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G.Wright 07-09-2015 11:19 PM


Originally Posted by dnanian (Post 33250)
I'm sorry. There are so many drives, and so many Macs, and so many combinations, it's nearly impossible for me to provide a list of drives that are "known good", but "known good" can only be for combinations that we can test.

Thunderbolt, in general, should work fine, as should USB drives. Some drives (like G-Drives) may need firmware updates to improve their Mac compatibility, but that's rare. Sometimes you need to attach the drive when you Option+boot, rather than having it attached before. Problems, though, are generally rare.

I understand.

Thanks for starting this post - which is a valuable asset for SuperDuper users trying to pick a backup drive from the ever-changing selection which is available to us!

What sent me here today was the frustration that fewer of available hard drives can connect with FireWire, and several of the few that are available have other problems. Add to that the fact that there are fewer Macs with a FW port - and obviously, at some point, the advice in the Users Guide:
"Our general advice is to get a FireWire drive from Other World Computing, WiebeTech, LaCie or a Maxtor OneTouch. We have tested these drives for compatibility, and all work well with the Mac."
... is going to need to be updated - as well as the 'Sticky' that starts this thread ("FireWire is always preferred").

I don't think a comprehensive "known good" list is needed, but some general guidelines - just like the comments you made here about Thunderbolt and the G-Drives - and all the other excellent observations you have made throughout this thread - if summarized - and put in the Help Guide, or on the SuperDuper website, or at the start of this Sticky might get newbies up to speed quicker.

Someone who glances at the User's Guide, or reads only the start of this Sticky might incorrectly conclude the software is mostly for Macs with FireWire. And some of us long-time users may be getting nervous about the shrinking supply of FW backup drives, and wondering about other options - which are mentioned - but sprinkled throughout this longish thread.

dnanian 07-09-2015 11:36 PM

I do try to say, in the User's Guide, that USB works fine with Intel Macs, whereas you need FireWire for Power PC Macs. When it's an option, FireWire is preferred. When it's not an option, though...

dianeoforegon 07-14-2016 06:41 PM

The Western Digital My Book USB 3.0 drives work well after reformatting with Disk Utility.

The WD My Passport with Unlock does not. To remove the software that locks the drive it requires a Windows machine. You need to download Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows.

This will completely remove the unlock partition and erase all software on the drive.

Now you can format properly in Disk Utility.

My suggestion would be to take the Passport back and exchange it for a MY Book USB 3.0.

dnanian 07-14-2016 07:01 PM

Thanks for the info, Diane!

Budgie 08-18-2016 07:10 PM

just brought a new imac for my prepress dept

iMAC 27" 3.2ghz 32gb ram 1tb fusion drive

I generally use lacie drives as I have had a good run with these for years, I opted to try a lacie Porche Design P9220 1tb USB, the drive is only 130mm x80mm x 18mm, from a virgin imac I did the initial erase and install, blazing speed, backed up in 18 minutes, installed a heap of other software, and then did a smart update, wow, fast, 6 minutes
boot test from external was as expected a little slow, but up and running in about 2 minutes



dnanian 08-18-2016 09:04 PM

Nice, Budgie!

MichaelD 08-21-2016 12:07 PM


Originally Posted by dnanian (Post 32766)
This isn't a *huge* surprise - hubs are, generally, bad/evil/flaky/weird. But you have an easy workaround, should you need it - connect directly to the Mac.

Any good hubs or are all evil?

dnanian 08-21-2016 12:21 PM

Well, powered hubs with beefy power supplies are better than unpowered ones. The Plugable ones I've used have been OK, but USB (1/2) is just not great with external hubs (you already have a hub in the Mac itself - the external hub is another one).

External Thunderbolt "hubs" with USB ports have been pretty good in my experience, because they're native USB ports. But they're much more expensive.

prouss 12-05-2016 03:46 PM

Seagate Drives?
Does anyone have any experience with the Seagate Backup Plus drives? I bought one as the Wirecutter recommendation only to discover that it doesn't seem to work as a bootable clone (the Mac just doesn't seem to see that partition). Seagate has a support site that says (in a bad translation from something):

"5.) Booting from USB on a Mac

It is possible to boot your computer from an external drive, but Seagate does not provide assistance in getting it to work.

The only drives that have been tested to make sure they are to be bootable on Intel-based Macs are the “For Mac” drives. For this reason we suggest using the “For Mac” drives when trying to install your operating system, or clone to the external drive."

So at best it would seem I should get the "Backup Plus Hub for Mac", although I don't really need or want to pay for the hub feature. Or since I got a great price on the non-bootable one, I could keep that one and get a cheap smaller drive for booting purposes only. Any recommendations? Thanks

dnanian 12-05-2016 06:19 PM

I don't have any problem with the Backup Plus drive I have here. You seem to have multiple partitions - does it work if you only have one? Are you sure the drive is partitioned as GUID?

prouss 12-05-2016 06:49 PM

Thanks for getting back to me. Yes, the drive has multiple partitions; I haven't tried booting with only one but even if it did work I wouldn't keep this drive because it's 4TB and my clone is only around 250GB at most, I got the larger one to be able to do Time Machine backups of my Mac and the household laptops too. (Am I correct in assuming that the TM backups have to be in a separate partition from the SuperDuper clone or else they'll be erased?)

And yes, it is partitioned as GUID.

dnanian 12-05-2016 08:13 PM

No, as I explain in the FAQ entry, they can share the same volume as long as you use Smart Update...but TM does grow until the drive is full, so eventually you'll fail.

Some Macs have problems with large (>2TB) drives if the partition you're trying to boot from is past the 2TB "point" on the drive...

prouss 12-06-2016 11:58 AM

Sorry, missed that, I'll have a go at putting them in the same partition.

Could you explain what you mean by "past the 2TB point" - do you mean larger than 2TB or lower in the list after a 2TB+ partition (ie does the order of creating the partitions matter)?


dnanian 12-06-2016 01:13 PM

Yes, the order matters. The boot volume needs to be in the first 2TB.

prouss 12-07-2016 12:17 PM

Yeah, success, thank you!! It didn't work combining TM backups and SD backups in one partition but once I erased the disk and made the SD partition the top one everything was fine.

But one more silly question, sorry - if I want to do SD backups of additional computers, those need to be in separate partitions, correct? Ie even Smart Update of a second Mac would overwrite the first Mac's clone?

Thanks again

dnanian 12-07-2016 04:23 PM

Yes, they'd have to be separate volumes.

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