Which way of backing up your hard drive makes the most sense??

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by itsjustmeee, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. itsjustmeee macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I would like to get some opinions on this. I have an airport extreme with an external drive hooked up to it for backing up my hard drive on my macbook. I have 2 options.....

    1. Time Machine .... good for lost files, but not quite as easy to restore from.
    or
    3. SuperDuper! ..... makes an exact duplicate of my drive using "smart update". I can schedule it to back up my drive every night and it takes very little time after the initial backup is made. Can't go back in time and grab a file, but I can just copy the backup to a firewire and boot from it and I'm right back where I started from.

    Which is the better way to go?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #2
    I used Carbon Copy Cloner to create a bootable copy, then set it to automatically update that backup any time I connect my external drive. Works perfectly, and doesn't take up as much space as Time Machine.
     
  3. Repo macrumors 6502a

    Repo

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    #3
    I'd say Time Machine; like you said, it's fantastic for lost files. For restoring, just use your installation DVD, format your boot drive (if necessary), and during a new install just select your most recent TM backup to restore from, plus, it's free! ;)
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #4
  5. Repo macrumors 6502a

    Repo

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    #5
  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    #6
    I would use Time Machine. It provides automatic versioning... which is very important. Plus... it is automatic. No backup solutions should ever require any human involvement.

    Once you do this... you have performed 1/2 of your backup solution. Compliment it with off-site backup. I recommend ether Mozy or Crashplan+.

    /Jim
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    CCC or SuperDuper.

    There is simply NO WAY that Time Machine can compare to either of these, particularly in a "moment of desparate need". I've been seeing NUMEROUS posts that illustrate why this is true right here on MacRumors.

    Typically, the user has been using TM to back up to an external drive. Then, he/she experiences a crash of the internal drive and needs to back up, or, has "wiped" the internal drive with the expectation that it will be easy to restore from TM.

    And - the catch is - he/she attempts to restore from the TM backup and - CAN'T ACCESS THE FILES. Simply can't get to them.

    Use CCC or SuperDuper and you won't have this problem.

    CCC or SD create "bootable backups" - you can immediately boot from the cloned drive, and run from it or copy files as needed.

    You can't boot from a Time Machine backup, and the files that it creates aren't even in "finder format".

    I've been a SuperDuper user for a while, but lately, CCC is actually better. And completely free.

    Soon after I post this, there are going to appear postings asserting that "TM and CCC/SD are for different purposes". Guaranteed.

    So be it. The fact is, the purpose of a "backup" is to give you quick access to your files in an emergency, and make it easy to restore them, whether you need a single file or a complete volume.

    CCC and SuperDuper meet this criteria. TM does not.
     
  8. splitpea macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Storage is cheap, so I'm planning to get two drives and use both (can't use TM right now since I'm on Tiger). I love having a bootable backup, but that's only of the latest version. If you backup nightly using CCC or SD anything you deleted two days ago is gone gone gone. Keeping both types of backups solves both problems.
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #9
    That's why I think before I delete something. If I delete it, it's because I want it "gone gone gone." I use backups to protect against hard drive failures or theft/loss of my MBP. I don't use them to make up for poor decisions in deleting. I guess some do.
     
  10. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #10
    Use both TM and either SD! or CCC. They're different solutions with different uses, and in combination provide better redundancy and more flexibility.
     
  11. splitpea macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Oh, I almost never actually delete anything, but I do edit files, or replace them, or such.

    So far I have yet to need anything I wasn't able to recover from yesterday's backup. But so far I've also never needed to boot from a backup due to a failing drive -- does that mean I shouldn't keep the backups?

    This machine is my livelihood. I'd rather have my ass covered, just to be sure.
     
  12. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #12
    I used to use SuperDuper!, but ever since I upgraded to Snow Leopard, I've been using Time Machine. I like how everything is done without user intervention.
     
  13. itsjustmeee thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Thanks for all of the advice and opinions. I actually have 3 macs and I treat them all differently. I use SD with my work computer which is a Mac Pro. Every night, SD automatically backs up first my OS drive and then my data drive using smart update (which takes all of a minute or less). I rarely erase files, and the most important thing is to be back up and running if one of the drives fail, so they are both backed up to internal sata drives which I can easily boot from if necessary. I also have 2 macbooks, and those are the ones in question. After 2 days of using TM, I'm noticing that it's not quite as transparent as I thought it would be. Just now it informed me that it could not mount the airport express drive, and I see the drive sitting right there and it's available and I can access it. So the jury's still out on this one!
     
  14. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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  15. itsjustmeee thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I've come to the same conclusion as Daring Fireball .... ditched Time Machine and backing up with SuperDuper as I type.
     
  16. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #16
    Time Machine doesn't change the format of the files it backs up.

    You can quickly and easily use Finder to navigate into the Time Machine backup and pull out a specific file.

    Like you noted, each method has its pros and cons.

    Here's how I do mine:

    My work system, I do a bootable clone and Time Machine. If my work system crashes at 10AM, I don't have typically have an hour during the work day to rebuild it. I'd boot off my bootable clone, finish the day, and when I had time, I'd repair the drive and the data from the bootable clone back over to it.

    Bootable clones do not protect my files from me, so I also use Time Machine. I had an instance a month ago where I was looking for a PDF copy of some W2s I had from a few years ago. Apparently I had deleted the folder between last tax season and this tax season. The data obviously wasn't on my bootable clone, but it was a piece of cake to pull back from Time Machine.

    On my home system, I only use Time Machine. If it my Mac crashes, I do have time to do a clean install from the restore DVD and let Migration Assistant recover my personal data from the latest Time Machine backup.

    So you're doing to use Drop Box to do versioning for your documents, or are you just not going to worry about that?
     
  17. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #17
    I don't think Daring Fireball's conclusion was to ditch Time Machine. I believe it was to supplement it.
     
  18. palane macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2009
    #18
    I'll pick "AND". A cloned drive is ultimate security. However, TM has some powerful advantages. Made a mistake in editing a file? Every time you reclone the drive, you've lost the old versions.

    Now, you'd ideally have three drives. One on TM. One on-site clone. One off-site clone.

    BB
     
  19. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #19
  20. itsjustmeee thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    With my work computer, the Mac Pro, I almost never erase files, and when I do, they are not essential to anything and I'm VERY careful, so having a 500 gig OS drive and a 500 gig internal sata SuperDuper OS backup is perfect for me. And with my work drive, they are large music files that I also never delete. When a drive is full, I just retire it and pop in a new one. That also gets cloned with SuperDuper every night, so that's why Time Machine would be silly for that situation. I would run out of space in a few weeks with these large files!

    With the Macbooks, I just want to be able to boot from another drive if my internal drive dies on me ....... and since I have quite a few portable external drives to store mp3, movies, etc, I don't come close to filling up my internal OS drive so I rarely erase files there too.

    Using both TM and SD would be great, but for me personally it's a bit redundant.
     
  21. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #21
    Right on then, sounds like you have a good strategy, and SuperDuper! is an awesome program. :)
     

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