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Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ghsNick, Mar 10, 2013.
I'm conflicted...which one is better?
Doing backups with two different pieces of software is often a good idea. If you have a problem with one backup because of a bug in Time Machine for example, CCC will likely still work, and the reverse is true too. If you have the space for two separate backups, then I'd keep doing it.
It depends on your modus operandi and priorities once you have your internal HDD fail. Restoring from a TM backup takes twice as long as from a clone, and you have downtime during the restoration. If you restore from a clone, you can boot from the clone and clone the data back onto the repaired HDD or new HDD/SSD and still keep working.
I prefer CCC just for that.
For instance, I have one 500 GB HDD for my photographs (digital and analog) libraries and editing documents, one 500 GB HDD with my personal video footage in an editing friendly format.
Both 500 GB HDDs get backed up to one 1 TB HDD via CarbonCopyCloner.
And that 1 TB HDD gets backed up to another 1 TB HDD via CarbonCopyCloner.
Therefore I have three copies of my important data.
I believe Apple will be moving to block-based backups in the future using Core Storage, perhaps with 10.9. This will speed things up tremendously. Time Machine is incredibly inefficient as things stand. Anyone who has constantly changing multi-GB files can attest to that.
I use both a TM and a full cloned backup - which is what CCC is doing. I use TM to recover from user errors. Files I deleted by accident, versions I overwrote prematurely, etc.
The cloned backup is for full disaster recovery. If the HDD crashes you can simply copy the cloned copy onto a new HDD. While waiting for the new HDD to arrive you can boot from the cloned backup and keep working. If the entire computer is toast, you can borrow a computer and boot from the cloned backup and keep working. However, you can't recover the old files like you can from a TM disk.
However, keeping both backups on one external HDD is not the best practice. One of the disks can perhaps be attached to your router to get it out of the way? In my case I keep my cloned backups next to the computer because I also rotate these into a safety deposit box since the whole point of 'disaster recover' might include recovering from something that affect the house. Most people think about fires, floods, etc and those risks are pretty rare. But you also need to think about the bathtub upstairs overfilling, the bookshelf falling of the wall, the cat deciding that everything on the desk needs to be on the floor, etc. All of these rather mundane and very small "disasters" can take out both your computer and both your backups.
Very good advice. I also strongly recommend a dual backup strategy.
If you had to choose one... I would choose TM because it has versioning. That is the only viable way to "turn back the clock" in case of a user or algorithmic error.
CCC is also great because it is simple and fast. I also use it.
My priority order is:
1) Time Machine for local backup
2) Crashplan (or equivalent) for automatic offsite backup
3) CCC for clones, or other backups.
I would not recommend to anyone to do less than 1&2. #3 is optional.
"I've always felt more comfortable with Time Machine but CCC seems to be a favorite on this forum."
That's because there are so many "Apple fanboys" here -- if it's from Apple, it HAS TO BE better, right?
Time Machine is "backup for dummies". Just hit the "on" switch, connect a drive, and you're backed up, right?
Well, that's fine
UNTIL you need to restore. All one has to do is browse MacRumors.com over time to see post after post after post after post after post after (had enough?) post from folks to the effect that, "Help, I can't boot, I'm trying to connect my T.M. backup and it won't mount", ect., ect.
T.M. makes "backup" easy -- it's the "restore" part that can get all munged up, usually in a "moment of extreme need".
CCC (or SuperDuper), on the other hand, requires more thought "going into" your backup. YOU have to set it up, and [under normal circumstances] execute the backup.
BUT -- once completed, a CCC backup is INSTANTLY mountable in the finder, INSTANTLY bootable. In that moment of need, CCC makes "getting to" your stuff easy.
That's the difference.
One more thing -- will be only a few moments before I get the rebuttal post that says "but T.M. and CCC are intended for different purposes", blah, blah.
Balderdash. It's all about ONE purpose, and that's BACKUP. If the backup can't be accessed quickly and easily when needed, what good is it?
Everyone's backup plan needs to include doing occasional restores to make sure the backups are working. I've had a tape backup unit that *seemed* to write to tape, but could never read it. Worthless and you don't know until you try a restore. I've also had two systems in the past that were presumably being backed up overnight by the corporate IT but when I attempted test restores I found out they were not! One company I was at had over a week of downtime when a drive failure led to a discovery that their backups were a bit faulty. It only cost them a week because they brought in a team of experts who were able to recover most of the data.
Personally, I use TM, SuperDuper! to pairs of backup sets that are kept off site, and CrashPlan. And I've done test restores from all of them.