Apple’s built-in Time Machine app works well to ensure individual files don’t get lost or deleted, but it requires an external storage device. Time Machine is an inelegant backup solution if your need to get your Mac up and running in a hurry after a catastrophic loss. Here’s one way to do it right.
Backups By SuperDuper!, Man
Every Mac user has different backup needs and requirements, but the single most important component of a backup strategy is regularity.
My personal backup routine has four steps, each of which adds a certain level of security, and flexibility.
Here’s my premise for a four step strategy. I turn on my Mac and nothing happens. The Mac’s disk has fried, bit the dust, kicked the can, bought the farm, pushing up daisies.
Now what? Where’s my photos, music, movie clips, files? Gone.
A recent Time Machine backup can fully restore a new disk, but that takes precious time. Time Machine just wasn’t made for that.
My favorite Mac backup app to clone my Mac’s disk drive is SuperDuper! All SuperDuper! does is make a bootable clone– an exact copy– of your Mac’s disk to an external disk. Simply select your Mac’s disk as the source to Copy from and another disk as the Target to copy to.
At the most basic level SuperDuper! simply makes a bootable clone of your Mac’s disk to another disk. In a catastrophic event where the Mac’s disk is fried (or, even the Mac is fried), that bootable disk can get you right back to work (or, take it to another Mac).
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes of what looks like a crazy easy interface. Select your Mac’s disk as the Source. Select an external disk as the Target. Let SuperDuper! do the clone.
Backups can be scheduled using the built-in scheduler. Advanced options let you create a disk image, install a package and backup, run an OS X shell script (before or after), and perform other geeky tasks.
The first clone may take a couple of hours, depending on how many files are on your Mac’s disk drive. Subsequent backups take minutes because SuperDuper! copies only files which have changed on the Source disk.
OK, Time Machine and SuperDuper! are one and two of a four step process. What are the other two? Third, I use ChronoSync to sync critical files between my Mac and other Macs and servers in the office. And, fourth, I backup some critical files to Amazon’s S3 online storage service using the Arq app for the Mac.
Time Machine, bootable clone, backups on other devices, backups online.