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kevswords

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2016
6
4
Anyone got a recommendation for backup software? I want to specify my Desktop and Documents folder to copy to a USB flash drive ... it'd be really cool if this could happen when either I plug in the USB drive or double-click an icon in the Dock that just syncs those folders. I don't want to have to keep managing it file by file, or copy/replace all files.

I tried TimeMachine, but for some reason the backup file is only 600MB. Not sure how that happens when my Documents folder is 13GB.

Any ideas? Maybe TimeMachine is the right tool for the job and I'm not using it correctly.

Thank you!
 

howiest

macrumors 6502
Aug 16, 2015
313
127
Left Coast
Carbon Copy Cloner ($39.99) is a superb backup utility for OS X. You can clone a drive, or choose specific files to back up, including scheduling those back ups. You can try it for free.

Time Machine is a whole different animal. It backs up incrementally as files change, allowing you to step back in time and grab an instance of a file that has long since been deleted. It doesn't make clones, but it can be used to recover all your files via Migration Assistant. Because Time Machine continually backs up over an extended period of time, it typically requires a dedicated drive that is considerably larger than the source drive(s).

Personally, I couldn't live without both of them.
 
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Partron22

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2011
2,651
796
Yes
SuperDuper! from Shirt Pocket is the other main backup app. It currently runs $27.95.
I've used it happily for 10+ years. There's a huge thread here at MacRumors discussing which of the two Apps is best.
Depends on what you want to do.
Time machine is a nice concept, but I've had it fail on me several times. It's no longer on the list of things I use. I do not like having a false sense of security.
 
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chscag

Contributor
Feb 17, 2008
4,311
1,621
Fort Worth, Texas
Anyone got a recommendation for backup software? I want to specify my Desktop and Documents folder to copy to a USB flash drive ... it'd be really cool if this could happen when either I plug in the USB drive or double-click an icon in the Dock that just syncs those folders. I don't want to have to keep managing it file by file, or copy/replace all files.

I agree with using Carbon Copy Cloner to make your backups, however, backing up to a USB flash drive is not a good idea considering how unreliable USB flash drives are. Nothing worse than needing your backup and finding out that it's no good. Use an external hard drive instead. As inexpensive as they are, there's no reason to put your data at risk by backing up to a USB flash drive.
 
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Superspeed500

macrumors regular
Jul 25, 2013
193
44
I personaly use Time Machine to backup to an external hard drive and that have never failed me. I have used it several times when reinstalling OS X. Also, how large is your USB drive?
 
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Les Kern

macrumors 68040
Apr 26, 2002
3,063
76
Alabama
USB drive backups = eventual heartache.
I've used Lacie Rugged drives and they have never failed. And I had 30 of them in use for years at a time at my previous job. I tried WD and had 3 of 10 fail in less than a year. Lacies run around 80 bucks.
CCC is great.
 
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grahamperrin

macrumors 601
Jun 8, 2007
4,942
643
… TimeMachine, but for some reason the backup file is only 600MB. Not sure how that happens when my Documents folder is 13GB.

… Maybe TimeMachine is the right tool for the job and I'm not using it correctly. …

Check its preferences, are there any exclusions?

Use Console. When the backup completes, what appears in Console?
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
21,736
7,950
If -all- you want to take with you is "Desktop" and "Documents", just open your home folder, select both folders, and do a "quick-n-dirty-drag-n-drop" to the target of your choice ...
 
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Tech198

macrumors P6
Mar 21, 2011
15,674
2,092
Australia, Perth
I never use backup software because i want to control what is copied over and not have to troubleshoot what went wrong after the fact if an auto-sync failed..

So i manually copy always... Lucky i don't have that much.... for personal use.
 
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robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,395
287
Apple used to have a really nice little application called "Backup," last at version 3. Not sure if they still include it, or if it's available somewhere, but you could make nice custom backup plans, like to copy all of a certain set of folders on a schedule. It also logged, and you could restore from it as well. Maybe you've still got a copy buried in Utilities or somewhere.
 
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kevswords

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2016
6
4
Thanks everyone. Found a program called DropSync 3 that does what I need. I already have two mechanical hard drive backups of these folders. One is my 'active' drive / it's always plugged in to my computer, and the other is backed up every couple days and lives in a safe in the same location as the active drive. The USB thumb drive is simply a third location backup.

I've been a happy SuperDuper! user for many years, but it doesn't allow users to select individual folders or files. As far as I can tell (and it's options aren't too complicated) it is only for duplicating drives. (Hence, 'duper!')

The issue w/ copying folders individually is that my Documents folder is 13GB and I didn't want to have to transfer that much data every time I wanted to make sure everything was backed up. It's a SanDisk Extreme Pro and can move fairly fast, but it is still wasted time and write cycles. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the idea of a write cycle and USB drives, but I think the idea is that the less they're used the better.
 
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Partron22

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2011
2,651
796
Yes
I've been a happy SuperDuper! user for many years, but it doesn't allow users to select individual folders or files.
SuperDuper! does allow folder backup, but you have to write a script to do it. It's not a very hard language to learn, but that can present a barrier.
 
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