Time Machine vs Carbon Copy Cloner (or similar)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by bigpoppamac31, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. bigpoppamac31 macrumors 68000

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    #1
    Right now I use CCC to clone my MBP hard drive as a backup. But now CCC wants it's users to pay for it's future version. It's no longer "donation-ware". I have no issue paying for it as long as it's no too expensive. But I'm curious if Time Machine would do the same or does it simply back up my home user folder?? Basically what are the differences between the two??
     
  2. Bear macrumors G3

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    #2
    Time Machine backs up everything, and it keeps multiple versions of files. If you ever need to restore your system, you can actually select which backup you want to restore in case something happened to your system and you want to restore from before that happened. Time Machine will maintain as much backup history as the disk will allow.

    I and others recommend having 2 separate backup disks. Some people will recommend making one bootable clone (whatever software you prefer to use) and one Time Machine backup so you can easily recover older versions of files if necessary.
     
  3. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #3
    But wouldn't having multiple versions of files take up much more space on the hard drive?? Can TM make a bootable back up? Also can CCC back up the "Recovery HD" of Lion/ML/Mavericks??
     
  4. Bear macrumors G3

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    #4
    Yes, having multiple versions of a file will take up more space. On my system, the overhead for a backup where the system was sitting idle between Time Machine backups is about 2GB. The other benefit is you will be able to recover a file you accidentally deleted. My system disk is 1 TB my Time Machine disk is 2 TB. At today's prices, I probably would've just bought a 3TB disk.

    TM backups are not bootable. You would boot in to Recovery Mode to restore from the Time Machine backup.
     
  5. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #5
    Not as much as you'd think.

    The "recovery HD" has no user data on it, so no need to back up (restore from network/install media).

    Haven't looked into whether TM is bootable or not, its not really what it's for.

    Clone and backup (with versions) are kinda two different goals, and time machine doesn't aim to do full disk cloning.
     
  6. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #6
    Yes. It will continue keeping versions and expanding until the drive/partition is full, then it will begin to delete the oldest versions. It can be very handy.

    Sort of. Since Lion 10.7.2, TM puts a copy of the recovery partition on USB and Firewire backup disks, so you can boot to the TM disk and do a full system restore. The difference between this and CCC is that while CCC can also boot and clone back a backup, a CCC external drive can actually be used to run the computer. Some people find this important.

    Yes. CCC will backup the Recovery HD on Lion and ML. I don't know if it works with Mavericks or not. You may want give this a read.
     
  7. ramram55 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Super duper is closed to CCC. I have been using it to backup my HD. Advantage is boot able, should your internal drive go out, just a matter a swapping the drives.
     
  8. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #8
    It really does. Say you internal drive dies and you pop in a new drive. You can option boot to a Time Machine external and get to a recovery screen then format the drive and restore complete off the TM disk. The recovery partition is actually on the TM disk to allow this.

    This would give you the exact same result as if you "cloned" back from a CCC disk.
     
  9. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #9
    Well sure - it can DO IT. But it's not really aimed at say, quickly creating a clone and dumping it on a new drive.

    It is SLOOOW in comparison due to the versions and the way it works - because it does a lot more than a simple clone.
     
  10. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #10
    What if somehow my "Recovery HD" is deleted from my HDD? I do have a USB with the recovery partition but I get the feeling it's not on my drive anymore. How would I know for sure?
     
  11. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #11
    If your mac shipped with no install media, it can boot from EFI into network boot.

    I installed my current MBP install like that to a completely blank hard drive.
     
  12. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #12
    I bought my MBP in the fall of 2011 from the Apple refurb site. At the time I was hoping it would still ship with Snow Leopard but it shipped with Lion instead therefore no DVD of the Mac OS. I believe at the time CCC did not copy over the Recovery HD partition so when copied things over and back again it deleted the Recovery HD. But I do have the Recovery HD on a USB stick.
     
  13. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #13
    You have the same vintage as me (is it a 2011 model?). If you've done updates, one of them should have been firmware to enable boot/install from the internet over WIFI or network cable.

    Hold option when booting to get the boot menu. If you can see a WIFI icon in there, you can install from the internet without needing a recovery partition.
     
  14. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #14
    yeah my MBP is Early 2011. I got the "high-res Anti glare" version. I do believe I have that. If I upgrade to ML would I get a Recovery HD with that so I could make a USB stick of that?

