as too what would be the difference with cloning vs using time machine? Seems redundant on the face of it. I've been using Tiger and never really needed to "go back" for a file.
    But I also have SL on my machine and want to make a partition on an ext hd for either cloning or time machine....but not both 'cause, like I say, it 'sounds' like a redundant operation for the most part.

    If that being the case...that they're basically the same...I'd probably stick with cloning, but, I'm ignorant on the time machine subject
     
  2. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

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    #2
    The main difference is that cloning gives you a single snapshot of your entire system at a specific state whereas Time Machine gives you multiple snapshots of your entire system at various states.

    I personally do both - I use Time Machine to maintain a "real time" image of my entire Mac and then every week (on Sunday) I perform a clone of my system as a secondary backup. That way, if one or the other suffers a hardware failure, I'm still protected.

    Personally, I love Time Machine. I've used it many times to recover something or fix a problem an application update has caused.
     
  3. Wie Gehts thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #3
    thanks. yeah, i know hd space is relatively 'cheap' but i've already got already...what...6 ext hd as well as a new int... well over 700 bucks...yikes!......never bothered to add it up before sheeeeee

    so i'm hoping to use the last 1tb storage drive i have with enough space on it instead of buying another one....and my SL partition is 375mb...although its no where near filled.....but to keep it covered in the event it does fill up I'd have to devote 2 partitions totalling about 700mb

    but I guess i could keep them smaller for now...even if i install all my jampacks and other audio libraries i'd still have nearly 200 free.....hmmm
     
  4. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #4
    If you actually want to spend type using your mac, I'd avoid cloning as my primary method of back up. It can take hours to do this.

    Time Machine is a more elegant solution. First, it will back up the entire drive to that partition you mention. It does this only once. Then it will start doing incremental backups every hour saving only your changes. For me, this takes about a minute each time and my mac is fully usable - I don't even know it's happening.

    The only time I will clone a drive image is when I'm upgrading OSX or something. It's nice to have something to fall back on just in case I decide to revert.
     
  5. Wie Gehts thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #5
    also thanks.... yeah, i see your point.

    does time machine act as a clone? in that, (i use superduper for ex.) it copies all those weird invisible files or whatever so you have a fully functional bootable ...well, clone! of your OS?

    but does time machine do that too? since i mainly do recording, is time machine always running or can it be scheduled? because i'm thinking that if it runs all the time its using up processes that should be devoted to doing audio......but, thats no biggie...i just won't hook up the backup drive when recording.
     
  6. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

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    #6
    Well, I guess it depends greatly on how the cloning is accomplished. I used to use Time Machine for backup and a RAID 1 array for high availability. But I could not boot into safe mode with a RAID 1 boot volume so I had to come up with another plan for high availability.

    I use Time Machine and SuperDuper! now. I used SuperDuper! to clone my main hard disk and then have it scheduled to use "Smart Update" to clone the drive once a day. The "Smart Update" process provides a clone of the hard disk but only copies files that have changed so it is quite fast.

    This gives me a bootable backup drive with data that is no older than 24 hours and Time Machine which can be used to bring the backup drive data to no older than 1 hour.

    Yes, it may seem like over kill, but with hard drives as cheap as they are these days, it seems penny wise not to do it.

    S-
     
  7. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

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    Jun 20, 2005
    #7
    Before OS installs, I create a clone using Disk Utility but for everything else I use Time Machine.

    Time Machine is great because it backs up my files every hour... that would be hard to do with cloning.

    However, I clone my drive before a major OS install because you can't boot directly from a Time Machine drive. So if something happens, you're out of a computer until you can get everything reverted back using Time Machine. With a clone, you can be back up and running within a minute.
     
  8. otis123 macrumors 6502a

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    May 4, 2006
    #8
    I think time machine is a slow piece of garbage, granted I haven't used it with snow leopard, but it won't use airport mounted disks which is essental for laptops, and it's much, much slower than carbon copy cloner. I don't regulary backup, but I have my stuff spread across enough machines.
     
  9. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    #9
    I don't know where you've got that information from but it's wrong!

    I've been using Time Machine on an AirPort mounted HD for over a year and it works fine. Connect to ethernet for the primary backup to save time and the wireless incremental backups don't take too long after that. It also seems a bit faster since I upgraded to Snow Leopard
     
  10. mrbrightside623 macrumors regular

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #10
    When restoring from a TM backup does application reinstall from the backup? or just files come back and I have to reinstall everything on my own?

    -Tony
     
  11. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

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    #11
    I use ™ because it takes a lot longer to clone your drive. I like the quickness of Time Machine.
     
  12. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    #12
    Smart Update in SuperDuper! doen't take that long as it only copies the files that have changed since the last backup.

    Like some of the other people on this thread, I use a combination of Time Machine and SuperDuper! I've never known anyone lose all their data because they were too careful. :D
     
  13. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

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    #13
    No, TM will not make a "bootable" clone/image of your mac. That's what SuperDuper is for. :D But really, how often will you need to reimage your mac's hard drive from a clone? Not to mention, unless you're doing this constantly the clone is always outdated and old.

    The point of Time Machine is to constantly archive changed files while you are using your mac. You'll only lose (at most) one hour of time changes should you need to revert any file back to your system. It really is kind of cool and provides the "peace of mind" I never had using Windows.

    Even with a fresh OSX install, TM is all you need once that's done. The migration assistant will let you transfer everything you need back to your mac.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #14
    I do both, I use TM and carbon copy cloner.

    needing a full system restore, CCC is the way to go. A full system restore with TM takes me in excess of 8 to 10 hours, where as CCC an hour and half.

