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Gerry Yu 11-27-2019 02:57 PM

How to Back up Catalina
I see Catalina has 2 "volumes": a catalina, and a Catalina data.
I wish to back up the "complete Catalina drive", do I just backup the catalina volume and not the catalina data volume, and it will do the trick?

Or do I need to back up both volumes?


dnanian 11-27-2019 03:01 PM

You need to use v3.3, which is Catalina compatible. That automatically backs up both volumes in the volume group.

nephdoc 05-30-2020 09:03 AM

The question actively being discussed on at least two Mac email forums is whether it's imperative that SuperDuper! clones on rotating platter hard drives MUST be to APFS-formatted drives, because APFS rotating platter drives are GLACIALLY slow as boot drives.

I'm not sure whether there's a Disk Utility default in Catalina when making a new external drive bootable that it be formatted APFS, or whether one can manually select HFS extended, and also whether an external drive formatted HFS extended can boot a T2-security chip equipped MacBook Pro can be used as a SuperDuper! clone.

Thanks so much,
Jim Robertson

dnanian 05-30-2020 09:20 AM

Catalina copies MUST be made to APFS volumes. There is no choice: HFS+ does not support volume groups.

nephdoc 05-30-2020 11:08 AM

Thanks so much. As an end user, it's relatively rare that a succinct explanation like that is something I understand easily, and I appreciate your patiently addressing my questions.

I tried to look up the answer myself in the pdf user guide, but it's a bit long in the tooth (recommends FW external drives as the ideal backup repository, and contains not a single mention of APFS), but it's obvious Apple has made creating clone type backups a moving target!

dnanian 05-30-2020 05:24 PM

It's more than the file system itself is a moving target - the transition from HFS+ to APFS was one, and now APFS to "volume group" APFS is another...

Dewdman42 05-31-2021 07:35 PM

I have a question related to this also. I understand that SD can work with Volume Groups, so that Data/System are both backed up are a couple questions though..
  1. so called file "clones", will they become non-cloned file copies in the SD backup volume? I basically don't use that feature, but am somewhat wondering if anything from Apple or other developers would be using that and is there any concern about it?

  2. What about when there are snapshots in the source Catalina volumes? I guess the backup will always just be the last one. yes?

  3. One thing I have never understand is about how the Preboot, Recovery volumes are recovered in the case that I need to recover a backup to a brand new unformatted drive. Does SD include those in the backup it makes or must I use some preliminary step prior to restoring from my SD-clone, so that the final result will be a completely function Catalina APFS container that includes System, Data, Recovery, Preboot, VM. ?

    I guess I would use install media, does it mean that in order to restore that I will always need to use install media first to install Catalina to the new media first and then use Disk Utility after that to restore the SD-clone into it?

  4. Is there any way to do a lower level clone of the Catalina APFS container so that it will be more like a true bit for bit clone of it including all the mentioned volumes as well as snapshots, file-cloning, etc..?

dnanian 05-31-2021 08:08 PM

  1. On a regular copy (10.15 and before on APFS), they're just normal files. I explain why here - However, on Big Sur, an erase-then-copy backup uses replication which will preserve the clones. Subsequent Smart Updates might or might not increase the cloned file sizes, depending on what files were affected, and how.
  2. It'll be the current state of the files unless a source snapshot is selected.
  3. We include and maintain them automatically. There's no need, in Catalina or earlier, to install.
  4. No, but see Big Sur comment above.

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