With SuperDuper Boot Clone is anything irrevesible in High Sierra If Need To Go Back to Sierra?

JulianBoolean

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 14, 2010
132
4
Hi Guys,

For Boot drive I'm using a 480GB PCIe SSD (OWC Mercury Accelsior E2)

My boot clone is a 1TB WD Black, partitioned into three individual boot-able drives. I use these three sections as rolling boot back-ups, cloning via SuperDuper every 3-4 days.

This way, I can revert back to 3 days ago, 7 days ago, 10 days ago etc... If I ever discover something going sideways with my system. It's an insurance plan for drive failure, and insurance plan for an update causing instability.

Question: Given this back up plan, If I install High Sierra, is there anything irreversible here? Normally don't sweat testing out system updates, but the new APFS thing has me thinking out loud on this.

System:
2012 MP 5.1 12Core 3.46
GPU : Stock ATI 5770
Boot : OWC PCIe SSD
Bay 1 : 1TB HDD (3 Partitions for Boot Back Up)
Bays 2-4 : 3x 6TB HGST HDD's in RAID5 using SoftRAID
External : 3x 8TB HGST He8's in OWC Qx2 for 3 Time Machine Back Ups
No Bootcamp, No Windows
No nVidia Cards, but planning purchase of 1080 or 1080ti

Thanks!
 

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Auggie

macrumors 6502
Jan 21, 2017
269
85
Well, assuming SuperDuper does a complete block-by-block copy (backup and restore), then it "should" be just as you had it before the backup/restore. However, my experiences with the latest iterations of "cloning" software (I've been using Carbon Copy Cloner, after previously using SuperDuper exclusively several years ago), is that both the system and some applications appear to detect a difference to change their behavior slightly, and Finder file/folder permissions may change (more so with OS folders such as "Applications" and "Utilities"). This is after I cloned my boot drive to another drive, and eventually restored it back to the original drive.

None of this has caused any catastrophic issues, but it's something to watch out for.

YMMV...
 

JulianBoolean

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 14, 2010
132
4
Your boot drive will be formatted in APFS, are you intending to reformat the other drives and re-back up everything?
Great question. Was planning to leave my HDD's as HFS+.

My main concern is the Boot SSD. If I want to back out of High Sierra altogether, then I'd be recreating my High Sierra SDD Boot .. back to it's previous state from an HFS+ spinning platter Boot Clone.. Can I do that?
 

JamesPDX

Suspended
Aug 26, 2014
1,056
492
USA
I don't think so. Clone to another (exterior) volume and make sure it's rock solid for boot and restore. Your SSD will be absorbed by High Sierra (Hi, Sarah!). -It is the will of Landru.
 

Ebenezum

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2015
782
259
OP:

If I were you I would wait until SuperDuper! is fully compatible with APFS (beta version of 3.0 is in testing) and Apple has released 2-3 updates to High Sierra.

While you should be able to erase the internal SSD and clone previous OS to it without problems. Keep in mind that both SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner developers recommend waiting until APFS has proven to be bug free. Currently Apple has documented it only partially and I had too many problems with it when tested it in external SSD.

I'm not saying you will have issues but given how complicated the new file system is it may have bugs that were not spotted during the beta...
 
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jbarley

macrumors 68040
Jul 1, 2006
3,769
1,614
Vancouver Island
I've already done exactly what the OP is concerned about, installed High Sierra (APFS) - played with it long enough to find it wasn't for me, at least not yet.
And then restored my CCC backup of Sierra, this was a couple of weeks ago and as of now I haven't detected any issues what so ever.
I did take the precaution of erasing and reformatting the APFS SSD to HFS before starting the CCC restore, not sure if this was necessary but figured it wouldn't harm anything.
 

dlopan

macrumors member
Jun 17, 2008
55
26
Albuquerque
I don't think so. Clone to another (exterior) volume and make sure it's rock solid for boot and restore. Your SSD will be absorbed by High Sierra (Hi, Sarah!). -It is the will of Landru.
I figured on being assimilated sooner or later but not yet. HS sucks just too much. HS Server sucks even more
 
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JulianBoolean

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 14, 2010
132
4
OP:

If I were you I would wait until SuperDuper! is fully compatible with APFS (beta version of 3.0 is in testing) and Apple has released 2-3 updates to High Sierra.

While you should be able to erase the internal SSD and clone previous OS to it without problems. Keep in mind that both SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner developers recommend waiting until APFS has proven to be bug free. Currently Apple has documented it only partially and I had too many problems with it when tested it in external SSD.

I'm not saying you will have issues but given how complicated the new file system is it may have bugs that were not spotted during the beta...
AHH :) Did not occur to me to check on the compatibility of SuperDuper! with High Sierra. Thanks for that. I will also wait for a few incremental updates / bug fixes.
[doublepost=1508962547][/doublepost]
I've already done exactly what the OP is concerned about, installed High Sierra (APFS) - played with it long enough to find it wasn't for me, at least not yet.
And then restored my CCC backup of Sierra, this was a couple of weeks ago and as of now I haven't detected any issues what so ever.
I did take the precaution of erasing and reformatting the APFS SSD to HFS before starting the CCC restore, not sure if this was necessary but figured it wouldn't harm anything.
I'm not sure that does anything either :) Nonetheless, knowing I CAN reformat back to HFS from APFS if I so desire, has given me much needed peace of mind on this upgrade. Big thanks!
 

StuAff

macrumors regular
Aug 6, 2007
165
58
Portsmouth, UK
HS runs perfectly well on an HFS formatted SSD- did have it set up as APFS, but I wanted the option to dynamically resize the partitioning, which doesn't yet work with APFS.