Some Time Machine and Backup queries, can you help?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by robodelfy, Jul 17, 2018.

  1. robodelfy macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2018
    #1
    Hi

    I've been using MacBook pros and Time Machine for years, but luckily never had a drive fail. I'm in the process of getting bigger back up drives and a new setup so I ha da few questions. I backup to two separate 2tb HDD's which backup up my 1tb internal SSD regularly.

    I wondered what would happen if my internal SSD died completely, say it was unusable. Then all I'd have would be my Time machine backup drives. Would I just put a new SSD in my MacBook (2015 model), and then be able to boot up and restore the time machine backup and it would work as before?

    When I used to use PC's I made clones of my drive so I'd be up and running instantly. But it's a lot longer, and less automated than Time Machine. So is the above possible?

    Secondly, could I just put a new internal SSD in, install a fresh High Sierra, and then I could just plug in my TM backup drive and drag and drop all my files to their right places? Of course this would take longer.

    I just can't seem to find the exact info out there, so any help would be appreciated
    Thanks
     
  2. techwarrior macrumors 6502a

    techwarrior

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    #2
    Time Machine keeps all of the files, folders, settings, apps, etc. Restoring, or using migration assistant to restore TM backups to a new boot drive will take some time, but will effectively restore everything including software license keys.

    Clone images are faster as the image is written to the new drive, then you boot up and life goes on. With TM,, if you restore the image to a new drive, it will take longer. If you install then restore, even longer still. But, in the absence of a good clone image, you can effectively completely restore your Mac from the TM backups.
     
  3. robodelfy thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2018
    #3

    Thanks, I read somewhere that Time Machine misses various system files, and therefore wasn't a good alternative to cloning. But that may have been wrong.

    It sounds good enough for me from what you describer. The only other thing I read is that TM doesn't check or validate backups or the drive, where as some of the other backup programs do.

    thanks
     
  4. Peter Franks macrumors 65832

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    #4
    Thanks to the wonderful people on this forum, they introduced me to Carbon Copy Cloner, and it's a lot more peace of mind than TM. Definitely, check it out! You can still run TM if you want to. But worth investing in a separate drive for CCC.
     
  5. robodelfy thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2018
    #5
    Thanks I used CCC a while back to make a clone with the trial. Can you explain why it is better than Time machine, or why you use both?

    My plan is to have 2 external Backup drives that I plug in daily to backup, so you would recommend one set up with TM and the other with CC? Or are you talking about cloning?

    Thanks
     
  6. Peter Franks macrumors 65832

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    #6
    P
    Purely because I know what is on the other SSD is a replica with everything on it, and it would be exactly the same as the laptop I'm using now. With TM, like you, there are questions. It's not a clone, it's more backing up settings and files. If you're on a slightly older MBP you can just swap the SSD for the one that may or may not have packed up, and it's identical. I don't have that reassurance with TM.
     
  7. robodelfy thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    So you clone your drive with CCC? Does it update the clone and not take much time to do it? Similar to TM?

    I do have a 2015 MBP so I can swap out the SSD, but its very expensive to get another 1tb SSD so not really feasible for me now. As HDD's are so cheap. So I wonder if it would not make sense in my situation if I can't get an identical drive. That would be great though to be able to just replace it
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    #8
    OP asked:
    "Thanks I used CCC a while back to make a clone with the trial. Can you explain why it is better than Time machine, or why you use both?"

    A CCC (or SuperDuper) clone is exactly that -- an exact copy of your internal drive that you can boot from and run from, just as if it WAS the internal drive.

    It will look the same, run the same.

    You can't do that with TM.
    A TM backup is a "collection of files" that can be "restored" to your internal drive, but doing so (say, after a drive crash) is considerably more work than you would have with a cloned backup.

    Let's say your internal drive failed or became corrupted, and you wanted to restore from your backup.
    With CCC or SD, you would do this:
    1. Boot from the cloned backup
    2. Use Disk Utility to erase/initialize the internal drive
    3. Open CCC (or SD) and "re-clone" the entire backup drive BACK TO the internal drive.

