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jefferis
06-17-2005, 02:21 PM
I have a backup firewire disk that has 2 disks backed up on it [boot and another], but just got SuperDuper. I'd like to clone my boot disk without erasing the extra files on the backup. It SEEMS that all the SD options say they will erase the files on the backup not on the original.

What is the best way to backup the drive or at least user directory, without wiping out the other data?

Thanks

Jeff

dnanian
06-17-2005, 02:24 PM
Well, the best thing to do is repartition to have a place to put the backups in isolation. You can partition "live" with iPartition from Coriolis Systems.

But, there are alternatives. To just copy to the source, without erasing anything, you can use either "Copy Newer" or "Copy Different", neither of which will erase files (though some might be overwritten). Note, though, that this type of backup is NOT guaranteed to be bootable, since OS files might need to be erased to ensure this will work.

Alternatively, you can back up to a sparse image as described in http://www.shirt-pocket.com/forums/showthread.php?t=81. That can stay side by side. While an image can't be booted from directly, if updated with Smart Update it'll retain its bootability on restore.

jefferis
06-17-2005, 05:24 PM
I take it that with either of these Copy methods, you won't be able to have a Safe User backup then, for keeping a live backup of the current boot user?

dnanian
06-17-2005, 05:29 PM
I'm not sure what a "Safe User" back up is...

jefferis
06-17-2005, 06:51 PM
I found that if you select Safety clone users and applications and choose Copy only New files, it copies without erasing the existing files AND creates the clone of the User folder for safe backups. I wanted to use the active user backup files as promised in the materials as well as back up without erasing the target disk. This procedure may be just what i needed.

dnanian
06-17-2005, 06:57 PM
I don't think so, actually.

For one thing, the Safety Clone does not copy your user files. It links to them, on the original volume. As such, it's not a backup at all -- it's more of a checkpoint of your system.

On top of that, you can only do the "Copy Newer" one time. Future attempts to update the Safety Clone will not guarantee bootability, or even a very valid system, because things won't be copied properly...

I really don't think you should be doing this... you should partition if you're going to attempt more advanced things like the Safety Clone.

jefferis
06-17-2005, 08:10 PM
I don't think so, actually.

For one thing, the Safety Clone does not copy your user files. It links to them, on the original volume. As such, it's not a backup at all -- it's more of a checkpoint of your system.
I really don't think you should be doing this... you should partition if you're going to attempt more advanced things like the Safety Clone.


I guess I misunderstood what "any changes made to these files [User files] will automatically be reflected on the other, ensuring you can recover..." means. What happens now then if I use the Backup- User files but choose only different or Smart update? Since the user files I guess have not been copied yet...

I may do the partition thing next, but I'm just trying to make a protected backup before I risk a partition...

dnanian
06-18-2005, 12:28 AM
Understood, but I'm suggesting partitioning the external drive, not the internal. Backing up something onto the external and then partitioning it won't really protect you, since the external is what would need to be protected.

jefferis
06-19-2005, 08:16 AM
Understood, but I'm suggesting partitioning the external drive, not the internal. Backing up something onto the external and then partitioning it won't really protect you, since the external is what would need to be protected.

I don't think I made myself clear. I am going to backup the external to a third drive used only for backup. If I partition the 1st backup, I'm going to be given some choices. I have used Carbon Copy cloner in the past, but i was getting disk corruptions [apparently related to Spotlight, but not sure], so I bought SuperDuper as a currently updated program. I wanted a secure backup which is bootable and an exact clone of the system and user files. I am migrating from an old FW 400 to a FW800 as my main backup external, and both disks are 160 gig, which are bigger than the internal 60 gig boot drive. So, to make a long story long :-), I was trying to drag files back and forth/backup to reformat the old external 400 without losing files in the process. I now have more active and needed files on the 800 than are on my internal drive, and I have backed this drive up to the 400.

The problem is I now have no backup of my Tiger system on my boot drive, which I want to clone to a secure backup before I attempt the partitioning. {my external drives have 10.3.9 on them from the older CCC clone operation}.

I think I misunderstood the literature when I got SuperDuper. Since the backup all files thing doesn't actually clone the user files by places them in third location ??? to keep them simultaneously updated on both drives??? I'm wondering if I actually am making a clone at all...
The options in the dialog box becomes more than confusing with the explanations. Perhaps you can help me by explaining where the safety clone actually resides syncing the boot user files with the backup....

Thanks
Jeff

dnanian
06-19-2005, 10:05 AM
"Backup - all files" does, indeed, copy all the user files. It's "Safety Clone" that doesn't.

