How do i backup?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Sparky8, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. Sparky8 macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2007
    Noobish question but how do i back up my mac? is there a specific mac program i need to use or simply copy al files to discs manually?
  2. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    One method of backing up, is to clone your HD to an external HD.

    There are currently two popular programs:

    A. Carbon Copy Cloner

    B. SuperDuper

    Both programs work well and are free.
  3. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    It doesn't actually help, but does make the process safer: As you back up go "Beep, beep, beep. Reversing."

    I'm actually in the same boat as the OP. I've had this MacBook over a year and am thinking it's about time to back it up (I repaired permissions last night for the first time in about 3years :D)

    So I'll clone my drive using Superduper.... then what? Do I just restore it from the last backup should the MacBook goe tits-up? Do I clone the whole 80Gig or just the stuff that's changed since the last back-up each time? Should I just download the app and figure it out as I go?
  4. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    You can actually boot from the copy SuperDuper makes, and use SuperDuper on that to copy to another HD in your machine :)
  5. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    You can boot from the cloned drive.

    In my case, I prefer complete clones alternating weekly between two external HDs.

    Then if the HD fails, all I need to do is purchase a new HD then from the most recent clone reverse the process and my laptop/desktop computer is back in working order.

    Also, cloning is a nice way to upgrade the internal HD:
    - Clone to external HD.
    - Install new internal HD.
    - Boot to external HD.
    - Clone to internal HD.
    - Boot to internal HD.

    - Clone to new internal HD as an external HD.
    - Install new internal HD.
    - Boot from internal HD.

    Cloning is so convenient since you copy everything.
  6. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    Another thing to do if the HDD you want to backup isn't too big (or you have a DL DVD recorder or soon maybe a bluray or hd dvd recorder) is to split the backup into dvd sized segments that you burn onto DVD disks for offline nonvolatile secure backup.

    Here's what I do.

    1) use superduper to make a diskimage file that's a clone of your drive.
    2) use a RAR utility to break the diskimage up into several 4 gig sized segments
    3) create PAR recovery files for 10% of each separate 4 gig segment
    4) burn each RAR segment and its PAR recovery files to DVD-R

    This way your entire disk is now backed up to a nonvolatile non-rewritable media that's very physically secure and can even be stored off site in case of catastrophe. And even if a random 10% portion of each DVD-R becomes unreadable due to scratches or other damage you can still completely recover the contents of your hard disk by using the PAR recovery files to replace the random 10% missing data on every disk. And if you really wanted to be super secure you could even make par files for the collection of individual rar segments so that if you even lost any entire DVD or two from the backup set you'd even still be able to completely recover your data.

    Other than complete destruction of your backup DVDs or major user error in the backup creation process, this backup system is a ridiculously secure and reliable.
  7. dcv macrumors G3

    May 24, 2005
    The first time around you should backup all files and make it bootable. Then in future you can set it to do smart updates where it'll only copy over what's changed. It'll also repair permissions as part of the process.

    You've now reminded me that I need to backup my new MBP. But first I need to find space on a backup drive somewhere, aarrgh!
  8. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    You can do this.

    However, over the years I've been burnt too many times with incremental backup software that now I just do full backups, in this case clones using CCC.

    HDs are cheap these days.

  9. Manic Mouse macrumors 6502a

    Manic Mouse

    Jul 12, 2006
    How do you boot off an external drive to copy to a new, internal HD?
  10. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    You can hold down the OPTION key during boot, then select the external HD.


    System Preferences > Startup Disk > Select the external HD. Click restart.
  11. bobm macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2006
    I just lost my drive :-(

    I use SuperDuper and run it to an external usb disk the same size as my internal drive.

    The bad news is that I got lazy and haven't backed up since April.

    The good news is that I recovered a lot of stuff from other sources (sd cards from the camera.

    So I ran to Fry's and got a 200G drive and started using that just to be able to get work done. I then ordered a 250G from NewEgg and SuperDupered the 200G -> 250G when it arrived.

    It's so stinking easy that it's scary. I now backup the following:

    1: External 250G --> 2 times a week, complete image
    2: 8G USB stick --> Just the parallels image (which is 7.3G, made to fit on a 8G flash)
    3: Portable 250G --> once a week

    I also write all new pictures, etc to 2 other machines as I load/edit them.

    It seems like a lot of work but lost data is sad..

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