SuperDuper and CCC Backup question

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ericinboston, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. ericinboston macrumors 68000

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    #1
    Hi all. I consider myself extremely skilled in computers, primarily in the Windows world...but have enough Mac skills to get me around (actually started computing on an Apple //e in the very early 80s).

    I am trying to back up my 2 year old Mini (160GB drive, 90GB used, Core 2 Duo chip at 2.0GHz). I have used Carbon Copy Cloner but found that it is extremely slow (4+ hours) backing up my 90GB of used disk space to a disk image file on an USB hard drive.

    I am giving SuperDuper a try and noticed some odd points:

    1)It seems I have the option of not being forced to create an image file...that I can back up just the drive's files/folders and then down the road I can back up again using incremental. Fine. But whenever I use the pulldown menu for the TARGET, I am only allowed to choose my external drive - I am not allowed to select a particular target FOLDER within that external drive. So, no, I am not willing to allow SuperDuper to nuke my external 1TB hard drive and write 90GB of stuff in any fashion it wants. I wish to create folders such as "March 2010 Backup"...and later down the road if/when I run an incremental backup, I would point the app to that folder and it would compare what's in that folder vs. what's on my Mini. CCC also has this limitation. My point is that I will want to use this large 1TB drive for other things...and I can't let SD or CCC just nuke everything on it (my non-backup stuff) because it doesn't give me the option to create the backup in a subfolder.

    2)If and when I create a disk image file, can I later traverse the image file (such as mount it as a virtual drive) in order to copy files out of it? This is routinely done in the Windows world with applications like Norton Ghost or Macrium Reflect. It's a fantastic feature. Or, is the disk image file useless except for doing a 100% full restore?

    3)It seems both CCC and SD require 2x the disk space that it is told to back up (at least for disk images). So for example, my Mini drive is 160GB...the amount of used space is 90GB, yet the 2 applications want at least 180GB free on my external drive. That's very odd. I've used numerous backup solutions for decades and have never come across this requirement. Why would it need 180GB in order to write a 90GB image file? It sounds like the apps are copying all the files to the external, then using the external's files to create the image on the external...as if the software is afraid that while the "backup" is running, the system files (or user files) will change. It just seems like a big limitation of the product(s) that I need 2x the space. Again, Norton Ghost and Macrium do not have this requirement.


    My preference is to create disk image files...especially if I can traverse the image file (point #2 above) at my leisure while booted into my working Mini.

    Thanks so much in advance!!

    -Eric
     
  2. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #2
    I use Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) on a weakly basis to backup (complete clone) a MBP with a 500GB HD (about 400GB used) to an external FW800 500GB HD.

    It takes around 4 hours.

    You are using USB which is much slower so that backup time might be normal.

    I don't create an image. Rather I just clone the internal HD to an external one so they are identical at the time of cloning. I can boot from either.

    AFAIK, you can do the same with SuperDuper.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #3
    Same for me... I never create a .dmg
    I have a partition on my external for Time Machine and one for CCC
    I can boot from that clone/partition or I can simply browse it and copy/paste

    I have mine set up to clone every night in the middle of the night

    USB will be quite a bit slower than Firewire in this backup
     
  4. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #4
    Thanks for the fast replies...I should have pointed out that I have read:

    http://www.bombich.com/software/docs/CCCHelp/CCCHelp.html?page=advsettings

    and

    http://www.bombich.com/software/docs/CCCHelp/CCCHelp.html?page=dimages


    The 2nd hyperlink implies that the 2x disk space problem should only be a problem during 1 scenario (using incremental)...but I still have the space issue with Backup Everything selected.

    It's possible I should just use the 1st link regarding subfolders...but they highly discourage it....and have never even seen the option anyway.

    -Eric

    Right...but my goal is not to boot from the external...just to have a backup image in case my Mini drive dies...I can just grab a new one for $50, pop it in, restore my "backup" (or maybe I need to boot from the external), and be on my way.

    -Eric
     
  5. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #5
    And this is why you clone to the external hard drive instead of making an image.

    This way if your Mac Mini HD dies, you can boot from the external clone.

    1. Get new HD.

    2. Install in Mac Mini.

    3. Boot from external backup (clone).

    4. Clone external HD to internal HD.

    5. Shut down.

    6. Disconnect external.

    7. Boot Mac Mini. It will be the same as it was when you last cloned. So if you were lucky and just cloned, you will be right were you left off. If it has been a month, then the files that were changed/created/deleted in the last month would be lost.

