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Dan Lester 11-07-2021 10:09 PM

no more bootable backups???
Maybe I'm missing something, but how do you do a bootable backup with SuperDuper? I spent a decade or so on Mountain Lion, and it worked beautifully. Now I've migrated to Big Sur and I can't get my OS to see an external disk. SysPrefs->Startup disk only shows my internal drive, and restart->option only does as well. Am I led to believe that SuperDuper can't do bootable backups anymore with modern operating systems?

Now, SuperDuper still does a nice data backup, but I want a BOOTABLE backup!

dnanian 11-08-2021 06:58 AM

You've missed something. SuperDuper continues to make bootable backups.

I explain the process at (and it should also indicate what's going on in the "What's going to happen?" section).

Dan Lester 11-08-2021 08:43 AM

Hmm. I guess I did miss that. Thank you. But OK, my container backup disks are already all APFS. I do a Smart Update to them, which is supposed to be the same as "Erase then copy", and I get a backup. But what I don't understand is how I actually boot from that backup. As I said, my backup disks aren't listed as choosable options in SysPrefs->Startup disk, and reboot-with-Option doesn't show them either. Specifically, how do I tell my machine to boot from the backup instead of the system disk?

Now, I have always valued boot-from-backup in case my system disk gets fried. Then I just replace that disk, I boot-from-backup, and copy the whole thing over to my replaced disk. But it occurs to me that now that my system disk is an SSD, that's much less likely to happen than it used to. So maybe boot-from-backup isn't as important to me anymore.

Boot-from-backup is one of the reasons that I don't depend on Time Machine. With Time Machine, if your system disk craps out, you need to FIRST replace the OS when you replace the disk, and only THEN can you do a restore.

dnanian 11-08-2021 09:18 AM

Smart Update, under Big Sur and later, is not the same, as it should say in "What's going to happen?" near the bottom.

Specifically, it does not copy or update the OS.

So, when made properly, it'll show up in Option+Boot (Intel) or Power+Boot (M1).

Dan Lester 11-08-2021 01:05 PM

OK, making some progress here. I erase-then-copy to my external backup disk, which I gather puts an OS on it. Then I smart update to that disk. Now, when I Power-Boot, I am offered that external backup disk as a boot option. I choose that option and ... it boots to my internal disk. Duh? I can tell that because I put a file on my internal disk desktop, and it appears, and also that SysPrefs->StartupDisk shows only my internal disk, which I presume is confirming that that's the disk I'm booted to.

So I guess I succeeded in making a bootable backup, but I can't get my machine to boot to it!

dnanian 11-08-2021 03:43 PM

What specific external drive is it? Is it attached directly to the Mac? Is there one one partition on it?

This may get into details about your system that are better to handle off-forum, Dan. Send email to support, eh?

Dan Lester 11-08-2021 05:03 PM

OK, the external drive is a LaCie Quadra d2 500GB enclosure that I replaced the drive in several years ago. It has always worked transparently for SuperDuper bootable backups with my previous Intel system running Mountain Lion. Now I'm on an M1 system running Big Sur.

But let me ask here. Now that I allegedly have external bootable backups created using your recipe (I've created a daily external backup and a weekly eternal backup that are to be manged through SuperDuper scheduling), should I expect to see them both offered in SysPrefs->Startup Disk? Right now, I see precisely one startup disk offered there, and that's my internal system disk. That being said, Power+Boot DOES show both external backups as being available for startup. So System Preferences doesn't know about them, but I guess Power+Boot does.

But when I choose one of those external bootable backups from Power+Boot, the machine starts to reboot (and I'm hoping it's doing so on the startup volume I chose). Then, quite strangely, when the boot progress bar is about halfway, it seems to boot AGAIN - booooong, big apple on the screen, and once done, it is apparent that I'm just booted into my internal disk. It's as if it starts to boot on my external drive and then decides, nope, I'm gonna go with the internal drive after all.

I did have two partitions on this disk, but I killed those off, and I now just have one partition with two volumes that I use for the two backups. I'm still a little hazy about the difference between partitions, volumes, and containers, but I've been led to believe this should work. SuperDuper sees both of those separate volumes, and I can back up to them independently.

I will bring this up in support.

dnanian 11-08-2021 05:33 PM

No, you should not necessarily see them in the Startup Disk preference pane, as indicated in the blog post. It should show up in Power+Boot (and may show up in the startup disk preference pane once authorized in Power+Boot).

I read what you said, and I can't say why it didn't work...we're not doing the boot, of course - Apple is.

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