The main difference between the two is that while "Backup - all files" backs up / copies "all files" (as its name says), the "Safety Clone" copies the OS, and shares most applications and the user files by "linking" (aliasing) them to the original copies on the original volume. You can see this by examining the "Users" or "Applications" folders on the clone: they're filled with links/aliases. Those links point to the files on the original drive.

So, the Safety Clone is not a backup at all. It's a checkpoint of the system files, and lets you play in an "OS Sandbox" -- a safe place you can boot to and install updates. If you have trouble, you can roll back to the original by just rebooting. But since the User Files weren't copied -- they were shared -- any changes you made to your *own* data is still there, and up to date.

Make more sense?

absinthe
06-21-2005, 03:30 PM
May I interject a simple question here? Is there any reason why backing up (drag & drop) the User files folder to a backup firewire drive is not sufficient for simply backing up the files in question?

I, too, find myself reluctant to erase the backup drive each time I want to backup my User files. As for partitioning, I understand the point being made, but my User files folder can greatly expand and shrink in size with any given project I'm working on... so partitioning the external drive may not be the most efficient way (memory-wise) for me to use it.

dnanian
06-21-2005, 03:58 PM
It is sufficient, in general, as long as you can read/write the files (and the external drive has ownership turned on). But, it's not necessarily very fast, since all of the files will be copied every time.

There's no reason to erase the backup drive every time you want to backup your user files. In fact, there's no reason for most users to back up the user files separately. Just use "Backup - all files" with Smart Update. It won't erase the whole drive, it'll just update the things that are changed, user files, system files, whatever. It's not slow...

absinthe
06-22-2005, 03:41 PM
There's no reason to erase the backup drive every time you want to backup your user files. In fact, there's no reason for most users to back up the user files separately. Just use "Backup - all files" with Smart Update. It won't erase the whole drive, it'll just update the things that are changed, user files, system files, whatever. It's not slow...

Just to be clear, your advised procedure above must be applied to a backup drive that has been erased and copied via SuperDuper in the first place... right? In other words, I still need to run SD the first time on a backup drive that contains no other important files, or I will lose them in the initial backup process... correct?

Or can I leave important files on a backup drive, AND initiate a new SD backup procedure with no worries?

dnanian
06-22-2005, 04:12 PM
Yes, a backup should be placed on its own partition if you're using "Smart Update" or "Erase, then copy". What I'm saying is that there's no reason to subsequently update the user files, rather than the "whole" backup: it won't save you any time, really...

But, you an have important, non-backup files on a *drive*. Just not on the same *partition* if you're using Smart Update or Erase, then copy.

absinthe
06-28-2005, 07:43 PM
Yes, a backup should be placed on its own partition if you're using "Smart Update" or "Erase, then copy". What I'm saying is that there's no reason to subsequently update the user files, rather than the "whole" backup: it won't save you any time, really...

But, you an have important, non-backup files on a *drive*. Just not on the same *partition* if you're using Smart Update or Erase, then copy.

Thank you. That's what I wanted to confirm... I need to do some drive partitioning!

dnanian
06-28-2005, 07:46 PM
Sounds like it -- but, once done, you'll be much happier! :)

jefferis
06-28-2005, 07:53 PM
Thank you. That's what I wanted to confirm... I need to do some drive partitioning!

I just ordered the Micromat iDisk partition program. Rated 5 stars on Versiontracker. Plus they have a good record of tech support.

dnanian
06-28-2005, 07:59 PM
Let us know how that works out. (I usually recommend iPartition, which I've had good luck with.)

sjk
06-30-2005, 01:46 AM
... Micromat iDisk ...I think you meant DiskStudio.

jefferis
06-30-2005, 07:42 AM
I think you meant DiskStudio.


I was typing from memory. Just found another util at OWC:
ProSoft Drive Genius is the superior utility that Optimizes, Diagnoses,
Scans, Clones, Rebuilds, Partitions your storage device & more!
**Just reviewed in MacAddict July/2005 Issue 'AWESOME 5 out of 5'**
OWC Exclusive Special Price $65.00 <http://eshop.macsales.com/?mkt=1107>

Bonus: Use Coupon Code 'GENIUS4' when you purchase Drive Genius and Apple OS
X 'Tiger' 10.4 on the same order to save an extra $10!

Little more expensive

dnanian
06-30-2005, 10:24 AM
Yeah: Drive Genius looks like a repackaging of SubRosa Soft's various utilities into a "suite"...

jefferis
07-07-2005, 11:12 PM
Let us know how that works out. (I usually recommend iPartition, which I've had good luck with.)

