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View Full Version : Time Machine Vs SuperDuper!


pjfw01
01-20-2008, 07:05 PM
Hi all:)

For anyone who's wondering if Time Machine can act as a replacement for SuperDuper! I've like to relate an experience that showed me it can't.

Early Thursday morning (partly due to my own stupidity) I lost my entire iTunes library! I knew it was really gone, as my hard disk had suddenly gained 22 gigabytes of free space.

I have two FireWire 400 drives connected to my iMac: one for SuperDuper! to clone to (and I was pretty-much hating Shirt Pocket right then) and one for Time Machine.

So I used Time Machine to go back to midnight and set a restore. The transfer rate was abysmal and I had to go to work so I turned off Energy Saver and the Screen Saver and left it to its own devices. When I got back home nine hours later it had transferred a whole 164 megabytes!

After that I followed the instructions on the Apple discussion site, booted from the Leopard installer disk and chose to restore the entire disk from the Time Machine disk. Unfortunately, the only choices I was given were that morning (after the deletion) or the first of December 2007, even though it had been backing up hourly since October. So I had to quit out of that.

Luckily, the only thing I'd done right that day was to stop my iPod syncing, so after downloading Senuti (best $18 I ever spent!) I was able to restore 99% of my stuff and then dragged the remainder from the correct Time Machine backup.

So, to recap: Shirt Pocket––I hate you all, until you release version 2.5 then I'll love you all:D

patrickm
01-21-2008, 10:59 AM
What's going to be interesting is how SuperDuper handles permissions. When backing up, it repairs permissions first and as you all know, that could take hours. Ever since Leopard came out, repairing permissions has been a nightmare. For some odd reason it takes forever. I even have Cocktail and it takes longer than usual to repair permissions. Tiger wasn't like that. I found that Apple really doesn't care to address the issue. They're really useless when it comes to support (arrogant jerks).
Don't give up hope. I too suffer from "OMG, I have no backup". Time Machine seems a waste of "time" and I much prefer SuperDuper over anything else.
I'm taking my chances and waiting. It's well worth it.

PS: Finally, I became a member here. Not sure what the problem was but I had to use another email. My first time showed me logged on but I couldn't post. I wasn't even in the members list. Glad I got that fixed.

patrickm

dnanian
01-21-2008, 11:03 AM
Well, we (and Cocktail) just ask OSX to repair permissions for us. We don't do it ourselves -- as such, it'll be slow, because Leopard does it slowly.

jazzimus
01-21-2008, 11:19 AM
Well, we (and Cocktail) just ask OSX to repair permissions for us. We don't do it ourselves -- as such, it'll be slow, because Leopard does it slowly.

I takes the same time in Cocktail... it just calls out repair permissions via a terminal command. The SUID errors still take time to pass. I suggest you just turn off repair permissions in the backup sequence.

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=306925

patrickm
01-21-2008, 11:36 AM
That's funny. Apple says the SUID errors are accurate but no cause for concern. Then why even report it? Why not just eliminate permission repairing for SUID? Maybe this is the reason it takes forever to repair permissions.
Fixin' something that doesn't need fixin' doesn't make sense. I repair my permissions at least once a week, if I need it or not. It's just something I do on a weekly basis. With Leopard, I guess that will change to once a month.

stokessd
01-21-2008, 06:55 PM
You may have some sort of an issue with time machine or you external drive. I'm copying 4.13 gig from time machine via wireless N from my server and it's saying that it will take 2 hours. In the time it took to write these couple sentences it has copied 134 meg.

Sheldon

macWish
01-22-2008, 03:13 PM
I reported the slow repair of permissions under Leopard to Apple Bug Reported Dec 8th. I finally got a reply on Jan 8th saying my report was a duplicate and engineering is working on it. Have not heard anything more about the state of the Bug, but will post here if I learn anything more.

The original bug report is Bug ID #5603577

macWish
01-22-2008, 07:37 PM
Update from Apple Development Connection on Repair Permissions Bug in Leopard:

"Thank you for contacting us regarding the status of Bug ID# 5603577, the original of your duplicate Bug ID# 5637099.

At this time, there isn't any new information available for this issue. I have checked with engineering, and the issue is still being investigated.

We will do our best to keep you informed as new information becomes available. Please be sure to regularly check the release notes for potential or related fixes that might affect this issue.

We sincerely appreciate your patience and thank you for your support."

justflybob
01-22-2008, 08:45 PM
And people here and on the blog actually bust Dave N.'s chops for not posting daily updates?

Give me a break! If Apple, with teams of sw engineers pouring over this same material, cannot figure out an annoying permissions problem, just how the heck is Dave supposed to unravel another bug when Apple itself throws his team a curve ball with the API?

Also, I'm an admitted conspiracy junkie (currently in rehab), but knowing how often I got thrown under the bus at the last minute on Apple hw releases? It makes me wonder if somewhere in the bowels of Apple, someone decided to through Dave a curve on the 10.5 release, with no other purpose than to slow him down so they could launch Time Capsule. Apple has always shown a bit of disdain for cloning drives, as they figure people will steal the OS and not pay for their own copy.

