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nesteafish

Backup solution

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Hi there, fellow maccasters!

 

I came home from the apple store about an hour ago, with a new 250gb G-DRIVE, for backing up data. But I don't really know how to do this:

  1. Keep the latest clone of my hard drive there, so it's bootable
  2. Store files there, that I can access from my mac (so they still stay there, when I update my HD clone)

I heard Adam talk about "SuperDuper!", so that's what I'm trying right now. It's an awesome application, but does anyone know how I can still do #2 on my list?

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You'll need to make two partitions using disk utility.

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OK, that seems logical (I read a little up on it)... I know how to make the partitions, but I have a couple of questions:

  1. Will it be more complicated to boot from the firewire drive (from one of the partitions)
  2. How will I switch between different partitions in the finder?

Thank you very much :rolleyes:

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  1. No, It is not complicated at all. At boot time, your computer will know which partition is bootable and which is not.
  2. When you mount your drive, you will see two different "drives" instead of one, just click on each one to switch. I suggest you make the clone partition the same size as your main hard drive and use SuperDuper to clone. To accomplish this, in Disk Utility, do the following:

    1. Select your new drive from the left pane

    2. Click "partition" on the right

    3. Select "2 partitions" from Volume scheme

    4. For the first partition, adjust the size to the same as your main hard drive and (important) change the format to "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" if your computer is Intel based

    5. Name your partitions

    6. Finally, click the "partition" button.
      Warning: partition will destroy existing data on your new drive
      . If you still want them, copy them to else where first, then copy them back upon finishing

    I use SuperDuper myself and find it indispensable. I recommend to shell out some cash for it so you can use the Smart Update feature, which will only copy changed files instead of blindly copying everything. This feature greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to back up your drive after the inititial copy. It also reduces wear and tear on your precious drive. If you do not want to spend money on SuperDuper, investigate Carbon Copy Cloner. I have not used it so I don't know if it is any good, but it is a free solution. In either case, learn to turn on scheduling to automatically backup your data. A backup solution is only good when you backup regularly. Good luck.

Edited by haivu

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I wanted to add that while partitioning a harddrive is excellent for retrieving data you accidentally erased on your internal drive, it is not so good as a permanent backup solution. I mean by this that, if the firewire harddrive fails completely, you'll lose both partitions. A solution with two 120 GB harddrives would have been more sensible than a single 250 GB harddrive. You would have had one original (internal) and two backup drives, and the chances that all three of them fail due to normal use are not very likely.

 

Of course, you should always keep one of those three drives separate and unattached, in case an electrical surge would destroy your Mac and any connected hardware. If you'd do a daily backup, you'd swap external drives before you'd start the backup.

 

In any case, from a backup perspective, lots of small harddrives is safer than one big fat harddrive. I would always try to find several of the smallest size available at that time, and, if your budget allows it, invest in an enclosure that allows you to swap those smaller drives, otherwise, buy the cheapest reliable enclosure you can find to keep the costs down.

 

The problem with large, high density harddisks is that about 3% of them seems to have a hardware failure within its first year. The larger the harddisk becomes, the higher the chance of unrecoverable hardware failure becomes. In the current generation of harddisks, the mechanism that corrects read and write errors is working all the time, while in smaller capacity drives (100 - 250 MB), they'd often begin to kick in for the first time when the drive was a few years old.

 

In the case of harddisks, bigger is not necessarily better.

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But, remember that time machine is coming, so it might make sense to have a bigger drive. I've using a 250Gb drive to back up a 160Gb drive at the moment, so it won't be too much hassle to move over to time machine.

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haivu: Thank you so much, your help is much appreciated!

 

 

Ignoracious: Yeah, but the hard drive is also for storing general data that I won't need right away, as well as for backup. I know what you mean, but I think I'll risk it :)

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