Disk Studio was very easy to use and partitions passed Disk First Aid checks after partitioning. I was now able to set up and use SuperDuper. I did a total backup clone first onto the new FW partition. I feel weird about using a Firewire drive as my boot drive. Hear it may be a problem. Anyway, I'm checking my backup internal again after switching bays the boot and secondary internals. Someone suggested my problems may be either a bad secondary drive [though it passes all hardware tests] or bad internal cables [on a 6 mo old Apple still under warranty].


Once I have confirmed that I either no longer have a problem, or it is either a bad drive or bad cables and get it fixed, i will set up a safety clone on an internal to use as my boot.

dnanian
07-07-2005, 11:21 PM
Thanks for the report.

One question: why would using a FireWire drive as your boot volume be a problem?

jefferis
07-07-2005, 11:35 PM
Thanks for the report.

One question: why would using a FireWire drive as your boot volume be a problem?


I remember [perhaps it was in Panther, been a while] reading on Macfixit.com of a problem booting from an external firewire under certain conditions. Can't remember all the circumstances now.

Jeff

dnanian
07-08-2005, 10:01 AM
Hm. OK. I've done this for years, on many OS release, and haven't seen a problem.

If anyone remembers what this might be, please let me know.

jefferis
07-08-2005, 10:11 AM
Hm. OK. I've done this for years, on many OS release, and haven't seen a problem.

If anyone remembers what this might be, please let me know.

Here is one report:Tuesday, January 11 2005 @ 03:00 AM PST
Mac OS X 10.3.7: Secondary volume booting problems
Mac OS X 10.3.7 may not properly boot when it is installed on a drive that is secondary at the time of installation. In other words, for some users, when Mac OS X 10.3.7 is installed to a volume other than the current boot volume, the secondary drive will be non-bootable.

The most typical instances of this issue involve external FireWire drives that are used as backup or auxiliary boot volumes. When such drives receive an update to Mac OS X 10.3.7 while the user is booted from another volume -- such as the Mac's internal hard drive -- they may fail as boot volumes.

One intriguing theory on what might be causing the issue to occur is the presence of a script in MacOSXUpdateCombo10.3.7.pkg/Contents/Resources (also contained in the "delta" version of the Mac OS X 10.3.7 updater) called 'RunAtStartupm' which refers to a folder in /System called 'InstallAtStartup.'

Based on reports from MacFixIt reader Mike Barron and others, it appears that this script does as its name implies: installs additional items on the boot drive during that drive's startup process.

Thus it follows that the Mac OS X 10.3.7 updater fails when installed to a secondary drive, because the 'InstallAtStartup' items would be placed on the wrong drive and would never get installed.

Many users have had success working around this issue by first installing Mac OS X 10.3.7 on their currently active boot drive, then using a utility like Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper to replicate the initial installation on the secondary drive.

http://www.macfixit.com/article.php?story=20050110174933755
SATA drive problems Last Wednesday we noted reports of an issue where volumes on internal, non-boot SATA drives will not mount from a cold boot under OS X 10.3.7 (and 10.3.6, according to some readers), but will mount after a restart. We continue to receive sporadic reports of issues with 2nd internal SATA drives. Daryl Klein writes:

"I recently added a Seagate 120GB SATA drive into my G5 dual-2Ghz three months ago. I had at that time OSX 10.3.6, and noticed that copying massive amounts of files was transfering a tad slower than usual. After installing OSX 10.3.7 through the Software Update...while trying to [copy] 1-5MB files off the drive, it started having a massive coronary trying to copy. The copying of about 200 files took 9 hours, after freezing and rebooting 45 times. The files would start to transfer, hesitate, transfer extremely slow again, then freeze. Hard rebooting each time allowed me to get most of it. I checked the disk with Disk Utility, and it said the drive was fine. But Apple Diagnostics [CD] stated there was some sort of I/O problem.
http://www.macfixit.com/article.php?story=20050110030924103&query=External+firewire+boot

dnanian
07-08-2005, 10:18 AM
Hm. Interestingly enough, I apply this sort of thing to a Safety Clone all the time, which is -- in essence -- a secondary drive that you're booted from at the time of installation.

When you're booted from a secondary drive, it's mounted at /, and that's where the installer would put things -- it's much harder to try to figure out what the "non-secondary" drive is, and then locate its mount point, and then copy to it...

jefferis
07-08-2005, 10:57 AM
Hm. Interestingly enough, I apply this sort of thing to a Safety Clone all the time, which is -- in essence -- a secondary drive that you're booted from at the time of installation.

When you're booted from a secondary drive, it's mounted at /, and that's where the installer would put things -- it's much harder to try to figure out what the "non-secondary" drive is, and then locate its mount point, and then copy to it...

