Specific File/Folder Backup

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by sdh1982, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. sdh1982 macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2007
    I have all the macs in our office set to backup via time machine to a large USB drive attached to the Mac Mini Server.

    The bosses MBP completely failed just recently so had to do a restore over the network, much to my amazement everything worked relatively hassle free, and he only lost a few hours worth of updated files.

    Just because i want to cover all bases after this incident, i would like to set up an extra backup process on his computer in addition to the time machine backup.

    I would like to backup two specific work folders on his computer to a USB thumb drive, but i would like it to be an automated process where all he needs to do is plug the thumb drive in, and the process starts and completes automatically. Can anyone recommend a reliable application that does just this?

  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Carbon Copy Cloner will do exactly what you want. Just select the source and destinations and then create a schedule. Among the options you will see is to auto start when it senses that particularly USB key is inserted. You can also tell it to just run when the key is inserted, or give you a popup asking if is okay to proceed.

    I use this exact setup to backup my Documents folder to a USB key.

    The popup looks like this. I have mine setup to encrypt the backup on the USB key, but that is optional.

  3. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    Why did you decide on a USB thumb drive as secondary backup? It introduces a new set of potential failure modes, such as him removing the thumb drive when it's actively being written. This could corrupt the file-system structure, leading to failed recovery attempts later, despite everything seeming to be fine with the thumb drive until recovery is attempted. Or he could simply misplace or lose the thumb drive.

    Why not use the network to hold the backup target storage? It's always present (or more so than a manually managed thumb drive), and any untimely disconnects can be dealt with by other things on the network.

    It might be an even better idea if the two specific work folders on his hard drive aren't on his hard drive at all, but are networked storage. That way, the network admin has full control over when and how to make backups. This would be unsuitable if the computer is often mobile outside the range of the business's local network. Without knowing the full requirements and constraints, no one can offer better suggestions.
  4. sdh1982 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2007
    Thanks for the responses, I think i might look into carbon copy cloner, sounds like it will do the job.

    The reason i want him to do a secondary weekly backup to a thumb drive is so there is an additional copy of his important documents. That way if his computer bombs out again, and for any unexpected reason i cant restore from the networked time machine backup of his entire machine, he would still have them available.

    I believe apple doesn't officially support networked time machine backups to a USB storage drive attached to the server, so im stuffed for support if anything goes wrong.

    These are documents he wouldnt want accessible on the network computer. Im sure it can be setup so that only he can access them on a network, and so he can access them still out of the office, but i have zero skills with networks to implement this, i had to follow an online step by step guide just to setup the network we have.

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