View Full Version : Airport Disk and SuperDuper! Any success stories?

02-25-2007, 03:03 PM
I am wondering if anyone has had a new Airport Extreme base station with attached USB drive(s) long enough to post a considered opinion of how well it works with SuperDuper!?

I presume we are talking about smart backing up to a sparseimage on the Airport-attached drive.

Dave Nannian did say it fails gracelessly if the disk gets full but that it works, although slowly. Some questions that occur to me are:

How gracefully do the disk images mount and dismount on the local machine?

Is the speed over a wired Ethernet connection really any worse than backing up to a disc image stored on a hard disc in another Mac over wired 10/100 Ethernet? That is already pretty slow.

Are there problems in running SuperDuper! from a scheduled wake and run during the night?

Does using the attached disc for ordinary file sharing between multiple users play well with keeping SuperDuper! sparseimages on it? If you do such sharing, how do you back up the shared files on the Airport disc?

02-25-2007, 03:32 PM
I certainly have one and have tested extensively with it:

Disk image mount and unmount just fine.
Speed is quite slow, about 1-1.5MB/s wired. (Compared to an Infrant ReadyNAS NV+, which runs around 3-6MB/s wired.)
Seems to run fine scheduled on wake.
You can also share files, yes... but you can't use SD! to back them up.

Best practice: do your initial backup to an image while actually connected to the real drive. Then point SD! to the same image (it's grey, but you can click it) on the Airport Disk when you attach there.

Be aware that this is a 1st generation product... and, if you can afford it, there are far, far better NAS solutions out there (the aforementioned ReadyNAS NV+ is, by far, my favorite product in this space).

02-26-2007, 08:34 AM
Thanks, Dave, that is very helpful. I can believe that the ReadyNAS is worth buying simply as a much safer and more convenient repository for Superduper! disk images, along with media files. But I like the fact that the Airport Disk will be HFS+ and that the base station controller itself is an Apple product that will be maintained through system upgrades. It looks like it is easy to use and set up, quiet and not too expensive. I wonder if it would actually suit me better for sharing files and be at least adequate for holding SuperDuper! backups.

It is hard for me to put it in perspective without direct experience, but I've seen questions in the Infrant Forums about how the ReadyNAS works as a daily file-sharing server for Mac files: filenames, modification dates, metadata in general, search and delete functions all seem to have some limitations common to storing files on a foreign file system. I've had similar problems trying to back up key files to a linux server over the Internet and I am cautious about keeping the primary version of important files on a such a system.

02-26-2007, 09:14 AM
Indeed, there can be some limitations, yes -- though for *most* files they're minor issues. It's certainly safer/faster than an Airport Extreme disk, though, given the redundancy and overall architecture.

But you need to weigh the various issues there and decide what works best for you.

02-28-2007, 03:47 AM
I am wondering if anyone has had a new Airport Extreme base station with attached USB drive(s) long enough to post a considered opinion of how well it works with SuperDuper!?

Dave has already posted some good factual information. My anecdotal experience has been that I wouldn't rely on backing up via Airport Disk.

I have setup a scheduled smart update to an Airport Disk hosted sparse image. The initial backup (over a wired connection) of about 60Gb took about 5.5hrs. This was acceptable and the image mounted snappily when I checked it out.

However some subsequent updates have not terminated, i.e. I have found SD still running after 7+ hours about half way through evaluating the files on the disk and seemingly wedged (although the app was perfectly responsive and I could stop the update).

I haven't pinned down the cause yet but backups to my local FW disk are unaffected.

I'm treating having a redundant backup image on the network as a good-to-have and continuing to rely on my local, bootable, FW clone.



03-01-2007, 02:15 PM
Have you tried connecting the same disk directly to your computer through USB and running SuperDuper! ?

If you connect directly you may also be able to fix the sparseimage using Disk Utility.

03-04-2007, 12:11 PM
I did my initial backup connected directly to the USB drive, and have been doing incremental backups to the drive using the new Airport Extreme. Each one takes 15-30 minutes.

I used SuperDuper's instructions for backing up to a network drive, using my new Airport Extreme and its AirDisk feature (USB drive attached to the AE).

How can I reboot from it? Everything I've tried hasn't worked.

03-04-2007, 02:15 PM
You can't, actually: it's a network drive and an image. The only way to start from it is to restore the image to a supported direct startup target (like a locally attached drive).