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Old 06-22-2009, 02:23 AM
LearningUser LearningUser is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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inner vs. outer partition; bootable clone partition size; Why not back up Sandbox?

Dear Dave Nanian,

I really appreciate the opportunity to participate in this forum and to start using SuperDuper! For years, I have been using both Bombich's Carbon Copy Cloner and Prosoft's DataBackup, but it seems to me that your software offers some distinct advantages, not least of which is the Sandbox. Except that I'm still confused by how to implement a Sandbox. Here are my concerns.

I have noticed that you recommend making a partition for a Sandbox that is 20-30% larger than the space taken up by the Sandbox data. I have read elsewhere that a startup drive operates at peak performance only if its data take up less than half of the partition it occupies, which would seem to dictate making a partition for a Sandbox that is 50% larger than the space taken up by the Sandbox data--or even 60-80% larger, to leave room for 10-30% of growth (the adding of new applications, for example, if one chooses the "Sandbox-shared users" option instead of the "Sandbox-shared users and applications" option). Or am I misunderstanding something?

If I choose not to use a Sandbox, then should my bootable clones of my startup partition be made to a partition that is at least as big as my startup partition? If my current startup partition is 150GB, and contains only 65GB of data, then does my bootable clone's partition need to be 150GB? 151GB? Or only 75GB, since the clone itself does not need to be operating at peak performance, and only needs to be there as a source from which to restore to another, new, 150GB partition?

I noticed that, for users who are planning to repartition an internal drive into two partitions--one for what is typically named "Macintosh HD" and the other for what could be called "Sandbox", you recommend making the first partition for the Macintosh HD, and the second partition for the Sandbox. But I have read elsewhere that the first partition on a drive, since it is closest to the outside of the spinning disk, is the fastest of the partitions on the disk, and that each partition after that is slower. I have read, on sites devoted to the topic of maximizing system performance, that performance can be maximized by putting the startup partition closest to the outside of the disk, which would suggest that it's best to put the Sandbox on the outside of the disk, since it will be one's startup disk. No? Or, if one plans to leave one's applications in the Macintosh HD partition, would performance be maximized by putting that partition on the outside of the disk, since applications need the fastest disk space (do they? i don't know.)? Or is it a wash? Or perhaps this is an argument for selecting the "Sandbox-shared users and applications" option, so that the applictions and the system are on the outside (fastest) partition? My main reason for wanting to optimize performance is that I use Photoshop for big (1.5GB) image files (I use a physically separate eSATA drive for photo files, and another physically separate eSATA drive for the scratch disk), just in case that info is relevant to your answer.

I noticed that you once wrote: "Also, remember that there's no need to back up the Sandbox; always back up the original volume" (on this page: ). This confuses me. If I never back up the Sandbox, and all my system updates and perhaps even application updates are made to the Sandbox, and then the Sandbox disk fails for mechanical reasons, then I will be stuck without an up-to-date system, right? Years and years of system and application updates, which might have been working beautifully for years, would be lost forever in this case, right? Unless there is some kind of regular, timely, scheduled Sandbox-to-Macintosh HD transfer of system updates and application updates. Is that the piece of the puzzle that I'm missing? What kind of schedule for this should there be? Can it be scheduled through the SD! software? Your User Guide seems to say that this transfer should be done "at your leisure", only after it's clear that the updates are working well. And that until then, the application updates should be stored in a folder on the Desktop. But I worry that I will never feel confident that the updates are working well, and that I'll keep postponing the Sandbox-to-Macintosh HD transfer. (After all, this is the postponing that has always ben the Achilles heel of backing up--the best reason for automatically scheduled backups.) So wouldn't it make sense to keep a regularly scheduled bootable clone backup of the Sandbox Partition? Doing so daily would raise the problem of over-writing one's pre-system-update sandbox though, right? Creating a need for a Meta-Sandbox?!? Or, instead, might this necessitate three categories of Sandbox update?: Daily, Weekly, and Monthly? Would those be necessary in addition to Daily, Weekly, and Monthly bootable clones of the Macintosh HD partition?

And shouldn't one have these partitions distributed across several different drives, some on line, some off line (in case of electrical damage), some on-site, some off-site (in case of fire, theft, etc.)? This so multiplies the number of partitions needed for safety that my head is starting to spin. Please tell me whether I'm making sense!

Thank you,

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partition, performance, photoshop, sandbox, weekly

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