Hard drive/backup setup, what do you think?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by a1sterling, May 28, 2009.

  1. a1sterling macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    #1
    Hi Everyone,

    I've done a lot of research on backup setups, and here is what I'm leaning towards. I'd love your thoughts.

    I have a 13" macbook aluminum and 24" LED Cinema Display. I use my computer for both a small business I run and law school.

    First, I plan on replacing the 160GB internal drive with a 500GB 5400rpm Seagate Momentus. Then I plan on getting an external 1TB external drive (leaning towards the WD Elements or Seagate FreeAgent Desk) that I will leave connected to my Cinema Display and utilize Time Machine. For my second level of backup, I plan on using one of the online/cloud backup services (leaning towards Mozy, Carbonite or Backblaze) and setting it to back up the system on a semi-regular basis (perhaps every six months).

    Any suggestions on a better setup? This really represents the extent of my budget, so I'd like to not spend much more (unless its really necessary to be safe).

    Also, any thoughts on what online setup would be best for a backup every six months (I don't ever anticipate having much more than 350GB of data).

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. a1sterling thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    #2
    I should add that I'm ok with the risk that if I lose my internal hard drive and external hard drive, I may be left with whatever was the last back up I did through the online/cloud backup.

    Thanks again!
     
  3. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #3
    You would have to have a fast pipe for those online backup services to run without you pulling out your hair (atleast for 350 gigs worth). I was never really a fan of cloud backups anyway, since i'd rather have my data tangible. However, whatever you choose, it doesn't look like you have a bootable clone on hand, which is essential. Time Machine only stores snapshots and different versions thereof. Technically you can restore files from a time machine backup, but thats only after doing a restore of OS X. Superduper offers this functionality for free, but only doing whole backups. Incremental backups require the paid version. I havn't used Carbon Copy Cloner but I suspect it has the same functionality.

    With that said, if you wanted to keep things simple, you could simply purchase another 500 gb external and use it solely for cloning the internal drive. This will probably pay for itself over the long run vs. online storage fees. If you could scoop up a 1.5 gb internal then you could partition it out to 1tb/.5tb and do the above easily. This won't give you off site/redundant storage like online backups, but that could be easily solved with another external drive backed up weekly or so.
     
  4. a1sterling thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    #4
    Interesting, I think that might work as well. Instead of the online/cloud service, I could just use a second 500GB external.

    How difficult a process is partitioning. Does it have any impact on the performance/longevity of the hard drive? And isn't the whole drive likely to fail together (not just one partition)? If this is the case, I guess I do need a second 500GB external for the clone.

    And thanks for the point on a bootable clone.
     
  5. CTechKid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #5
    This is what I recommend to everyone looking for solid backup solution.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/usb/raid_1/Gmax
     
  6. a1sterling thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    #6
    Thanks, I'm not familiar with the RAID terminology. But basically, with that enclosure can I use one drive for time capsule and one for a clone?

    Also, how noisy is the Guardian Maximus?
     
  7. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #7
    Partitioning is extremely easy, its a quick process using the disk utility. It doesn't have any performance hits but you are correct in that if the entire drive gets corrupt than both partitions are toast. Generally you could get by with just a simple one partition drive, but this solution posts two unique problems, because a) time machine needs an entire drive (partition) to operate, and b) your bootable clone will need to reside on its own partition especially if you want a 1:1 backup.
     
  8. CTechKid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #8
    RAID 1 is a true mirror set-up, so the two drives in this enclosure are exact copies of each other. So typically you'll use one of the drives and backup accordingly, and the enclosure will take care of the mirroring process for you.

    As far as noise, it got a very quiet active cooling solution, and so i wouldn't worry about it.
     
  9. GregE macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    #9
    I love my Guardian Maximus. Works very good and is very quiet?

    You might also check out CrashPlan. With it you can backup to multiple computers. Only file changes get backed up so after the initial backup, the others are very quick. I have a Windows PC running at my office that my iMac backs up to. I also back up to my Guardian Maximus locally. My MacBook Pro also backs up to the Guardian Maximus. Then I have another EHD with multiple partitions that I clone them both to occasionally.
     
  10. rkdiddy macrumors 65816

    rkdiddy

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    OC Baby!
    #10
    Question for you guys.

    Isn't Time Machine technically your back-up. Is there need for a third level?

