How do I back up, My back up hard drive ???

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by TK6485, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. TK6485 macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2012
    I started to have problems with my back up drive while using time machine.
    I used disk utility it does its thing then tells me the disk needs to be repaired
    so i click repair disk, it does it thing one more time then tells me
    Disk utility can't repair the disk. back up as many of your files as possible,
    reformat the disk, and restore your backed up files.
    so what do I back up my back up files to before reformatting the disk

    So how do i do this... Thanks in advance
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
  3. TK6485 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2012
    Ok, thanks for the links. I am truly a newbie at this, but where do I put the copy I make so I can format my back up drive. :confused:
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    You need another external Hard Disk Drive (HDD) for it to work. Or is that not understandable?
  5. TK6485 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2012
    Thanks, Mate
    Just wanted to make sure have a Great Day :D
  6. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Just saying: Does your backup drive have any excuse for not working properly? For example, pulling the power cable in the middle of a backup is obviously not good. If there is no good reason for the drive to fail, then you should treat it is damaged and not trustworthy, and not try to fix it by reformatting.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "So how do i do this... Thanks in advance"

    First, get one of these gadgets:
    (many items shown, they all work the same, just pick one you like that's cheap)

    Next, get a "bare hard drive" from the vendor of your choice.

    Finally, download CarbonCopyCloner (free) from:

    When you have these things:
    - Connect the dock to the Mac, put the drive into it
    - Turn the dock on, initialize the drive using Disk Utility
    - Partition the drive if necessary. I STRONGLY SUGGEST that you use ONLY "Mac format" partitions on the drive (i.e. NO "PC format partitions")

    Now you can launch CarbonCopyCloner and "dupe" the contents of an existing drive to the drive in the dock.

    Do NOT rely on Time Machine for your backup system. It's software that gives the illusion of being "user friendly" but can trip you up in a "moment of extreme need".

    Instead, use CCC to create a "bootable clone backup" of your main (internal) drive to the docked drive (or, to a partition in the docked drive).

    You will now have a SECOND boot source, immediately accessible, with all your files in POFF (plain old finder format) -- no fooling with trying to access a TM backup.

    You can test your cloned backup this way:
    - Restart the Mac
    - As soon as you hear the startup sound, hold down the option key and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN
    - The startup manager will appear.
    - Use the pointer to select the boot source you want, then hit the enter/return key
    BE CAREFUL when booting from your cloned backup -- it will look EXACTLY like your "main" drive. Best to give it a new desktop picture so it's easy to tell from which drive you're actually booted up....
  8. teleromeo macrumors 65816


    Dec 2, 2006
    kidnapped by aliens
    I'll chime in with another +1 for carbon copy cloner. Time machine saved my life when my hard drive died a couple of months ago but it took quite a while to be up and running again with just an hour or less of work lost. When you use Carbon Copy Cloner on a regular basis you can be up and running with your backup with a simple restart. Just as time machine CCC can be set up to make scemed backups.

    Personally, I use both for my MBP. One copy at home and one at work.
  9. TK6485 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2012
    Last night I tried to access the back up drive with no luck
    so I finally decided to erase the drive, it took all night and right now I am running a surface scan on it using TechTool Pro 5, and so far it has found
    4 bad blocks on this drive. I am going to get a new drive. and be done with it.
    But I will take Fishrrman's suggestion and get one of the gadgets that he mentioned. and try that route.

    Thanks again for everyone's help
  10. agentphish macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I would contact the manufacturer of the drive because they will likely provide a replacement to you at no cost. You can usually check warranty status on their website and setup a return authorization at no cost to you.

    ...and yeah, CCC for the win. I use it on a schedule system twice a week for my Mac mini which functions as a server for my home.
  11. TK6485 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2012
    The Total amount of bad blocks on my back up drive is 79.....
    How does this happen.

    So I guess that this back up drive does need to be replaced.

    Now I have a few old hard drives lying around, Could I use one of those as a back up drive. ?????
  12. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    A backup is insurance against failures. If your backup is unreliable, how good of insurance can it possibly be?

    Or put another way, if your lifeboats are leaky and rusty, you aren't going to save any passengers if your ship starts sinking.
  13. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    If that wasn't a "why me" question, the answer is "hardware fails" and/or "it's not a matter of if a hard drive will fail, but when." In very general terms, if you have a constantly-connected backup the chances of your backup drive failing are exactly the same as your primary drive failing.

    I'd potentially disagree with chown33, though; if the old hard drives you have laying around aren't really old, just older, they're probably fine for a backup. Really, assuming the drive isn't definitely failing (like your current backup with the bad blocks), then all you need it to do is not fail within two hours of your primary drive failing (that is, if the primary fails--long enough to get one copy of the data off it. Which, if it's a live backup (rather than one in a drawer), there's at least a pretty good chance it won't even if it's not brand-spankin'-new.

    If we're talking about archaic 30GB drives, however, yes, they're too old to be worth messing with even if they're big enough to hold your data.

    Personally, I always have one backup in a firesafe and a second live one updated constantly, so that if something really catastrophic like a lightning strike or my house burning down happens to the stuff plugged in I still have a tertiary backup to fall back on. Given that even with the current hard drive situation you can still get 1TB for under $150 (or a 5GB DVD for 25 cents), if your data really is important, it's more than worth it.
  14. TK6485 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2012
  15. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "Has any body here ever used or heard of this software
    Back In Time"

    Don't waste your time and effort.

    CarbonCopyCloner will do what you need. It's one of the best pieces of Mac software out there, and it's free (actually, "donationware").

    "SuperDuper!" is similar to CCC, but is shareware (it can do a "full clone" in "free mode").

    Right now, CCC has "the edge" over all the other backup/clone apps available.

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