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d2hamilton 05-03-2005 10:30 PM

Some unchanged files keep being copied
Got the full version. Did a full "all files" backup. Then, just to test, I did a "smart update" backup and it had to copy several files. (Only 7 minutes worth.) I immediately did it again, and it appears to have copied those same files (or at least from the same directories) over again. This is even when it's run twice in a row, with no other apps being run, files being changed, etc..

Why does it keep coping over those same files? (from Music folder, Pictures folder, a couple .app "files", etc.)


dnanian 05-03-2005 11:02 PM

How do you know that those files are being copied? Is it because you're seeing them in the status view? Those files aren't being copied, they're just being examined.

If you're sure they're being copied, it might be that those files are "floating" -- we'll often copy "floating" files (see my blog) over, because they look like they've changed...

sjk 05-05-2005 01:47 AM

I've noticed Smart Update can report a small number of files as copied even though no modifications have been made on either the source or destination volumes. Besides the "floating" files, are there any others (e.g. symlinks) being reported as copied?

dnanian 05-05-2005 07:33 AM

(Smart Update *always* refreshes symlinks, definitely. That's expected and intentional.)

sjk 05-05-2005 04:50 PM

Thought so but I couldn't find our previous discussion about it so thanks for the confirmation.

joebeone 05-07-2005 02:20 PM

So, I too am noticing that SuperDuper! tends to copy more than I want it to... that is I have a partition with Mac OS X 10.3.7 and one with 10.3.9 on it... I do a bit of work on 10.3.7 but spend most of my time on 10.3.9. I would like a way to Smart Update only the files in /Users/... however, when I wrote a script that copied /Users/ it proceeded to Copy a whole slew of stuff including things in /System and (I think) effectively wrote over my 10.3.7 install.

If, as above, it is truly just comparing the files and not copying them, why does the title of the progress bar say, "Copy Files from (source) to (target)"??? Can't it, if making comparisons, say, "Comparing files..." and then when copying, say "Copying files...".

Even if it not copying files, why does it have to check files in /System when all I ask it to do is to Smart Update /Users/?

Frustrated, Joe

dnanian 05-07-2005 03:50 PM


SuperDuper! ships with a script that will only copy /Users (and an important folder in /Librar): it's called "Backup - user files".

I agree completely that SuperDuper!'s status view is a bit misleading -- the idea is that we're in the "copy phase", not that we're "copying" the folders you're seeing listed. In any case, it stinks: we've extensively reworked it in v2.0, and I think you'll find it to your liking.

Because of its ability to do a lot of wildcards and other things, including Smart Update, SuperDuper! does indeed scan the entire drive each time you copy. On my system, with over 700,000 files, this takes less then four minutes: we do hope to optimize the algorithms further at some point, but it's pretty darn fast as-is...

joebeone 05-07-2005 04:42 PM

Thanks for the quick response and, don't get me wrong, SuperDuper! seems to be quite super duper. However, when I used the "Backup - user files" script in SmartUpdate mode to back up my user files from my powerbook's hard drive (10.3.9) to an external drive (10.3.7) it copied much more than /Users and when I booted into that drive it was no longer 10.3.7 but 10.3.9.

Sounds like it is copying quite a bit of /System no? As this isn't essential, just desired, I'll just use the 10.3.7 partition sparingly (it's for a simulation package that only runs under java 1.4.2_3. -Joe

dnanian 05-07-2005 04:49 PM


I've never, ever seen it do anything like that before. What's even stranger, if you use "Smart Update" to do that, by definition it's going to try to *remove* things outside the selected set of files (Smart Update makes the destination identical to the selections from the source, removing any files or folder that are outside the selector -- as it says, it's just like Erase, then copy, but faster).

If you've got the SuperDuper!.log from this weird copy, I'd be very interested. Could you please send it into support so I can analyze it?


joebeone 05-07-2005 04:49 PM

Ah, I just saw this:

It would be helpful to have this information somewhere in the interface or in the documentation. You might also consider doing some usability testing of the interface if you haven't already (it seems largely intuitive but the fact that I've cloned a drive three times in a row do to not understanding the SuperDuper! scripts after reading the documentation stands for something...). -Joe

joebeone 05-07-2005 04:50 PM

I think what I was seeing today was this problem with first not ignoring * and .*. It might also be helpful to have a "test-flight" mode where it doesn't do anything but just shows you what it will do in some manner.

dnanian 05-07-2005 04:52 PM

But, Joe -- if you used "Backup - user files" as indicated in your previous post, that bit of information wouldn't be relevant... we did the right thing when we wrote the script... very strange.

We have actually done usability testing of the vast majority of the UI, but the scripting interface has not been reworked yet. It will be, but as it's used by a much smaller percentage of people than the rest, we've been focusing on improving the primary UI. We'll get there.

dnanian 05-07-2005 04:55 PM

Ok. Sorry, I interpreted your statement about using Backup - user files to indicate that you'd actually used that particular script, not in reference to your own script that attempted to replicate the built-in one. (That's a good thing, since it would have been really, really weird otherwise.)

In any case, please do read the blurb about Smart Update in the WGTH? section and in the User's Guide -- had you accomplished what you had originally set out to do, you would have ended up with a Powerbook with only user files on it.

(Note, also, that as of v1.5.5, we've included a little script called "Exclude all files" that will do the ignore of * and .* for you. Just include it in the proper tab of the script editor.)

joebeone 05-07-2005 04:56 PM

I wasn't precise in my last few posts... I did use "Backup - user files" and I don't remember it having worked (come to think of it, I could imagine that I saw the status bar information when it was copying and just *assumed* that it didn't work).

I did use a simple script that said "Copy Users" and that was when I had the 10.3.7 system overwrite. As I noted above when looking at your FAQ, I'd need to do an "ignore *" and "ignore .*" and then the "copy Users".

Sorry about the miscommunication.

dnanian 05-07-2005 05:13 PM

Hey, same here, but I'm glad we've got a handle on what was going on. I was very concerned that we might have a bizarre bug on our hands, and I'm quite relieved that the behavior is as expected (even if confusing).

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