The best backup solution for me...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by theredensign, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. theredensign macrumors member


    Sep 12, 2016
    Hi all,

    Firstly, many thanks for reading my post.

    I'm currently waiting for my first ever Mac to arrive (MacBook Pro 15). I posted a topic here before regarding backup solutions, but I see that circumstances have changed with regards to the Time Capsule. It would appear that Apple no longer wish to pursue that route, and so it would seem best to stay clear of that.

    It just so happens that my Seagate External Hard Drive, which was only six months old, failed a few days ago for no apparent reason. As I work away from home for months at a time, this was very aggravating, and so now I am looking to a solution which will ensure dual backups in future (to avoid any data loss).

    Can anyone kindly advise me as to what my best option would be, bearing in mind that I'd also like to have a Time Machine Backup in addition to other generic files on this drive (or drives). I assume that this is possible?

    Many thanks,

    Kind regards,
    --- Post Merged, Dec 18, 2016 ---
    P.S. Could anyone tell me as to whether there is a certain file format for an external hard drive that a Windows machine could read, but would also allow Time Machine backups and other files (such as video)?

  2. deany, Dec 18, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016

    deany macrumors 68030


    Sep 16, 2012
    North Wales
    Are any of your files larger than 4GB and do you have access to a Windows machine?
    Also will you be able to access free internet while away?
    Do you think Parallels is something you may use on your mac to access Windows OS? and Parallels remote access.
  3. theredensign thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 12, 2016
    Hi Deany,

    Yes, I have access to a Windows machine and with my friends/colleagues mostly using the platform, I'd like to make my drive versatile.

    There may be a few that are over 4GB, but I could live without them! However, would I be right to assume that a Time Machine backup would be one single file that would exceed 4GB?

    I do have internet access, but it's through mobile data for the most part that I use via a hotspot for my other devices.

    Regarding Parallels, I considered it, but it seems a boot camp installation would be better for me.

    Many thanks for your help!
  4. deany, Dec 18, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016

    deany macrumors 68030


    Sep 16, 2012
    North Wales
    Hi Jack

    I got my first mac 17 months ago a rMBP 13" 500GB 8MB ram so I'm also still new and I love the mac and macOS

    In fact we now have a couple of iMac 21.5 at work these are used almost exclusively with Windows 7 and Parallels.

    So we use mac and pc similar to yourself.

    I work from home and remote access the works imacs via parallels access.

    I understand you not wanting a Time Machine due to apple discontinuing it. However its such a great device and still available I would re look at the option.

    I cant see apple discounting Time Machine and TC is basically a hard drive with fantastic wi-fi capability that seemlessly integrates with your mac backing up in the background.

    This is the back up solution I use:

    rMBP 2015 13" 500GB external Samsung 24" 4k monitor

    • Time Capsule 2TB this backups my mac every hour automatically.
    I run Parallels and it is set not to backup with Time Machine.
    Once a week I close Parallels and copy the WXP, W7 and W10 .pvm to a folder I created called Parallels on the TC this is done wirelessly.

    • After the above I conect a 1TB USB 3 external hardrive to my rMBP this too has a folder called Parallels and I copy the 3 x .pvm files to the Parallels USB3 folder xp, W7 and W10 the vms needs shutting down first.

    • I then use Carbon Copy Cloner to do an exact copy of the 'data' on TC to a USB3 external hard drive

    So in effect I have 2 identical backups.
    I call this my 'offsite' backup.

    I use Norton 3.0 10 licence under £30 (amazon) for Windows


    Is the same as above every Saturday I pop into the office but in the morning I remote access the two iMacs via Parallels access to copy the 3 x 2 = 6 Windows .pvm files

    The time machine in the office has two folders one called Parallels Mac 1 and Parallels Mac 2 for the .pvm files.

    As we use W7 on the iMacs almost excussively a weekly 2nd backup isn't enough so we use the fantastic 'Backblaze' which runs in the background backing up W7 C drive 24/7

    So to sum up:

    I would still buy a 2TB Time capsule in a heartbeat even though apple are discontinuing.

