View Full Version : Single directory backup problems

02-05-2006, 10:13 PM

I ran into problems while trying to back up my FileVault-protected user directory. I followed your directions for backing up a directory at:

I added (slightly modified) scripts as instructed:
(ignore) *
(ignore) .*
(copy) Users/me/Documents

However, the target, a sparse image, was empty. I should have known without even looking because it went way too fast. So I tried:
(ignore) /Users/me/*
(ignore) /Users/me/.*
(copy) Users/me/Documents

This time, instead of not copying anything, it copied everything in /Users/me !

What do you suggest?


02-05-2006, 10:18 PM
FileVault is a special kind of thing, Ed, and can't be backed up this way. It's always going to back up the whole thing, because FileVault is stored in a sparse image. We operate on it in exactly that way.

Note, too -- as we say in the User's Guide, you shouldn't be backing up a FileVault protected Home folder when logged into the account.

My suggestion, really? Don't use FileVault unless you really have to. Instead, use a product like Knox (http://www.knoxformac.com) to encrypt only what you need to.

Hope that helps!

02-05-2006, 11:30 PM
Wow! Rumors of the legendary Nanian Short Response Time (NSRT) are true! Thanks for the quick reply :) Unfortunately, protecting my data is imperative. I'm aware of the other options but FileVault is the best option because it covers not just my documents but email data, temp files, cache files, etc. Backing up the entire FileVault image is not a good solution because a few megabytes may change per day and I don't want to back up 2.5GB over the 'net just for those (relatively minor) changes.

What is it about FileVault that's such a challenge? The image at /Users/.me/me.sparseimage is mounted to /Users/me and is treated as a Volume, right? After reading such glowing reviews of SuperDuper!, I'd like to make this work.

Can you give some tips or thoughts to try?


02-06-2006, 08:16 AM
Well, at least one quick response. Gotta shut down for the day sometime.

Anyway, I've been thinking about how you might do this, Ed, and while I'm quite aware of how FileVault works, since the volume isn't exposed in normal mount enumeration we can't select it separately from other files.

If you mount the volume in a way that causes it to enumerate (which might be possible by using hdiutil or disk utility to mount it from outside the account), we'd be able to do a selective backup of the information... but without doing that it's just not going to work.