View Full Version : SuperDuper and Retrospect

09-07-2005, 09:33 AM
My situation:

I have a 160GB internal and a 160GB external firewire drive. I installed OS X 10.4 (only the essentials) onto external and updated to 10.4.2. I use Retrospect Express (which bundled with the external drive) for backup and keep the Backup Sets on the external drive of course.

I can boot off the external. I installed Retrospect itself and a few disk untilities (e.g. DiskWarrior) onto this external which they're also installed onto internal.

My disastery plan:

If the internal won't boot in the future, I will startup from external and try to repair internal. If I cannot repair, I will reformat the internal and restore from Retrospect.

Next to reading excellent reviews about SD, I consider to use it. But I might be still using Retrospect to keep multiple versions of documents, images ... in case of I need them.

On the external drive there is a folder named 'Retrospect Backups' and I keep the Backup sets in this folder. This folder is on the top path of external drive. (not in any other folders e.g. Documents)

So, the question is: While there is already this folder and OS X essentials installed on the external drive, what kind a copy, won't delete the 'Retrospect Backups' folder? Except this folder, everything should be the same as the internal (users, applications etc).

Thanks in advance.


09-07-2005, 09:57 AM
In general, if you want to make a SuperDuper! backup directly to a drive that has data on it, you should partition it -- one partition should have the SuperDuper! backup, and the other should have your data.

You can also use a disk image -- typically a sparse one -- to store a backup side-by-side with data. (See the FAQ "How do I update an image?" for more about this.)

There is a trick you can use, though.

(Disclaimer for anyone looking in: BE CAREFUL IF YOU TRY THIS. If you do it wrong, it won't work.)

If you create a symlink on the source drive that points to the folder on the destination, we will *not* overwrite that folder with the link (or touch it). So, assuming the folder is called "Retrospect Backups", and is in the root of the drive, and your external drive is called "External", in Terminal you'd say:

ln -s "/Volumes/External/Retrospect Backups" "/Retrospect Backups"

That would create a symlink, in the boot drive, to the "Retrospect Backups" folder on the external, and -- when we see that -- we'll skip that folder when you do anything OTHER than an "Erase, then copy".

You can't use an alias, so don't try. But any program that creates symlinks will work, if you don't want to use Terminal.

Does that help?

09-07-2005, 03:55 PM
Thank you very much for the symbolic link tip. I downloaded SuperDuper! and registered immediately without even trying once. Honestly, it is very fast, and even faster than Retrospect Express.

A minor point to say about the process, while reporting which item (folder) is being copied, (I suppose) it reports after finishing the copy of that item.

Also, I noticed that an empty folder created at the root of the target drive named "dev" but I am not sure whether it was created by SD or not. I trashed it.

Thank you very much for your effort for an excellent product like SuperDuper! !!!

09-07-2005, 05:13 PM
Hi, Cuneyt -- do *not* trash that dev folder, as it's a normal part of the backup. It will be hidden, automatically, when you boot from the drive. It's also a very important part of OSX!

The status view is a bit misleading, because it doesn't report every folder. If you look at the Shirt Pocket Watch blog (http://www.shirt-pocket.com/blog), we've redesigned this quite a bit for the next version...

09-08-2005, 01:25 AM
Hmmm... I won't trash it in the future, (promise!) but unfortunately I did once. I haven't seen it before using SD. I hope it won't make any problems on next smart update.

09-08-2005, 07:13 AM
It will re-copy it next Smart Update: just be aware that it's an important file that shouldn't be deleted!

09-08-2005, 07:22 AM
Thanks Dave. I looked into the internal drive and searched 'dev' with File Buddy and there also was a symbolic link (without any target) in my internal drive. No, don't worry, I didn't delete it. :) By the way and off topic, may we learn what is the purpose of that 'dev'?

09-08-2005, 07:41 AM
/dev is where the system puts "devices". For example, your internal disk's device is usually disk0s10. It's not really designed to be accessed by users directly, but it's quite important.