View Full Version : Backing up to network drive w/o sparse format?

01-14-2014, 03:00 PM
I want to set up my family's MacBooks (various models) to backup via SuperDuper to my home NAS (Western Digital MyBook Live 3TB).

I know I can create sparsebundles for each computer and back up to them, but I'd prefer to use a more direct folder-to-folder copy, that way a slight corruption of the sparsebundle could not render the entire backup useless.

In other words, if I have computers A, B, and C, and each of those has a single /mystuff folder on their hard drives, I'd like browsing my NAS to show me this:


Instead of what I believe SD's default backup scheme would create:


because inside each .sparsebundle package there is its own file system hiding where the /mystuff folder and its contents actually are.

I know that if I were backing up to a USB drive then what I'm asking for is the default behavior, so I'm looking for a way to get SuperDuper to treat a network drive like a locally attached drive. I'm a technical user, so I'm happy to hit the command line, edit plists, etc. if that makes this possible.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


01-14-2014, 03:09 PM
You can't, unless the device supports iSCSI volumes. We're happy to copy to iSCSI volumes. But we can't do so to an AFP/SMB share - we can only use an image, just like Time Machine.

01-14-2014, 03:30 PM
Thanks for the quick, though negative, answer.

Let me then explain why I asked: I've been using Time Machine with these machines to this drive and at various times, Time Machine on one of the machines will tell me that the backup is corrupted and I can either create a new backup or start using one of the other machines' backups, which of course would corrupt that one too.

Perhaps I am incorrect, but I always assumed that having to use a sparse image/bundle introduces data risk compared to simply cloning folders. One corrupted file in one folder means that file can't be restored, but one corrupted index inside a sparsebundle makes me assume my whole backup is now useless.

If I'm wrong, please let me know. Based on my past problems with Time Machine I need to know that SuperDuper! can reliably produce network backups that can survive minor damage without rendering the whole thing useless. As I'm sure you understand, I cannot have a backup system that requires everything to behave absolutely perfectly to avoid total data loss.

So if you can, please let me know how robust SuperDuper! is when performing Smart Update backups to a network sparsebundle.



01-14-2014, 03:33 PM
No, you're quite right. Network backups are not nearly as robust as direct to drive backups. That's why I recommend them as secondary backups, not primary ones.

You also cannot properly preserve all the data you need to on an AFP/SMB device. So you'll end up with a "lossy" backup. You don't want that either.

As I said, iSCSI volumes act as truly native volumes. You can back up directly to them, over a network, with no loss. I do this all the time. But network connections are inherently less reliable than "physical" connection to a drive, regardless of their convenience.

02-27-2014, 03:41 AM
Cool. Is iSCSI something that a non-technical user could implement/use?

02-27-2014, 07:12 AM
Yes, it's not difficult to use. But you have to purchase a NAS that supports it, and you need a client (eg Xtend SAN or the Global Network Solutions initiator).