    The USB3 could be used while away as your back up but you would need to change settings in CCC when backing up to TM when you got home.

    The videos and files could be copied to Windows in Parallels and put on a exFat formated USB3 pen drive to share with friends and colleagues.

    If you wanted a 2nd backup while away then I would CCC to another USB3 external drive

    I guess you would need a 2 port USB3 adapter for this.

    You mentioned remote access in the other post. Parallels remote access will allow access to all rMBP files inc macOS and Windows anywhere in the world.

    I dont use 'backblaze' at home as I dont use Windows that much and I live in a remote location so use 4G wifi - connect to Time Machine data with EE is capped at 100GB a month

    I backup my iPhone 6 and iPad mini to the rMBP once a month via iTunes.

    If you would like details on the 24" monitor, backblaze, CCC, USB3 drives, 2TB Time Capsue, parallels, remote access, Norton, cases etc - cost, links where purchased from please feel free to ask.

    Hope this helps
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    1. External USB3 SSD

    2. CarbonCopyCloner (or SuperDuper).

    3. Create BOOTABLE backup clone.

    If you're away from home and have problems with anything from a lost file to a computer that won't boot, NOTHING will serve you better.
  6. bingeciren macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2011
    1) Regular Time Machine backup
    2) Scheduled automatic once a day Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) backup on an external USB 3 disk.

    1- Gives a quick access to previous versions of a file.
    2- Allows the ability to boot from the external USB 3 hard drive for emergencies and also provides a redundant backup, independent from the Time Machine.
  7. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    While slower - you may want to consider inserting a NAS into your set up.

    Get a good two drive NAS and use RAID 1. That is mirroring. This would allow both Mac and Windows computers to access the files on the NAS via network. You can also do backups to the NAS along WITH* direct storage backup (external drives like you had before). No drive is without risk so it has to be considered an acceptable risk to use them and then consider when to retire the drive rather than wait until it dies or becomes plagued with read/write issues.

    So you are aware - Network Attached Storage (NAS) drive format doesn't have to be the same as either Windows or Apple and more often than not (these days) are often ext3 or ext4 (used by NAS typical OS - Linux).
  8. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Mac's can read NTFS, just not write to then without third party software,, and i bet videos would be over 4Gig, so that eliminates FAT32 across platforms

    i get one large hard drive and set up a duel partition... one HFS+ (Mac) and one NTFS (PC)

    using cloud based to easy access is convenient, but only once u get it up there..... upload speed is not as fast as download, so will take longer than u have it stored on external.

    I'd just use external hard drive and NAS.. and take the external drive(s) with me after i copied off what i need.

    For smaller files u could also use USB flash drives as well (16 Gig) as they're cheap.
  9. theredensign thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 12, 2016
    Hi guys,

    Many thanks for your responses. Having read around a bit, I've decided that perhaps a Synology DS216j might be a good choice, given that it would also act as cloud storage. I'd use it in conjunction with a standard external hard drive for when I have slow or no internet access.

    Can anyone share their experiences with Synology products? I take it that they do not seem to be as susceptible to errors after Mac OS updates, unlike the WD Cloud?

    Many thanks,

    Kind regards,
  10. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Jack, if I may, I suggest you go to Synology forums and possibly smallnetbuilder forums for these questions. What you may want to ask in addition -

    How well does it work as "cloud storage" and anything to worry about?
    What is the "best" way to do a backup on this particular model and is one method safe than another? (rsynch type of commands vs software either on Mac or on NAS...)
    Suggestion of hard drives that are noted good performers and the size/volumes of the drive.
  11. deany, Dec 22, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016

    deany macrumors 68030


    Sep 16, 2012
    North Wales
    Looks like you can backup away from home with that device.
    So ideal for all your needs.
    You mentioned dual backup I guess you'll get an USB drive for 'off site' backups.

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