How to Copy 2 Tb from 1 external to another

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by guitarteachjc, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. guitarteachjc macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2010

    I have a Macbook Pro that I use for Video Editing. I have hundreds of short videos consuming most of 2 TB drive. I am about to launch into super backup mode. Here is my plan-

    2TB (original files) -copy to- 4 TB (backup 1) -copy to- 4TB (backup 2)

    My question is...

    Do I just hookup the HD's to my Macbook Pro and drag and drop? Or, do I clone/create a disk image?

    Thanks in advance
  2. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Depending on how how often you want to have your backups brought up to date, there are a few ways to do this...

    1) You can, when you think of it, just copy the files over. The first time you do it will take hours, I would imagine, with 2TB if you are using USB to connect. And for each HD, it will take time. Considerably less time if you have FW or eSata. The next time you copy over it will ask if you want "replace" existing files. I believe the system is only checking file name and date, and not size. So if you choose to not "replace" the operation completes faster (it only has to actually copy the new files, not the whole 2TB) it won't update any changed files.

    2) You could set up Time Machine on each external HD. The first time you turn on TM it will take hours. Then it only copies over the changes you make to the files. TM by default backups regularly during the day, but once the initial copy is done it works in the background. Most people don't notice any hit on performance.... your mileage may vary, of course. One strategy is to attach one of the TM HDs each evening, and let it do it's thing over night. You would then alternate the two HDs, and TM would just pick up where it left off.

    3) You could use a 3rd party backup package, like Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper (I use SD). You would schedule a type of backup, and an time to run. I use it to clone my boot disk nightly. If the system is ever "broken" the SD copy is bootable. So, I just plug the external HD into another Mac and boot off of the backup clone. The connection you use for the external must be able to support using that HD as a start up disk.

    4) I'm sure I've missed at least one....

    If you are going to have 2 separate back ups (and good for you!) consider making one an "off-site" copy. Basically, take it out of the house or office so that if the house burns down or is ransacked you will still have a copy of the movies "off site".

    Good Luck
  3. guitarteachjc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2010
    The FW option is what I was thinking. I just wasn't sure if it was a complete copy or if a clone or image was what I wanted.

    I think the clone/image thing is if you want to REBOOT from that drive. I really just need secure storage for my business.

    Any other thoughts or ideas would be great. Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'd suggest CarbonCopyCloner -- it's free and reliable.

    You can set it up so it will copy what you need, withOUT having to completely "clone" your internal drive. It's quite flexible.
  5. charlieroberts macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007
    Cloning is not only for BOOTING of of that drive, its a more intelligent way of dragging and dropping. I also use SD to clone my music library (which is on an external drive)

    This way, SD is smart enough to only update changed files and so the backup is done pretty quickly. Also, you can schedule backups and have it done automatically.

    I would recommend this for you as well
  6. guitarteachjc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2010
    Perfect. This is what I am trying to get right in my brain. Wasn't sure of the diff btwn cloning and copying. I have hear alot about CC and SD. I guess SD is a paid deal~I have heard it is better.
  7. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I just realized I may have misunderstood your question.

    I was thinking that you were going to copy your internal HD to external HD #1, and then copy your internal HD (again) to external HD#2.

    Rereading your post, it sounds you like you want to copy your internal HD to external HD#1, and then make an exact copy of the external HD by copying it another external HD (HD#2).

    I'm not sure why you would want to do this - instead of copying from the internal HD twice - though I can see some possibilities.

    It might be better if you explained some more of what you want to accomplish, and how often you want to do this. Is this backup something you are going to want to keep up to date? Or is this a snapshot of a project, as it exists now, and once you've made the copy you don't need it anymore on the internal HD? Or..... ???

    I will say that, from everything I've read, that if you copy one external HD to another external HD using USB you will tie up your computer for hours. USB uses a far bit of system resources. FW is supposed to off-load a good bit of the work off the system. FW800 is twice as fast as FW400.
  8. guitarteachjc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2010
    Hey thanks again!

    Here is what I am doing-

    HOUSING video projects on 1 drive and backing them up on 2 externals. The original question is how to transfer to the externals.

    The misunderstanding was my fault as I try to articulate this..thanks for being patient :)

  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    My suggestions are still based on incomplete info. I don't do films, nor do I have a good understanding of your workflow. So see this as as starting suggestion that you can react to. I also don't do RAID, and there may be better suggestions using RAID ... but I'm not qualified to give you advice there.

    My suggestion is to set up both externals as Time Machines. Swap them nightly or weekly, and let TM handle what gets updated and what doesn't. The advantage of TM is that it will let you 'roll-back' changes to a particular film. So, if you edit a film one day and then decide two days later that the edits didn't actually make the film better you can use Time Machine to recover the original version.

    There is, of course, a limit to how far back you can 'roll-back' a particular document. This limit is based on the space available on the TM disk. If you only change a few documents, then the TM disk can keep lots of changes. If you are changing every document daily then the TM disk will fill more quickly.

    Another advantage of Time Machine is that it's easy and free. You may need a more sophisticated backup strategy, but starting with TM will cover at least 80% of your needs immediately.

    Having two disks is important. One of the disks needs to be stored safely away when not in use.

    You can set up Time Machine to take snapshots hourly, or only when you manually tell it to. It may be possible to have it do things automatically on a different schedule as well.

    Hope this helps, and hope it starts a good discussion with other people as well. The problem with just one person's advice is that unless they are a professional consultant, they will probably just recommend what they do. Which may not be applicable for your uses.
  10. guitarteachjc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2010
    Thanks for the input. I have lost files with TM and I am a little paranoid now. :eek:

    The SuperDuper is something I am going to check out for sure.
  11. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I use SuperDuper, and have had no problems. My wife uses TM, and she hasn't had problems either. The big advantage, for me, of SuperDuper is the bootable backup disk. As it turns out, last month my Mac Pro went into the shop for servicing, so I booted my laptop off of the backup disk. The laptop wasn't powerful enough to do some of the heavy Photoshop work I do, but being able to just continue on with the other aspects of the business was wonderful. And I was able to delay the Photoshop work until the desktop system was returned.

    Everything worked as advertized, and the one question I had was answered by the developer within hours on a weekend.

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