Backup Solutions

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Backup Solutions

afternoon. i was wondering if anyone could offer up some advice on backing up, by this i dont mean to CD or DVD, i mean backing up using software (like retrospect) to another internal or external drive. im looking for responses from people who've had good/bad experiences with whatever type or means they have used. im currently working as a designer in a small print firm that currently has an an external firewire drive as its sole device for storing and saving all the work generated on the G4 mac i use. There are also a number of PC's-but that work is not backed up at all! There are back ups of work on Zip and CD, but as you can imagine, this strategy is time consuming and, well, a pain in the neck.

with the costs of IDE drives falling, it seems that now is a good time to look into the possibility of deploying a hard drive back up system, because i for one (my boss hadn't considered it) am becoming increasingly scared that one day the external disk will go tits up and take my job with it! (well, actually-i dont want to have to re-create 1000's of files, no one should have to do that!...well, maybe sometimes..)...so at present im thinking along these lines: 1) buy an internal drive and back up to that using CCC. 2) Buy an external firewire HD and back up to that using CCC or something like retrospect. 3) buy one of those maxtor one touch drives... (oh and using an Xserve is financially out of the question).

what i need to be able to do is back up every day, and ideally for this back up disk to then be stored off site, every day at the end of the day. of course this back up being portable could become a liability through it being dropped or left at home or some other type of human error...i would say at this stage somewhere in the region of 200gb would be ideal (with a view to going bigger). using the internet say .mac really doesn't sound like a good idea, as that aspect relinquishes control to another party, if their servers go down, or we get internet problems or the files become corrupted etc then we're knackered. And yes, i know that a HD is not perfect...!

we also dont have an "i.t" person here to help us decide on what to do, im as close as that comes, but my knowledge is based on pulling apart umpteen macs over the years and fixing and hacking them in one way/form or another.

the internal 20gb disk running Panther is at least 4-5 years old, which i believe will croak first-in some respects if it does, it won't be the end of the world, as all the important work/files are on the external drive. We have all original installers, but I'd just prefer to CCC everything to a back up so we could get up and running asap in the event of a disaster.

so if you have any actual experience with this and can point me in the right direction with good/bad stories/solutions i'd really appreciate the help. if anyone needs to know anything else, just ask.

ok thanks a lot!

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I really like SuperDuper -- a

I really like SuperDuper -- although I forget now where I got it. Should be able to find it in a Google search.

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here:

Carbon Copy Cloner

This will allow you to backup the whole HDD and on a scheduled basis. this includes the system (if you want) and the whole User folder.

EDIT:
It also does synchronisation. so it won't overwrite files.

EDIT2: I just re-read your post, and didn't see that you already mentioned it. Anyway, I use it a lot to backup my files from my iBook to an external 20GB FW/USB2.0 HDD (laptop drive) and it works great. I have never used a better product than CCC, and I recommend it to all my mac Clients.

And again, I stress the importance of backing up. It has saved me 12x already within the last few years. I tend to "experiment" on my iBook a lot, and I can really screw up stuff. having the backup really helps.

as far as doing archival, you can't get any better than DVD-+R's I just got myself a BenQ burner, and am loving it. I have already put it to use to backup my PC. You just can't beat the price per GB on the discs. Also, make sure you verify each disk. If you get any dust on it before burning, you might as well kiss the data goodbye. with DVD's High density, it is easy for a speck of dust to take out 100MBs of data.

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I like retrospect but....

..its days are over. I think its overkill. Its not cheap to buy. Also its not an easy program to master if you want to setup recurring scripts (dont let that scare you off if you want to use retrospect, its actually a nice program) however Mac OS X is a different animal than OS 9, there are tons of new options for people looking to back up their drives. I would recommend using Deja Vu, a simple control panel for OS X that makes backing up a breeze. (I would not back up internally, I would keep that internal space for the HD so you dont run out of room some day, and just get a large external drive, Firewire is best, USB is ok but slower) Prices of drives are so low, its a no brainer to get a nice looking, small, huge external drive. Imaging your internal drive to this can be set up in about 10 minutes, with piece of mind immediately following. Just my 2¢. link to deja vu: http://propagandaprod.com/dejavu.html

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Backups

alright chaps. thanks for the advice, i just checked out the superduper d/l site-never heard of it before, might be worth a look...

coius-i've used CCC many times-its proved invaluable for backing up my ibook to a firelite 40gb/and to my iPod, and also i ccc'd my entire system over to a G3 500 iMac to use for a few months. the power of backing up really "HIT" (pun intended) home well over a year back when I managed to drop my 200gb external drive and lost everything on it-a case of "all my eggs in one basket" im afraid, and it took me months to retrieve some of it, but for the most part-i lost a lot of my graphic work which i can never replace (and next month this will prove to be a problem for a CD discography I have to do)...as an aside, i love the fact that i can take either firewire disk to any other mac and boot into my system. thats absolutely mint. (hmm, and why i cant get an old PPC mac to boot into Ubuntu is another matter, its one of "life's big (irrelevant) questions" at the moment...!)

