View Full Version : Formataholic

10-15-2005, 12:51 AM
I have a G4 800 with 80GB internal and a 160GB External FW Drive.

To date I have had a long History of paritioning my Internal drive (both in Windows and in Mac). First Partition for OS and apps and second partition for setup files, music, photos, documents etc.

When I run into a problem, buy and install a new piece of hardware, install too many apps I am not using, or my system appears to be getting sluggish I format my first drive and reinstall basic apps back to a pristine installed system. This leaves all my data intact. Now and then I back up my data to my External FW drive.

My data is starting to outgrow my second parition.

New plan of attack:

I am going to turn my internal drive back into a single partition. I am going to parition my external drive into 80GB, 20GB, 60GB partitions. I am going to reinstall my OS and apps/settings and save a "ghost" copy to the 20GB partition (without Data). I am going to dump my data into the internal drive and do regular backups to the external 80GB drive (OS/Apps/data). And the last 60GB on my External will be for shifting files or whatever.

My thinking on this is that If I am making backups of my entire internal Hard Drive to the external I am also backing up what makes my system sluggish/cluttered. If I restore my hard Drive with the pristine install from the 20GB drive it will be better. I can can then take out only the data on the backup and stick it back into clean install now on the internal drive.

If I am feeling really creative I could probably create scripts to sift the data out of my back up and put it into the right folders on the newly restored internal drive. (think I can?) This could potentially turn my data restore back to the internal drive into a one button solution. Then I can start the process all over again untill things start to appear sluggish/cluttered again.

I am worried about safety cloning onto an external drive because my kids might shut it off or pull the FW cable out or something. Plus, there is something more satisfying about doing a clean install of everything (or a restore of a clean install) I am also worried about a performance hit by safety cloning to the external drive. ***May not be a valid concern if someone would like to clarify***

This approach would also give me full access to my entire internal drive.

Any problems with this approach? Any other ideas how to do this better? I am open to suggestions.

10-15-2005, 07:55 AM
I'd just use a Safety Clone, Kevrazz. There aren't any significant performance concerns, and it's easy enough to try.

Also: I guess while the whole concept of a "slowing down system" is a big deal in Windows, I've never found it to be the case on the Mac. By using a Safety Clone effectively, it's easy to test software/updates, and not install them if they're troublesome.

10-15-2005, 11:25 AM
I am going to go with your suggestion to safety clone.

What folders are specifically shared between the safety clone and the original. I want to make sure that I get my data into those folders. Is it based on folder or data type? Are my music and photos going to be shared between the safety clone and the original?

I am probably wrong but... My understanding is that my safety clone will be copied to the external drive then I am going to boot to my safety clone on the external drive? I have read the manual but it is still unclear to me. It's a good manual, I just don't get things sometimes.

I saw in a different thread (trying to wrap my head around this) that "The Safety Clone/Sandbox need only be 10-12GB, and the data is what's left over." Can you clarify? Is the data really still in the original and we are just accessing it from the safety clone?

That's all my questions for now until I conjure up some more.

10-15-2005, 06:10 PM
User files are considered to be in the /Users folder -- it's completely location based. Your music, photos, etc remain on the original drive and are shared (symlinked) to the Sandbox.

You would, indeed, boot from the Sandbox/Safety Clone on the external.

As above, the /Users folder is really on the original drive, and the contents aren't copied, only shared/linked.

Hope that helps to explain...

10-16-2005, 02:06 AM

I just want to echo my thanks with everyone else in the Discussion. Great product and great service!

It appears that I don't have to match the size of my original and safety clone. The safety clone foot print on my computer is only a mere 6 Gigs. I noticed in other discussions that you reccomend no more than 12 Gigs. That sound about right?

I think traditionally people are used to using their internal drive as the place for OS/Apps/and data and that an external Drive is used for backups. I find booting to the external drive and having my data on the internal drive a little backwards. Would it make sense to switch it around so that the safety clone is on the internal drive and that the data be saving to the external drive? I would expect failure rate to be higher on an internal drive that I have had for four years more so than an external drive I have had for one year. If you see logic in what I am suggesting how would you go about that?

I find Super Duper! is unconventional (in a good way) and unlike most backup solutions. It requires a bit of a paradigm shift as a user to use Super Duper!. *I hope that makes sense* It is a compliment :)

I am surprised how peppy my system is operating the safety clone off the external drive. I use both mac and PC's each day and would not expect that I would get the same results from a PC. I am a PC teacher by day and Mac user by night.

For my own piece of mind I am looking at the same folders on both the safety clone and the original. Your product does what you say it does! I can see files transferred to (or what appears to be) both places at the same time. Good stuff

10-16-2005, 10:14 AM
Thanks for the compliments!

The Sandbox has a size based on the number of applications you've got installed, especially those that have data stored in /Library. So, the various Pro Tools, or Garage Band, tend to create larger ones... without, smaller.

Regardless, you want to make sure it's large enough to store updates, VM swap files and temporary files, so don't size too small.

Since a Safety Clone is not a backup -- it's a system checkpoint -- it doesn't really matter what drive it's on, except for convenience's sake. I'd recommend storing your backup on an external drive that gets less use, for obvious reasons. And, if you're worried about your internal drive, make sure you get SMART Reporter (check VT) and consider replacing it with a server-rated 24-hour duty cycle drive like the MaxLine III.

Hope that helps.