View Full Version : In Search of the Ideal Backup....

12-01-2007, 01:46 PM
The greatest thing about running a mac is the opensource software that programmers come up with to help the little guy at a very affordable price. I've been close to buying the full version of SD! for sometime, but I need some help first.

1. I'm running a macbook pro with an iomega 500G USB external hard drive. Does doing a full backup result in a bootable backup with USB? if so...how do I know?

2. I do a lot of work with movies, music, picture editing and so forth and I would like to use my bigger external drive for more than just a backup. Idealy, I would like to keep other files on there as well as my current pro hard drive. is this possible? I found the manual explanation of Sparse Images to be vague and hard to understand.

3. If still have my OS X Tiger disks from my macbook purchase, should I even be concerned with a full system backup? Could I just regularly backup my Home folder on my own and pair that with my copy of the OS to survive through a system crash?

I could use some guidance from more experienced mac users! thanks!


12-01-2007, 03:22 PM
Well -- SD! isn't open source, Jude. :)

Anyway, if you properly partition the Iomega drive as "GUID" before copying to it, and you copy directly with "Backup - all files" and "Erase, then copy" or "Smart Update", it should be bootable on an Intel Mac.

If you want to keep other files there, you should partition it into more than one volume, one for the backup and one for the other files.

And, yes, you should make a full backup. It's a lot easier to recover from when you have a full backup -- the small cost in disk space (the system, after all, is only about 4GB) is more than compensated for by the hours of time you save when recovering.

12-02-2007, 12:32 AM
I use a 500 GB external FW drive, partitioned in equal halves - one for a complete mirror of my internal drive, the other for "stuff". It works well. And like Dave says, a complete mirror (users, system, apps) is far more convenient when you need to restore, even if you just need to pull out some random OS file b/c something in the system becomes corrupt.

How do you know it's bootable? Try it. Do a complete mirror, go to system preferences and choose the external drive as the start up disk. You'll re-boot to that disk and you internal HD appears to the OS as a secondary drive. Very cool.

Remember, SD still isn't Leopard ready though.