Time Machine or Super Duper

Discussion in 'macOS' started by macfan34, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. macfan34 macrumors member

    Dec 26, 2010
    i've been doing a lot of backups recently and was wondering which is better to use for frequent backups.
  2. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Oct 12, 2006
    Well, frequent backups that you don't have to think about, Time Machine wins out.

    But you could really do both if you wanted to.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "i've been doing a lot of backups recently and was wondering which is better to use for frequent backups."

    If you're doing the kind of work that may require you to "reach back" for an older or previously-modified version of a file, Time Machine is useful.

    It has drawbacks, though, mainly that it eats up disk space with copy after copy after copy after copy of files that are essentially the same. Also, you can't boot from a Time Machine backup, which could become VERY critical in a moment of need.

    SuperDuper (or CarbonCopyCloner) creates bootable backups, which make it very easy to get up and running if for some reason you can't boot from your normal startup drive.

    I think that the majority of folks would find SD or CCC more helpful in the case of a drive failure or lost files.

    The BEST way to be protected is to keep a couple of backup drives, with SD or CCC on one and TM on the other.
  4. phairphan, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010

    phairphan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2005
    Reject Beach
    Here's another vote for both. They kind of serve two different purposes.

    I keep a TM backup always connected and every few weeks I do a CCC (Super Duper would be fine too) backup to drives I keep at work. TM is great in a pinch in that you can retrieve not only files you may have accidentally deleted, but also any you may have inadvertently saved over.

    The real downside to TM is you can't boot from a TM backup which can be crucial in certain situations. Doing both also allows you to keep an off-site copy. If you ever have a fire or a massive electrical surge at your home, both your computer AND your backup may be toast.
  5. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I too, support BOTH as the best solution, and this post summarizes the benefits well. I wholeheartedly agree.
  6. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Having both is the best solution. However, if you can only have one backup solution then I would suggest SuperDuper or CCC. There are a couple of other things not yet mentioned.

    SD has a free version. You need to manually start the backup going, but you get a bootable backup disk (more on that later).

    The paid versions allow you to schedule backups, so you could set it to go every night at 3am. It also can do a "smart copy" - i.e. once it has made it's first copy of your HD, it will only copy changed files after that. Saves time.

    Finally - and to me the most important aspect. It creates a bootable drive - a drive you can use to boot any other relatively modern Mac with. Recently when my Mac Pro went into the shop for repairs, I used the external with the SD backup on it to boot my laptop - my laptop essentially became my Mac Pro - as far as the programs, documents, and desktop went. It was a real life-saver to be able to carry on several projects uninterrupted. It was slow (8 core MP to a 2 core laptop), but everything I needed was there.

    When the MP came back, I used the SD "smart copy" to synch the contents from the laptop back to the MP. Easy Cheesy.
  7. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Carbon Copy Cloner is free and allows you to do everything the paid version of Super Duper does if I am not mistaken

    I know I schedules backups for every night
  8. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Mar 18, 2006
  9. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    The smartest solution is a multiple backup solution. I have both Time Machine and SuperDuper, but they backup to separate external HDs. SuperDuper and CCC can create bootable backups, so you can recover quickly if your internal HD dies horribly.

    I would never rely on a single backup.
  10. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    I vote for both as well. I had a super duper backup created and had some problems with it when I tried to boot from the disk which apparently was not created correctly. And because I had not fixed a problem with my time machine backup which had stopped backing up two months earlier I lost some data that was not recoverable even with data recovery software.

    So I would get either CCC or Super Duper (I prefer super duper) AND do a time machine backup as well.

    My current backup system is a time capsule time machine backup. And two super duper backups- one I keep on site in my basement and one I keep at my school in case of fire or theft at home. I keep the one at school updated about once every couple of months so in case of theft or fire I don't lose everything!!
  11. vitrector macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2002
    While I am sure both is the best solution, I can also assure you that Time Machine is quite sifficient, and has some great advantages.
    Mainly, once you set TM up, it works quite flawlessly. Most importantly, in our household, we rely on laptops, and they are rarely "docked". TM backs up via the wireless network whenever the computer is on. We have gotten int habit of leaving the laptop on when it is charging, so it can also backup.
    Twice over the past several years I had to restore a drive after failure and exchange of the HD (1 each MacBook, MacBook pro) and I was amazed to find that the TM backup was up to date, and after a few hours connected with an Ethernet cable to the router, things were back to where they were before the drive failure.
    Please realize, while knowledgeable about the importance of backups, etc. my wife and do not think much about them, and certainly do not 'do anything' active on a regular basis.
    I suggest you do time machine (get the biggest HD for it you can afford...) and try and remember to also do ccc or sd. Esp. if you have a rarely tethered PowerBook.....
  12. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    I use Time Machine for regular backups of two laptops plus one external drive to a Time Capsule. I use SuperDuper for a rotating set of off-site backups of the two laptops.

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