    Also, I would suggest cloning to alternate external HDs. That way if you still have a back up when you are cloning. Personally, I alternate on a weekly basis.

    Now you are asking, "Why not do incremental backups?" Well, let's just say Mr. Murphy and I are good friends when it comes to incremental backups. Never had much luck with them. Now I only do complete clones and it works great. YMMV.
     
  6. Cool Runnings macrumors regular

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  7. MacManiac76 macrumors 65816

    MacManiac76

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    #7
    Carbon Copy Cloner is free too.

    The basic version of SuperDuper is also free. You only need to pay for the registered version if you want to use the advanced features.
     
  8. NoNameBrand macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I clone to volumes identical to the source volume - none of this 2x-size requirement.

    As to not being able to clone to a folder - well, yeah - not really a clone when you do that.

    I run five SuperDuper! jobs a day - four to matching volumes on the same machine and the fifth is to an encrypted sparse bundle on a Linux box, which is then rsync'd off-site.
     
  9. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Right...but I politely think everyone on this thread is missing my points:

    1)Why do both SD and CCC require 2x the disk space to create an image file? I just think that is nuts. If you are using either of these 2 programs and are NOT seeing this requirement, please reply with the exact steps you are performing to create your image file-thanks.

    2)I only want the image file in case of a failure...so that I can pop in a new internal drive and "restore" the image file to that new drive. I am NOT looking to boot my Mini, ever, from that image file or an external device. I am not looking to clone my drive to another drive...I am looking to create a simple image file of my current drive. That's it. End of story until a catastrophe happens. How do I restore my image file in the Windows world? a)boot my pc with a bootable cdrom that Norton Ghost or Macrium Reflect gives me to load the restore utility b)point the software to an image file on an external USB drive (or other drive), c)grab a coffee and return 1-2 hours later (in my case since my image files are small...under 25GB), d)remove the cd rom and reboot and POOF! I'm back.


    I thought both SD and CCC would provide a)the simplicity of creating an image file and b)the ability to "restore" my image file later on via a cd rom software utility. It seems feature "b" doesn't exist unless I boot the dead Mini via an external drive containing Mac OS, install SD or CCC, and do the restore, then reboot with the external drive detached. Also, it seems feature "a" requires 2x the space you are trying to image...which is not only programatically a bit sloppy in my opinion but also puts a huge strain on the end user who may want to back up 120GB of data on an external drive which now requires AT LEAST 240GB free...which means if you have a blank 500GB (about 460GB formatted) drive you can do only 2 backups (which would total 240GB) before "running out of space" when you try to do the 3rd because the app requires 240GB free and only 220GB is available.

    Any other suggestions or tips on all my comments here?...other than telling me to go out and buy a 1TB drive and dedicating it 100% to Mac backups? :)

    Thanks again!

    -Eric
     
  10. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #10
    You're confusing imaging and cloning.

    When you image, you literally create an image file, in this case, most likely a "dmg" file. That's why you're using up double of your hard drive space.

    If you're cloning, then you literally copy from the internal disk to an external disk, file by file, and bootable. This does not require a double of hard drive space because you're not writing anything into the internal drive only the external drive.
     
  11. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #11
    Well said.

    That's why cloning is so much better IMHO. You can boot from your clone. It doesn't take 2X space to do. And it's faster.

    OP, I would suggest the following:

    1. Get two external HDs that are the same size as your internal HD.

    2. Alternate cloning on a weekly or more often basis. Let's say that you have external HD A and B. This week you clone to A. Next week you clone to B. The following week you clone to A. This way when you are cloning, and the internal goes bad as well as the external, you still have another backup, albeit 2 weeks old.

    PS. If you think I am being anal, this has happened to me before. I formatted my external to prepare for cloning. During the clone, the internal HD died and thus I did not get a backup (clone) of the internal HD. Thankfully, I had a secondary external backup HD and I was able to clone from it to a new internal HD. Saved my bacon.

    Plus with a clone, you can always boot from the clone to work on the internal HD with Disk Utilities and other HD fix/recover software. Beats booting from the Install DVD by a long shot. Faster. Easier. Plus you can do a whole lot more.

    The only images I use these days are for DVD/CD images. I have sensitive files within these images and they are encrypted. That way, if my laptop gets stolen, and they restart to get around my password, the images auto-unmount. Since my image passwords are not stored, they will not auto-mount. Keeps my data secured. And for really sensitive data, I use an image within an image. So it would take 3 passwords to get to the data (log on, DMG-A and then DMG-B which is within DMG-A).
     
