iMac with SSD and External - Backup Options

Discussion in 'iMac' started by elkiehound, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. elkiehound macrumors newbie

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    Jun 29, 2009
    #1
    Looking at a new iMac purchase soon and I think I am going with 256 SSD rather than Fusion. I will certainly have more than 256GB of data, so that will require external drive, which creates the dilemma of backup, as then I would have to backup the 256SSD and the external drive.

    Right now, I have all my data on internal 1TB drive (Late 2009 iMac), so backup is really simple. I use SuperDuper and clone my drive to an external drive once a month.

    Looking for advice from others who have a relatively small SSD, and external drives relative to their backup strategy.

    Thanks!
     
  2. cycledance Suspended

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    #2
    why not use time machine?
     
  3. mdelrossi macrumors member

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    #3
    Go with the 1TB fusion or even up it to the 3TB and split the fusion.
    OS, Apps, Home folder on the 128 and docs and other files on the 1B or 3TB. Thats what I did. simple and effective.

    Fyi I'm a photographer and motion graphics artist. With all my apps and my Lightroom catalog on the 128 SSD I still have 50 GB left.
     
  4. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #4
    I agree.

    OP> TM by default will exclude external drives from backup. Just go into the Time Machine options button and remove the external from the excludes list then it will get backed up to your external backup disk no problem.
     
  5. elkiehound thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    So, if I go with a 256GB SSD and an external 1TB for data, I actually need to get 2 external drives ?

    Drive 1. Actual Data (1TB)
    Drive 2. Backup of the Actual Data (Drive1) and Backup of the internal SSD.

    Use time machine or Superduper to do the backups ?
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #6
    Exactly.

    My preference is Time Machine because it keeps easily restorable "versions" of everything including the OS itself. So for example if you mess things up you can boot to the Time Machine disk and restore entire drive to how it was two days ago.

    Apps like SD and Carbon Copy Cloner can be used as backup, but are really better suited for a second method of backing up by closing the disk. They are not as well suited for restoring versions.

    If you do want a second backup/clone method in addition to TM, my preference is CCC because it also clones the recovery partition where SD does not.
     
  7. elkiehound thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    So, in that configuration I would partition the Drive2 and setup Time Machine to do two backups ?

    a). Backup the SSD to the External Drive 2
    b). Backup the Actual Data Drive also to the External Drive 2

    Any recommendations on External drives to get ?
     
  8. Magic Lantern macrumors newbie

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    #8
    If my iMac ever arrives, it has 512gb internal ssd and I have a 500gb external La Cie thunderbolt rugged - between these two drives I'll have work files and any media I need and I'll use a 1tb USB 3 external 7200rpm for TimeMachine.

    And once projects are finished, archive them onto another disk.
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #9
    No just leave the external backup drive in one partition and TM will backup everything to that partition in one backup set.

    Pretty much all the drive companies have been bought up or merged with Western Digital or Seagate. I would just buy a desktop drive in whatever size you need from one of them. Not really any difference between them

    Something like this or this will do the trick.

    Just erase format the new rive when you get it and don't use any of the junk software that often comes preinstalled in these drives.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    OP wrote above:
    [[ Right now, I have all my data on internal 1TB drive (Late 2009 iMac), so backup is really simple. I use SuperDuper and clone my drive to an external drive once a month.
    Looking for advice from others who have a relatively small SSD, and external drives relative to their backup strategy. ]]


    Before going further, I would recommend that you "run your cloned backup" more than "once a month". Once a week is better; two or three times per week is best.

    Having said that, I don't see where backing up two drives is a problem. I have 4 partitions that I clone regularly, each to its own dedicated cloned backup.

    For the "two drive setup" you mentioned above, I'd suggest getting a single drive large enough to handle both of them with ease. 2tb would be a good start.

    Then.... partition the backup drive.
    Make the "first partition" ("highest up" in Disk Utility's partition tab) 256gb in size. That will become a "bootable clone backup" of your internal drive, which can be used to boot the iMac when necessary.
    Make the second partition 1tb in size (or whatever remains). This will become a clone of your "regular/external" storage drive.
    You might even create a third partition to serve as "scratch storage" -- for items that aren't critical to backup, but stuff you'd just like to "keep around" in any case.
     
  11. elkiehound thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    When you have both the SSD backup and the Data backup combined onto the TimeMachine Drive, does that cause any issues with a restore ? Or are they visably different, so you can only select one or the other. In other words, lets say the SSD on the computer goes dead, and I need to restore from the TM backup, which has both the SSD and the External Drive backups on it. Can you uniquely select ONLY the SSD backup for the restore ?

    ----------

    Thanks for the recommendation, I will change my current SuperDuper clone to weekly!

    Curious, why you take the dual clone strategy, rather than the Time Machine approach mentioned by others ?

    Thanks!
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #12
    Yes. There is a screen with checkboxes where you check what you want to restore.
     
  13. matreya macrumors 65816

    matreya

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    #13
    Personally, I've experienced issues in the past with Time Machine, so in addition to running Time Machine, I have THREE clones of my system drive, all updated hourly... and I detach one of them and take it with me when I go out, just in case. :)
     
  14. cycledance Suspended

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    #14
    it's not enough. and you know that.
     