    Example: If all my files are on my Mac being backed up on Time Machine and lets say my Mac fails then everything is on my Time Machine and visa-versa.

    Am I missing something?:confused:
     
  11. CTechKid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #11
    There are a plethora of situations that can be thrown out there to explain why you want 2 layers of back-up redundancy ideally. One of many examples would be: Your back-up drive fails and you need to restore a deleted or corrupted file from your back-up. What do you do? :apple:
     
  12. a1sterling thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 22, 2009
    #12
  13. CTechKid macrumors regular

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    Sep 9, 2008
    #13
    From the looks of it that enclosure doesn't have a raid controller, so its just a house for two individual drives. While not terrible, it doesn't provide any redundancy out of the box.
     
  14. a1sterling thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 22, 2009
    #14
    I'll get myself up to speed on raid, but what benefit do I get from out of the box redundancy? If I want one backup with time machine and another to make a bootable clone, can I even do this with raid. If so, are there less expensive do-it-yourself options than the Guardian Maximus?

    Thanks!
     
  15. uberamd macrumors 68030

    uberamd

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #15
    Instead of buying an enclosure that handles RAID1 (which is nice, but I don't like being locked into a single drive type/size) I go with http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MEFWU2HAL2/

    The reason I like it is that it lets you put 2 drives in, and you can see them as 2 individual drives, for $55 + drive cost. Thus you can use 1 as time machine backup, then have a script run nightly that does an rsync of the time machine drive to the other drive. Boom, redundency, without being locked into having 2 500GB drives (aka you can have 1 500GB drive and 1 1TB drive if you want to, where RAID-1 requires matching drives), and no RAID rebuilding.

    But thats just my preference.
     
  16. biochemcompsci macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #16
    I've been using this OWC enclosure running in RAID 1 (mirrored) mode:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MEFW936AL2/

    with two Western Digital RE3 1TB drives:
    http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=503

    as my Time Capsule backup. I also have Backblaze as an offsite backup of about 170 GB of data and it's performed very well (about a week for the initial backup).

    I'm extremely happy with this setup (total cost about $450) and I feel confident that I could recover fairly painlessly in the event of a drive failure. I also mirror my internal hard drive to an external drive periodically so that I could quickly swap drives in my MacBook Pro and be up and running if the drive fails.
     
  17. a1sterling thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    #17
    Thanks, this looks like a pretty solid setup. In this case of failure with my internal drive, will this still allow for a bootable clone? Or is this something I need to handle separately?
     
  18. GregE macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    #18
    I think you would need to use CCC or SuperDuper to clone to one of the drives.
     
  19. a1sterling thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    #19
    Thanks everyone. Here's is what I think I've settled on for my setup:

    First, I plan on replacing the 160GB internal drive with a 500GB 5400rpm Seagate Momentus or WD Scorpio Blue (at this point, whatever one I can get the best deal on).

    Second, I plan on getting this enclosure: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MEFWU2HAL2/

    I plan on filling it with a 750 GB WD Caviar Black and setting that up as a time machine backup. For the second drive, I will use a 500GB WD Caviar Black and set that up to clone my drive with SuperDuper.

    I'll use my dropbox account to backup anything I need held away from my house.

    If you have any last minute thoughts, let me know, but I think I'm going to buy this week.
     
  20. CTechKid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    #20
    If you can live with USB 2.0 as your back-up interface then what you've outlined seems quite good. :apple:
     
  21. a1sterling thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    #21
    But with the new laptop, isn't that what I'm limited to? Or are you referring to the interface between the two backups with a RAID?

    Thanks again for the help on this.
     
  22. CTechKid macrumors regular

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    Sep 9, 2008
  23. a1sterling thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    #23
    Hi Everyone,

    So I've purchased this setup, thanks for all the feedback.

    To replace the new 2.5 internal drive, do I need to purchase a separate enclosure? Since I'll just be using it for the transfer, can I just buy a really cheap one?

    Alternatively, can I just clone (using SuperDuper) my current internal on to the 500GB 3.5 drive in my enclosure, then put in the new 2.5 internal drive, and clone back onto that? Will I still be able to boot through this process?

    Thanks!
     
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #24
    Why not clone the original OS disk to the 750GB Black, swap out the drives, boot off the Black, and clone it to the new drive?
     

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