    When done, the internal drive would look exactly as it did before (at the time of your last cloned backup).

    Some folks keep both a cloned backup and a TM backup.
    No problems with that, but I've read many, many posts in this forum from users who -- in a "moment of extreme need" -- reached for their TM backup, and found that.... they couldn't access the data on it...

    Both CCC and SD are FREE to download and use for 30 days.
    Trying either one costs you nothing (except the time in making the cloned backup).
    If you don't like the results, just erase the backup drive and start over.
    But.. I think you'll like what you see.
     
  9. robodelfy thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2018
    #9

    Thanks for the info

    So does CCC or SD do incremental backups to the clone, or does it have to be a full clone which takes many hours every time you want to get an up to date clone? Obviously this is what I like about TM, I can plug in both my portable HDD's each day and it takes no time to back them both up. I travel a lot, so this is great.

    I was under the impression people who cloned would always clone to an identical SSD or HDD so they could just swap it physically, but I guess thats not even possible with new Macs! So what you describe makes sense, to replace or initialise the internal drive and then copy from the clone. This would also be cheaper than buying a 1tb SSD just in case.

    Would you recommend one over the other, CCC or super duper? It all really rests on whether it can do a quick incremental backup but also a clone :)

    Thanks
     
  10. Peter Franks macrumors 65832

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    #10
    And as if by magic.... here he is. Yes, good advice, take heed.
    This is the safest and best option.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    #11
    OP asked:
    "So does CCC or SD do incremental backups to the clone, or does it have to be a full clone which takes many hours every time you want to get an up to date clone?"

    Both CCC and SD do incremental backups.
    This greatly speeds up the process.
    The clone is "maintained", but only "changed files" are copied.

    I don't know about SD, but CCC also has a "safety net" feature.
    This sort of "mimics" TM, in that changed files don't get deleted, but moved into an "archives" folder. This way you still retain versions of files that have undergone changes across backups.
    Think of it as a "clone, plus" -- that is, a clone of the source drive, with some additional folders holding older content.

    But... I never use that, ever.
    For me, what I want in a backup is an exact copy of what I have on my "main drive" at any given moment. I don't care about "revisions" or "versions". That's just me.

    I prefer CCC because it will also clone and maintain the recovery partition as well as your "main" partition (the one the OS is on).

    SD has one advantage over CCC, however -- it will do "a full clone" FOREVER without having to register the software. You need to pay the registration fee to enable incremental backups.
     
  12. robodelfy thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    Thanks thats really good to know, I always thought that Clones could not be incremental and you had to do the whole thing in one go, which is why I thought TM was so useful.

    I also don't care much about revisions, and only need the current state backed up. I might regret saying that one day if I wanted to get back to a state before a virus or something I guess.

    CCC looks much more professional just based on the website. Sorry can you clarify, what do you mean SD will do 'a full clone forever', and do you mean you have to pay a registration fee on CCC or SD

    Thanks
     
  13. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    #13
    "Sorry can you clarify, what do you mean SD will do 'a full clone forever', and do you mean you have to pay a registration fee on CCC or SD"

    CCC is free to download and use for 30 days.
    All functions work during that time (full & incremental backups).
    After that, it wants you to register it to run at all.

    SD will create a "full clone" (entire content of drive) FOREVER without having to register it. That means, if you do your first clone THIS week, and you want to "update it" NEXT week, that you have to "do the whole thing all over again".
    If you want SD to do "more than that" -- such as do an incremental update of your cloned backup -- you have to register it.
     
  14. robodelfy thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2018
    #14
    Great thanks for clearing that up. I was looking into it all a bit more last night...

    There were some people on this forum talking about using APFS for their clones, and it seemed some people thought this wasn't a great idea. Could there be any problems in cloning back and forth if you use HFS+ on your backup drive, but your internal drive is AFS?

    Also, for those of you that use TM and CCC or SD, why do you not just use CCC or SD as they seem to be better in most peoples view? If you use both, do you partition your backup drive and keep both your TM and CCC backups on a single drive, or maybe you don't even need to partition it?