  15. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    #15
    Yeah, you see the problem with cloning data as you are doing it immediately: one month is a LONG time between backups. You could schedule more frequently, but the fact that you haven't leads me to wonder if TM might not be better.

    Cloning the system is a different matter; many only clone a known good system at longer intervals, often after they've got a very stable setup and BEFORE they make any significant changes. Why? because if you cloned a problem now you may have TWO wonky boot drives. If the purpose of a cloned boot drive is to get up and running after the failure of your primary boot drive, then you wanna be careful not to clone problems.

    I use an attached external storage device AND a caddy. I TM to drives in the caddy and swap them out every few days, and store offsite. Aside from drive failure one of the risks I run is theft, so an internal backup is totally useless, and even the external might go bye-bye. You have to tailor what you do for the anticipated risks. Drives are pretty cheap compared to work you lose.
     
  16. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    #16
    OP asked above:
    [[ Curious, why you take the dual clone strategy, rather than the Time Machine approach mentioned by others ? ]]

    What follows is my opinion only, and some in this forum will disagree vehemently. So be it.

    I have never used Time Machine, ever. I never will use it, ever. It has no logical appeal to me.

    I believe that a "backup" should be created in "plain old finder format", fully visible, and fully-bootable as if it were the internal drive itself. No sparse bundles, no recovery partitions.

    Perhaps this comes from back in the days of System 3.2, System 4.0, System 6, etc. Back then, you created "a backup" simply by copying the contents of one drive to another, and then "blessing it". No invisible files to deal with.

    I want to be able to connect my backup, then boot from it -- not a "half boot" like you get from the recovery partition (that only lets you do limited things), but a FULL boot to the finder, after which I can go in any direction I wish.

    Sooner or later, one gets into an "I can't boot!" moment. Time and time again, I see posts in this forum -- computer won't boot, what do I do?

    You'll see these folks flop around and around, because the OS they have installed isn't working, and they have no easy way (I said "easy!") to get the computer restored back to normal function again.

    If you truly have a hardware problem inside the computer, well, that's one situation where a cloned backup probably won't help. But in most cases, the "I can't boot!" is coming from either a software problem on the internal drive, or a failed drive.

    Having a fully bootable cloned backup makes the next move after "I can't boot!" EASY -- just connect your cloned drive and boot back up.

    Again, my opinion only, and I realize others' will be different.
    Different strokes...
     
  17. RUQRU macrumors regular

    RUQRU

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    #17
    Here is my setup which works for me:

    • 256GB internal SSD for OS X and Apps
    • Main storage is WD MY Book 4TB Thunderbolt RAID
    • Backup is 4TB Seagate Thunderbolt single drive
    • Photoshop scratch disk is external 256GB Samsung 840 SSD connected via a Seagate thunderbolt adapter that I pulled from an old Windows machine. (may find better use for this)
     
  18. elkiehound thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 29, 2009
    #18
    Thanks for the recommendations. Going with this backup strategy:

    Config: 256GB Internal SSD | 2 TB External Data Only | 3 TB External Backup

    Drive 1: 2TB External Data Drive

    Drive 2: 3TB External Drive - Create 2 Partitions:
    1. 256GB for Backup of the Internal (SuperDuper Clone) Weekly
    2. 256GB for Backup of the Internal (SuperDuper Clone) Monthly
    2. 2TB for Backup of Data (Using Time Machine from Drive1)
    3. 500GB - Scratch Space

    That way have two bootable drives (clones of internal) and a backup of the data.

    Thoughts ?
     
  19. AppleNewton macrumors 68000

    AppleNewton

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    #19
    I would not put multiple back ups on a single drive and avoid the super duper clones and just stick with time machine and a separate drive for scratch disks.

    256+2TB go to the TM Drive
    500gb or whatever size for scratch
    Down the road go ahead and get a separate drive for bootable backups
     
  20. elkiehound thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    I prefer that too, however where do you find 256GB USB3 drives anywhere ?
     
  21. AppleNewton macrumors 68000

    AppleNewton

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    #21
    Lacie rugged drives or any ol drive with a external enclosure like a toaster from startech.
     
  22. elkiehound thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    The smallest Lacie Rugged is 500GB. Your thoughts on 2 - 256GB partitions on that and putting 2 clone backups on there ? Or, does each Rugged have to have only one clone ?

    Thanks!
     
  23. AppleNewton macrumors 68000

    AppleNewton

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    #23
  24. elkiehound thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #24
    Thanks for that alternative. My question though on the Lacie Rugged was maybe not clear.

    Going back...

    Drive1: External 2TB drive for Data
    Drive2: External 3TB drive with 3 Partitions:
    P1: 2TB (Time Machine Backup of Drive1 - Data drive)
    P2: 256GB (Time Machine Backup of Internal Drive)
    P3: 500GB Scratch Space

    As you recommended, that;s a good start!.

    However, if I want to also clone the 256 internal, you recommended a separate drive like a Rugged Lacie and 256GB for them do not exist. So, can I get the 500GB Rugged Lacie and put two (2) backup, SuperDuper clones on it ? It would not be an "active" drive, rather it would only have the two (256GB) partitions on it. P1 for Weekly clone, and P2 for Monthly clone ? Or, does the Lacie Rugged only allowed to have one (1) clone backup on it, just leaving the other 256GB idle ?

    Thanks again.
     

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