Time machine backup vs Carbon Copy Cloner

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by puckhead193, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #1
    Long story short, I think its time I need a fresh install of OS X. I want to do a back up of my HDD but don't know which route to go? Should I use Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner. I want to start completely fresh just transfer over my files and no OS/Apps etc. Which is the better route to take?

    I'm leaning towards Carbon Copy only because I can have a bootable drive if something goes wrong. However, once the back up is made can I just drag and drop my files again? I'm mostly concerned about my iTunes and photos/lightroom/aperture libraries and playlist/folders? For instance if I copy of the iTunes Music Library.xml file it should recreate my library as it was, correct?
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    For your purposes, CCC is better for the reason you mentioned.

    Unless you just want CCC for use later though, you don't really need it for this. Just use Disk Utility to "restore" Macintosh HD to an external drive and you will have the exact same end result (a clone) as if you used CCC.

    Just select your external, Backup in my example, then click the restore button then pick Macintosh HD in the dropdown and click the Restore button.

    That xml is not the actual music. You will want to copy over the entire contents of the Music folder.

    Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 11.12.55 AM.png
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    CCC is what you want to use.

    It will create an exact copy of the internal drive in "plain old finder format".

    That means: just plug in the backup, mount it on the desktop, and "copy over what you need".

    IMPORTANT:
    If you choose to do this -- that is, if you wish to just "drag over" stuff from the backup to a newly-created account on the internal drive -- you need to take an extra step to avoid permissions problems.

    Do this:
    1. mount backup on desktop (just the drive icon)
    2. click ONE TIME on the icon to select it
    3. type "command-i" (eye) to bring up the get info box
    4. in the bottom right, click on the lock icon and enter your password
    5. toward the bottom left (in the "sharing and permissions" area), there is a checkbox "ignore ownership on this volume"
    6. put a check into this box, then close the get info box.

    Also:
    BE AWARE that you CANNOT COPY the "main subfolders" in your old account (backup) to the new one. I believe these are "more than" just "folders" -- they are "symbolic links". These are the folders named "Music", "Pictures", "Movies", "Documents", etc.

    However, you CAN COPY the CONTENTS of these folders.
    It helps to keep paper and pencil nearby, to keep track of things as you go along.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    I prefer CCC for full system backups and using TM for incremental backups. To put it another way, CCC is much faster at restoring a system then TM is, so I use that for full system backups. TM is used when I mess up a document and I want to restore a specific version of the file.
     
  5. Traverse macrumors 604

    Traverse

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Location:
    Here
    #5

    Can I ask you something? I am about to purchase CCC and I've been reading on their site about working with FileVault (e.g. enable whiled booted into your backup drive). How does CCC work exactly. So say I make a clone once a month, if it's unencrypted does it just mirror what's changed on Mac each time? If I have the CCC disk encrypted does that mean it has to recopy ALL of my data each time and make a completely separate backup?
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #6
    Yes... after the initial backup, CCC just moves over what is new or changed since the last clone.

    No... once you do the initial setup with the encryption, CCC works just like if would if neither drive was encrypted. It just moves over new or changed files.
     
  7. Traverse macrumors 604

    Traverse

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
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    #7
    Thank you. Can I ask one last thing? So my setup is an iMac with a 1TB SSD and then a 2TB HDD mounted to the back for offloaded storage. I have cloned my internal drive and enabled FileVault (which will take time). If I now clone the extended storage HDD to the same backup disk how can I encrypt that data? I presume the FileVault protection from the cloned internal drive will have no effect not he extended storage.
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #8
    You can just right click the external drive and select encrypt and it will encrypt the drive and preserve the data on the drive. Or you can just reformat the drive in Disk Utility to the encrypted format and start over since the data will be erased. Either way works.

    Screen Shot 2018-05-13 at 6.06.52 AM.png
     
  9. isaac32767 macrumors newbie

    isaac32767

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2018
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    OK, I just had pretty much the same situation and did pretty much what's been suggested here. I have an old Mac that I needed to update to Mojave using a patched installer. (Thanks, Dosdude1!) Since that's not risk-free, I wanted to be able to recreate my system from scratch if I had to. I was already doing Time Machine backups (Aren't you? WTF not?) but being primarily a PC guy I assumed I needed a complete clone of my drive. A little googling convinced me that CCC was the best tool for doing that. Except for some minor yak shaving, everything went great (thanks Bombich, great product), and I'm now running Mojave.

    Except now I'm convinced I just didn't need that clone. When I booted my machine off a thumb drive containing the installer, it gave me the option of doing a completely new install using my Time Machine backup. If I had nuked my drive, I could have used that option instead of the clone.

    So, am I wrong? Is there a scenario where I would have been glad to have the clone?
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #10
    If you just want a backup you can use to restore from, either TM or CCC will work. The advantage CCC has is if you want you can actually boot to the CCC backup drive and operate the Mac off that drive if you want to where you can't do that with a TM disk.
     
  11. isaac32767 macrumors newbie

    isaac32767

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2018
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    True. But puckhead193's use case is "I just want a backup I can use to restore," as was mine. So CCC appears to be overkill for us.

    You know, initially, I tried to clone the drive onto a network share. CCC, anticipating the mistake I was making, reminded me that you can't boot from such a clone -- I needed to use a drive physically attached to my system. I cursed at the time -- cloning to disk images on the network is standard practice on Windows and Linux. But now I see it's not really useful for Macs, because restoring from a clone is just not something you need to be able to do.
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #12
    I agree... like I said, if you just want to be able to restore TM does the trick just fine.
     
  13. jbarley macrumors 68040

    jbarley

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #13
    Yes there sure could be, such as when your TM restore fails, which happens all too often.
    As a rule it is good practice to have more then 1 backup for just such scenarios.
    Also as often happens when you discover that you have a corrupt file or files, your TM backup has already automatically backed these files up making a restore impossible.
    Then it is a really good feeling that you can open your last cloned backup and cherry pick and copy these files back over.
     

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