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View Full Version : Smart update user files to pre-existing bootable volume = disaster!


Sondergaard
04-18-2007, 12:23 AM
I thought I'd be a smarty pants and use smart update to bring the user folders on my G4 laptop (in target mode) in sync with those on my Intel desktop by transferring user files only. Imagine my surprise when "backup - user files" went through the whole disk anyway. The OS 9 "System Folder" on the G4 is gone as is the Applications (OS 9) folder. Lots of OS X applications are gone too and the laptop won't boot anymore.

Apparently "backup - user files" means "delete everything throughout the entire destination volume that doesn't match the source, then copy new or modified files but ONLY in the User folder; leave the rest of the destination disk in an unstable state."

I have a very recent bootable SD backup of everything that was deleted so am congratulating myself on that. But is this really the proper and desired behavior for "backup - user files"? I'm struggling to imagine a scenario where this behavior would be useful.

dnanian
04-18-2007, 01:12 AM
That's the behavior of Smart Update, not "Backup - user files". Please see the User's Guide: I use this exact case as an example...

Sondergaard
04-18-2007, 01:47 PM
Thanks for the quick reply and your gentle courtesy where others (including myself) might have grumbled RTFM! And thank you also for your courage and trust in making such a great program free. I was glad to register.

I've searched quite a bit more now and not found any evidence that what I want to do is possible, that is, limit SD's scope to a single folder (Users) rather than an entire volume. In combination with Smart Update this would be great for keeping my work files in sync across two different (PPC and Intel) platforms while allowing the system files to be platform-specific. But everything I am reading seems to suggest that SD only operates at the volume level. Is that correct?

Although I'm at negative brownie points right now :o I'd like to suggest that the "what's going to happen" text for SU + "backup - user files" be modified. Right now it says "All other directories and files will not be copied". Would it be more complete to say "Other directories and files on the target volume will be erased, but will not be updated from the source volume." ?

dnanian
04-18-2007, 03:06 PM
Well, Smart Update pretty clearly says that it's "exactly like erase, then copy", and -- as it says -- all other directories and files will not be copied. Since it's erase, then copy, that means that only those files will be there... and if you use Copy Different or Copy Newer, those files won't be erased.

In any case, I'll consider changes for the future; thanks.

Joyride
04-24-2007, 05:54 PM
Well, Smart Update pretty clearly says that it's "exactly like erase, then copy", and -- as it says -- all other directories and files will not be copied. Since it's erase, then copy, that means that only those files will be there... and if you use Copy Different or Copy Newer, those files won't be erased.

I had a similar problem recently using Smart Update. I backed up to a new external drive shortly after allowing Software Update to install a new security update on my computer, and before realizing that the new install had really screwed up my system. My newest backup had the corrupt system so restoring from it was of no use. Luckily, I had an older drive with an older backup on it. I thought I would use Smart Update to move just the user files from the new drive to the old drive, thus creating a compilation which had a usable system and all my user files freshly updated.

It was late, I'd been troubleshooting for hours, and I guess I didn't read carefully enough. I somehow thought this would mimic "Erase, then copy" only for the targeted files, in this case the user files, not for the whole drive. Anyway, I wiped out the older system.

I'm not writing this only to announce my late-night stupidity. It seems to me that it would have been great if I could have used Smart Update as I intended. To have used Copy Different or Copy Newer would not have resulted in having my user files be a perfect mirror of the latest backup -- instead, I would have retrieved what was different or newer, but would have had my user files littered with all the files I had cleared out since that older backup. [Not to mention that if I had decided to do the reverse (i.e., used Copy Different or Copy Newer to back up the older system to the newer drive) who knows what sort of weirdly corrupted system I would have ended up with.]

It sure seems to me that having the option of asking Smart Update to only update the selected files and to not touch anything else, would sure be a nice and useful option to have.

Just a suggestion.

Thanks.

dnanian
04-24-2007, 05:58 PM
Thanks for the suggestion, Joyride.

Note that if you remove the /Users folder on the destination, then "Copy Newer" or "Copy Different" your Users files, it won't mix things up...

Joyride
04-24-2007, 06:09 PM
Ah! That makes sense. I wish I'd thought of it at the right time... luckily, AppleJack saved the day. Thanks for the quick reply!