    My Mac is working fine. Although I had a mouse cursor issue yesterday where the cursor just disappeared on me. I had to restart the Mac to get it back. I'm just curious about TM cause I've never used it but it seems like something really useful maybe alongside CCC. But CCC is now $40. And technically I'm using a version of CCC which is not really optimized for Lion or ML.
     
  15. Weaselboy Moderator

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    #15
    It is aimed at exactly that. This is why Apple added the recovery partition to Time Machine with Lion 10.7.2. We can debate which is better all day, but TM does exactly the same thing as a clone back from CCC.
     
  16. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #16
    Look, you're not trying to sell me time machine, i already run it and not CCC.

    But version control and plain cloning (fast) are two different focuses.

    Just like you can drive nails with a screwdriver or a brick if you are determined, a hammer is a better tool for that job.
     
  17. Weaselboy Moderator

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    #17
    Open Terminal and type in "diskutil list" (without the quotes) and hit enter. If you have a recovery partition it will show in the output of that command as a 650MB Recovery HD.

    If you have been doing software updates, you should have received a firmware update that gave you Internet recovery allowing you do pull down a recovery image from Apple's servers. If you want to test it you can do a command-option-r boot (all three keys at once). You should see a spinning globe like below if you have Internet recovery. Just power down once it starts to quit it.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #18
    You'll get a recovery partition. Making a bootable USB stick is a bit more involved.

    But it's not the end of the world if you lose it. So long as you have upgraded your firmware (its a system update) - you should be able to boot form the network in the event you have no recovery partition.

    So.... given that. No need to back it up :D
     
  19. Weaselboy Moderator

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    #19
    I'm not trying to sell you anything. OP asked a question. That question was does he need to spend money for CCC. My answer to him is unless he has a specific need to run off the cloned drive, he does not need to spend money if backup and disk restore is his goal.

    You seem to be suggesting he needs to spend money for CCC for some imagined benefit you have not articulated.
     
  20. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #20
    Almost. CCC enables one to swap drives to continue working cause it can bootable. TM does not. With TM I'd have to go buy a new drive right away and update it. But not everyone has the money or time right away. CCC alleviates that until you have the time and money go buy a new HDD.

    ----------

    I did the Terminal thing and Recovery HD shows up. Does it get updates with each update of the Mac OS? Like when I go from 10.7.4 to 10.7.5?
     
  21. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #21
    no

    ----------

    The recovery disk does get updated from time to time. When, not exactly sure.

    It doesn't have a full copy of OS X on it, it's not big enough.

    it is a recovery environment - disk utilities, etc.

    It can restore from a TM backup though.
     
  22. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #22
    I have always wondered why the Recovery HD is only 650MB. Does it just pull the OS from the internet then when one starts up from it??
     
  23. Weaselboy Moderator

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    #23
    I explained exactly that difference in my post to you above. :confused:

    It does get updated with some of the point updates, but not all.

    Exactly. The recovery system is just a small boot partition that allows you to DL the full 4.7GB installer from Apple's servers.
     
  24. bigpoppamac31 thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #24
    Thanks. Anyway I was just curious cause TM comes with the Mac OS so it's "free" in the sense you're not paying anything extra. The downside I see to it is that it takes up more space on the backup cause it saves versions of your files which I don't entirely care for.
     
  25. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    #25
    "It really does. Say you internal drive dies and you pop in a new drive. You can option boot to a Time Machine external and get to a recovery screen then format the drive and restore complete off the TM disk. The recovery partition is actually on the TM disk to allow this.
    This would give you the exact same result as if you "cloned" back from a CCC disk."

    Your logic is tortured.

    A Time Machine backup is not bootable. It has never been "bootable". You cannot connect a T.M. drive to the Mac and "boot" from it.

    By "bootable drive" I mean a backup drive that (in a moment of extreme need) you can simply:
    1. Connect to the Mac
    2. Press the power-on button, and
    3. Boot from it.

    The overwhelming majority of posts I see from Mac users in trouble with "drive problems" is that "the Mac won't boot, what do I do?"

    With a cloned backup, you can just connect it and boot, no contortions with T.M.

    Once booted, you can do a full resotre with a few steps. No need to "re-install" the system, just copy over what you need. It may one file, several files, a folder, or the entire drive. But just "copy and ready to go".

    Again, you cannot simply connect a Time Machine backup and just "boot" from it. Can't be done.

    One can boot from the recovery partition, but once running, one's options are strictly limited. If you boot from a cloned backup, there are far more options available -- including doing a T.M. restore if that's what you want to do.
     

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