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Old 06-17-2006, 08:08 AM
greenjeens greenjeens is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: California
Posts: 19
I'm a newb that just finished installing and partitioning a drive for the first time, backing up another itunes library and making a bootable clone.
Don't take my advice as the final word.

Did it, but what a learning process! Feels very satisfying to have all my data safe!
Once one has a great deal of time, money and emotion invested in an Itunes library or photos, it's really important to back these beloved files up. To be safe they need to be backed up on a separate Hard drive.

Having a big empty drive is good, since creating partitions destroys the data. It's also good to wait until you feel like you have the support and good tutorials to start.

I made lots of mistakes, and that's just what happens. Would have been ideal to have a human being to show up and help, but it didn't look like that was going to happen.... So, I just read a lot of posts and instructions. Seems like a Super Duper user group meeting would be a good idea. "Backup" seminars seem like they would have broad apppeal? How may people don't need to backup some data?

One partion should to be set up as a bootable clone to the 20GB (or so) main Mac hard drive. With Super Duper, it's possible to boot up and run from a cloned external firewire drive, making starting up from the cloned drive on one of the partitions easy, if the main HD fails.

First, format and partition the new drive, (which is very simple with Apple tutorials and "disc utility").
Next, use Super Duper to back up all the data, which is safely stored on two hard drives, in case one fails. There is a bit of a learning curve on Super Duper, but most problems were from my own lack of skill. Just read the manual a few times

I went through the exact same process as sdsl, with the first external 200GB OWC FW drive holding a large itunes in a risky, UN-backed up state. lots of people will start with on External drive since the G4 400 only came wiht a 20 GB HD.

After getting the first new OWC 200GB drive full of 150GB of itunes music, (which takes a lot of CD ripping and lots of special audio tools to convert from Laserdiscs, DVD concerts etc), I realized what an investment of time I had! It would take many, many hours, to put it all back together and be a huge drag if that drive failed. Why risk having to start all over from scratch, if the data can be backed up exactly, on another drive usingSuper Duper??

The next step was to buy a second external drive to back up the primary 200GB iTunes library and the 20 GB internal HD.

A 6 year old spinning drive, with lots of expensive applications and customizations etc, seems like a poor bet, expecting it to keep going indefinitely. What a nightmare to start from scratch!

So, to keep from not doing anything at all, because building my own drive was just one more complexity, I didn't want to have to learn how to do for the first time, along with the rest of the information overload, i just bought a plug and play external Seagate 400GB hardrive for $200.

With a large external firewire drive, it's possible to make several partitions. 20 GB for a bootable clone of the internal Mac drive, that's in case the old main HD runs into some kind of major problems. 15GB for photos, 20 for scratch drive, 20GB for something else, like "Sandbox" when I figure that out later. The rest, 315GB, gets the iTunes library backup.

Super Duper allows one to select exactly how to backup each separate partition. Just read everything carefully.
Make sure and select "backup all files" not just the abbreviated "Backup user files". That was unclear, until I did it, and had to start again and select all files, but the original data was still there. The mistakes just cost time, and not a data loss, so it wasn't that tramatic.

I was using automator, but I prefer to manually back up until I can master that function later.
Looking back, there is a lot of things that can be learned refined later in Super Duper.
Backing up manually allows me to see what's going and wait until there have been additions of files that I want to backup, at least for a while. It's pretty fast after the first big transfer of data. Several hours for 150GB! Then just 5-10 minutes with "Smart Backup" .

One important point, which I can't find a good tutorial that explains at the moment, is learning to distinguish the music files, which are the actual "dumb" song files, from the the Itunes application data base.
The iTunes data base knows where on the HD to find the songs listed in the library and playlists.

Seems that keeping the songs on the backup HD as an exact clone is very important, so the iTunes data base doesn't get confused and lose where the the song files are located.

There seem to be a whole bunch of little details, like unchecking "ignore ownership and permissions" on the partition that is to become the bootable HD clone drive, which are required for Super Duper to run correctly.
I don't know how anyone gets all the little settings right the first time, other than paying really close attention to the instructions.

It's impossible, for me anyway, to understand the why's to all the details, without becoming severly overloaded and distracted from completing a fairly simple, step by step backup process.

Here's some good info
iTunes: Moving your iTunes Music folder

If your hard drive is nearly full after loading all your music into iTunes, or if you just want to move all those music files to another hard drive on your system, here's a way to make the move while retaining all your playlists, ratings, and play history.

Good tips to start off the Itunes library database. Unchecking compilations and the "copy itunes library" setting that can create a duplicate library problem.

"some other miscellaneous tips for new itunes users"

For more than you ever wanted to know about hard drives.

Last edited by greenjeens; 06-18-2006 at 08:24 PM.
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