Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Backing up your Macintosh computer

Recently, I ran into a lot of discussion on the subject of testing back-up programs for Macs.

Most of the programs tested didn't copy all the extra data associated with files in OS X (called metadata - creation dates, file types, etc., etc.).

The bottom line was that after a lot of testing by various people, Superduper! came out the best.

(So thanks Charlie for the good info on that.)

If you have an external hard drive, you can use Superduper to make an exact copy of your hard drive and that will allow you to get back up and running quickly if something happens to your computer. (If your external drive is a lot bigger than the hard drive in your computer, you might want to partition your external drive to make one of the partitions the same size as the one in your computer.) Just attach your backup drive to another Mac and restart from the backup.

Recently, a client's hard drive just suddenly up and quit working. Luckily there was a recent back-up made by Retrospect, but it took some time to get everything restored to normal. It would have been faster with Superduper!

So after hours of reading many web pages, for personal use, I am jumping ship to Superduper. (However I still recommend that people keep extra copies of financial files such as Quicken data in case the original gets corrupted (ie messed up) and have a copy at another location in case of fire, theft or computer meltdown such as a power failure just as your computer is backing up--an unpleasant thought I am sure. Also for backing up data from a number of computers on a network, I will still be using Retrospect.)

Lastly, do NOT backup Filemaker data if the files are open. I inadvertently did that one day and all the data disappeared. (Luckily I had a good backup.)

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