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Gizmo 01-26-2005 10:26 AM

Backup strategy questions
OK, I'm a newbie to SuperDuper but not to Macs & computers.

Do I understand Safety Clone to copy all of a HD except the Users, which when booted shares the User stuff on the primary volume. Any updates then get installed on the Safety Clone to check operation, then re-installed on the primary volume if the Safety Clone runs OK?

I understand how a Safety Clone would allow testing while keeping the primary system untouched. However, if the User data gets corrupted/damaged from the updates, then it seems the only recourse is to then do a full restore from a cloned copy. Is this how it should work?

How long do you usually run a Safety Clone before switching back to the primary volume?

So, for maximum protection, one should have a current cloned copy at all times, make a Safety Clone on a different partition before installing updates, and also have a third partition for archiving changed (old) User Document files, in case the clone gets corrupted as well as the source?

I'm now trying to figure out how to find or define the archiving function & how to easily present all of it for simple or automatic operation by non-computer literate family & friends. :confused:

dnanian 01-26-2005 10:52 AM

Hey, Gizmo.

Indeed, a safety clone doesn't substitute for a regular backup (of the main volume -- no need to back up the sandbox). If any user data is damaged (very rare due to this kind of update), you've got that to rely on.

There are alternatives to reinstalling on the main volume, including "cloning back" as described in the manual. That's a little scary for most people, though, so it's not something that you have to do. In addition, any "manually created" aliases from the original to the sandbox won't clone back properly in this version. But, if the Safety Clone was created by SD! it will work.

It's hard to say how long you should run from the Safety Clone. Personally, I always run from the clone. After a week or so running a new software update with no problems, I'll update the main volume and then the safety clone, so I'm running from a fresh one again.

For maximum protection, you need only have a (well, one or more, depending on what you want for rollback) backup of the main volume (which includes the user files) and a safety clone. There's no need to archive old documents if you're backing up the main volume, unless you need rollback support as mentioned just above.

Make sense?

Gizmo 01-27-2005 10:32 AM

It does make sense. I've not encountered the idea of a Safety Clone before, & it would have helped prevent a dilemma that I'm now dealing with for a friend. Her iMac is currently stuck with some install problems relating to an upgrade to Panther & iLife04 from Jaguar & original iLife. I mistakenly ran a Software Update in between the two installs, resulting in the iTunes application being messed up & the Mac installer not operating correctly. Besides needing to fix this, I want this user to put a regular backup strategy into place. Certainly glad I found SD! I've used Retrospect & Carbon Copy Cloner -- neither is appropriate for an inexperienced user, IMO, and too much trouble/time consuming for me.

My concern for needing rolling backups dates back to my experience with minicomputer accounting software. Sometimes a user does not discover that something is missing or messed up for several days, enough time to make the backup worthless if it mirrors the messed up primary drive. It is especially problematic if many integrated files are involved in an application. such as accounting or iLife. I think we'll start with Daily & Weekly partitions on an external FW HD, & I'll have to delve deeper into scripts for automatic schedules. Lately I've been reading about iLife05 woes with missing albums, so I won't install my newly purchased package until I have a Sandbox in addition to my clones!

dnanian 01-27-2005 03:40 PM

Completely understood, but note that with iLife 05, you'll definitely want to backup the main volume before installing: the Sandbox is enough to ensure iLife can be removed by booting back, but the data is on the main volume... I'm sure you know this, but I just want to emphasize it again!

Gizmo 01-27-2005 05:57 PM

Oh, yes. I'll have full backups, in fact I'll have to in order to create a Sandbox partition on my main HD.

dnanian 01-27-2005 05:59 PM

Well, you don't *have* to -- you can use iPartition...

Gizmo 02-04-2005 03:15 PM

Backups while using Safety Clone
So I have a full HD clone of my main system on an external drive, plus a Sandbox Safety Clone on my PowerBook HD. What backup procedure would I do while running off the Sandbox to backup my user data? Would I just continue to clone the main partition on the PowerBook, since that's where my user files are? I do have my external drive in 2 partitions, so I think I'd want to clone subsequent backups to the 2nd partition & leave the "before" Sandbox clone alone.

dnanian 02-08-2005 04:55 PM

Wow, once again, no notification that there were new messages. Something funny's going on... and I've fixed it. Phew!

To back up your user data (only), you'd use "Backup - user files", selecting the original drive in the first pop-up. Never select the Sandbox -- there aren't any user files there.

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