Retrospect - good for backing up?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by DEXTERITY, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. DEXTERITY macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2004
    Can anyone verify that retrospect is good for backing up data? I would like to back up (clone) my system drive to a lacie firewire drive. I don't know much about this process so may not perfectly understand what needs to be done. I back up data on dvd's and external harddrives, but never used a program for it. I didn't want to purchase the program before asking around.

    In addition, does cloning or backing up your hard drive mean you don't have to reinstall third party programs, contacts, bookmarks, itunes, etc if you do a clean install or ever have to do a clean install? Also, is it more like putting a band aid on the situation opposed to actually reinstalling everything (is it better to reinstall or is the back up fine)?

    I appreciate any help. Thanks in advance.
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    You don't need Dantz Retrospect -- it's overkill for the home user IMHO.

    We use it at work for a 6 Mac network. It's part of my morning coffee routine to check that it's backed up everybody's Mac to the server and then duplicated that backup to an external hard-drive. I also occasionally run restores from the backed up data just to see whether it's OK.

    Problem with Retrospect is that it uses an incremental backup into a proprietary file-type, a container for the data.

    I would recommend SuperDuper! (limited demo mode) or Carbon Copy Cloner (free) to do your disk cloning. At home, I just use Lacie's Silverkeeper (free) to back-up my drive every night to another internal drive -- works perfectly.
  3. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I second the vote for SuperDuper! and SilverKeeper both... never a problem with either, and it isn't a proprietary file as BV says, which is a big issue for me.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
  4. DEXTERITY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2004

    thanks for the replies. I have silverkeeper, think it was inclueded with my Lacie drives. Can you clone with that as well?

    I am not familiar with proprietary files, why is that bad?
    also, does using superduper or silverkeeper eliminate the need to reinstall third party apps if I do a clean reinstall of my OS? I assume I would have to know which folders to drag over to my system if it does allow me to back up third party apps?

    Thanks again.
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    One of the problems with a proprietary compressed file is what happens if you can't boot and run the application to decompress it? It also means having to constantly check if the integrity of the container is OK by decompressing it which can take a long time.

    You can use SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the disk then use Silverkeeper to duplicate your home folder on a regular basis, recloning once every month or two to keep your apps updated.

    Some apps with product activation will not run from a cloned disk e.g. QuarkXpress 6.x as the cloned hard-drive will not match Quark's check-file. I'm not sure about Adobe CS2 but it wouldn't surprise me if that was the same.

    Personally, I'm not concerned about backing up my apps as they're all legit and stashed away on their installation CDs. I just backup my home folder which contains all my work, desktop, mail and software updaters. If disaster struck, these files are the ones I care about.
  6. DEXTERITY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2004

    Thanks for explaining everything. The only reason I was wondering about backing up my apps, is because I have a ton of stuff and it takes forever to reinstall everything and get everything re-organized again to the way it used to be. I dread those days.. But you are right documents and info are much more important than apps. It is just the time issue for me.
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Don't get me wrong. My system drive is cloned with Carbon Copy Cloner and most of the apps will run from it, not all as mentioned above. My nightly backup of my home folder with Silverkeeper then gets duplicated into a folder within the main account on the backup drive...

    I reclone the main drive once every 3-4 months just to have a bootable clone which has come in extremely handy on occasion. These are all internal drives BTW.
  8. macOSX-tastic macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2005
    At the Airport. UK
    can you use carbon copy cloner for backing up certail folders and files to a hard drive? i got dantz (as some of you know) with my maxtor onetouch, but havent used it and have my HD as a standalone firewire drive with no addtional software i would really like a better backup solution as ive yet to press the onetouch button!!!


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