Copy changed files without TimeMachine

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bexrumors, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. bexrumors Guest

    I am looking for a backup solution other than Time Machine to back up files incrementally to an external drive. I like the concept of TimeMachine and would like to use it; however, I have significant work that must be accessible to PC sys/appl, so I cannot format it apple-journaled (FAT32 appears best r/w solution for multi-platform). AppleCare advised there is no other incremental solution than that, and thus they don't have a solution and suggested I "search the web". Discouraging news for a recent migrator.

    I have considered the following:

    1) Time Machine but must be in apple-journal format. Yes I have considered purchasing another external drive, but am confident I don't have to spend even more money to transition to the Mac world. Please no, "but harddrives are so cheap" replies as I have already spent considerable hardware and software $$$ making this transition. Thanks.

    2) Mac search query to constrain on changed files only (e.g archive bit, change date, etc), however, I need them to be copied to the directories they exist in. Not sure they will be copied to their original directories but rather copied to whereever I drop them on the external drive.

    3) Terminal prompt. I know enough to be dangerous around unix commands and am confident there is an incremental solution at the command level - something like xcopy (win world). I just don't know it.

    Is there a viable solution out there within the walls of OSX-SL? My Mac hardware/software woes have grown more than I hoped during this transition and I'm hoping someone out there can offer me some tangible solutions.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. jman240 macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    Not sure this solves your problem but...

    Time machine keeps your directory structure in tact ie, if you browse the time machine drive from finder it looks just like a normal file system.

    This app will allow you to read the Journaled file system from a PC
  3. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    Here's an app I found with very little effort:

    I just googled search terms mac backup and ignored the online-backup and Time-Machine articles. In the first page of google results are articles for using rsync, as well as this Lifehacker article:

    from which I got the link to SilverKeeper. That article also mentions SuperDuper. Whether any of those will meet all your requirements, only you can decide.

    You should know that copying a Mac OS X file (any file) to a FAT-format disk will always lose ownership and permission metadata, unless special action is taken by the code to preserve that data. I mention this because if you're committed to a FAT-format disk, you may be making a tradeoff that degrades fidelity of the backup. You may be willing to accept such a tradeoff, or you may not. In any case, using FAT-format on the backup disk may be at least as much a hindrance as a help.

    There is also a difference between "make a backup for safety" and "make a copy for sharing" or even "share the original file with Windows". This may affect your decision to use FAT.
  4. bexrumors thread starter Guest

    Thanks jman240 and chown33 for your feedback. I'm narrowing down my solution and your replies helped me in that process.

    chown33, thanks for the info on ownership/metadata loss using FAT file systems.

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