Backing Up

March 9, 2007

Needless to say, you back up your Mac regularly. Er… that’s right isn’t it? If you don’t back up, stop reading this and back up now, or keep reading this and find out how to do it.

There are two principle components to backing up. The first is to make back ups, the second is to ensure that your back ups work and you can restore form them.

To back up successfully, part of your backup plan is to make sure that you actually backup. It’s a chore and not much fun, however some software and easily set up automation can take way the chore and bring some peace of mind. There’s nothing worse than loosing data, your iTunes library, your iPhoto albums, the major bill paying commission, whatever it is. To stop this happening make regular backups, on a schedule and dealt with via automation. Carbon Copy Cloner can do that for you.


My home account is backed up every night and the whole hard disk once a week to an external hard drive. I also have a separate incremental folder that I drop attachments and downloads etc. into, once that gets to around 4 gig, I’ll burn a DVD. In fact I burn two, one is taken off site to avoid complete disaster. If I ever needed to, I could incrementally restore my machine states right from the original Jaguar install to the current Tiger and all flavours of Panther in between. Thankfully I’ll never have the need to.

However Apple has thrown something of a spanner in the works. I’m close to upgrading my Mac and that will mean an Intel Mac. I haven’t got a problem with the processor, it’s the OS I’m worried about. There seems to be little that Carbon Copy Cloner can do about it until Apple sorts something out.

The latest version of Carbon Copy Cloner is a PPC binary, it will run under Rosetta on an Intel Mac. But… and it’s a big but, Apple doesn’t support starting up an Intel Mac from an OS install that originally came from a PPC Mac. It doesn’t work the other way round either. What is needed from Apple is a universal OS that will install on and boot either platform. In the meantime I’ll have to use Migration Assistant after a clean install on the new machine, incremental DVDs for documents and stuff and wait for Leopard.


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