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Old 08-11-2007, 08:17 PM
MikeG MikeG is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 9
New to Mac and to SuperDuper - Need a little help

Hi! I'm pleased to see there's apparently a lot of active support for this product. I did read a lot of reviews that praised SuperDuper highly before buying the registered version last week.

Unfortunately, due to being new to both SuperDuper and Macs, I need some help. I am actually a very skilled former PC user - was actually a network admin for a major corporation, Certifed NetWare Administrator, understand all about the concepts of full vs incremental backups, etc., etc., etc. which is all the more reason I'm both excited (and a little impatient) about getting SuperDuper up and running. But I guess I'm discovering the quirks and differences of Mac as I go along. This is going to be a long post but I'm hoping to make sure and provide everything dnanian needs to quickly determine the root of the problem.

I'm trying to create a personalized script, have tried several versions of it to include and exclude various files, but in general the backup starts to run, evaulates files, and then either hangs in the middle or finishes...but doesn't copy the files I wanted. I think I have a combination of one or more of the following problems: 1) space limitations due to the way Mac and/or SuperDuper need to use free disk space during the copy process and 2) being personally a little unclear on the proper order of include and exclude commands in writing SuperDuper scripts to do what I want.

I might add also that I am intrigued and interested in ultimately using SuperDuper to its fullest potential and, after perhaps purchasing an additional external hard drive with more space if necessary, using it to provide a complete clone/backup of the entire Mac hard drive. That would be wonderful...and far more than I ever expected when purchasing this software. For now though I would be happy with being able to fully backup, and then from then forward SmartUpdate backup, all or even a portion of my user files depending on space limitations.

Here are the facts:

1) Disc space and usage:

a) From Finder's GetInfo, my Macintosh HD (I am using a newly purchased desktop iMac) has Mac OS Extended format, capacity 148.73 GB, available 51.2 GB, used 97.53 GB.

b) I have established only one user account on this computer, my own, which I have named "Mike." I did turn on FireVault for this account, and understand per the SuperDuper manual that that can be problematic; however would like to avoid turning it off if possible, and actually even right now do not have the space required to turn it off.

c) Again from Finder's GetInfo, when I click on the firevaulted "Mike" user account within Macintosh HD, and do GetInfo on that, I receive the same figures as mentioned in a) above.

d) The external drive to which I am trying to copy is a Western Digital USB device, formerly used in conjunction with my old PC and formerly formatted as NTFS but which through due diligence and research I successfully erased (AFTER moving the data to my Mac hard drive, of course ) and reformatted as Mac so that I can now read and write to it. Finder's Get Information on it now reads: "Format, Mac OS Extended (Journalized), Capacity 232.76 GB, Available 179.35 GB, used 53.47 GB on disk. I have named this volume "Backup." The "used" space is taken by the files actually copied during my latest attempted backup described further below; I did start by completely erasing this drive (through SuperDuper's "erase, then copy" option) before starting that backup.

e) So as I see it, by pure mathematics, I should be able copy the whole "Mike" user directory of only 97.53 gb easily onto this 232.76 gb external drive. Problem is, it's not working. I'm wondering if it has something to do with the size of "Mike" being more than the remaining free space on my Mac hard drive (the same issue that would prevent me from turning off Firevault if I needed to do that - does Mac actually require an equal amount of free space for everything it copies to anywhere, and if so how do I get around that? (I don't necessarily expect an aswer to every one of the thoughts I throw out along the way unless the issue actually applies...I'm just suggesting thoughts as they go through my mind in case they help provide clues to the ultimate solution).

2) File structure of the Mike user directory that I'm trying to back up:

The Mike user directory currently contains the following subfolders, some of which are standard Mac folders, others are ones I created to further organize data according to my own needs:

Aliases (a folder in which I just keep Mac Aliases which I've created. I don't like them cluttering my other folders but found that if I move them to trash they no longer work).


Documents (within which I have created multiple subfolders full of files, all of which I would like backed up, and which per GetInfo is currently using 1.68 gb).

Downloads (currently empty)

F Drive (contains files I moved over that used to be on the aforementioned external USB drive when I used it with my PC)



Music (contains an iTunes library of over 53 GB. I'd like to back this up - and mathematically as shown above it should be possible - but I've even experimented with various attempts to exclude this from the backup in case space is an issue).

Movies (currently empty)

Pictures (I currently have 3 GB of photos in here per GetInfo)



3. I've created a SuperDuper backup script - actually have rearranged it many times but here's my latest configuration. Like I said by way of introduction, I'm sure I'm not completely clear on the concepts and that this is likely where I actually need help. I've called this "EMG Data Backup". Currently, I have included no scripts in the included scripts section (yes, I tried the "backup - all files" and "backup - user files" here at different times in previous configurations, but currently tried not including anything here, for fear that those scripts were including files that were taking up too much space). I have added the following commands, in the order shown, in the Scripts Command section:

copy Users/Mike/Documents/Data
ignore Users/Mike/Music (thinking this command would save the space in case it was my 53 gb iTunes library causing the problem)
copy Users/Mike/Documents/Archive
copy Users/Mike/Documents/Quicken Backup Folder
copy Users/Mike/Documents/Quicken Data.qdfm

That's my script as-is for now. As you can see, I'm trying to pick out only certain subfolders within Users/Mike/Documents in the hopes of avoiding space problems, but, as I said above, the numbers don't support a space problem, and truth be told I'd really rather just back up everything within Users/Mike/Documents - or, better yet, Users/Mike - or best of all - the entire Mac hard drive - which as you can already see STILL wouldn't take up all the space on my external drive. (Random thought popping out - could it be that a larger external - or a FireWire external - would solve my problem? Or perhaps moving some big files off of my hard drive - my iTunes library for example - and onto a second larger external so that none of my drives were more than 50% used, if that indeed is a Mac requirement for copies of any kind as I'm starting to suspect?

NOTE: I'm breaking this up into two posts, as I've exceeded the 10,000 character space limitation in this one. Post continued below.
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