View Full Version : Back up software. Recommendations?

08-29-2008, 11:48 PM

Got an iMac Intel, 10.4.11, 250Gb external.

The other day I wiped the external (by mistake). Whoops.

So, a bit late, can I have some recommendations for back-up software, preferably reasonably priced or even free. Not an '.Mac' member, and don't want to be (too expensive). I used to use Norton years ago, but it was awkward to set up and apply, and I'm hoping there is something simpler these days.


Allen, London.

08-30-2008, 12:25 AM
For free, I really like CarbonCopyCloner 3.1 alot. Better interface, nice options (incremental and scheduled backups). What's not to like?

TimeMachine is good/very good overall, though it doesn't give you a complete bootable image....but protects your unique data, which is the thing to protect.

For inexpensive software, SuperDuper is very good, and gets rave reviews for being polished, easy, reliable, and well built.

After those, there are buckets of options out there, some with special features, such as network backups, backing up to CD/DVD, etc. Really depends on what you want or need.

Some of these that I have good luck with include: Deja Vu, SmartBackup, Retrospect, Mathusalem....there are dozens of others out there I have not tried.

Others will post their favorites, or what they don't like.

08-30-2008, 05:49 PM
Been using carboncopycloner with my mbp...scheduled backups to external disks...works great...I contributed ten bucks to Mike...

used to use deja vu, it came with Toast,...that worked great too...was using it with 10.3.9 and an eight year old G4 tower (way pre-Intel)...backing stuff up to internal disks mainly...

if you can afford to, back up to a second external, maybe get an enclosure that holds two or more drives...keep your stuff secure...just a suggestion...

kind regards...


08-30-2008, 09:58 PM
Good advice. The more devices the better.....best to have layers of backups.

Forgot to add that many aftermarket tools will let you make a full clone of your OS, from the running OS, which is really handy. CCC and SD do....many do these days, but not all.

CopyCatX (http://subrosasoft.com/OSXSoftware/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=7) is one that cannot make a full dupe from the running OS, but can get backups from damaged drives and file systems, which is not that common. Many backup tools puke if they get to file or block they can't read. This may be one of the best tools to save what you can from a damaged drive, without having to inspect files first.

09-09-2008, 06:47 PM
I fell in love with Chronosync while on Tiger. Loved the interface, the variety of simple/advanced options. It does have a price-tag.

I always tick off the option to "verify copies" to be extra thorough and you can set it save the last x number of versions so that you can ensure yourself against user error (i.e. if you erase some files and your backup program syncs the erasure before you realize it, then you're still in trouble!).

Great features, great scheduling. I do a daily and, space-permitting, weekly to a separate folder.

I only use it to back up my User folder or extra hard drives -- I figure if my computer or hard drive goes down hard, I may as well start from scratch with Applications/OS or start from a last-good disk image. That way I'll get a "refreshed" (i.e. faster) experience out of the computer next time around.

Speaking of disk images, I use Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper interchangeably to create a nice bootable clone right after I rebuild a computer...a clone of the eden/virginal state... have only had one or two foul-ups in many a clone.

After I got over my suspicion of Time Machine (Leopard-only), I've integrated it into my backup scheming. I have many clients and many computers and have reformatted all of them many a time. Time Machine was lovely to work with in this regard although I miss the transparency of Chronosync so try to use both, where reasonable.

Good luck!

ps. Oh, if you haven't written anything onto the external yet, you can try a program like DataRescue to try and recover the data on there. I've seen it do an incredible job (or, at least, make a herculean effort).