Starting Law School - Need A Good Backup Solution

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by wake6830, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. wake6830 macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2007
    My Wife and I are both starting law school next fall, and I want to set up a good back-up solution for our two MBPs that we'll be purchasing.

    What's most important is that it be easy to set up and use. If it has reminders or can automatically grab new files and back them up, that would be great. Alternatively, it could be something where we could just plug our laptops in every night and let it run automatically.

    Our work would be the most important, but it would be great if we could back up everything including pictures and itunes content.

    The AEBS will be our router, if that makes a difference. I know you can set up hard drives on that but I don't know if Time Machine or other software is compatible.
  2. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    Time Machine

    Use Time Machine. I don't know if it is compatible with the AEBS, but even if not, it is a good solution, easy-to-use, automatic solution.

    What you will need is one external hard drive (connected by USB 2.0, or better yet, Firewire) per laptop.

    When you first plug in the external drive, OS X will ask you if you want to use it for backups. You just need to answer yes. The first backup takes a while to complete, but after that it is usually really quick (and the more often you do backups, the faster each one tends to be).

    You'll want to plug in the external drive every so often to make sure you are getting recent backups. Obviously, the more frequently you can do this, the better.

    Also, Time Machine will nag you if you forget to plug-in the external drive after three weeks. Don't ask me how I know this... :D
  3. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    Carbon Copy Cloner. Far simpler than Time Machine, far less fussy, and far easier to set up. Just tell it what you want it to backup and how often, and it takes care of the rest.
  4. crazycat macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2005
    Use both Time Machine and SuperDuper. TM will do a backup every hour which is great if you delete a file that you need between backups. Use SD every 2 to 3 days or when you go to sleep, that way you will always have your files just in case something happens.

    You can get a 750GB hard drive (seagate is the best afaik) and an enclouse for $250, you can split it and use it as 2 hard drives (one for TM and the other for SD).
  5. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    The problem I had with using CCC is that it takes a long time to run--you need to run it overnight. Time Machine usually completes a backup very quickly, in the background. Also with CCC, there's a series of manual steps whereas Time Machine is automatic.

    CCC certainly does the job. I guess it's a matter of taste whether or not you think it's easier. For TM, I just plug in the external HD--that's it. For CCC there are several more steps.
  6. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    Just burn optical disks.

    I assume the only thing you really care about backing up for your law school endeavors are the documents related to that. In which case, the best solution for you would be a simple script to just burn your important business related stuff to cd-r or dvd-r. All you need to backup are basically just the text documents, spreadsheet documents, presentation documents, etc that you created, and also your ical calendars, address book, and bookmarks menu, which should all fit easily on a dvd-r.

    Set up an automator routine or applescript that'll automatically burn just those documents, and set that script to be launched by a repeating event in iCal every sunday at noon. Every sunday it'll pop up a window telling you to insert a blank recordable disk, which you stick in and click the burn button.

  7. spinne1 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2005
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    Having been through law school I can say that your entire law school product will easily fit on one CD-R, and therefore backing up those files should be pretty easy if you get an online storage solution (you probably have storage with your ISP--use that). Back up those online and then you don't have to worry about your apartment burning down. You'll still have the files. That said, having backup for your computers in general is extremely important. What you want is to set up a server that automatically backs up your files. Doing so is not something I know about, but Google for "set up server home network os x" or something similar (without the quotes) and you should find some good info.

    Good luck.
  8. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    If you're into online backups, Mozy offers 2gb of free space plus a backup utility. I've downloaded it, and it seems to work smoothly. You simply tell it which folders and files you want it to watch, and it updates them every 24 hours, or manually, if you tell it to. I use this in addition to my external drive, and to be honest, the Mozy backup gives me more peace of mind, as it's in a different physical location from my Macbook and external, which could both go if Apple's wretched "Magsafe" short circuits and starts a fire (read the reviews on; it has a near 100% failure rate after 1 year). So yeah, look into Mozy.
  9. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2007
    Canada EH!!!
  10. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    If you're gonna do online backup you need to think about security.

    I'm sure all these services make claims about their security, but me personally, I wouldn't rest anything important on those claims. Often a business's official enduser license security policy will have clauses that allow them to breach your security under several varied and vague circumstances. And even if their official security policy section is air tight, almost all user agreements these days include a clause elsewhere in the license agreement that says they are allowed to change any portion of the user agreement at any time and without notice to the end user, which totally invalidates any stated security policy.

    So if you're gonna go that route then I'd suggest at least encrypting the data on your end first before it ever hits their servers.
  11. GregE macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2007
  12. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006

    Um... how is CCC simpler/easier to set up than Time Machine? It literally takes one click to set up a drive for Time Machine, and Time Machine makes backup truly seamless, and it's easy to find incremental backups... something that CCC can't even do.
  13. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    agreed. Time Machine is perfect for the OP's purpose.
  14. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    CCC allows incremental backups. I use it to keep my music folder synced on my computer and on my external drive. CCC is simpler for me to use because it's pretty much just pointing the program to the stuff you want to sync, and where you want it to sync to. In addition, you don't need to devote an entire drive (or even partition) to CCC. I like that, as it means I can use my drive for other things (or on multiple computers!) instead of having it simply be taken over by Time Machine.
  15. bmat macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2004
    East Coast, USA
    Seriously, having also gone to law school, a flash drive will carry everything important. Just make sure the law school has the appropriate software for taking tests on your Mac. If not, get a PC; it's not worth the hassle when it comes to exam time.

    Best of luck to you and your wife. I've known too many people that elevate law school above all else, and lose track of each other during the course of it....

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