Help figuring out universal backup strategy

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by eternalhack, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. eternalhack macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    #1
    I'm new to Mac having purchased an MBP 11,3 a month ago. I have a Mavericks/Win 8.1 bootcamp/Ubuntu triple-boot system. When I was back in the PC world I'd been using Acronis TrueImage for years to backup all partitions on my drive that I could then restore. From reading around here it seems there is no single application that can do what I want and that people use a combination of CCC/SuperDuper/Time Machine and WinClone. I did come across Copycatx as possibly doing what I want but the lack of mentions about it is keeping me away from that.

    What I want to be able to do is backup all my partitions and restore them individually or as a whole. I tend to tinker a lot with my Windows and Linux installations so I'd like to be able to restore a working installation if I mess something up. There's a lot of discussion here about backup vs cloning which frankly has me confused. Any ideas on the best backup solution for me would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Quackers macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 18, 2013
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #2
    I use Clonezilla Live for everything except OSX (and sometimes even that) and haven't had any problems. And it's free :D
     
  3. eternalhack, Dec 27, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013

    eternalhack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    #3
    You prompted me to look further into Clonezilla and I haven't restored anything yet but I did create images of my Windows partition. There are a lot of options in Clonezilla which is why I'm guessing it isn't mentioned as often as the other applications I mentioned above.
     
  4. Quackers macrumors 6502a

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    Manchester, UK
    #4
    Yes, I'm sure you're right.
    It can be a little daunting at first but once you figure out the instructions you're good to go.
    I make disc images and individual partitions to disk images.
    I always validate the backups and I haven't had any problems at all.
     
  5. eternalhack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    #5
    I was reading the FAQ and the one thing I still don't understand is how the MBR and GPT are handled. If I only save individual disk partitions to disk images I see that in the resulting image directory there seems to be an MBR and GPT. If I then modify my disk by changing the size of a partition that I didn't save wouldn't things get screwed up if I restored one of the partition images and the MBR and GPT? Clonezilla seems to give you the ultimate flexibility but to for certain workflows you need to run custom partclone/ntfsclone commands and I can see how mistakes can be made. As In understand it some of the other commercial tools use these as well but just hide it from the user.
     
  6. Quackers macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 18, 2013
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    Manchester, UK
    #6
    That's partly why I keep a disc image as well.
    In your scenario it would restore everything to how it was before you made the changes.
    The only problem I've ever had was one MBR that didn't restore correctly for a Windows partition. I corrected that with the Windows automatic repair function.
    Every other restore, whether Windows, Mac or Linux has always been good.

    If you watch as the backup finishes it actually copies the MBR and makes sure it is restorable, as it does with any backups.

    As you say, I expect these functions are either hidden from the user in other programs, or not done at all.

    EDIT
    even a GPT-only disc will still have an MBR, namely a Protective MBR.
     
  7. eternalhack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2013
    #7
    Yeah, I've got an EFI windows installation so protective MBR & GPT. I've followed the other thread where you've posted about an EFI-booting windows installation for a while.
     
  8. Quackers macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 18, 2013
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #8
    Ah right. We could do with some help from Apple in that respect.
    Update Bootcamp and firmware for EFI booting in Bootcamp to get rid of this hybrid MBR. 3TB iMac owners would be happier too :D
     

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