Difference between Time Machine and Carbon Copy Cloner?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by nvtravels8, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. nvtravels8 macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2011
    I'm planning on selling my MBP in a couple of days and buying a new one within the next month. I'm working on backing up all of my files in order to transition them to the new Mac when I get it. I need some advice when it comes to Time Machine (never used it before) and other programs.

    I have a new external hard drive that's 500GB that I would like to format and partition. I'm considering using Time Machine to back up my files, but I've also downloaded Carbon Copy Cloner. Which one would be better to use for my needs? Or should I use both? What is the difference between them?

    Will I be able to access either from a Windows pc if I don't have a Mac for a couple of weeks? Is there some way to partition the external hard drive so that I have a copy of my internal (Mac HD) drive in one partition, but can also keep some files (music, pics, docs) in a partition that's accessible by Windows?

    I know I should use Disk Utility to format it, but that's about all I know. In Options, do I want "GUID Partition Table", "Apple Partition Map", or "Master Boot Record"?

    Sorry for all the questions! I'm pretty illiterate in these matters...:eek:
  2. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    Carbon Copy Cloner will clone(make an identical copy of) your Mac's HD, which will enable you to boot your Mac from it in the case of an internal HD failure. You can schedule subsequent backups to run automatically if required. You will need a separate partion for this as CCC wipes everything at the start of the next backup, depending on how you've set it up.

    The first time that you run Time Machine, it also makes a backup of youir entire system, but it's not bootable(AFAIK). In the event of a failure you will need to boot from your install discs, and then recover your system using Time Machine.

    After the first backup, TM will only back up what has changed since the last backup. You can store other files on the TM partition outside of the TM folder and they will remain untouched during subsequent backups.

    For both, you will need to format your external drive using using the Mac OS Extended settings in Disk Utility and the GUID format. I'm pretty sure that a Windows PC will not be able to read those partitions.

    If you want to access stuff from a PC, you'll need a separate partition formatted under MS-DOS(FAT).

    A lot of people do, and a lot don't.

    I'm sure someone will correct any errors in the above. :D
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    As already stated, CCC makes bootable backups. I use CCC and don't use TM. You don't need both. As far as accessing data from both Windows and Mac:

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
      [*]Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backups of Mac internal hard drive.
      [*]To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
      [*]To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
    • Maximum file size: 8EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • exFAT partitions created with OS X 10.6.5 are inaccessible from Windows 7
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
  4. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    For best results, use both. They complement each other well.

    A clone backup (such as with CCC or SuperDuper!) is bootable, which is really handy. It's also ideal for keeping off-site, which offers the most protection against theft, fire, or natural disasters.

    A TimeMachine backup gives quick recovery of deleted files or accidentally modified files. It's almost a version control system, but much easier to use. To be effective it should be running all the time. This is easy for a desktop system, but for a laptop consider a TimeCapsule or other NAS solution so backups can occur over WiFi.

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