  12. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Being respectful: NO...I am NOT confusing cloning and imaging. I am well aware of the terms and as I have stated numerous times in this thread, I am looking to image my drive into an image file. My beef is that the ridiculousness of the space requirements for SD and CCC to create me an image. And no, I do not want to clone my drive...ever. I understand the pros and cons of a clone...I don't want to clone...unless, there is absolutely positively no other way to participate in a full restoration process in the Macintosh world without a clone (this would seem very bizarre)...meaning I cannot boot to a cd rom and restore the backup...that I am forced to boot into Mac OS, then do a restore.

    Now, later on, what I do with that image is a side story...1)I would like to traverse the image file while booted into my normal, internal drive (I still have not heard if this feature is possible...I believe I can mount the image file as a drive)...2)If and when my Mac drive dies, I would like to "restore" the IMAGE FILE to a new drive, power down the Mac, put that new drive into the Mac, and power up the Mac and have a happy day. I am fully aware that I cannot boot to my image file.

    I am trying to be as clear as posible and also as friendly as possible...it seems folks are either not listening to me or not understanding what I am asking. Everything I am describing can and has been done in the Windows world for a very long time...these backup/restore processes I am describing are universal theories that should transcend any operating system.

    If SD and CCC are going to force me to have 2x the disk space, my choice is either to buy a large drive to accommodate this insane requirement or find another program that works just like Norton Ghost or Macrium Reflect that does NOT require 2x the space when SIMPLY CREATING AN IMAGE FILE. If SD and CCC ALSO cannot allow me to traverse an IMAGE FILE to allow me to pull out a few files here and there, I will not use either of those 2 products. If these 2 products ALSO DO NOT allow me to boot from a cd rom (like Ghost and Reflect) and thus force me to have a 3rd drive to restore an IMAGE FILE, I will likely look for other software.

    I greatly appreciate the replies but I think this thread is just going in circles. If my post now seems more clear, I would love some feedback on SD and CCC with all my topics/concerns.

    Thanks so much in advance.

    -Eric
     
  13. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #13
    Explain this. Where would your image be located? Where's the space for that image?

    Fine, you don't want to clone. I get it. And you can restore OSX using an image. I've done it many times.

    So you want to:

    1. Create an Image File
    2. If you add in a new hard drive, you want to be able to image the new drive with the image file. Right?

    You keep talking about an image file but what is the image file going to contain? The entire hard drive or just specific files?

    Furthermore, CCC and SD are cloning programs. They weren't entirely designed for imaging but have the capability. If you wish to image an hard drive, then it'll have to image the ENTIRE drive. Here's an example:

    If your hard drive is 80GB and you have 65GB used;
    The image file will be 65GB;

    However, during the imaging process, you'll need 80GB (Double of original capacity) just for safe keeps, in case theres some rogue files or whatnot. However, the end result will be whatever used.

    --

    So far, what I'm seeing is that you want to image an hard drive but you're wondering why it's going to take twice the size. Prove me wrong here because thats the impression I'm getting at.
     
  14. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Hi ayeying...let me explain the best I can from an example point of view and from a Windows software point of view:

    In the Windows world, I "image" my computer hard drive (typically people call this the C drive) every few months. An "image" is a copy of every single file on the hard drive (or single partition if you wish) as well as the boot sector and any other system information required to make the restoration of that image bootable...all saved into one nice file. This "image" is a perfect copy of your hard drive (or partition) so that if the drive dies, I have a perfect copy of the drive...typically the image file is compressed...so if my 500GB drive was only using 100GB, the maximum file size of my image would be 100GB...most likely it would be 70-90GB (depends on the kinds of files it is trying to compress like JPG vs. TXT files).

    When my computer drive fails, it's time for me to restore my image file. I boot my pc with a cd rom, floppy disk, or cdrom which contains basic software that allows me to point to the source of the backup (my image file on an external USB drive for example) and point to the target drive (likely a brand new internal hard drive) where I want to restore the image. It's that simple. After the restore I then power up the machine with that new drive in it (and the cdrom/floppy disk/usb stick removed), and Windows and everything that was installed and stored on that failed drive/partition will be back to the day that I "imaged" it.

