What hard drive?

ivantwilliams

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Nov 30, 2014
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Those who clone and perform backups of their iMac, what hard drive are you backing up or cloning to?
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
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I run Time Machine 24/7 in the background so never have to remember to do a backup. It does incremental back up of my entire file system to a LaCie d2 Thunderbolt enclosure that contains a Seagate 6TB drive.

Not doing backups with TM or CCC is asking for trouble as all disks die. It is only when, not if.
 

HDFan

macrumors 68020
Jun 30, 2007
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I backup to a Mobius 5 bay unit which I have configured as a JBOD. The bays are filled as needed. Right now I'm using 4 of the 5. I have two 6 TB drives in the Mobius which are both set to backup via Time Machine. I had an unfortunate instance in the past where my Time Machine image was corrupt, so I keep 2 Time Machine copies, switching disks every hour.

A third 2 TB drive is partitioned as 2 1 TB drives. I use Carbon Copy Cloner backup to clone my 1 TB SSD every other day for each partition. I know I'll lose both backups if the drive goes but with TM and online backups I'm covered.

Because my pictures directory is so large (~2.1 TB) and changes not that frequently I back it up to my Airport 3 TB Time Capsule rather than with Time Machine via Carbon Copy Cloner. When it gets too large for the TC I"ll just add another drive to the Mobius and backup there. This helps with archive copies as you can very easily remove drives from the Mobius for a safe deposit box.

Everything is also backed up to a Drobo 5D weekly via Carbon Copy Cloner

My 3rd level backup is to 3 online services: CrashPlan, BackBlaze, and hopefully soon SOS Backup.

As you can see I am paranoid about backups and I'm still trying to figure out a way to simplify this convoluted system.

Also see:

https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...drive-for-time-machine.1972856/#post-22914678
 

Christoffee

macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2012
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UK
I just use these. Two drives, each twice the size of my hard disk. One backed up using CCC and one using Time Machine.

Now, this suits me because I am principally backing up photos. I take the photos off my camera or phone, and do my two backups. The rest of the time the backups aren't plugged in. This would not suit someone who is working, as they'd benefit from constant backups.

I am also conscious that in the event of fire or burglary I would lose all 3 copies of my photos. I should get offsite backup too.
 

MRxROBOT

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Apr 14, 2016
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Double support, i.e. a good thing, right?
Just to make sure I'm understand.
Well yes and no. For DAS I see no benefit in using both applications vs the same application for both drives. If you've payed for CCC, I don't see what benefit Time Machine offers you or vice versa.
 
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Christoffee

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Jul 26, 2012
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Using Time Machine and CCC locally is like wearing a belt and suspenders.
Double support, i.e. a good thing, right?
Just to make sure I'm understand.
He's probably gently mocking me! Small additional cost and negligible impact on time, to insure against:
i) a failure of some sort on the laptop; and
ii) Either one of the the backup drives failing, or a backup not being usable in some other way.

In actual fact, the probability of needing a double backup is very low - I am insuring against a double failure, and not insuring against physical events (burglary, fire, children). I would have been better off spending the money on off-site back up.

"Hey Siri, add off site backup to reminders"
 

MRxROBOT

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Apr 14, 2016
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He's probably gently mocking me! Small additional cost and negligible impact on time, to insure against:
i) a failure of some sort on the laptop; and
ii) Either one of the the backup drives failing, or a backup not being usable in some other way.

In actual fact, the probability of needing a double backup is very low - I am insuring against a double failure, and not insuring against physical events (burglary, fire, children). I would have been better off spending the money on off-site back up.

"Hey Siri, add off site backup to reminders"
I'm not mocking you :). I am only referencing the use of both softwares for incremental backups after you download your photos. I think using both softwares for the same process is more hassle than benefit. For reference I have multiple backups as well but I have incremental backups with Time Machine and clones done once a month on my other direct attached drive.
 

HDFan

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Jun 30, 2007
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How much data are you backing up? If I had a disk large enough to give me 50% free space after a full backup (8 TB drives now being available) and didn't have that much file churn i'd just backup to 2 time machine disks on a rotating basis. This would take care of the issue if you accidentally make a bad modification to a file. You only lose an hour of work since Time Machine runs every hour.

For overkill I'd use CCC to do a clone of the entire drive. I vaguely remember doing a Time Machine full restore which was really, really slow. If I had a failure I would just restore from the clone say, as of yesterday, and then use Time Machine to restore files which have changed since then.

Any of these 3 backup disks could then be taken to offsite storage as needed.

As for drives, I have one (helium!) enterprise drive which cost almost 2 times what I paid for the other drives.

I asked the BackBlaze folks about Enterprise drives and they actually avoid them due to drive stability. In a RAID configuration they seem to give up on a read as they assume there is another drive in the RAID that will pick up the slack. Consumer drives tend not to do this as they think that they are the only drives so they keep trying. Their environment is configured for drive failures so they don't care if a drive fails. The extra expense isn't worth it given the thousands of drives they purchase each month.

So if you've got a RAID 6 environment and you can have 2 drives fail without a problem, why spend money for a more expensive drive?
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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I use TM which is backed up on my Drobo Mini (4 disk RAID DAS system). I also compliment that backup system with Carbon Copy Cloner to an external drive.

