View Full Version : When will the next scheduled backup be if copmuter was turned off?

04-22-2006, 08:16 AM
I'm looking for alternatives to SilverKeeper, since it can't make backups to network drives.
After checking like 10 different backup applications I found this one on recommendation. (gee, there is a lot of bad backup apps out there)

This seems to do same job as SilverKeeper, except for the nice thing to save everything into a sparse image, a solution I like a lot. Much better to do backup of the backup server with 10 sparseimages than one million files.

but, what happens if the computer was turned off when the scheduled time occurs? SilverKeeper runs the backup when the computer is tuned on again.

Besides, I find it too bad to not be able to test the entire app before buying it. let me try 10 backups or 20 days or something. I'm interested if it can be something that fit my demands.

04-22-2006, 11:13 AM
Hi, macjonte. If the computer is turned off, we don't run "skipped" jobs, since they were scheduled for a specific date and time, and that time has past. But, we're looking at improvements to this for future versions.

As far as demo limitations are concerned, please read my blog post The Limited (http://www.shirt-pocket.com/blog/index.php/comments/the_limited/). That explains why we do what we do, and offers a solution for you as well.

04-22-2006, 12:46 PM
Perhaps using a program like Anacron would help ensure that a missed task gets run once the computer is turned back on.



04-23-2006, 12:43 PM
Hi, macjonte. If the computer is turned off, we don't run "skipped" jobs, since they were scheduled for a specific date and time, and that time has past. But, we're looking at improvements to this for future versions.

As far as demo limitations are concerned, please read my blog post The Limited (http://www.shirt-pocket.com/blog/index.php/comments/the_limited/). That explains why we do what we do, and offers a solution for you as well.

Looking forward to that improvement, very important for us.

*reading The Limited*
You have thought about evaluation opportunities in a very sense way I think. I understand your point of view now.


04-23-2006, 12:50 PM
If those skipped jobs are important, you can do it now. Follow the steps for the "OneTouch Button" in the FAQ, but instead of settings things up for the button, schedule with iCal, and tell iCal to run that little application as an alarm event. iCal will always show you pending alarms when you start, and you should be all set.

05-01-2006, 12:01 PM

Can you give any indication as to when the scheduling feature in SD will be improved? Roadmap or timeline?

I can see various posts here in the forums addressing this issue through AppleScripts and other helpers... but truth be told, I would expect SD to do these jobs out of the box! Especially given the price level this app is sold for. Iím not a technophile and have switched to SD for ease of use. However, since purchasing the app it has not been reliable when it comes to running scheduled jobs. Today I had the chance to be present at my Powerbook when the 11AM weekly backup sessions was skipped yet again. This is a serious shortcoming of SD and as a previous user of the more complex SynchronizePro! I start toying with the idea to return to this app or find yet another backup solution.

Donít get me wrong, I like SD and appreciate your support and app... but it just doesnít run scheduled jobs as it should. And this is a MUST! Also, if scheduled jobs donít run for whatever reason, then they should kickstart the next time the computer is switched on and the backup drive is present.

05-01-2006, 12:19 PM
Sorry, Jurgen. I rarely if ever discuss planned features or timelines.

In general, forums contain posts from people having problems or asking questions, so I'd expect you to find various questions and problems here. We designed SD! to allow for these types of things, as the replies indicate.

SD! is reliable when running scheduled jobs. Your computer, however, has to be on and awake when the time comes to run the job: it's a documented requirement. If followed, the jobs run.

That isn't to say things can't be enhanced to have other behaviors -- such as "back up once a week" as opposed to "on Friday at 1am". They're semantically VERY different, and I'd expect the first to run whenever my machine turned on after a week had gone by, whereas I would not for the 2nd. After all, on Saturday at 11am, it's not Friday at 1am.

If you want those copies to run regardless, as I mentioned elsewhere, please follow the steps in the "OneTouch" FAQ and schedule the little application with iCal. iCal will fire its "alarm" (and thus run the backup) even if the computer is asleep when the time arrives (as soon as you log back in).

Apart from that, though, I don't have any short-term solution for you: sorry!

07-02-2006, 12:00 AM
I have a backup scheduled for the middle of the night.
As others have noted, this will not run if the machine is off.
Is there a way to initiate the backup on normal shutdown?
For me, this would catch most of the situations when the
machine is off during the scheduled backup.

