A regular cloned backup ensures that all your Mac’s files and applications are instantly available should the be a catastrophic failure of the Mac’s internal disk drive or the Mac itself. Here are two tools to consider as part of a Mac clone routine.
Bootable, The Backup Is
Both apps are superb at what they do, easy to setup and get running on any modern Mac, and make what can only be described as near perfect clones of your Mac’s disk drive; clones which can be used on another Mac within minutes. The advantage is obvious. Not only does a cloned Mac make a complete backup, a bootable backup means you can get back up and running within minutes, not days.
For now, I’ll focus on Carbon Copy Cloner because it works with the upcoming macOS High Sierra, due to arrive within a few months. CCC uses the time honored Source and Destination backup method.
There isn’t much to configure, though you can get down to some nitty gritty preferences and settings. Select the Mac as the Source, select a secondary or external disk drive as the Destination, and CC takes care of the rest.
Bootable and cloned backups are the end result, but there are steps and even a guided setup to make sure you do the clone correctly. The first cloned backup may take awhile, up to a few hours depending upon how many files and apps are on your Mac. My Mac totals more than 3-million files, and the first backup took about three hours. After the first backup, additional backups are incremental which means only the files that have changed on your Mac get copied to the cloned backup and that saves an enormous amount of time. Incremental backups take minutes.
CCC can create backups that are stored almost wherever you want, including an inexpensive external disk drive to a networked disk drive. Backups should be a no brainer and with CCC they are. The built-in scheduler lets you create a specific time for the backup to begin.
And, if you want to dig into the settings you can create specific backups of the entire Mac or specific files and folders; for example, backup Photos to another disk or another Mac. Each backup is a task and each one can be grouped into, well, groups and performed according to the schedule you set.
That means you can create multiple backup tasks– hourly for some frequently used files, daily for a clone, weekly for backup to a RAID array. Hint: keep it simple at first, then expand the backups, but always keep a clone of your Mac. CCC also comes with backup notifications so the results of each backup can be emailed to you.
Are there differences between Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper! Yes. Both are masters of the cloned Mac and both have schedules. CCC’s additional functions are a bit easier to figure out and use than SuperDuper! Both apps are upgraded regularly and both make excellent cloned backups. CCC requires paid upgrades every couple of years; at a discount– while SuperDuper! is a one-time purchase. I bought mine years ago and the original license still works.
Ordinary clones are like magic when a Mac goes wonky.