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Andrew 02-18-2009 11:21 AM

I have a power mac running tiger and want to back up to an external firewire HD. Thoughts on SD vs. CCC? Why one or the other? Thanks

dnanian 02-18-2009 11:22 AM

They're both good programs, Andrew, so it's hard for me to do much other than plug my own solution. Perhaps others will chip in with their thoughts.

Andrew 02-18-2009 10:05 PM

Dave, thanks for being so honest. I didn't mean to look for a plug for your competition. I guess I just want reassurance that SD is idiot proof and an easy solution for a low tech guy who wants to make sure his family pics/videos/documents and system don't disappear one day. I only had heard of CCC from friends and have no experience with either.

dnanian 02-19-2009 10:16 AM

Well, again -- obviously I'd think it was, otherwise I wouldn't be here. :)

You can download the product, install it, review the documentation, all without purchase. You can even use it (although not all features) without registering, forever, including getting support.

I try to put my money where my mouth is, Andrew. I encourage you to try it to see if it meets your needs.

Note that you do need a drive to copy to. In general, you don't want anything else on that drive. Please don't ignore the extensive warnings about erasing the destination drive!

rlfsoso 02-19-2009 02:47 PM

SD is easy!

in my personal experience SD has been very easy to use, and has saved my (digital) life several times. Smart copy (for which you would have to buy it) makes cloning for repeated backups, where only changed items/files need to be copied, very fast and convenient.

CCC basically can do what SD can, its usability has improved but in my personal opinion, setting it up is still a bit more complicated than SD.


Andrew 02-19-2009 10:19 PM

SD copying
IF I am copying my primary system HD to an external HD, can you make an exact copy of the entire contents (active programs and operating system included) from the drive you are running SD from? I had been told that copying programs like SD or CCC cannot copy the active programs and OS while they are used. I was told one has to boot up from a third drive to copy drive one (the primary system HD) to a second drive. So you really have to use a method of using 3 drives where A would have the operating system, and you would be copying drive B to drive C. I am confused.

rlfsoso 02-20-2009 06:18 AM


yes you can (in my personal experience). I have a nearly 99% track record of successful clones, while still working. That means, very very seldomly I've had a problem while downloading a larger file with a downloading-manager like "Speed Download" which led to a file which could not be copied by SD, which led to a clone failure. If after prudently finishing downloading I started the smart copy script again, this never was problem, only side-effect was that repairing permissions prior to cloning takes some time but ultimately solved the problem with that particular file (e.g. it was a permissions problem about who owns the file).

In addition, I suppose, if you check your mail in exact the same second/minute while that part of your HD is copied over, the clone might miss these very recent emails, because the email-folder (".emlx" if it's Apple Mail) was not yet saved to disk or sth. Otherwise I have had no problems wit cloning while still working. SD ignores certain cache files and things in memory (as far as I can say) so there should be no problem?

hope that helps. Please try it outand see for yourself.


dnanian 02-20-2009 07:39 AM

You've been misinformed. As Rolf said, this should work fine, assuming you're not running programs with big, active data files (e.g. Entourage, VMWare, Parallels... or, downloading big files).

fatespawn 02-20-2009 01:42 PM


Why would big active data files matter? I ask because although I've successfully used SD! for a long time on my Tiger/PPC machine, I've recently installed it on my wife's intel iMac. She runs parallels daily for certain apps. Is this going to cause a problem with scheduled backups?

I did notice the other day that the "scheduled" event in SD! was highlighted RED although it reported a "successful" copy. I didn't think anything about it until I read this thread.


dnanian 02-20-2009 02:57 PM

Because highly active data files, in a state of constant flux, cannot be copied properly. Sometimes they might produce errors. Sometimes the destination drive might fill.

fatespawn 02-20-2009 03:08 PM

Ok, that makes sense. But I'm using parallels from a boot camp partition. That data shouldn't be touched by SD! anyway, right? Would SD still have problems in this case?

dnanian 02-20-2009 03:09 PM

No: that's not an active data file on the volume you're copying.

Andrew 02-22-2009 10:10 PM


I noticed that you mentioned Entourage as a program with big, active data files that could lead to problems with cloning. I use Entourage. Am I doomed to failure in the cloning world with SD? If not what do I need to do to compensate for the Entourage being present?


rlfsoso 02-23-2009 04:31 AM

Hi Andrew,

the best solution would be to close Entourage for the period of cloning I suppose. Unfortunately Entourage keeps its data in one big file (with accompanying files for spotlight-indexing for individual messages/ToDos/Events).

I wonder if one could do this via a script, you run prior to cloning (as part of the cloning script in SD)

You could run SD at a time when you don't need Entourage (at the end of the working day or during the night). SD can wake up your mac if you don't to re-login (via screensaver of else), mount your backup drive do the clone and unmount the drive again and send your mac back to sleep.



dnanian 02-23-2009 07:26 AM

Rolf is exactly right: quit Entourage and you should be fine (but recognize that Entourage uses a gigantic file to store all its data, and that file will be fully copied every time).

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