    Think of an image file as a RAR or ZIP file...it's an archive of all the stuff on the original source drive, just compressed into 1 nice file. When it's time to "restore" the image file, I need to uncompress the image file back onto a drive while also writing the master boot record and other information so that I can actually boot into that new drive. 99% of the time, the restoration process is done by booting with a cdrom/usb key/floppy disk storing the application (Ghost or Reflect for example).

    I typically image my C drive every few months (all my real data such as music, videos, pictures are stored on my D drive...my C drive is only using about 30GB which is great because all my images are 30GB or less).

    Cloning, on the other hand, is a bit for bit copy of everything on the hard drive onto another hard drive...basically a mirror. If the source drive is 500GB large and only 5 GB is in use, the cloned hard drive will be set to 500GB...even if you have a 1TB drive your cloned drive will boot and show that it is a 500GB drive. Cloning does not take the source drive and turn it into a file...it mirrors the source to the destination. I, as many others do, feel that cloning is a waste of disk space during those times that the source drive is much smaller than the target clone drive...I am a consumer and don't feel that like wasting all my drive space. Cloning has its pros and cons but is truly not a "backup" solution in my opinion...Backups are a methodology to store, as efficiently as possible, a set of data to be used later on in the event of a catastrophe through a dedicated restoration process. Although cloning is a 2nd copy of data, a clone is rarely used a true backup/restore scenario...especially since it offers no compression and in my example with the 500GB drive cloned to a 1TB, wastes space on the target drive. This "waste" as I call it is by design and is one of the drawbacks of a clone. I 100% understand the difference between cloning and imaging and purposely have not stated every single option/feature/benefit/problem with each methodology.


    The basic result of "imaging" and "cloning" are identical: to create a perfect, bootable copy of some partition/drive. Period. Where they differ is: Imaging stuffs all the data into a single file (typically a compressed file in order to save disk space on the target)...which I can then burn to a dvd or store on an external drive... while Cloning copies all the data to another target drive that REQUIRES the destination to be AT LEAST as large as the source...there is no size requirement in "imaging" in the Windows world because the image file through compression can be quite smaller than the source you are "imaging"...a rule of thumb, however, would be that yes, you would want to have at least as much free space on your destination drive as the source you are trying to image.


    I'm really not trying to write a book here on Cloning and Imaging techniques and methodologies.

    If SD and CCC are Cloning software applications and CANNOT CREATE DISK IMAGES, I would appreciate advice on a software product that can create disk images...WITHOUT REQUIRING 2x the drive space as the source. If there are no applications in the Macintosh world that can get around this 2x problem, I guess I am forced to buy a gigantic hard drive...and sadly will be unimpressed by backup solutions in the Mac world. It seems that CCC can create Image files...but the problem is that unlike the Windows software world, CCC requires 2x the source size to be free on the destination drive...that is a huge problem for me.

    -Eric
     
  15. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #15
    Your math is wrong when using CCC. :)

    If my drive size is 80GB and I'm eating up 65GB, CCC will require 130GB (65GB x 2) of drive space. In Norton Ghost, Macrium Reflect, and many other Windows software products, there is no target requirement...but you'd be a fool to try to save a 65GB image file to a drive with only 10GB free. :) As a rule of thumb, you should have at least the same amount of free space on the target as the amount of space your source is eating.

    So in your example, if my drive is 80GB large and 65GB is being used, I still need 130GB to perform the imaging process. Yes, the END RESULT will be a 65GB file but CCC requires 130GB to work with. I just don't understand why it requires 2x...it's not even smart enough to stop you before pressing the OK button that you don't have 2x the space.


    Yup. That's what I'm getting at. But regardless of the answer of "why", my end result is to find an imaging software application that does not require 2x.
     
  16. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #16
    That makes more sense. You want to image your drive and store it on another drive. Yes?

    Not entirely true there. If the original hard drive is 500GB and you only used 5GB; you can clone your original drive to any hard drive that has enough space. That means a 10GB hard disk, or 16GB SSD, etc. will fit and will work. I have cloned my former 128GB SSD off a MacBook Air to a 500GB External Hard Drive and back again without any issues with partition size or drive being too small.

    The only requirement is how much space you have used, not how big the original partition is.

    Use Disk Utility if you believe CCC and SD are requiring 2x the source size. I haven't seen that problem on this end. I used CCC to create an image file of a 120GB drive using up 13GB of space and the image that I have is 12.58GB in a DMG format.
     
  17. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Correct.


