Mac backup solutions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by radiogoober, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2011
    Hi all,

    I'm finally getting around to setting up all my backing up stuff.

    I currently have the following:

    1. Time Machine backups to an external HD attached to my Airport
    2. DropBox backs up a ~/Documents, and ~/Desktop
    3. A script that will run nightly that rsyncs basically everything in my ~/ folder to the external HD.

    I feel pretty good about this. The worst loss for me would be my ~/Documents, so that's backed up to three places. All my music and everything else is backed up to two places.

    Any comments or criticisms?
  2. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    I use Carbon Copy Cloner to keep a bootable up to date copy of my HDD..

    I'm not a huge fan of time machine, thats why CCC.
  3. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    Do you have iTunes or iPhoto (or other music/photo apps?) If so, I don't see where your music and photos are being backed up, and where they are being backed up offsite. The thing that would most hurt me, if I was to suffer loss of a single category of data, is my photos.

    FWIW I do;
    1. TM
    2. Weekly offsite backup to Amazon
    3. Occasional CC cloner to an external HD which is otherwise left powered off (so that no glitch can take out that and the Mac at the same time, say a power surge or even a bug or malware)

    The thing I like about TM is that its backing up stuff as recent as of an hour ago, so even some stupid bit of finger trouble on my part will almost certainly be recoverable.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "I'm finally getting around to setting up all my backing up stuff."

    You would do much better to have a "bootable clone" of your internal drive close-at-hand.

    In a moment of extreme need, it will probably be of much more help than either Time Machine (you can't boot from a TM backup), or "cloud backup" (if you can't boot, you can't "reach the cloud").

    The best tool for this (and one that is VERY easy to learn and use) is CarbonCopyCloner, which is FREE and available from:

    Then get either an external drive, or consider one of these:

    ... along with a "bare drive" from the vendor of your choice.

    Connect the dock to the Mac, put the drive in, use Disk Utility to initialize it, and then launch CCC and "clone" your internal drive to the docked drive.

    When the clone is finished, "test boot" it to be sure that it works. Reboot, when you hear the startup sound, hold down the option key and KEEP HOLDING IT DOWN. The Startup Manager will appear. Click on the icon for the docked drive, then hit enter/return. You should boot from the cloned drive.

    When you get there, be sure everything is in order, then just reboot to go back to the main drive (give the cloned drive a different desktop pic so that it's easy to recognize which is the original and which is the clone!)

    Sooner or later, something is going to go wrong and you might have trouble just booting and getting started. This is when having that second bootable drive becomes worth its weight in gold. Just connect, boot up, and you can now "attack" the problems on your main drive, and (providing you back up regularly) all your stuff will be "right there", too.
  5. waynep macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2009
    I do the following:

    1) Carbon Copy Cloner about once a month.
    2) Time Machine to a Time Capsule
    3) Crashplan - For an offsite backup of just data.

  6. cr2 macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2011
    Don't use Aperture Vault as the reliable...

    It is very spotty at best, if the version of Aperture changes (even minor update) it can cause a lot of issues while restoring. I spent many hours and then ended up using the Aperture library from Carbon Copy backup. Fortunately did not loose any photos as the CC backup was quite recent and I had the rest on the SD card....

    I am using a couple of carbon copies of the whole disk and few manual copies of the important folder...

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