If I can fix the non-boot internal drive situation, which is now a complete backup clone of the boot, what would you recommend I do to create a working safety clone? I assume that if I create this clone, that disk 2 becomes the boot drive, but user files are still stored on the original boot? I guess, I am confused that if there is only one set of user files, how is recovery easier if you install a change of applications or whatever and it makes an incompatible extension in the user/system files??

Thanks
Jeff

dnanian
07-08-2005, 11:05 AM
You can put the Safety Clone on the external drive, in its own (smaller) partition -- typically only 10-12GB or so.

Recovery is easier because there's no way to install an extension in the user space that would cause the system to fail. All that stuff has to be in defined spaces, in the system area. So, if you install something, it's isolated to the Safety Clone (except for data files, but those are easy to deal with -- kernel extensions, on the other hand, are not).

jefferis
07-08-2005, 11:59 AM
You can put the Safety Clone on the external drive, in its own (smaller) partition -- typically only 10-12GB or so.

Recovery is easier because there's no way to install an extension in the user space that would cause the system to fail. All that stuff has to be in defined spaces, in the system area. So, if you install something, it's isolated to the Safety Clone (except for data files, but those are easy to deal with -- kernel extensions, on the other hand, are not).

I am sorry, but somehow the descriptions vs. functions of SuperDuper seem totally counterintuitive to me. What should be simple seems backwards. The description of Safety Clone says: Safety clone -shared users will be used to copy boot 1 to backup 1. All files will be copied except for user files, which will be shared.
There is no way my boot disk will fit in in a 12 meg partition. I am not sure it would fit even if I choose to share apps.

Just for clarification, if I use either safety clone to backkup 1, when I reboot, I set backup 1 as the boot drive, but that user files stay in place on boot 1 and all user file changes are written to boot 1, right? But system changes are made to backup 1, the new boot? I have heard that there are problems when updating apple apps like iTunes when the user files are not stored on the boot disk.
The other problem I've had is that most of my incompatibility problems are in User Files /Library/Application support, like when installing extensions to programs like Dreamweaver. So the safety clone wouldn't actually help in those situations.

Sorry to be such a dunce, but I almost want a safety backup of my user files to be a clone of my user folder than can be instantly restored if something screws up in my current user folder. That is the way I intuitively thought of a safety clone when I first read about SuperDuper.

Jeff

dnanian
07-08-2005, 12:31 PM
The Safety Clone is not a backup, Jeff. It's a checkpoint of the system files. In fact, forget that it's got the words "Clone" and "Safety" in it. Pretend it says:

"System Checkpoint - shared users and applications"

instead.

So, what it's doing is copying the OS, and then "sharing" the applications and user files. The total size of the OS is far less than 10-12GB (not MB -- GB).

I -- and many others -- use this with iTunes all the time. I also use Dreamweaver, and those extensions are actually stored in /Library, not in ~/Library (off your home), so it would help in those situations.

But, anyway -- if you don't want to use a Safety Clone, don't! There's nothing that requires you to do so. Just use a regular backup if you're more comfortable with it.

jamie
07-22-2005, 06:09 PM
The Safety Clone is not a backup, Jeff. It's a checkpoint of the system files. In fact, forget that it's got the words "Clone" and "Safety" in it. Pretend it says:

"System Checkpoint - shared users and applications"

instead.


Apologies if this has been suggested before, but given the widespread confusion about what a Safety Clone actually is, wouldn't it be better to call it, a System Checkpoint?

dnanian
07-22-2005, 06:27 PM
As I've mentioned in my Blog post -- and above -- it's going to get renamed in v2.0, and "System Checkpoint" is one of the leading contenders... as is "Sandbox".

"Sandbox" has one advantage: you can't assume you know what it means, and thus you have to read about it. "System Checkpoint" is clearer, but might have unexpected associations...

sjk
07-25-2005, 01:52 AM
"Sandbox" has one advantage: you can't assume you know what it means, and thus you have to read about it. "System Checkpoint" is clearer, but might have unexpected associations...The Uninstaller app on my Palm PDA uses a "Sandbox" to quarantine an app during installation for testing purposes, then offers the choice to install or reject it (and any files/prefs it's created). That's similar in concept to a SuperDuper! Safety Clone so I'd prefer it being renamed to Sandbox since that's clearer than "System Checkpoint" to me. :)

dnanian
07-25-2005, 09:13 AM
I think no matter what I end up choosing, Scott, someone's going to end up confused... :)

sjk
07-25-2005, 12:23 PM
Well, you could call it the Super System Safety Sandbox Checkpoint Clone Duper! and guarantee that everyone will be confused, including you. :)

Okay, enough silliness.