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ablatt 08-25-2006 08:52 PM

Bought MAC for daughter - need to back up
I am a Windows XP veteran and finally caved and bought the first MAC in our household for my daugher who is going off to college.

It is a MacBook, with 1 GB RAM, 80 GB hard disk.

Got it all loaded up and she's off to school soon.

I've used Ghost and Acronis on XP PC's many times and both products allow you to image a boot disk (C:) to a file on another disk (say D:). You can then typically boot from CD and restore the file from D: back to C: and carry on where you left off.

I've read some stuff on SuperDuper, CCC and Deja Vu.

So here are my questions.

1. What external drive should I buy? Should it be USB2 or Firewire? I've read that the Intel MacBook supports booting from an external USB2 drive but is Firewire better or safer (probably faster)?

2. Can I image the internal MacBook hard disk to a file on the external drive? Is it a complete image including OS etc...

3. If the internal drive fails or gets corrupted, how do I get the image back from the external drive onto the internal drive (new or existing)?

dnanian 08-25-2006 09:25 PM

Hi, 'ablatt'.

I'd suggest a FireWire drive, specifically an Oxford based one. Good examples are the LaCie d2/d3, Maxtor OneTouch III, Wiebetech or most OWC units.

Yes, you can copy the internal disk to the external, and you simply start up from it and copy back with SuperDuper -- or, if you have lost the internal, you can even run from it and continue working. Much better than Windows... :)

ablatt 08-25-2006 10:33 PM


I assume you're talking about copying the entire contents to the external drive, as in cloning the internal to the external.

But can you image the internal drive to a file on the external drive and then restore that image file back to the internal drive at a later date? If so, how is that done?

dnanian 08-26-2006 09:21 AM

Yes, you can (though I strongly suggest copying the contents, since it's faster and can be directly started from). But, you can put them in a file, too. Just choose "Disk Image..." from the destination pop-up. Use a "Read/Write Sparse Image".

gbdoc 09-01-2006 05:04 AM

In addition to what Dave said, note that an image must be "restored" in order to be used. This is not only an extra step, it doesn't always work according to plan - and when it doesn't, "game over." A clone, by contrast, is immediately usable, and the files, being identical to the originals, are not subject to the risk of imperfect "restoration."

IMO, images made sense when disk space was at a premium. At today's FW disk prices, the argument for using them, given their inherent riskiness, has largely disappeared.

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