07-02-2006, 02:26 AM
There isn't, but instead, we will shut down after a backup. So, set the backup "On successful completion" option to "Shut down...", and it'll back up and shut things off for you.

Hope that helps!

07-02-2006, 01:48 PM
Yes, I am aware of the option to backup and shutdown. What I would like
to do is set up a machine for another user. This user cannot be relied upon
to shutdown by invoking Superduper.

Perhaps some testing is in order... I can track down the application invoked
by cron. I can invoke that directly and start a backup. So I should try to put
this task in my shutdown items and see if it works.

07-02-2006, 01:53 PM
Hm. What's a shutdown item? I wasn't aware of this. Is it part of OSX?

If so, you can follow the general steps in the "Maxtor OneTouch Button" FAQ entry, and use the little executable there in the "shutdown items"...

07-10-2006, 12:55 PM

ďCookie" the userís system in some hidden way so you know when the program was first run, and can therefore calculate when youíre supposed to expire.
The first, in my opinion, is right out. I hate it when programs hide things on my system, and while I understand why they do it (see above), itís just the wrong thing to do, especially for a backup program.

Thank you! Someone who knows my pain!
(Ambrosia Software--I'm looking RIGHT at you.)

07-10-2006, 01:16 PM
Thanks, MacPrince. Yeah -- it's the same all of us... drives me nuts.

07-10-2006, 03:11 PM
If I ever get motivated to do so, I'll blog about my experiences with the demo of Escape Velocity: Nova. NOT fun.

(Probably wasn't that great anyway, especially not $30 worth of great.)

07-11-2006, 06:13 AM
While I second all the above it would still be great to have some kind of notice to inform me that itís about time to run a backup, because the last time the backup did complete successfully is a while back. It is probably common knowledge by now that this is THE feature I miss most in SuperDuper! Which makes it less super for me. So, hereís a suggestion: have a small app (VISIBLE to all) sitting somewhere and run independently from SuperDuper at startup. The app quickly checks for its internal modification date and depending on that notifies the user that a schedule didnít run yesterday and whether it should run now. Or that the last backup was some four weeks ago. At each successful backup SuperDuper could notify this small app and update its timing table. It would not have to run all the time, but only at startup... and it would be free to users to decide whether they need that feature at all. I do for one, because SDís scheduling reliability is the worst I ever encountered with any backup solution.

07-11-2006, 09:38 AM
Thanks for the suggestion, Jurgen.

07-14-2006, 03:15 PM
If the computer is turned off, we don't run "skipped" jobs, since they were scheduled for a specific date and time, and that time has past. But, we're looking at improvements to this for future versions.

If you implement "improvements" to scheduling in future versions, I hope you retain the option for the current approach - to skip "skipped" jobs. I like it this way. One of the things that annoys me about Retrospect is this: when we come home after a weekend or vacation and turn our Macs back on, Retrospect immediately wants to run all the missed backups!

07-14-2006, 03:48 PM
We wouldn't eliminate the current method, denke. We'd likely add a different one that doesn't specify a specific time/date, but a "period".

07-14-2006, 04:30 PM
That would be cool, Dave.
I'd be tickled if it would allow me to alternate Smart Updates between two partitions on my external FW drive from one day to the next. I had set up an elaborate system of 4 schedules, trying to get SD! to backup on Sun-Tue-Thu-Sat of the 1st and 3rd weeks and Mon-Wed-Fri of the 2nd and 4th weeks to one partition and the inverse to the other partition. The "next" dates did not make sense to me, though, and left gaps. From one of your other posts, I see that the schedule is really based on days of the month, however, so I'll just backup M-W-F to one partition and Su-Tu-Th-Sa to the other. The idea is, if something goes terribly wrong during a backup (or a restore) and messes up both source and destination, I've got another backup.
None of the scheduled backups has ever run, however, though a couple of the "next" dates have come and gone. I'm supposing that I misunderstood the requirements. I'm always logged in, and my Energy Saver settings are for the computer to sleep Never, the display to sleep after one hour, and the hard disks to sleep when possible. Is this incorrect? Does "display unlocked" mean the display cannot be asleep? I take it from another post of yours that having the hard drives asleep should be okay. (Just in case, I've now scheduled Energy Saver to wake up the computer 1 minute before the backups are scheduled.)

