what to do- new hard drive

Discussion in 'macOS' started by smartalic34, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. smartalic34 macrumors 6502a

    smartalic34

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    I have a seagate external hard drive arriving soon, and I was wondering about my backup options. I don't want to use 3rd party programs, just good ole drag and drop. I have two main questions:

    1) What folders should I put on my external so that in the event of my internal HD failing, I can re-install OS X, drag these folders back into the new install, and have my system as it was pre-crash?
    *I know I should include all of the folders in my Home directory, but what else? Does it make sense to include my Applications folder? Are there any files in my Library or System folders I should backup? Where is my Mail data stored?*

    2) Does it make sense to just drag and drop, or should I use a disk image?

    Any help is appreciated.


    EDIT: would it instead make more sense to make 2 partitions... one being a clone of my drive, the second for general storage?
     
  2. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #2
    Get SuperDuper! or some other backup utility from VersionTracker and backup up the whole drive. I like SuperDuper! because after the first copy you can set it to just backup changes (which saves hours). Make sure your backup is bootable. Best wishes.
     
  3. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #3
    Drag and drop works I guess. But try Chronosync or Rsync (if you're feeling saucy). Those programs will take care of your changing hard drive and leave you up to date. Rsync is built-in to OS X but requires getting your hands dirty with the Terminal. Though I think there is an Rsync GUI program out there somewhere.
     
  4. smartalic34 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smartalic34

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    so I think 2 partitions would work best... I'd like to do it this way

    partition #1: bootable clone of my drive
    partition #2: general drag and drop storage

    How do I go about doing this? I'm only going to update my bootable clone maybe once a month, so I don't need a program to constantly update. However, how do I clone my drive onto the external and make it bootable?

    Also, how would I access the second partition for general storage?
     
  5. superleccy macrumors 6502a

    superleccy

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    That there big London
    #5
    Use Disk Utility to make the partitions - it's really easy, but it will erase everything that was previously on the drive.

    Make sure all partitions are "Mac OS X Extended (Journaled)". Your clone partition should be the same size as your main Hard Drive. Connect by Firewire if possible.

    Use Super Duper to do the cloning. You have to pay to get full functionality, but it's well worth the price. Read the instructions, they are very well written and easy to understand. Set it up, schedule it and forget about it. No need to risk a once-a-month strategy, if you don't mind leaving your Mac on overnight, you can set Super Duper to clone every day in the small hours. It's very unobtrusive.

    Make sure you set Spotlight to ignore the cloned drive, else your searches in Spotlight may find two of everything. (Some cloning software can undo this setting, but Super Duper gets it right).

    I switched to Super Duper from Carbon Copy Cloner a few days ago, and I'm hugely impressed. The clone boots beautifully.

    When you connect the drive to your Mac, two drive icons (one for each partition) will appear on the desktop and in the finder. Then if you eject one of them, the other will also automatically eject.

    But... (and this is sweet)... Super Duper will unmount the clone partition when its schedule has finished without unmounting your "general storage" partition - and then re-mount it again when needed.

    I switched to Super Duper from Carbon Copy Cloner a few days ago, and I'm hugely impressed. It's well worth the money. I was also impressed about how well the documentation is written.

    Only issue is that Super Duper will reset the icon of the cloned drive every time it runs - but there is a script to fix this, check the ShirtPocket forums.

    HTH & GL!

    SL
     
  6. smartalic34 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smartalic34

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    thanks for the reply! will this also work to clone, just wondering?

    http://www.macmaps.com/clonedu.html


    also, a couple questions for after everything is set up:

    * Should I leave the drive connected to my MBP all the time or should I unplug it when not using it?

    --> If I should leave the drive connected all the time, should I leave it mounted? Should I ever use the hard drive's power button to turn it off when I do unmount or will putting the MBP to sleep power down the drive?


    it's a Seagate FreeAgent Pro 320GB USB/Firewire drive, by the way
     
  7. superleccy macrumors 6502a

    superleccy

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    That there big London
    #7
    I'd not heard of that one before. Sounds like it may work, but I don't know.

    But Super Duper is way better. Nice interface, nice documentation, nice scheduler, other goodies... and after the first clone, it only copies the changes to the target disk, which is much much quicker.
    I leave mine plugged in whenever possible, but it's up to you.

    If you leave it plugged in, then scheduled clone jobs will work when you're not at the machine. But it probably increases your "carbon footprint" a bit.

    I've had a 250Gb Lacie plugged into my machine non-stop for 2 and a half years, and it's not done it any harm. In fact, the only time I've had corruption on the disk is when I've left it unplugged for an extended period.
    Doesn't really matter. But if you leave it unmounted, then there's no chance of you (or a program) accidentally trying to read or write to it. And it makes your desktop neater. But that's it.

    If it's plugged in but unmounted when the Super Duper scheduler kicks in, it will mount it for you anyway.
    Unless there's something special about the button on that Seagate drive, let OS X handle it. Anyway, since your drive will be partitioned into two anyway, you'd want to keep the drive powered up to the Mac can access your "other" partition.

    Also remember that if your Mac is sleeping, the backup won't start. Either keep your Mac awake all the time, or schedule it to wake up for a few hours just before the backup starts (use Energy Saver in System Prefs).

    SL
     
  8. smartalic34 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    smartalic34

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    thank you SO much for the help. you've provided valuable insight. three quick q's...

    * do you leave your external drive mounted when not in use?
    * if I do put my MBP to sleep on occasion, will the drive power down as well?
    * should I make the clone backup partition 80GB or 74.21 GB (the actual capacity)?
     
  9. superleccy macrumors 6502a

    superleccy

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    That there big London
    #9
    1. I like to leave the "clone" partition unmounted, and the "other" partition mounted. But since booting the mac or connecting the drive (it is a laptop after all) automatically mounts both partitions anyway, the clone partition actually spend more time mounted than not. But as long as you've set Spotlight to ignore it, it really really doesn't matter.

    2. Yes.

    3. 74.21GB, but make sure it's absolutely no smaller. You might want to make it a couple of Mb bigger just to be on the safe side!

    You're welcome!
    SL
     

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