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Backup Solutions For Your Mac or CustoMac

beelzebozo

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How-to-Back-Up-and-Restore-an-Entire-Mac-Disk-2.png

At tonymacx86.com, we've seen many users ask about the best backup solution for their CustoMac. Doing regular system backups of important files and documents can help ensure that you can recover from an unforeseen disaster. Aside from Apple's iCloud based cloud storage, some still like to do regular backups locally; either to an external USB drive or a local hard disk. I want to highlight a few of the 3rd party backup solutions as well as Apple's own solution that many of our members have stated as working solutions.

Let's start with Apple's own built-in back-up solution, Time Machine.


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"Time Machine is the built-in backup that works with your Mac and an external drive (sold separately) or Time Capsule. Connect the drive, assign it to Time Machine, and start enjoying some peace of mind. Time Machine automatically backs up your entire Mac, including system files, applications, accounts, preferences, music, photos, movies, and documents. But what makes Time Machine different from other backup applications is that it not only keeps a spare copy of every file, it remembers how your system looked on any given day—so you can revisit your Mac as it appeared in the past."

Time Machine is pretty simple to configure and use. Instructions on how to configure Time Machine can be found here.

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Next is Carbon Copy Cloner, otherwise known as "CCC" that is very popular for it's ability to do full bootable clones of your system drive. It used to be free but sadly, the developer Bombich Software Inc. has now made it a commercial product and currently it costs $39.99. It has been updated recently to support OS X 10.8 in version 3.5.1. CCC provides additional enhancements that Time Machine doesn't.

Check out CCC here.

SuperDuper.jpg

Lastly, there is Shirt Pocket's Super Duper which has also been updated to support 10.8. Super Duper is shareware which means that is free to download and run, however in order to unlock additional features such as scheduling and smart updates, you'd have to buy it for $27.95.

"The latest version of SuperDuper! is faster, better, compatible with Mountain Lion (in fact, it's compatible with OS X 10.4.11 and later), and improves many parts of the user experience. Of course, it still includes great features likeBackup on Connect, Eject after Copy, Sparse Bundle support, lets you store a bootable backup alongside Time Machine backups, copy Time Machine backups to other drives, and run scheduled copies on demand. As with every update, we've polished and improved many other aspects as well."

Super Duper can be found here.

Please note that if you make a full clone backup using Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper, you'll still need to additionally install the bootloader to make the drive bootable on a CustoMac. Simply choose the Chimera option from MultiBeast and target the cloned drive.

Whichever the option, backups are extremely important, and these tools can help you recover from a sticky situation.
 

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Basic backup strategy:
1. Local, hourly, incremental backups. Time machine on an internal or NAS drive is great for this.
2. Bootable clone, updated nightly. I use SuperDuper. This way if something goes wrong you lose almost no working time; you can be up and running in a minute.
3. Offsite physical clone, updated weekly. I store an external hard drive in a completely different building and bring it in once a week to backup everything. Then I move it offsite again. This way, if your apartment/house/whatever goes down in a fire, you still have something to fall back on; you haven't lost your life's worth of data.
4. Cloud-based storage. My email is based on GMail; my current documents all live in DropBox; my contacts etc. are stored in iCloud. Each of these things functions like a pseudo-backup, so if I do lose my local data, there's at least a good chance I'll still be able to access my key files from my phone or a loaner computer.

Remember people, data doesn't really exist until it's in at least two places, preferably three or four.
 
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Mainly for 15k photos, 2k home videos, and 13k songs, here's what I do:

1- Time Machine runs on all four of my home "Macs", backing up to an Ivy Customac Mountain Lion OS X Server hard drive , which uses a different internal hard drive for its own TM plus an external eSATA drive as TM #2 destination.

2- Daily SuperDuper images on each client and server, backing up to a server hard drive.

3- CrashPlan Family Unlimited backing to CrashPlan's cloud, plus a local external eSATA drive attached to the server.

4- Weekly SuperDuper backups to an external drive which I keep in my car outside the house.

All this runs fast, smooth, and is tested.
 
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Article: Backup Solutions For Your Mac or CustoMac

My main problem with CCC was visible duplicates. Whenever I search for something or attempt to open a file with a specific app, I get 2 of each application sitting in the context menu. After a while I've noticed that I have a lot of storage enough for me to pledge an entire internal drive for Time Machine.

And man, that was the best decision I've ever made. Not only don't I see duplicates everywhere, I also know that whatever the hell I do, I got my ass covered all the time. But that's only the tip of the iceberg. Its integration with the system and the installer makes it a better tool than CCC and SD. Its efficiency spans to backing up data that has been deleted before the hourly checkpoint. It's just that smart.
this is easily solved by adding your cloned drive to the privacy filter in spotlight preferences. you won't get any duplicates this way.

i use SuperDuper but in a perfect world I think you follow @jamesf3 plan. it's just a pain to spend so much money on internal storage for the sole purpose of redundancy.
 
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Time machine is a great option until you clone the drive and try and use the same image. Luckily there is a utility called tmutil. Upgraded a friends MacBook pro the other day using ccc and a new 1tb drive. His time capsule backup on lion wouldn't recognize it due to the uuid mismatch. I had to associate the sparse image and the mount it and link the hdd in the backup folder. Just some useful info if you have problems.
 
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I use a Time Capsule w/Time Machine, I also back up to an internal drive w/Time Machine. Online backups w/CrashPlan. And most importantly: Carbon Copy Cloner! This piece of software is just wonderful, and has never let me down.

Great article, thanks!
 
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1. Carbon Copy does weekly mirror of my OS drive to another drive
2. Crashplan does a backup to online storage for my critical data (documents, home videos, etc)
3. Crashplan also does a backup of my Mac and 4 other computers to an external 3TB drive.

I've used Carbonite in the past but it was slow and took too many resources to back up. I'm a big fan of Crashplan because it allows multiple computers to back up to yours without an additional license (those computers don't even have to be on your network).

What I'd like to do is get another 3TB drive and keep it hooked up at a friends house so my computers also back up to his house. He won't be able to access the data, but it will take a bit of his network bandwidth.
 
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I've been happily using CCC for a while. Just recently I got the issue that when cloning my lion system partition to a backup partition on my 2nd HD it's not listed by Chimera. I've installed Chimera on that partition and have run the boot0 fix (3TB 4k drive). Any ideas?
 
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Article: Backup Solutions For Your Mac or CustoMac

I used to just backup to my Windows Home Server using Time Machine but upgrading to OS X Lion put a stop to that. Now I just use Time Machine and a USB HDD. CCC too.
 
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