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Advice on Storage & Backup Solution

Discussion in 'Apple/Mac' started by RecalcitrantRon, May 9, 2007.

  1. What I have

    Dell PC w/ 160gb hard drive & DVD burner
    MacBook Pro w/ 100gb hard drive and DVD burner
    External USB case w/ 200gb hard drive

    What I need to do

    Find a storage and back-up solution utilizing the MBP as my main computer. Ideally, I would like a 200gb hard drive in my MBP which is enought for all my programs, data and photos with room to grow and just back up to a single 200gb external using Superduper with redundant DVDs, but the only 200bg drive available is the Toshiba 4200 and I really do not want to go that slow. So now I am looking into backing up the 100gb drive and storing my photos externally and having to back that drive up as well (ie: 3 external drives).

    Any advice here? The simpler the better.
  2. Buy a couple of 500 GB G-Tech G-Drives and you should be good to go! They come in USB and FW 400 and FW 800.
  3. I recently picked up an external 500 gb Maxtor drive for $175. It works fine as my external back up drive.
  4. I forgot to mention that LaCie drives are also excellent with Macs. Actually, though, any good brand of external drive will work well.
  5. OWC has some good prices, though you probably can find cheaper elsewhere:

    Total Capacity Speed Total Cache Pricing
    320GB Striped 7200RPM 16MB
    500GB Striped 7200RPM 32MB
    640GB Striped 7200RPM 32MB
    800GB Striped 7200RPM 32MB
    1TB (1000GB) Striped 7200RPM 32MB
    1.5TB (1500GB) Striped 7200RPM 32MB
    2TB (2000GB) Striped 7200RPM 64MB
  6. I'm glad you asked this question because my wife and I will be going through something similar when we get a laptop. It will become our main computer until we get an iMac around Christmas. You've got a good start by chosing SuperDuper, in my opinion.

    My plan was to keep only the things I use on a regular basis on the laptop. Note that this doesn't include my 80GB iTunes library. That will be on an external HDD with my photos, documents, videos, and other media files. The only photos I'll keep on the laptop HDD are the photos I'm working on right now. Once they're processed, I'll move them onto an external HDD and move the next group of photos on to the laptop to be processed.

    For backups, I will have duplicates of every HDD. So, that will give me the laptop HDD (100GB), a 100GB external HDD mirror of the laptop (using SuperDuper of course). And, then two of every external HDD, one main, one mirror.

    In my opinion, the HDD backup route is far more convenient than backing up to DVDs. Bluray may change that, but not for a while and not anywhere near their current write speeds. I also highly recommend storing backups off site if possible. I'm still working on the best way for me to do that. I'm thinking the neighbor's house might work, but if you have relatives nearby store them there. That'll protect you from theft, fire, etc..., as it's even more unlikely that something bad will happen in both locations at the same time.

    Hope this helps.
  7. How do you have the externals set up to mirror? If I have 3 externals (mirror my internal HD, photos and a mirror of the photos) how do you set Superduper up to manage all of it?
  8. Just guessing but I think you just copy the HD to the other, no need for SuperDuper! for that?

    If one is security concious one could make the remote back up an encrypted disk image?
  9. You just select the "backup all files" option. This is from memory. I'll look from home and repost (unless someone beats me to it).
  10. Simply copying one HDD to another will *not* copy all information. You'll lose some information, including file creation stamps and I think file permissions for starters. If you're copying the HDD you boot from, your "simply copied" backup won't be bootable. Also, SuperDuper will disable Spotlight before cloning and enable after. You don't want Spotlight running while cloning a HDD. You don't want any changes to the HDD you're backing up.

    When you decide to perform a backup, log out of your computer. Then log back in as an administrator in Safe mode. To do this, simply hold the shift key while you click the Login button. This will prevent your startup items (etc...) from starting up. Then, run your backup utility of choice, mine being SuperDuper! (surprise!). Walk away from your computer and don't do anything else on it until the backup is complete.
  11. It would be faster if there was a way to do an incremental backup that only addressed the changes from the last backup.
  12. There is with SuperDuper! Check out their website. They have screen shots. Under General Options, select Smart Update.
  13. I am guessing from reading at the superduper site that this programme is for macs only, as it states, "And it runs beautifully on both Intel and Power PC Macs!"
    Ron, I simply use Norton 360 for anti virus and associated problems as well as it's backup facility. I just direct it to store to my usb external hard drive on the laptop and my 300 Gig external drive on my main PC. I doubt that it saves programme dll. files, but it does save every photo I have ever taken along with all the work related documentation.
    You can spend a lot of money becoming obsessive in this area if you want to.
    Having said that, a full backup system that is a total mirror of your programmes and operating system going to another independent drive sounds appealing.
  14. Thanks Dave. Glad to hear that Norton is working well for you. Personally, for reasons associated with past use, I'll never load one of Symantec's programs on one of my computers ever again. I think what I'll do is buy 3 external drives. Two big 3.5 inchers one to store photos on and one to close to and 1 2.5 100gb to match my internal drive on the MBP to clone to. This give me redundancy on my photos and if the MBP internal drive fails, I can swap it out for the cloned external without missing a beat (at least in theory)
  15. bozola


    Feb 28, 2006
    Seattle WA
    La Cie drives are great.

    They also have a free utility called silverkeeper (for the mac)


    I use it for all my backups.

    1 ext 200Gb for my user account
    1 ext 80Gb for my music
    1 ext 250Gb for a disk image.

    Silver keeper makes a duplicate copy of your disk/folder and then updates only what changes.
  16. If you use an external purely as backup and it is usually turned off, I recommend just buying a bare drive and a decent external case from Other World Computing, etc. 500 GB drives run about $140 these days. Usable case, about $50.

    I have a few of the G techs and they are nice, but not worth the extra cost. I treat these drives as long term backup storage. And for what they cost, it's pretty much the best solution right now.
  17. wbeem


    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    Just bought a 500 GB Western Digital MyBook from the local Best Buy for $149. They have an overstock sale being advertised.
  18. I second this, as I have been using G-techs and they have been great. They are also used by Ron Reznick, who has over 2-Terabytes of info on them.

    If funds are easy, I would go with the new G-Safe. Best solution I have seen yet for a photographer. Up until now I have been using an internal and manually mirroring it on an external G-Drive, but I may go with a G-Safe next time around.


  19. I have done the same, but in reverse.....I keep my most valuable files on my G-Techs.....even for long term storage, as I feel these are the files I would devastate me if I lost them.

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