Hello! New here, looking for tips on backing up my system :)


Mr Tibbs

New Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Hi, I'm a life long Apple user (Dad's Apple IIe to Mac SE/30 to PowerMac, eMac, 27" white iMac, mid-2009 15"MBP)

Currently I'm feeling dated on my 2011 15" MBP, 2.7 GHz, 16GB with a Seagate 750GB SSHD running 10.7.5

I've got a couple external drives for DJing (500GB used) and photos (1TB currently but will grow) and I'm looking for a good redundancy backup set up. I've got a single bay NAS I can use, ethernet ports around the house and a couple portable externals at my disposal. Feeling swamped where to start, capacities I want, etc etc.

Also happy to hear any tips or recommendations about a new or new-used piece of hardware to buy.

Thanks!
 

Cory Cooper

Moderator
Joined
May 19, 2004
Messages
6,308
Reaction score
216
Hello and welcome.

It's good you are looking to start a backup regimen. There are several ways to go about it - Time Machine, SuperDuper!/Carbon Copy Cloner, etc. Time Machine may be the easiest for your Mac and multiple external drives. If you want to use one drive enclosure to backup everything, a RAID setup would be a good place to start. Currently you have approximately 2.25 TB of data to backup, so the recommended size for a Time Machine backup would be at least twice that to start. That gives enough room for Time Machine to make the initial backup, and then plenty of space for incremental backups. If you go the clone route (SuperDuper!/CCC), you would need multiple drives, as they are best used to clone your Mac's startup drive. You would then use another drive to backup you externals.

Which brand/model is the NAS?

C
 

Mr Tibbs

New Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Thanks Cory! Finally took a look at SuperDuper! and it's pretty straight forward sounding. Definitely thinking I'll be using it to backup my external media drives.

The NAS I have is a Seagate GoFlex Home. It's okay, not great, as in I'm still not totally confident I've got it set up right and know how to find the drive when I want to. But generally it shows up where I expect it to and I can login (get it mounted) without getting too mixed up on the right username. I had a 3TB GoFlex Desk as my previous TimeMachine drive with 3 partitions to cover my MBP, wife's MB, and various media on the 3rd. Then one partition failed and since then I've stopped using the drive and that dock all together, presuming it was the dock that killed the partition (and made me nervous about relying solely on that one 3TB drive as a backup).

I'm not sure what my ideal situation is now, but after reading your advice and considering a cloud-based backup service in addition to a Time Machine and bootable clone, I'm thinking I'd like to use the NAS as a media server (primarily to stream movies) and deep storage for random stuff. Question here: what would it take to be able to stream multiple movie files to separate devices on the network? Would a standard NAS drive handle that okay? So far I'm looking at an affordable refurbished HGST Ultrastar on Amazon. Thoughts?

Much appreciated!
 

Cory Cooper

Moderator
Joined
May 19, 2004
Messages
6,308
Reaction score
216
Thanks for the additional information.

There are a few ways to stream movies to multiple devices on your network. It depends on the devices and how/where you media is stored. Some NAS units have built-in streaming capabilities...and I believe the Seagate does have a media streaming app. Others rely on software on your Mac to stream - i.e. iTunes, Plex, etc. I use a simple setup: all of my iTMS movies are on an external RAID connected to my iMac. I use iTunes to share the library, which is then available on Apple devices to stream to my Apple TV, other Macs, and iOS devices.

Cloud-based services are nice, because they are an off-site backup. The drawbacks are a slow initial backup, they can be a bit pricey for enough space for a full backup, and sometimes they can slow down your Mac by running in the background and constantly syncing.

I love HGST drives, but I don't buy refurbished units personally. Sadly, HGST drives have been discontinued and rolled in the other WD models. All three of my RAID units use HGST drives, and they are some of the most reliable drives in the annual Backblaze reporting: HGST drives top Backblaze HDD reliability report again, surpass Seagate.

Regarding the failure of one of the partitions on your GoFlex, I would guess it may be the drive itself starting to fail. Yes, the dock could have contributed to that issue. Did you get your data off of it to another drive? If so, you could always run a surface scan on it to see if it may be able to be reformatted and used again.

C
 

Jigs

New Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
10
Reaction score
1
My internal 512 GB SSD on my 2012 iMac went belly up yesterday, and trustworthy CCC was there to save the day. Carbon Copy Cloner has saved my butt so many times, I've lost count. My setup is simple; I have CCC backing up my entire internal hard drive to a 1TB external drive every 3AM, and it just sits there doing it's thing day after day. If the internal drive goes bust, the external drive automatically boots up and CCC prompts me to restore the errant internal drive. 4 to 6 hours later, everything is back to normal (the restore completes, and I can then reboot into the internal drive and get back to work). Effortless, but a bit time consuming. CCC support says that a faster external (SSD) would help, but you can expect to have a Mac out of commission for 4 to 6 hours if your main drive fails. Compare that to Time Machine's 36-hour restore over wifi or 12-hour restore when directly connected to a Time Capsule. I'd go with CCC, and just schedule jobs for whatever drives you need backed up, then forgettaboutit.
2917
 

