Using Partition of Standard Hard Drive to Backup ssd

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by p3ntyne, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. p3ntyne macrumors 6502

    p3ntyne

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    #1
    Hi Everyone,

    Recently I ordered a 60 Gb SSD and Data Doubler to use as the boot drive in my macbook pro (stock hdd going in data doubler). I was wondering if I could create a 60 Gb partition on the hdd and some how backup up the ssd to partition - perhaps a mirrored RAID.

    Would this be possible and would it compromise the speed of the ssd in any way?

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. leman macrumors 604

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    #2
    There might be some software that would allow you to do this, but I am not aware of anything along these lines. Its quite tricky to do what you want. One would need a custom low-level storage device driver which introduces a logical volume to the OS or something which catches all OS write calls and copies them to the backup partition.

    What you can have though is set up a Time Machine partition on your HDD.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    Check out Carbon Copy Cloner and chronosync both of them may fit your needs. Also look into Apple's software raid implementation to see if you can use RAID 1
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

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    #4
    Not really a need for RAID, as CarbonCopyCloner (version 3.4.7 is still free and available for download here and works with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion) can help you clone the SSD to another partition/volume on that HDD.
     
  5. barkmonster, Jan 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014

    barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

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    #5
    That's over-complicated nonsense.

    Backup to a sparsebundle image on your existing HDD and you're good to go.

    All you do is create a sparsebundle with disk utility, make it say, 3 x the capacity of your SSD to allow for redundancy. It will only use the amount of space it needs because it's like a sparse disk image, except only the parts of it that have changed will be updated.

    Mount it.

    Time Machine is senselessly restrictive but if you use a utility like Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper, you can clone your system drive to it on a schedule, even every day or every restart.

    I use Carbon Copy Cloner for just this purpose and by creating a set of rules with it so it archives changed and unique files, you always have backups of any files you might want to go back to and a clone of your OS that can be booted from once cloned back.

    You could even use 2 disk images.

    1 for the backup and 1 for keeping the _CCC archives folder in that it will create on the system backup sparsebundle once you've backed up.

    That way the archives are safely in their own disk image and if the worst comes to the worst and your SSD suddenly dies, you can just boot from your recovery partition, clone back "system backup" to a replacement SSD or even external drive and then be good to go again. Safe in the knowledge that any backups of older files are in the second disk image to go back to if need be and the one you just cloned back was literally your system drive in the exact state it was before you had to restore it to another disk.
     

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  6. leman macrumors 604

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    #6
    Partition real-time backup/sync is what OP asked for. I was simply explaining why its 'over-complicated'.

    If I am not mistaken, neither CCC nor SuperDuper provide versioning. Already that makes them more restrictive than Time Machine in my book. On the other hand, they are different tools with different intended usage.
     
  7. barkmonster, Jan 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014

    barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

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    #7
    I'm sure suggesting...
    ...instead of backup to a simple disk image on their HDD without all the partitioning etc... is complicating things.

    What, as yet unmentioned, back up drive do all the files on the hard drive go on when they're specifically asking to use the HDD to backup the SSD? Any partitioning will erase everything on the HDD and because of the obvious alternative of using a disk image, be a needless exercise.

    When you're able to choose a disk image as a destination backup volume, not a physical disk or network drive with Time Machine, you can get back to me about how unrestrictive it is.

    If you'd used Carbon Copy Cloner, you'd know that every time you backup using the "don't delete anything" option, it archives all older "versions" of the existing files on the destination volume. Just because it doesn't have a nice childish animated interface doesn't mean it isn't archiving every single changed file for future retrieval every time you backup.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    #8
    [[ I was wondering if I could create a 60 Gb partition on the hdd and some how backup up the ssd to partition ]]

    Of course you can do this.

    DON'T bother with RAID, "Sparse Bundles", or any of that nonsense.

    Just create a partition on the other drive, and use CarbonCopyCloner to create and maintain the clone of your SSD.

    It can be very useful to have that second, BOOTABLE copy of the OS "close at hand".

    If you get into an "I can't boot!" situation with the SSD, just do a quick "switch boot" to the backup copy of the OS, and you're up-and-running again in the matter of a couple of minutes. All your data will be there, and you can decide what to do next.

    If you use Time Machine, you won't be able to boot from the backup.

    Also -- don't let this lull you into complacency about creating and maintaining a separate external backup. What if the MacBook was stolen?

    When I got my MacBook Pro in April of 2010, the very first thing I did was to partition the internal drive, and create a small partition to hold a backup copy of the OS. Although doing that doesn't insulate me against a hardware failure of the internal HDD, it provides that "cushion" that may get me started again in a "can't boot" situation. Kind of like creating a "recovery partition" before there WAS an Apple-created RP...
     
  9. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

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    #9
    That's great but what about the existing data on their hard drive? Partitioning will erase it all. That's why I mentioned the use of an additional hard drive.

    If they're using a disk image on the HDD with Carbon Copy Cloner, it will obviously already have RecoveryHD on it so they can simply boot into recovery mode and restore their system from the backup disk image (having NOT partitioned, NOT lost any existing data and NOT used Time Machine).
     
  10. disasterdrone macrumors 6502

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    #10
    DON'T DO ANY OF THIS.
    First - a copy on the same machine is not a backup. Get an external, and or a cloud backup.
    Second - get a bigger SSD than that. 60gb is tiny.
    Third - Mavericks (and other versions, I forget which) automatically fill empty space with time machine backups in between external backups, there is no need to make an additional one.
     
