rMBP Backup - Carbon Copy Cloner or Time Machine - please read all before posting

Discussion in 'macOS' started by gwelmarten, May 10, 2013.

  1. gwelmarten macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Hi

    I have a retina MacBook Pro that I need to keep completely backed up. The laptop has 768GB SSD which I use most of.

    I currently have 2*2TB external HDD's, however I also use these for extra data as this data is equally important (i.e. 800GB data on each, 800GB of backup on each). My current system goes something like:

    Both drives have a Backups.db folder and a 'Storage' folder.

    Drive 1 - Backup - Time Machine backs up to this every hour when it's connected.
    Storage - I actively change the data on this one.

    Drive 2 - Backup - I plug this in every week or so to update the Time Machine backup on this drive, then move it away again.
    Storage - I use a sync program to update the storage folder on Drive 2 with the Storage folder on Drive 1.

    (I also have hourly offsite cloud backup to one of my servers of critical files, although I hope never to have to fall back on this).

    My question is, should I use Carbon Copy Cloner for one of the drives? I already have a licence. I wouldn't be able to make it bootable, since it would also have that 'Storage' folder on it. How does CCC work like this? Would it create a image of my HDD, and then all I would be able to do would be restore that image back to my HDD using the CCC bootable media? I wouldn't be able to get individual files like I can in TM, since it would not be bootable?

    What would people recommend?

    Thanks,

    Sam
     
  2. gwelmarten thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Just to clarify here, I am looking for comments on whether in my situation I should use CCC or TM, not on my backup system re: drive organisation (which I am already happy with).
     
  3. spyguy10709 macrumors 6502a

    spyguy10709

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    #3
    The fact that you have a "storage" partition or folder on your backup drive signals a huge problem. it's a bad idea to have your only copy of something to be on a backup hdd.
     
  4. gwelmarten thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Thanks for the comment, but I'm not interested in changing my backup organisation. All my data is on at least 2 physical drives, and it's a Storage folder, not partition. My question is, for my situation, should I use CCC for the laptop backup on one of the drives rather than Time Machine?
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #5
    The only thing CCC adds to the party is that with a CCC cloned disk you can actually boot the computer and run it from that disk if you have to. If that is something that is important to you, you may want to use CCC.

    If you just want backup that can be used to restore the system/files, Time Machine does that just fine and there is no reason to use CCC.

    You can copy individual files from a CCC backup disk. All CCC does is copy (clone) the files to the backup disk in a flat, open format... so you can just mount the disk and copy files. They will be in exactly the same structure they are on your main drive now. CCC does not use a special structure like TM does.

    If you want a bootable clone with CCC, you should partition the backup destination drives so the CCC clone is on one partition and the "storage" files are on another partition.

    From your comments, I'm not sure if you know this, but you can boot from a Time Machine backup and do a full restore of your system. All you would do it plug in the TM disk and option key boot to it. With the TM bootable backup you cannot run the system off the TM disk, you can only use it to boot and restore.
     
  6. spyguy10709 macrumors 6502a

    spyguy10709

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    #6
    Okay, fine.

    Use CCC, it's just easier to manage.
    TM to your everyday backup, and CCC that TM+Storage drive to another drive regularly.
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #7
    I don't see what is easier to manage about CCC. You just turn on Time Machine and attach a hard drive. What could be easier.

    I would not clone a copy of a Time Machine backup as a second backup. Why introduce two applications into the process. I think it is safer to just make the second backup directly with whatever application one is using. Just my opinion.
     
  8. spyguy10709 macrumors 6502a

    spyguy10709

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    #8
    Reading comprehension much?
    He wants to make a backup of the storage folder, too. The easiest way to do it is to clone the backup drive.
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #9
    I read just fine. No need for the smart ass remark.

    Time Machine can easily backup the storage folder to both the drives he is rotating. My point was you suggested cloning the backup as a second backup and that IMO is not a good practice.
     
  10. spyguy10709 macrumors 6502a

    spyguy10709

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    #10
    Actually if you knew what you were talking about - you'd know that TM doesn't clone a folder with a TM backup. And it freaks out if you TM a TM backup the wrong way.
     
  11. case2001 macrumors 6502

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    #11
    From what I understand, CCC allows different settings. You can use it to clone your entire 768 Meg drive which allows you to boot from the cloned external drive and work from from the cloned drive as Weaselboy referenced. The advantage here is if your Mac is down or the SSD cannot be restored, you may work entirely from the external drive to finish any work from your Mac or someone else's.

    With Time Machine, to get your information back you have to restore.

    I use Time Machine. If my rMacBookPro goes down I can wait a week or 2 until I replace the machine then restore the new one back to where I was before I went down. I back up my Documents and work files separately, as you do, and can access them from a different Mac to continue working.

    So for you, If you do have another Mac with all tools you need to complete your work, I am not sure CCC would bring much to you. However, if you do not have another machine with all programs available, then I would use CCC to clone your machine to an external drive. If your main machine goes down you could buy or borrow a new Mac that day and plug in your external drive and begin working.

    Good Luck
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #12
    I never suggested cloning the TM backup. If you reread what I said you will see I specifically said not to clone the TM backup. What I said was make two, separate TM backups to two separate drives like OP is using. That will work just fine.

    Too bad you can't have a civil conversation on a technology issue.
     
  13. gwelmarten thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Thanks for all the feedback everyone - I think I've made my decision.
     
  14. case2001 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    If you don't mind me asking, what solution did you decide on? And if you have time, why?

    Thanks.
    :)
     
  15. gwelmarten thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Of course - sorry I should have posted this earlier. Well, from what everyone said I decided there really was no reason to switch to CCC, other than that it offered an extra degree of security in case TM had bugs or a problem (which I am going to assume it doesn't).

    The reasons for keeping a TM backup on a different partition to normal data do not apply to me, because I erase the backups and make new ones at least every 6 months, and the drives are big enough that no amount of reasonable expansion will cause me any trouble.

    So, I decided to make a small modification to my current scheme. Both drives will have a Time Machine backup on them. On one drive, I will update the backup hourly (when plugged in) and on the other I will update it every week or so.

    In terms of Storage, because there are some complex data structures in there (i.e. Aperture libraries) I am going to switch to using CCC to clone the storage folder on the active drive to the backup drive weekly instead of RSync (which I think may be more prone to causing some kind of corruption).

    Thanks for all the advice!

    Sam
     

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