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glenk 08-18-2008 01:48 PM

Setting up incremental backup
Hi, i hope someone can help.
I have a MacBook running leopard for work and I currently have a 40GB work folder that contains just current and recent work.
I also have a Lacie external 500GB drive that holds older work (about 300GB) that I still need to access regularly without too much problem.

What I want to do is to have my current work folder back up the changes in the laptop folder to a storage folder on the Lacie, but if I delete something from my laptop NOT to delete it from the backup.

Separately I then want to mirror this external drive to a second brand new 500GB Lacie drive. (If it is better, I have two new ones to set everything up on, rather than use the half full one I already have)

1. Is this something SuperDuper can help with?
2. How?!

I'd also be interested in backing up the rest of the laptop (settings / mail / photos) etc. I was thinking of using Time Machine for this. Should I consider SuperDuper for this too? If so, what is the best configuration... partitions etc?


dnanian 08-18-2008 03:14 PM

Well, we're not really designed to copy a single folder like that, and if you did copy it, it would be placed at the same location in the hierarchy that it's in on the source. In other words, if it's on your desktop at


On the backup, it'd be in this same path...

glenk 08-18-2008 04:54 PM

So - it's only for copying entire drives?

glenk 08-18-2008 04:57 PM

ok - just read the product description in more detail... sorry. embarrassing. Can you recommend any products out there that might do what I need?

dnanian 08-18-2008 05:34 PM

No, it's not only for copying 'entire drives', since you can select files and folders, or ignore them, etc. But that 'set' of files is then treated as a volume you copy from a source to a destination volume -- we're not copying folder-to-folder.

I'm sure you'll be able to find a "sync" product if you search around on VersionTracker -- there are many that should satisfy your needs.

glenk 08-18-2008 06:05 PM

thanks... the guys in the apple store recommended SuperDuper. which at least is something!

dnanian 08-18-2008 06:15 PM

Well -- you should use SuperDuper! to do your regular backup! :)

gcoghill 11-09-2008 11:56 AM


Originally Posted by glenk (Post 20961)
Can you recommend any products out there that might do what I need?

I demoed (and bought licenses) for quite a few sync programs, and I think the two best out there are Deja Vu and ChronoSync. I use ChronoSync (although I have a license for Dja Vu as well) because it offers more granularity in the sync/backup and there's tons more features for actually seeing the files, saving X number archive of any discarded files during syncs, etc.

I use SD to clone the boot drive, and ChronoSync to sync folders laptop to desktop as well as to just incrementally backup certain folders.

No offense to SuperDuper, but setting things up other than cloning a drive is just too arcane for me. SuperDuper was my last backup purchase, so I already had the others.

glenk 11-09-2008 09:30 PM

Thanks for the reply.

I actually ended up getting NTI Shadow, which seemed to be fantastic and do exactly what I want --- at the moment however it won't let me choose the folder I want as a destination and the error it gives me doesn't give any clues as to why.

(I can select other folders around it as a destination - the only difference I can see is that the one I want is also the starting point of a different sync, but not at the same time)

I might try ChronoSync as you suggest...


gcoghill 11-09-2008 10:28 PM

I had never heard of NTI Shadow, but I usually stick with mac OS X native apps, especially for something like backup. I want a Mac geek who knows OS X (another reason I registered Super Duper). There's a good chance that your issue isn't with the software, maybe the permissions are set differently on that folder?

Also, after posting here I re-evaluated my backup strategy and realized a lot of what I was relying on ChronoSync for was redundant with Time Machine, which wasn't even out when I set all this up.

ChronoSync allowed me to "smart backup", but also save archives of the changed files. Differently than the way Time Machine handles this, but a safety net al lthe same. I picked up Super Duper for the bootable factor. But now that I have Time Machine going, it's not only a redundant backup but also offers the archive/versioning I wanted.

I just today set up Super Duper to just clone/backup all my main drives, and let Time Machine run for versioning archives. ChronoSync is still handy for syncing the MacBook to the desktop, but if Super Duper ever offered a sync feature I would probably go SD all the way.

I did read ChronoSync was planning bootable backups, but that announcement has been on the site for many, many months. Plus, I have had nothing but the highest quality help with any issues -- either directly or via the forum -- with the Super Duper developer and keeping it all in one place would be great. And to be honest I really have had no issues with SuperDuper, mostly just questions.

In all fairness the ChronoSync dev was helpful as well, and I have had no probs with the software either. But since I no longer need the versioning backups, I would just go with SuperDuper since the main focus (cloning/backups) is simple to set up and I like the fact that it will auto-mount and auto-dismount the backup drives when needed.

jtk 11-11-2008 12:42 PM


Originally Posted by glenk (Post 20958)
What I want to do is to have my current work folder back up the changes in the laptop folder to a storage folder on the Lacie, but if I delete something from my laptop NOT to delete it from the backup.

Another (and free!) option you might try is rsync. It's a command line tool that ships with Mac OS X, so you've already got it. You might even be able to find a nice GUI wrapper for it on VersionTracker or MacUpdate, but I don't know of one off the top of my head.

Since both the source and target are on the same machine, you won't need to deal with the more complicated aspects of rsync, but you may want to be careful about the types of files you use it on. Earlier versions of Mac OS shipped with a version that didn't really handle some types of files correctly (e.g. files with resource forks), but I believe that the current version fixes that issue. You might want to test it out before relying on it, just to be sure.

It should be noted that rsync can also be used to archive deleted or older versions of files as they are replaced or removed from your target. Very handy feature.

gcoghill 11-11-2008 03:05 PM

Here's an inexpensive option I just saw was updated on MacUpdate: Mim Mac -- $10 and seems to offer what you need.

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