  11. simsaladimbamba

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    #11
    It is a backup in case the SSD fails or whatever thing comes in the way of successfully booting from the SSD. It is not a thorough backup though.
    Fo your needs maybe, but some can live with that amount of storage capacity on a boot drive.
    Time Machine, while flashy and convenient, is slow to restore from. A bootable clone is ready within a minute or two.
     
  12. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

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    #12
    I agree on all points. The data I need SSD speeds for, booting, application loading, my software synth library... all fit on a 60Gb SSD with room to spare. I use the original 320Gb HDD in my Mac Mini for general storage and my iTunes library, then have an external drive partitioned for recording and a large partition for media. A disk image of my system is on that with daily cloned backups.

    I then have another 2 drives both the internal drives and that drive is backed up to.

    A minimum of 2 copies of everything across multiple disks and a restorable system disk is peace of mind for me.
     
  13. p3ntyne thread starter macrumors 6502

    p3ntyne

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    #13
    Thanks for all the replies. From what I can gather it is best to use Carbon Copy Cloner to back up into the HDD partition, is that right? Will I have to do it manually or can I set it to backup automatically every so often.

    I'm still curious about a mirrored RAID though - wouldn't it be better as it updates 'live.'
     
  14. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

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    #14
    Mirrored RAID only works with equal drives. If you put 2 x SSDs in there, they were both on SATA 6Gb/s channels and of the same identical model, you could set them up as a RAID 1 set which would mirror the data across both drives automatically.

    With Carbon Copy Cloner it's simple because it will create a sparse disk image for you that matches the available space on your destination drive so if there's 300Gb free on your HDD and you clone your SSD to the disk image, it will copy only the used space off your SSD to the disk image, leaving the rest of the space available for future use and the remaining space on your HDD too.

    EG. If your SSD contains 40Gb of the maximum 60Gb of it's capacity. You clone it to a sparse disk image on your HDD which has 300Gb left. The disk image on the HDD will only be 40Gb in size, but offer up to 260Gb of space for storing future backups after you've cloned it the first time.

    Once you clone in once, you can set scheduled backups with CCC for whenever you want and you can even create specific backup types.

    Your best options are:

    Back up your SSD with CCC to a disk image using the preset "preserve newer files, don't delete anything".

    Set the scheduler in CCC to do this once a day.

    It will slowly fill the disk image with versions of your files overtime in a folder called _CCC archives in the disk image so you never lose anything.
     
  15. p3ntyne thread starter macrumors 6502

    p3ntyne

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    #15
    Thanks - I will definitely be doing that. Also, I have a question regarding the HDD that will be in the optical drive. Part of the reasons I like SSD's is that they are silent so even with the HDD in there, I want to keep it that way. Will the hard drive always be spinning with the computer or only when I am using data from it - if so... is there any way that I could sleep or unmount the HDD when I am not using it to keep optimal battery life and silent operation?
     
  16. simsaladimbamba

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    #16
    You can use Semulov to mount and unmount an internal volume. It is easier than using Disk Utility for that. It is one of several little utilities made by a MacRumors member by the name of kainjow.
    I use it on my Mac with five extra HDDs inside it.
     
  17. p3ntyne thread starter macrumors 6502

    p3ntyne

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    #17
    Thanks for that - i'll keep it in mind for the future. I decided against having the hdd and the ssd in the computer and will instead be using it with an external USB 3.0 enclosure when I need the extra 500 Gb's.

    Thanks anyway!
     
  18. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    #18
    [[ It is a backup in case the SSD fails or whatever thing comes in the way of successfully booting from the SSD. It is not a thorough backup though. ]]

    My reply is, ignore disasterdrone's post above.

    Reply #11 is more accurate, but I never said having a copy of the OS on the other internal drive was a true "backup". Re-read the last two paragraphs of my post #8 above. I said it was very important to maintain an _external_ backup volume, as well.

    It's always convenient to have a SECOND bootable copy of the OS "close at hand". If you have a two-drive setup in a MacBook, this becomes a luxury of sorts. Particularly if you're traveling away from home (be it close by or far).

    If for any reason you suddenly have problems with the SSD, you can "switch boot" over to the other internal drive -- and keep going.

    What can be done with the recovery partition is VERY LIMITED.
    An immediately-available cloned backup, however, is as full, free and useful as your "main" internal drive.
     
  19. simsaladimbamba

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    #19
    Just out of curiosity, why do you not use the QUOTE feature? It makes it more difficult to see, who you reply to sometimes.
     
  20. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    #20
    [[ Just out of curiosity, why do you not use the QUOTE feature? It makes it more difficult to see, who you reply to sometimes. ]]

    Just the way I like to do things.
    At approaching 70, I ain't gonna be changin' !!
     
  21. simsaladimbamba

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    #21
    Thanks for the reply, and I never thought of you getting to that age.

    Is the method you use a remnant of the Zuse days, or Usenet or similar ones?
     
  22. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

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    #22
    not sure if you got your answer, but you can make a 60GB partition on the 2nd internal, make it OS Journaled and GUID so its bootable

    than use Carbon Copy Cloner to copy from the SSD to the 60GB patition on the other hard drive.


    you can setup a schedule to backup any changes or do it manually


    if you ever want to boot from the copy, just hold option on a bootup and you will see that volume as a choice
     

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