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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i'm looking into buying a big, beefy hard drive to backup my two main macs. this would be a complete backup of the entire hard drive.

do i need backup software for this, or could i simply drag one disk to the other to back it up?

if so, would the .mac backup app do the trick?

if not, what would be my best alternative?
 

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MIssissauga,
would you know of an X version of CopyAgent sfw.?
It does a "smart copy" of data across HDs that can be scheudled to run every hour.

I currently use CopyAgen and was wondering if there was an X equivalent?

thanx
 

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MACSPECTRUM,

Having researched CopyAgent, I'd say your current alternatives would be Dantz Retrospect (which has limited functionality in OS 10.3.x) or Apple's Backup 2. The other alternative would be to use a second HD, reformat/re-install and set up a RAID 1 (mirrored) array with the 2 drives.

The software alternatives might be intrusive because of interruptions when launching and running, but the mirrored array would be a "behind-the-scenes" method of performing such frequent back ups, as the system is continuously writing all data to both drives. The downside to the latter method is, should you have a catastrophic hardware failure (which carries very slim odds), you might lose data on both drives. The only solution is daily back ups of the mirrored array to another device, preferably archival.

I'll reiterate my set up because it doesn't get much safer; main system RAID 0 (striped for speed) is backed up daily via Backup 2 to external Firewire RAID 1 (mirrored for redundancy), which in turn is backed up to CD as needed (weekly). A second internal RAID 0 on the secondary system bus is a clone of the OS X volume via Carbon Copy Cloner, in the event I'm forced to perform a re-install of the entire system. Perhaps my methods are a little aggresive, but the peace of mind I receive is well worth it.

Now I'll simply get nosy. ;) Why the hourly back ups?
 

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Now I'll simply get nosy. Why the hourly back ups?
not at all
the limited scheduling facitlies within CopyAgent allow for hourly or daily (and other longer intervals)

since it just does a compare and copy (i.e. smart merge) i prefer the hourly and can always cancel when it becomes intrusive

if i set if for daily and cancelled that one copy, then would miss the entire day

the one shortcoming of RAID 1 is that if corruption seeps into one drive, it seeps into the other

copyagent has a "verify write" option to avoid this

also, unlike RAID 1, i can boot from the backup drive since the OS recognizes the backup volume as a separate entity
 

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Retrospect performs a similar "smart merge" in that it only backs up edited or new data after the initial back up. Scheduling Retro hourly would also allow for cancellation of the procedure at any time while still maintaining the schedule for the next hour. The option to verify the data files after each back up also exists in Retro.

The downside right now is Retro isn't fully Panther compatible; scheduled back ups aren't always launched. Dantz is working on an update.

Both my RAID 0 and RAID 1 internal volumes are recognized as boot-able. The RAID 0 runs through an ATA controller to facilitate the boot process.

At the moment, you may be forced to choose "the lesser of two evils". ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for the link, mississauga. i'll give that program a look.

is there a good os 9 solution? i'm going to be backing up macs on both platforms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i'm intrigued by the raid idea.

would it be possible for me to partition my big backup drive, raid my os x mac to one partition, disconnect the drive, and then raid my os 9 mac to a second partition?
 

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sniper,

A better understanding of RAID is in order before venturing into possibly troublesome waters. I've posted a number of links here providing valuable and detailed info.

RAID = Redundant Array of Independent/Inexpensive Drives

RAID array requires at least 2 drives... will not work with partitions only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for the info, mississauga.

raid is definitely not going to work for me.
 
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