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kapalama 07-23-2009 12:52 AM

Needed: Time Machine and SuperDuper guidance
Needed: Time Machine tips and tricks

First, two unfortunate facts
1. The help file for SuperDuper does not mention TimeMachine once.
2. The link on the SuperDuper product page is to a blog post saying that SuperDuper is not Leopard compatible. Clearly that link is outdated.

There are some scattered mentions of Time Machine in these forums, but none of them really lays out possible scenarios and the pros and cons of each scenario.

It's also not exactly clear just how SuperDuper handles Time Machine disks. Specifically, can SuperDuper smart update my Time Machine disk? And in smart updating my disk, if that is possible, what do I need to do if that backup disk becomes the working Time Machine disk? Will Time Machine understand everything as if the original version of the Time Machine disk had not failed?

I do not even begin to think of one copy of anything as backup. Drives fail. (for me more than other people apparently). Time Machine is not backup, (not even close); it's just versioning. But I do want a backup of those versions. I think SuperDuper can smart clone my Time Machine disk to keep a fresh backup, but I don't know.

Obviously some of this confusion is the fault of Apple for letting people believe that Time Machine is a backup solution. It does not seem that anyone is backing up their Time Machine disks, seemingly because Apple has painted Time Machine as a backup solution itself, rather than a versioning system. So there is little information on the web about how to keep clones of Time Machine disks current, or if it is possible. Plenty of information on how to use Time Machine (as a versioning system) side by side with SuperDuper (as a backup system) (or CCC or Disk Utility), but no information on how to use SuperDuper (or CCC) to back up the Time Machine disk itself as a regular backup practice, or whether that is even possible.


dnanian 07-23-2009 07:29 AM

Please see the FAQ (Help > Frequently Asked Questions inside SuperDuper). There are three entries there that specifically deal with Time Machine, and they should answer your questions.

kapalama 07-23-2009 08:06 PM

1. So Smart update will work like it would on any other disk?

2. Will Time Machine just look for data on whatever disk you point it at? No 'prep' or fooling with it?

3. Does it matter that the Time Machine disk is also my media disk? There is a mention in there there is some difference between 'restore' and 'backup', and I am not sure what that means for cloning.

dnanian 07-23-2009 08:52 PM

1. Yes.

2. That's how it's supposed to work, yes.

3. Absolutely. If you try to back up directly to that drive, the "media" files will be deleted. If you're trying to copy the disk, that'll work fine. "Restore" won't restore any side-by-side Time Machine backups.

kapalama 08-12-2009 07:41 PM


Originally Posted by dnanian (Post 25725)
1. Yes.

2. That's how it's supposed to work, yes.

3. Absolutely. If you try to back up directly to that drive, the "media" files will be deleted. If you're trying to copy the disk, that'll work fine. "Restore" won't restore any side-by-side Time Machine backups.

#3 has me confused. What would delete the media (iTunes music and movie) files? SD? TM? Why would whatever deletes the media files delete them?

If I am moving from the current iTunes Disk/Time Machine disk to a new one, which should I use: Restore? Copy?

If I am just backing up the Time Machine (and media) disk to its clone in the normal backup procedure, which should I use: Restore? COpy?

dnanian 08-12-2009 07:49 PM

Copying to a drive that has files other than your Time Machine backups on it will erase anything OTHER than the Time Machine backups (and, obviously, the backup it's creating).

If you want to back up your Time Machine disk, with everything else that's on it, you'd use "Backup - all files".

Ward 08-12-2009 11:52 PM

Using SuperDuper! to stress-test my new Time Machine drive
Last Friday, I installed a new 1.5 TB drive in my last Mac Pro drive bay, planning for Time Machine to start using the new drive sometime soon. My current 1 TB TM drive is 75% full.

SuperDuper! has been running nearly full time for 5 days, copying the current TM drive to the new drive. At the same time, Time Machine has been doing its hourly backups. I say "nearly full time" because it took something like 1.5 days for the initial Copy. Since then, Smart Update seems to be taking 16-20 hours per run.

I realize that at the end of each Smart Update, the new drive is not a valid TM drive because TM has been continually changing the official (old) drive. I figure if I let this go on for another week, it will serve to stress-test the new drive before it becomes the official TM drive.

Before I switch drives, I need to stop Time Machine for however long it takes Smart Update to make a clean clone.

Does anyone see a problem with my plan?

-- Ward

dnanian 08-13-2009 07:55 AM

Well, I'm not sure this is truly accomplishing much, but it should certainly work.

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