View Full Version : Can SD do this?

09-06-2004, 07:59 PM
I last stuck my head in here in April, when I asked if SD was suitable as a replacement for Retrospect for backing up to CD's. The clear consensus was that it wasn't.

Since then, I've gotten a Fujitsu FireWire magneto-optical drive for backups--MO disks have the rep of being pretty much bulletproof, unlike CD's. At the suggestion of someone in my local user group, I also adopted a different backup strategy: back up only my data and 3rd-party apps, and plan on a reinstall of OS X if I ever have a HD crash. This way, the individual backups are much smaller, and if I do a reinstall, it'll clear out the cobwebs, so to speak.

A few days ago I got a 120GB external FireWire hard drive, and I went online and registered SD ~15 minutes ago. My Mac has a 40GB drive, only ~10GB of which is used, so I could easily have multiple partitions and sandboxes to play with on the FW drive.

I plan to make a safety clone when I've had the time to play around w/the FW drive, but I have a different question. Probably jumping the gun @ this point, but I can ask. I was thinking of doing a clean OS X install to a partition on the FW drive. Would it be possible then to meld this w/what's specific to my Mac and come up w/a cleaner backup than the safety clone?

At this point I'm not asking for a detailed how-to--I'd just like to know if it can be done. If not, please consider it requested for a future version of SD. Thanks.

09-07-2004, 07:15 AM
Hey, Staxman. I'm actually quite a fan of MO disks: they're a much better alternative to other 'burned' media, and are unquestionably more stable over the long term. Unfortunately, they haven't been able to scale them up as quickly as DVD media -- as I recall the largest Fujitsu MO is about 2.3GB or so.

Anyway, onto your question. I've actually never had 'cobwebs' clogging on my Macintosh installation that an Archive and Install wasn't able to repair. Windows, sure, gets "Windows Rot" -- and there's no real way to clean it out other than a full reinstall. The Mac, on the other hand, just isn't that bad.

It's much better, in my opinion, to have a full backup on your external drive, if you can afford the space. The killer with a restore is the time it takes. Restoring from a full backup is pretty easy, and with Smart Update actually doing the backup itself is very fast indeed, since most files on your system don't change.

The worst than happens, with a full backup, is that you only restore (as opposed to back up) your user files and 3rd party applications. But remember, applications often have components other than just those stored in the Applications folder. 'Isolating' them is a little harder than you might think...

I'd suggest full (Smart Update -updated) backups. You have options then you don't have with some kind of hybridized approach...