TM provides quick document retrevial, and CCC gives me quick system restore abilities. Plus, I can take one of the hard drives I use with CCC off site.
 

le.bouch

macrumors regular
Aug 3, 2010
159
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I use a 2TB Time Capsule with an external 2TB HDD connected to it. Time Machine backs up alternately to each drive. I like the idea (but have never got round to it) of a third drive, plugged directly to the iMac occasionally, and kept off-site. Just in case the house burns down and I lose my 2 other copies. A bit extreme maybe...
 
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ivantwilliams

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Nov 30, 2014
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So the trick is to have some type of USB or Thunderbolt storage connected to the iMac to perform backups. I find it odd that a lot of users didn't mention making those added storage devices , SSDs. That would certainly make the backup process happen faster, no?
 

le.bouch

macrumors regular
Aug 3, 2010
159
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So the trick is to have some type of USB or Thunderbolt storage connected to the iMac to perform backups. I find it odd that a lot of users didn't mention making those added storage devices , SSDs. That would certainly make the backup process happen faster, no?
No. Time Machine takes its own sweet time and an SSD would not make the process faster. You may get a slight speed increase when restoring from the disk I guess.
Depends on the size of your backup of course - mines about 1.2TB so until 2TB SSDs drop in price dramatically I wouldn't even consider one. Spinners are so cheap (and large) in comparison and speed is not critical in backups - many dedicated systems specifically choose 5400rpm drives over 7200rpm.
 

MRxROBOT

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No. Time Machine takes its own sweet time and an SSD would not make the process faster. You may get a slight speed increase when restoring from the disk I guess.
Depends on the size of your backup of course - mines about 1.2TB so until 2TB SSDs drop in price dramatically I wouldn't even consider one. Spinners are so cheap (and large) in comparison and speed is not critical in backups - many dedicated systems specifically choose 5400rpm drives over 7200rpm.
Although there's not much benefit to using an SSD with Time Machine (with regards to speed), there is a substantial benefit to the speed of SSDs when making a clone. Of course as you said, cost is probably the biggest factor here.
 
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ivantwilliams

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And to confirm, if I had a Western Digital or similar drive connected via the LAN, the iMac would be able to see it and backup\restore via Time Machine, too?

I appreciate the responses and information.
 

le.bouch

macrumors regular
Aug 3, 2010
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And to confirm, if I had a Western Digital or similar drive connected via the LAN, the iMac would be able to see it and backup\restore via Time Machine, too?

I appreciate the responses and information.
Yes. Time Machine can back up to networked drives but CANNOT include networked drives in its backups. Hope that makes sense. If you go to the Apple forums there is a guy called La Pastenague (or similar) who knows EVERYTHING about this topic.
 
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ivantwilliams

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Yes. Time Machine can back up to networked drives but CANNOT include networked drives in its backups. Hope that makes sense. If you go to the Apple forums there is a guy called La Pastenague (or similar) who knows EVERYTHING about this topic.

Thank you. I wouldn't need network drives backed up. Just thinking that a 1TB LAN connect drive (RAID type) would suffice. Plus I could create a couple partitions. One for clones, using Carbon Copy Cloner and the other for Time Machine backups.
 

le.bouch

macrumors regular
Aug 3, 2010
159
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Thank you. I wouldn't need network drives backed up. Just thinking that a 1TB LAN connect drive (RAID type) would suffice. Plus I could create a couple partitions. One for clones, using Carbon Copy Cloner and the other for Time Machine backups.
Sounds good. Maybe consider an external HDD to connect to your iMac every now and again just in case your network drive goes phut. Unlikely but...

There are also cloud based solutions although I haven't looked into those.
 

Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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And to confirm, if I had a Western Digital or similar drive connected via the LAN, the iMac would be able to see it and backup\restore via Time Machine, too?

I appreciate the responses and information.

Maybe. It depends on the specific hardware device you are using. Some support Time Machine and others do not. Even those that say they support Time Machine, often are problematic.

If you want cheap, easy, and reliable Time Machine backups, the best setup is a cheap USB hard drive directly attached to the iMac.
 

MRxROBOT

macrumors 6502
Apr 14, 2016
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And to confirm, if I had a Western Digital or similar drive connected via the LAN, the iMac would be able to see it and backup\restore via Time Machine, too?
Maybe. It depends on the specific hardware device you are using. Some support Time Machine and others do not. Even those that say they support Time Machine, often are problematic.

If you want cheap, easy, and reliable Time Machine backups, the best setup is a cheap USB hard drive directly attached to the iMac.
Too add to what Weaselboy said. Often times you won't know if theres an issue with your backup until it's time to restore. OS X Updates have a tendency to break these setups. Defeats the purpose really. If you're not using an Apple Router or a tried and true NAS like Synology, it isn't worth it in my opinion.
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
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I think I saw a few folks above do it the same way I do, so maybe I'm redundant.

I have a 3TB Time Machine router that backs up the 3 Macbooks in the household.

I also do a local clone for my MBA and my wife rMBP using USB3 hard drives and SuperDuper. I always do a SuperDuper clone before doing a serious update or something out of the ordinary.

I have all of my photos and videos on multiple drives, cause those are the most important things for me. Everything else is replaceable, but those are not. I really should keep a drive with all of my photos in the fireproof safe, but I haven't gone to that extreme yet. Either that or save all of the photos to the cloud which would cost a monthly fee probably.
 
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