General Question

jrpowell's avatar

What's the best way to automatically backup folders in Mac OS X?

Asked by jrpowell (40499points) August 27th, 2007

I am getting a external Firewire hard drive for my iMac in the morning. I want to mirror my (Music/Pictures/Documents) folders on the external drive. And only those folders, nothing else.

Also, the external drive is 500 gigs and my internal one is only 160 gigs. The stuff mentioned above will last for a long on the internal one if I can get the movies and TV shows off the internal drive. I can live if I lose the movies. Losing the picture and music would be substantially more painful.

So my question.. What is the best way to automate the back-up of selected folders on a external drive and still be able to use the remaining space for porn?

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8 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Sorry about the piss-poor grammar. I have had a shitty morning.

glial's avatar

You could a) drag and drop those folder to the external. b.) purchase some backup software like this. c.) wait for Leopard to come out in October and start using Time Machine.

webarnold's avatar

I recommend using “Carbon Copy Cloner.“link:http://www.bombich.com/software/ccc.html I use it to backup an entire hard drive and make a bootable copy to deploy to my other macs. However, I think that you can also backup individual folders too.

webarnold's avatar

whoops! Haven’t figured out how to do the ol’ link thing yet. I meant: Carbon Copy Cloner.

sndfreQ's avatar

.mac also has a nice feature called backup which auromates backup and is customizable. But you have to purchase the $99/yr subscription but well worth it for all of the other features (web hosting 10GB iDisk and email accounts), but I could as well wait for Leopard which also has backup and time machine

kevbo's avatar

I researched this a while back and found some research and a tutorial (sorry I can’t provide a link). The gist of it was to:

1. “zero out” your external hd by using the erase feature in disk utility to write a zero on every bit (this helps to ensures your external hd has no flaws).

2. Partition your external hd using disk utility. Make one section 160 Gb (in your case) or whatever size that will clone your hd. Choose the Mac extended journaled format. This will allow you to create a bootable clone of your internal hd.

Side note—I realize this isn’t exactly the solution you’re asking for, but to me it makes sense to have a bootable clone of your internal hd. If it goes down, you can get back in right away via your clone.

3. Use the free version of Super Duper! to create a backup clone on the smaller section of your external hd. From the aforementioned research, Super Duper! is the only backup software that captures the HFS metadata associated with Mac files.

From there, you can buy the full SD! license and automate your backup.

Again, realize it’s not exactly what you asked, but to me it makes sense to first have a bootable clone.

jrpowell's avatar

Thanks kevbo..

I did decide to go with cloning my Boot Drive. I made a partition with 160 gigs and the rest will be for movies and tv shows. And now that I finally got around to backing up my data my house will burn down tonight. I have terrible luck.

And I would like to add this.. I am really glad I bought the drive with Firewire. I tested Firewire against USB 2.0 and Firewire is much faster.

kevbo's avatar

You’re most welcome. You also need the FireWire to support video editing, so good choice.

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