Allen Davis

New Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
148
Reaction score
4
My internal 512 GB SSD on my 2012 iMac went belly up yesterday, and trustworthy CCC was there to save the day. Carbon Copy Cloner has saved my butt so many times, I've lost count. My setup is simple; I have CCC backing up my entire internal hard drive to a 1TB external drive every 3AM, and it just sits there doing it's thing day after day. If the internal drive goes bust, the external drive automatically boots up and CCC prompts me to restore the errant internal drive. 4 to 6 hours later, everything is back to normal (the restore completes, and I can then reboot into the internal drive and get back to work). Effortless, but a bit time consuming. CCC support says that a faster external (SSD) would help, but you can expect to have a Mac out of commission for 4 to 6 hours if your main drive fails. Compare that to Time Machine's 36-hour restore over wifi or 12-hour restore when directly connected to a Time Capsule. I'd go with CCC, and just schedule jobs for whatever drives you need backed up, then forgettaboutit.
View attachment 2917
Carbon Copy Cloner has saved my butt a few times, too. I keep two separate clones for my 2012 iMac's 500GB internal SSD, and two separate clones for my 2012 i7 MacBook Pro. (All of my clone drives are 1TB HDDs 7,200 rpm/128MB caches.)

[Incidentally, I'm not quite completely on board with SSDs for my clone drives because, 1) HDD technology is still improving, and powering them on and using them for only 2-4 hours per week, those drives should reasonably be able to stand up to many, many years of reliable use. 2) SSDs running over a USB 3 bus doesn't deliver any of the appreciable speed gains you get on a SATA bus, and 3) SSD longevity has yet to prove itself comparable to that of old-fashioned HDDs. I formerly had two 1TB SSDs in my MBP as RAID 0. They got flaky and gave up the ghost in less than 3 years. Fortunately, they were under warranty, and I since placed them in a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure as a RAID 0 and sold it to a friend who's into heavy-duty video stuff. I've replaced the optical drive and installed a 6G 500GB SSD as my startup drive for the MBP.]

I don't run backups every day, perhaps only twice a week, but given that most of my ongoing work resides on my iCloud drive (at least while it's in progress), I don't have enough changes to my systems to warrant doing so more often.

I'm curious about which approach you use when running CCC, which I only recently became aware of.

There's the straight-up cloning which creates a _CCC SafetyNet folder at the root level of the clone drive and contains all the files moved/altered/deleted/etc. from the last time you previously backed up, or

The "Snapshot" method, wherein CCC takes — wait for it — a "snapshot" of your system from which you can do a restore. I didn't know about this "method" and still don't exactly know how it works, and being the fuddy-duddy I am, I don't trust it, and I've been either too busy or too lazy to investigate it further.

I do know the "snapshot" thing seems to take up far less space because it doesn't create the _CCC SafetyNet folder. That being said, I turned this option on without realizing it worked the way it does, and I've since turned it off.

The reason I'm a fan of the SafetyNet folder is that I have instant access to anything I may have deleted and want back, or to see previous versions of files I've since worked on. Given over time, the SafetyNet folder will grow quite large. But by the time I've filled up 75% of my clone drive, I can go into the SafetyNet folder and selectively trash the really old stuff I'm confident I'll never need again.

In the very likely event I'm walking about in public with my head ensconced in my butt due to ignorance, I'd really appreciate hearing what I may either be missing out on or simply don't understand.
 

Jigs

New Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
10
Reaction score
1
@Allen Davis I just use the default settings (Safety Net On) with a liberal pruning setting (under Advanced). This controls the size of the Safety Net folder to a degree, but I always use a 2X factor for external backup drives (i.e. if my internal is 512 GB, then the backup will be at least 1TB). I don't use Snapshots, as like you, I don't trust newer features when it comes to backing up vital data. Best, Jigs
 

Allen Davis

New Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
148
Reaction score
4
@Allen Davis I just use the default settings (Safety Net On) with a liberal pruning setting (under Advanced). This controls the size of the Safety Net folder to a degree, but I always use a 2X factor for external backup drives (i.e. if my internal is 512 GB, then the backup will be at least 1TB). I don't use Snapshots, as like you, I don't trust newer features when it comes to backing up vital data. Best, Jigs
Amen on the 2x factor.

I used to be absolutely nutso about having the most massive storage capacity imaginable on my MBP and my iMac, but with the enormous NAS devices, plus a huge iCloud account, I'm now very comfortable with relatively "small" 500GB SSDs in my machines, but still a stickler for having two 1TB external HDDs for CCC to work with.

I'm also a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to keeping a lot of free space available on my SSDs. Everyone says keep at least 10% of the space free, but I believe keeping no less than 25% free will extend the useful life of my SSDs (if my understanding of the technology is anywhere near correct). I just looked at both machines, and I'm only using about 38% of the space on either.

I stumbled on the "snapshot" feature when I clicked on one of my destination drives one day, and a window popped open enabling snapshots. After a few weeks, I clicked the destination drive again, and there was a list of all the snapshots which had been taken since I enabled it. Cool, I thought. Until I opened the drive itself and saw the _CCC SafetyNet folder hadn't had anything added to it since before the snapshot mode was turned on. No wonder that drive's storage space hadn't diminished a bit for weeks!

It's not that I don't trust new features as much as I don't want to monkey around with them unless and until I know exactly what they do, how they work, etc. Cheers!
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Similar Threads


Top