    Part of the problem may be because I have the time machine backup on a time capsule disk but my CCC clone is on a FW drive, either way TM is painfully slow with large restores. So much so, I have CCC for the heavy lifting.
     
  15. sputacus macrumors regular

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    Feb 12, 2009
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    Duncanville TX
    #15
    I use cloning (via SuperDuper!) and Time Machine. With the updated version of SuperDuper! on Snow Leopard, it only takes about 1 hr 20 min to make the initial clone. After that it takes 10-13 minutes to smart-update. I also use ChronoSync for immediate updates to my mail and documents folders of my clone from my internal drive.

    I travel a lot with my MBP, so I also carry a drive with a clone with me. I can run my system from the clone in case of internal hard drive failure. If I have to replace my internal, it can be re-cloned from my external in less than 90 minutes. However, I most ofter use my clone to do general maintenance (with DiskWarrior / Tech Tool Pro) on my internal drive where the internal needs to be dismounted to perform the operation (directory rebuilds, for example).
     
  16. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Portland, OR
    #16
    Each methodology has it's pros and cons, and the merits of each depends greatly on the use for each user.

    I use TimeMachine for my "oops" days
    I use SuperDuper! for my "f******k!" days
    I use ChronoSync for my "I need to be in 2 places at once" days

    I've only had to use TM twice, but it was nice to have.
    But I prefer SD! because it means that a hard drive failure or catastrophic incident means I can work from where ever on a different machine without having to do a restore. Just plug it in and boot from it. Boom, back where I was. ChronoSync is invaluable when I work on either Desktop or Laptop and need to update it's counterpart.
     
  17. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

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    #17
    It will restore everything, just like a clone.
     
  18. qveda macrumors regular

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    Sep 8, 2008
    #18
    I have SnowLeopard, 1 drive for OS/Apps, 2nd drive for User Data, Ext drive for TM backup.

    I would like to use SuperDuper to make my Ext drive bootable as well as containing backed up files.

    Questions:
    1) Do you recommend using SuperDuper to do SmartBackups of OS/Apps drive into a new partition on my Ext Drive ?

    2) should I also do smart backup of my UserData drive or would that be overkill?

    3) I can't (yet) see how to create a new Partition using Disk Utility. I thought I could highlight the particular disk (such as the Ext drive with TM on it) and click on "partition", but I don't see a button or link to do this? I only see Verify, Repair, Erase, Raid, Restore, First Aid, etc
     
  19. jamesdmc macrumors 6502

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    Oct 17, 2007
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    Cittagazze
    #19
    Another Time Machine & SuperDuper user here. And for all the reasons previously stated. Recently downloaded the trial for Chronosync and am trying to add that to my workflow to keep my laptop & desktop synced.
     
  20. qveda macrumors regular

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    Sep 8, 2008
    #20
    D'oh! I knew it was something simple. I was clicking on volume, not the drive in Disk Utility, so I was not seeing the Partition tab.
     
  21. occamsrazor macrumors 6502

    occamsrazor

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    Feb 25, 2007
    #21
    Yup, that's my workflow too. The clone gives me instant availability, bootability in an emergency, and is really useful for running those disk repair/maintenance apps, and saves me needing to have a separate disk/partition for that purpose. if I'm on the road and suffer a major hard drive problem I can boot up off teh clone, probably fix the problem, or if not just keep running from the external drive - with no downtime.

    I also think TM is pretty great at what it is designed for, essentially keeping multiple snapshots to revert to if something goes wrong.
    Your clone is just one snapshot and if you backup every day, for example, and it turns out you accidentally deleted something 2 days ago, then you're out of luck.

    Of course if Apple hadn't dropped the plans to implement the ZFS filesystem, which seems to be the case, we might have had a really modern filesystem that included data integrity checking and multiple snapshots built-in. What a lost opportunity.

    Anyway, for cloning I've always been a Carbon Copy Cloner fan, mostly out of habit. Can anyone explain to me the advantages of SuperDuper over CCC?
     
  22. occamsrazor macrumors 6502

    occamsrazor

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    Feb 25, 2007
    #22
    SuperDuper vs Carbon Copy Cloner speed comparison

    A lot of people say SuperDuper is faster than CCC, but I'm not so sure. I just did a test with both apps on an internal drive partition of a fairly clean install of Snow Leopard in MBP connected to external FW800 2.5" backup drive.

    The drives had already been cloned, so there should've been nothing to actually copy.

    Super Duper set to "Smart Update" took 3min 20sec.
    Carbon Copy Cloner set to "Incremental backup" took 2min 20sec.

    For the actual file comparison/copy SuperDuper took 3min, with an additional 20sec where it updated the prebindings on the backup drive.

    I should really do another test backing up a full drive to an empty drive to see if there are differences in actual file copy speed, but err... I can't be bothered right now.
     
  23. sputacus macrumors regular

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    Feb 12, 2009
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    Duncanville TX
    #23
    I never used CCC, so I can't really say anything beyond what I've read. There are plenty of happy CCC users out there. SuperDuper! was the first cloning software that I heard of about after I received my first Mac. Based on what I've read, if there's an advantage of one program over the other, it seems to be SuperDuper with the advantage. And of the few posts where users spoke of moving from using one program to the other, SuperDuper! appears to be the program of choice.

    Here's a review of both from early 2008:
    http://www.mymac.com/showarticle.php?id=3180

    The final statement of the review confirms that you really can't go wrong with either:

    "No matter which program you choose, there's one key feature that both of these products offer in spades: Peace of mind."
     

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