An ugly thought, but a thought none-the-less...

dnanian
01-22-2008, 08:52 PM
Apple wouldn't do that, justflybob: no way, no how.

soulatrium
01-29-2008, 04:34 PM
Getting back on topic, I saw the following article:

http://www.macobserver.com/article/2008/01/28.15.shtml

This proves, essentially, that cloning (or at least the practical results of cloning) is a function of Time Machine. People can easily restore a clone by running the system disk and selecting the appropriate option.

the only consistent downsides seem to be that it's a slow process, and that restoring a TM backup makes it so that you have to restart the whole TM process with your restored back (I'm wondering if that's something that would be fixed in a future OS update though).

Essentially, it looks like the value of SuperDuper has been vastly reduced because of this feature of time machine...and with the obvious inability of Shirt-Pocket to come out with timely product updates (no matter what the reason....every other major backup solution is now Leopard compatible!) I'm considering getting rid of SD for good.

dnanian
01-29-2008, 04:41 PM
As I've explained in detail in the "Time's Arrow" posts on the blog, yes, you can do a full restore with Time Machine. But that's not its strength, and wasn't intended to be.

As far as our "obvious inability to come out with timely product updates" goes -- I think our record of 5 years or so of timely product updates disproves that quite, well, obviously.

Doing Leopard support properly required extensive internal and external testing, and some rework to ensure proper operation on all systems in cases that came up during that testing. This can, and did, take more time than we'd hoped, but one "longer than expected" update out of a rather large number of others does not comprise a trend.

soulatrium
01-29-2008, 04:54 PM
Ok, well I'll give you the point for historically being good about updates. This is the first time I've noticed SD "late" for a product update.

I hold to my opinion that for the user who wants a program that can clone their drive but who has a copy of the system cd AND who can afford to let the restore run all night (two big "ifs," admittedly) time machine is at least as good a backup system as SD.

Ideally, one would want to use both because, as pointed out in the blog, they're ultimately made for slightly different purposes. The only issue with this (and maybe this is solved in the forthcoming SD update) is that while SD makes a clone, if TM is also running, then TM will make an additional clone (or at least take up as much space as a clone) before it starts doing incremental backups. This leads to a lot more space used when both programs are used in combination than if someone were to use TM only and rely on TM for emergency restoring of the hard disk.

Feel free to correct me on anything. Sorry if my previous post came off as harsh, I'm just trying to draw contrasts so I can truly understand the best way to use these programs.

dnanian
01-29-2008, 05:31 PM
Time Machine is clearly a good, albeit new, backup system. I'm not going to declare otherwise, and haven't.

Full system recovery isn't its strong suit, though, and the case it's optimized for -- individual file recovery, etc -- is, to my mind, a rare occurrence. But, when it happens, it's great to have TM there.

But, if your disk dies and you need to work from another Mac in your house, or a loaner, you can do so right from the SD! copy. You can't do that from a TM backup: it must be restored to be useful. And full recovery is fast and painless.

Disk space, these days, is cheap, with good 500GB drives going for $100 or so. There's little reason not to get the space you need to do both a SD! copy and a TM copy.

mac-10
01-29-2008, 07:04 PM
TM also makes more sense for desktops, but I'm a McbookPro user.

Amen. AAMOF: I bought a 3.5" 500G drive for $100 last weekend to "give" to TM - and it will gobble it pretty quick! ;) It's for paging back for an old version of a file or maybe one I moved (and can't find!) or renamed (and can't find!) or updated (it could happen!)

I have a 2.5" drive in a small, portable, case that is the same as the one in my MBP. If I'm further from home than I feel comfortable traveling without my data (security consultant) I take it with me. It has my SD! backup. I update it each Friday and it can (and it HAS) filled in for my laptop by plugging it into a donor Mac and booting the SD! drive (when it was Tiger, but let's not go there :D right now). Very cool, very reassuring. In a total failure of the laptop drive, the one from the case could be installed in place of the internal drive and life goes on... Maybe TM is consulted for missing files since my last SD!, but that's bout it. (I look forward to being back on track with method, real soon.... :D )

mac-10

edalzell
02-21-2008, 02:58 PM
I am considering purchasing Time Capsule to act as my daily backup disk.

I do have an external drive that I use for monthly backups (with SD naturally).

Here's my dilemma, I could buy TC for $300 and let TM do my daily backups, OR, I could buy another external drive for only $100 and try to remember to do daily backups.

The issue with the remembering is that we only have a MB, so backing it up involves moving the power cord, plugging in the external, and then running SD. Granted this is not a hard process, but I am liable to forget or not bother.

My thinking is that for the extra $200 I get the assurance that the backup is done automatically. As an added bonus it means I can hook my printer into it and not have to drag the MB over the printer every time I want to print.

Thoughts?