07-14-2006, 04:42 PM
Unfortunately, relying on "cron" -- a system service -- to do scheduling has some disadvantages, including the fact that you schedule by "day" and "weekday" (actually, day OR weekday), but there's no concept of "weeks", so things get a little weird.

Anyway, the schedules should definitely run. Try setting one up for a few minutes from "now", then quit SD. Does it start and run?

07-14-2006, 05:24 PM
Sure did. Tomorrow I'll see how it does tonight on a "dozing" computer.

07-16-2006, 02:40 AM
It seems to have worked fine. It claims to be planning to do it again tonight, to the other partition. It looks as if it's working as planned. And it's so much easier to understand what is going on and what's going to happen than in Retrospect! And it's not in a proprietary format: I can see what's backed up! Excellent! :)

One cavil, though: I can't find a really quick and easy way to confirm that a scheduled backup went off as expected. I don't know how to see the log unless I run SD!, then click the Schedule button, then click Cancel to get rid of the sheet for making a new schedule - at which point I can see the Scheduled Copies page. (Interestingly, if I show the log without going to the schedule page, I get an earlier log - apparently from the most recent manual backup.)

It'd be nice if I could just (optionally) see something on my screen saying that the copy happened or didn't. Actually, the main copy page of SD! after a manual backup is very nice: all that green is comforting. I'd be glad to see that when I first check my Mac each day. But after a scheduled backup, SD! seems to quit, even when I select Do nothing from the Options page. Could this be an option? Or any kind of message that just waits to be dismissed, saying that the copy happened or didn't?

Btw, am I correct to suppose that once I've made my full "Erase then copy all files" backup, I can just keep making Smart Updates until I replace the Mac or the backup drive? No need to "refresh" the copy?

07-16-2006, 07:30 AM
You can, denke. Install Growl (http://www.growl.info). Once installed, run SuperDuper! one time. Then, examine Growl's preference pane. There, you'll see four different notifications you can turn on, any one of which can be made "sticky": that is, it won't go away until clicked.

You can use any number of notification styles as well.

You don't really need to do an "Erase" to refresh the copy: Smart Update continues to ensure it's the same as the source. It won't hurt to do so, though, except by taking time.

06-30-2011, 04:19 PM
I originally purchased SD to create bootable backups. Recently, I started using SD for backups to DNS-323 units and was looking for a way to easily know the results of the nightly jobs. While I do not remember a failed backup, I do like to not assume. Growl compliments SuperDuper! nicely. Thanks for mentioning this, Dave. If you know of other useful programs, would you consider mentioning then in your Shirt Pocket Watch blog.


02-17-2012, 12:30 PM
Install Growl (http://www.growl.info). Once installed, run SuperDuper! one time. Then, examine Growl's preference pane. There, you'll see four different notifications you can turn on, any one of which can be made "sticky": that is, it won't go away until clicked.

I'd like a sticky notification to pop up if a scheduled backup hasn't run for whatever reason (computer was asleep or switched off). As I understand it this is different from the current option of "Scheduled Copy Failed", as in if the backup begins, but has an error or failure.

This would be perfect, as I could then decide whether or not to run the backup when I see the notification. I'm not sure how this would be possible, as in my scenario SuperDuper hasn't fired up when I switch my computer back on.

A basic example to illustrate: a scheduled weekly backup is set for Monday 9am, but I switch my computer on at 11am on Monday. At this time SuperDuper would not run until next Monday, but I might not realise the 9am backup didn't run.

Is there a way to implement something like this?

02-17-2012, 12:41 PM
Well, there are ways to implement everything, of course, but this isn't something we currently have. Doing so would require us to have a totally separate 'scheduler' process that's running fairly often (as opposed to just when you want it to), checking to see whether things have run, and warning a lot.

It's not a small thing - and many like the fact that we don't have a process that's constantly taking CPU to do this kind of task...

02-20-2012, 01:17 AM
Fair enough.

I'll just set myself an iCal alarm for the scheduled backup, which will appear at first launch after the backup was supposed to run. A bit annoying, but it'll do the job for now.