so when that happened i ditched the idea of having large drives-i decided that backing up regularly had to be the only option, and DVD's/burners were at that stage getting cheaper, so i bought a Lacie 8x DVD burner and have been backing up data once that 4.1/4.2 GB limit is reached (i have an encrypted partition at this size) to DVD (anyone know why i can't burn a full 4.7GB?) on a regular basis. Plus-I've had absolutely loads of frisbees with DVD burning-was it cheap DVD's? or burning at too higher a speed (8x with an 8x disc?)...im now using more expensive DVD's and am still having the same problems, thats not to say EVERY disk is a frisbee, just the odd one, which is extremely annoying because at 4x speed after verification it takes what 20-30 mins to finish, only to find that "disk verification failed at sector xxxxx" etc...grrr. In a work situation i haven't the time for that, at home i can grumble and just get on and do something else.

ive got a superdrive coming from santa for xmas for my G4 MDD, and im looking forward to seeing if an internal ide burner will have the same problems as the external FW drive. im wondering if the data throughput will be faster?

oh yeh, and DVD's overall are so fragile...one small scratch and...boom...gone!

back to CCC, i guess what i'm concerned about is this, i need to use it in a professional work environment and i have to depend on it-coius you mention that you recommend it to all your mac clients-how have their back up experiences been using it? have you had your head on the block (no pun intended...) at any point?

ok, i'm on holiday from tomorrow til after the new year, no internet at home, so any replies i wont see until then. have a great xmas/holiday/new year.

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CCC's the way to go if you ha

CCC's the way to go if you have a system with a desktop machine connected permanatly to a drive. Of course, desktop macs will take a while to clone at night time. You can do the same with a laptop but of course you have to then leave it plugged in at night to the drive.

I think that DVD backup is a great idea if you want to make incremental backups - but the great thing about CCC is that it copies your system EXACTLY. Of course, that may also mean that you end up having things copied that you don't want (such as any corrupted files etc)

Speaking as someone who is just trying to retrieve a whole 78 GB of data from a fried HD I would just say one thing: Backup.... !

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Re: Backups

anyone know why i can't burn a full 4.7GB?

You can with Toast. The finder apparently wants to play it safe, so it doesn't use everything

Plus-I've had absolutely loads of frisbees with DVD burning-was it cheap DVD's? or burning at too higher a speed (8x with an 8x disc?)...

It could be one (or both) of two things. It could be that there was dust on the disc at the time of the burn (which happens 96% of a failed burn) or 2, it could just be like the original CD-R's when they came out. original CD-r's were new and the technology for highers speed CD burnables were fragile, and so everynow and then you have a bad burn. When you are burning, it has to rapidly heat up and cool down REALLY quick. Combine that with the speed of the disc is flying at, and the molecules can get shifted before they have time to set. Thus, it doesn't keep the track straight.
right now, the Higher speed DVD's (and Dual Layer) discs are still in for beta testing. Some of them are going to have flaws, just like the beginning CD-R's. But having a lower speed DVD (or even high speed CD-R's) failing is unacceptable. They should be advanced enough to do it at that speed reliable. Just because A burner can do a higher speed, doesn't mean the discs that are available can do it 100% of the time.
DVD-burners max out of a speed b/c of the data they can put out fast, but when disc can't catch it fast enough without errors, it's going to give you a bad burn

I remember having a beginner CD-Burner that did 2x Burning. At the time, all they had was 1x discs. and those had to be specially ordered. and about %40 of the time, they failed.

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oh,

and yes, i have had my head on a block. I had my Desktop fail on me when holding clients data that i was recovering. sadly, I forgot that my RAID setup was in a way that it doubled the Data space it held, instead of redundant data config. I have also lost about 40GB's of data when my iBook G3 (apple replaced it with my current G4) HDD went south. At that time, I was keeping only digital copies of receipts of my business on it. I had a heck of a time going thru stuff to make sure I didn't miss anything.

Anyway, I tell clients to backup, and sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. But when they come back with an HDD crash, I really have to bite my tongue when I told them before, and they didn't take heed

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synchronize pro x

i use synchronize pro x at work and for our customers, works good, no problems so far. might be a bit expensive (costs about a 100 bucks if i remember it right). bit it let's you backup or synchronize nearly everything you want, the latest version is even able to clone a whole bootable hard disk (like ccc)...

regards, chris

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Backups and all that

well, i got that superdrive, and i burnt over 25 DVD's in the holiday, and only one frisbee, and thats was my fault! so i don't know what (if anything) i've been doing wrong...???

i remember deja vu...didn't that come pre-installed on Panther Macs? I'm sure it was on my iBook when i got it-but that was a long time ago and a few re-installs since. it looked pretty simple to use.

CCC still for me seems to be the best option-but I really DO want tales of hell/depravity and all round badness (not interested in retrospect as i have also heard grim reports about it) of backups going wrong/how people got themselves out of a big hole etc...has CCC ever gone belly up for anyone?

Ill have a look into this synchronise pro.

any good reports of generic Firewire 3.5" IDE enclosures (im thinking of cheapo ones off e-bay)...i ask because the one i had that was cheap and off e-bay was a total nightmare and a friend had similar problems. im thinking of just getting a nice big Lacie-with a nice warranty because of that previous experience.

ok over n out and happy new year!

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geeks.com has several budget choices . . .

including this one for US$28.

dan k

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I have been using CCC for yea

I have been using CCC for years now, and love it. I have Tiger, and don't schedual the backups. I just fo it manually. I have tried Retrospect in a number of variations, and have always gone back to CCC. I also have SpeedTools, but haven't had a chance to check it out thoroughly. The latest app. I've looked at is Toast 7.1. The backup sounds like it would be good, but I haven't spent the $47. for it yet.

Rick Smile

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