    My internal SSD is 1tb, and my backup drives are 2tb, so Im guessing I would not be able to have both types of backup on each drive as they are too small really, for TM machine anyway.

    Sorry for all the questions :)
     
  15. MSastre macrumors 6502

    MSastre

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    Aug 18, 2014
    #15
    I've used SuperDuper (full version) for years with all my Macs, and have never bothered to use TM. If your internal drive is SSD, then I think you should stick with an SSD for your cloned back up and stay AFPS, whichever you use, CCC or SD. If you have TM on another drive it can be HFS+, your internal will still read the files and be able to copy them over.
     
  16. robodelfy thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    Thanks, yeah thats a bit of an issue, as getting another 1tb SSD for backing up that I could just swap in if my internal one dies is very expensive. About 5 times the price of an HDD and I already have HDDs.

    If anyone knows if its ok to make clones using SD or CCC using HFS+ when my internal drive is APFS?
     
  17. Peter Franks macrumors 65832

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    #17
    I only use CCC now, I have a TM back up but don't plug in religiously, like I may have done before being introduced to CCC. What can be better than an exact copy of your HD?
     
  18. robodelfy thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    Yeah thats why I don't understand why people often say that they have a TM backup and a CCC backup if CCC is better! Which is why I asked about formatting the drives, problems with cloning from APF to HFS+ etc.

    I guess theres something about using apples software that makes you feel more secure somehow! Even if it isn't as good :)
     
  19. Peter Franks macrumors 65832

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    #19
    I think you'll find it's more to do with 'habit'. Plus, there may just be a couple of folders/files they need off TM, and not the whole system replace, at some point.
     
  20. robodelfy thread starter macrumors member

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    #20
    So with CCC or SD clones can you not go in and grab a few files if you want to?
     
  21. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    #21
    "So with CCC or SD clones can you not go in and grab a few files if you want to?"

    Who told you that you couldn't?
    A cloned drive will "mount right on the desktop" as will any drive.
    You can open it and copy one file, several files, a folder, several folders.
    Or... clone the entire drive BACK TO your internal drive.

    You keep posing questions, over and over.
    Why don't you TRY either CCC or SD and do a cloned backup to see what it's like for yourself?
    It will COST YOU NOTHING (money-wise) to try either one.
    If you don't like the results, erase the drive and use it for something else.
     
  22. robodelfy thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2018
    #22
    I was just going by Peter Franks comment above, it sounded like you couldn't do that.

    yeah sorry if I'm asking too many questions, I will try CCC and see what I think. I just wanted to get a general idea which you guys have given me :)
     
  23. Peter Franks macrumors 65832

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    #23
    If in doubt, you can blame me
    Probably didn’t explain it so well. But that’s why a grown up will always be along after.

    Actually, here’s a question that definitely needs answering. If I have a CCC drive from a MBP 2011, could I feasibly copy that clone of Snow Leopard on to the hard drive of a brand new High Sierra loaded 2018 MBP if I wiped that drive of new model?

    It’s a hypothetical, but out of interest can it be done if the new hard drive is formatted? Just curious. Or any previous OSX? I don’t own a new one, but curious, and if not, why?
     
  24. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    #24
    Peter Franks wrote:
    "If I have a CCC drive from a MBP 2011, could I feasibly copy that clone of Snow Leopard on to the hard drive of a brand new High Sierra loaded 2018 MBP if I wiped that drive of new model?"

    No, not possible, no way.
    You cannot boot a new MacBook Pro from Snow Leopard.
    Impossible.
    (You -can- run Snow Leopard "under emulation", but that's an entirely different animal)

    "curious, and if not, why?"

    Because older versions of the Mac OS don't "have the resources" (in software) to boot and run a newer Mac.
     
  25. Peter Franks macrumors 65832

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    #25
    Thank you for your answer. I wrongly assumed a blank SSD is a blank SSD, but thought process went no further
    But a new MBP could run an old CCC clone of SL externally from a SSD, you would assume?
     

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