    Correct...but not entirely true. I don't want to write a novel on this subject. By default, my point is true. If your application provides various other bells/whistles/features then you can get around the default true answer. :)


    Again, by default my statement stands true. Only via various features is it possible to skin the cat 12 different ways. :)


    That is correct...ultimately your image file will be 1)AT MOST, only as large as the total amount of space your source drive is eating up and 2)because "imaging" does compression ("cloning" does not) it is possible your image file can be smaller than the amount of space you are backing up.

    Why would I use Disk Utility? What do you want me to try?

    Thanks.

    -Eric
     
  18. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #18
    This doesn't apply to OS X. You can clone your drive to whatever size disk you want so long as there's enough space. Partition size does NOT matter.

    I know what imaging and cloning does. I've done it many many times with OS X and I've never ran into the problem you're facing.

    Disk Utility has the ability to image a drive and restore a drive or to clone a drive.
     
  19. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #19
    How do I restore using DU? Is there a cd rom or USB flash key I use to boot the computer and then restore the image? I assume DU is an Apple product and ships with Mac OS...I'm not home right now so I can't check out the Mac...

    Thanks.

    -Eric
     
  20. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

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    #20
    It's in the utilities folder and no, you don't need to boot off a disk or even another copy of OSX. You can create an compressed DMG and even restore it using that utility.
     
  21. splatt macrumors member

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    Jun 18, 2009
    #21
    Hi Eric,

    another experienced windows user who switched to mac here. If you find a solution that works just like ghost in the windows world (image files + boot application to restore a failed drive) please report back and let us know. It would be sad to have to always have to boot into the windows partition to accomplish sensible backups.

    Thanks!
     
  22. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #22
    Hi. I don't understand the restore process. Please elaborate on the exact steps I would (or other options)...please be very specific regarding how to boot, what device to boot from, what software to launch, etc. Sorry if I am pestering but I'd like to know the exact process.


    Thanks again in advance!

    -Eric

    p.s. I found this on the CCC Help website...let me know if this is what you are talking about or not please:

    http://www.bombich.com/software/docs/CCCHelp/CCCHelp.html?page=dimages

    Restoring from a disk image

    To restore files or an entire filesystem from a disk image, simply select "Restore from disk image" from the Source Disk popup menu and locate your backup disk image. CCC will mount the disk image and you may then proceed with the restore procedure using either the "Incremental backup of selected items" or "Backup everything" cloning method. If you want to restore your disk image to your boot volume, or if you need to restore a disk image and you do not have a bootable volume available, you can boot from your Mac OS X Installer DVD and use Disk Utility to restore the disk image:

    1. Reboot your computer from the Mac OS X Installer DVD
    2. After the Installer application loads, choose "Disk Utility" from the Utilities menu
    3. From the File menu, choose "Open Disk Image..." and locate the disk image that you would like to restore
    4. In the list in the pane on the left, click on the mounted disk image's volume
    5. Click on the "Restore" tab on the right side of the window
    6. Drag the mounted disk image to the Source field
    7. Drag the hard drive that you would like to restore to into the "Destination" field
    8. Check the box to erase the destination, then click on the Restore button.
     
  23. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #23
    Yes it is.

    IMHO, that is why cloning is so much easier. Booting from an external HD is so much more convenient, faster and more useful than from a CD.

    When you boot from your cloned HD, you can then run whatever utilities you have on the troubled HD, be it Disk Utilities to erase, and CCC to reverse clone, or any other of a variety of tools that you have.

    Personally, I would love to have CCC or SD available for the Windows side of the house. Better than Ghost by a long shot. If I need a file, I just connect the HD, browse and copy. No mounting of an image required. Hard Drives are cheap these days.
     
  24. splatt macrumors member

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    #24
    When you use images (instead of cloned bootable disks) you can store multiple backups on a single large external drive and, at least in the windows world, you can browse those images to find single files without having to boot up the image. So they become a timelined backup system. If I had a 1tb internal drive, with only 300 gigs used, and a 2tb external drive for weekly backups I might be able to store a couple of months of weekly backup images. You don't have to mount or boot from a special cd to do this. You just browse over to your backup drive and dive right into the files like they were .zip archives.
     
  25. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #25
    When you use SD!/CCC and Time Machine together, you have both a bootable image and look-back all without needing to deal with DMG's, and in the case of TM, the advantage of a single search point. One drive, two partitions, no sweat. And no need to complicate things even though your "inner geek" may tell you it's the thing to do. :D
     

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