View Full Version : Creating a pristine clone

03-12-2006, 11:54 AM
Hi David,

In the Apple Discussion forum an interesting question was posed to me regarding clone backups. In short, the concern was how problems can migrate and possibly expand as clones evolve over time.

Got me thinking about the value of creating a pristine copy of the OS, keeping it separate from the affects of day-to-day activity. In your opinion, do you see value in this approach? My thought is to set aside a partition on the external exclusively for OS X, with only two applications (Disk Utility and Safari).

Here (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=741588) is a related thread from the Apple forum I found in a search, which incidently includes a few very nice compliments about SuperDuper (much deserved I say! :D )

03-12-2006, 12:01 PM
Well, isolating the OS by using a Sandbox will generally prevent that from happening, since the "pristine" copy of the OS remains that way on the main drive.

But it's important to remember that reinstalling a clean OS is relatively easy: you just archive-and-install. Or, you can clean install a whole copy onto a new drive, and then migrate your files, settings and apps from the original drive.

So... I don't think this is really something to worry about. Hope that makes sense!

03-12-2006, 01:28 PM
I realize Archive and Install is an option, however, IMO not a very pleasant one given the time it takes to move 3rd party items back to their resident Library folders. And then there is all of the Apple related updates to process etc. How did life get so hard? :eek: ;)

I do get your point though. I guess I'm looking for the "easiest" way to maintain a pristine copy in the event of a significant OS problem. I'll read more about the "sandbox" as I haven't used this feature yet.

Thanks for the feedback.

03-12-2006, 01:54 PM
Well, Archive and Install is significantly better in Tiger, so perhaps it's not as bad as you think! And, certainly, a migration will bring them in.

But, the easiest way is to use a Sandbox. It's not an easy thing to move an OS back "under" your user files.

03-13-2006, 08:40 AM
Looking at the thread this question came from (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=1906785) at the Apple Discussions:

Also, I'm pretty sure that an A&I won't remove some corrupt stuff that can accrue and wreak havoc. But...

I guess I'm just not sure what "stuff" is accruing. But, to answer the "why clone" questions, it's pretty clear: there are a lot of different kinds of drive failures, and one of the worst is a total loss of the drive. A bootable backup makes it a lot easier to recover when you've lost the drive, which happens to a lot of people, or when something catastrophic has happened.

A Safety Clone is useful when an update, application, driver, or whatever installs "stuff" that has destabilized your system, and the nature of OSX makes it difficult to determine what that change might have been, and to repair it. A simple restart from the original does the job... and much easier than an attempted rollback from a traditional backup, because it retains the changes to your own files -- pretty critical, since you've probably been working on files!