External drive

Started May 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
Peter Berglund Regular Member • Posts: 102
Re: Stupid Question, many thanks!

Erik Ohlson wrote:

Howard Moftich wrote:

I just want to clarify what was said.  CCC or SuperDuper! will do a *smart copy* which means it will find new/changed files (since the last copy) and copy only those new/changed files to the 'master' backup.  What it will NOT do is keep a series of copies over time (ala Time Machine).  Each technique has it's own advantages and disadvantages.  I usually have *both* a TM and SD copy made for any machine and data I care about.

Thanks for the replies - that gives me something to check into.

It was a real wake-up call when my sister's newer machine suddenly died 

So, if I understand what I think you are saying, "Time Machine" will keep saving the same thing (including changes) over and over, wheras "CCC" or "SuperDuper" will just update from time to time with only new or changed data.

Is that pretty much what happens?

Cheers, and thanks, all,  -Erik

Let me explain the key difference between TimeMachine and CCC here. CCC will back it up such that your external drive has precisely the same content as your hard drive.  It will do so by updating the files that have changed recently. The advantage:  the backup drive doesn't need to be bigger than your internal hard drive.

TimeMachine will also back up files that have changed recently (not back up the same stuff "over and over again").  But it will keep historical version for a while such that you can browse back in time. The advantage: let's say you one day open up a photo or a movie and find that it got corrupt by a disk error.  With CCC that corrupt file would be on your backup so your file is lost. With Time Machine you can step back day-by-day, then week-by-week, month-by-month etc until you find your intact file. Similarly, if you accidentally delete a file it will be gone forever with CCC but with TM you can go back and recover it.  The drawback with TM: the external drive should be at least 50% larger than the amount of data you are backing up.  With today's price levels I personally think it's worth it. CCC and SuperDuper were great tools and they still have their use in cloning disks. For example, I make a CCC backup once a month or so to a backup drive I keep in my office drawer at work just in case our house burns down or similar.  But with Time Machine now available for free, with such an elegant user interface, I would not recommend anybody to use these older methods (CCC etc) any more for their daily backup needs.

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