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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Seeking advice on running Carbon Copy Cloner

Seeking advice on running Carbon Copy Cloner
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Apr 25, 2014, 11:37 PM
 
I'm preparing to make cloned copy of my computers drive and OS, but it would be invaluable to know about a few things before I begin.

Do I disconnect the computer from the internet?

Ought I uninstall my VPN app?

Are there any contents on my drive I ought to consider deleting?

Do I keep Time Machine on, connected and running whilst cloning?
and if so ought I assume it's ok to daisy chain the cloning drive to the Time Machine drive?

Should I run CCC and do nothing on the machine whilst in progress?

After it's finished ought I reinstall my system from the cloned copy?
     
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Apr 26, 2014, 12:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by porrid View Post
I'm preparing to make cloned copy of my computers drive and OS, but it would be invaluable to know about a few things before I begin.

Do I disconnect the computer from the internet?

Ought I uninstall my VPN app?

Are there any contents on my drive I ought to consider deleting?

Do I keep Time Machine on, connected and running whilst cloning?
and if so ought I assume it's ok to daisy chain the cloning drive to the Time Machine drive?

Should I run CCC and do nothing on the machine whilst in progress?

After it's finished ought I reinstall my system from the cloned copy?
porrid,

I use Super Duper, which is very similar to Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC). Both programs make exact copies of what is on your machine. Since you are already using Time Machine, it is unclear why you would run CCC. I do not use Time Machine, but as I mentioned, use Super Duper.

In any event, I believe I can answer all but one of your questions. So, here goes.

First, you should not be connected to the internet while running CCC.

Second, since the purpose of CCC is to make an exact copy of every thing, just leave things as they are.

Third, do not run anything else while CCC is doing the backup.

Fourth, I do not use Time Machine, but if I did, I would stop it from running while CCC is executing.

Fifth, you should set up a separate partition on your external device for the CCC backup.

Finally, their is really no point in re-installing your system from the CCC backup right after CCC completes. The purpose of having a CCC backup is in the event you start having issues with your current system, and thus can restore everything you had at the time you ran CCC from the CCC backup.
     
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Apr 26, 2014, 02:03 PM
 
Also note that CCC is not a replacement for a true versioned backup system like Time Machine.

If there is any data corruption already present on your drive, CCC will perfectly preserve that in its clone.

CCC is great if you need a full-up running backup *immediately* in case of failure (as in a production environment, or when running a stage show where three minutes downtime can mean a ruined production). It is NOT an alternative to keeping a good backup. It will not allow you to go back to a "good" set of data, once you discover that you've lost something.
     
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Apr 26, 2014, 02:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
porrid,

I use Super Duper, which is very similar to Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC). Both programs make exact copies of what is on your machine. Since you are already using Time Machine, it is unclear why you would run CCC.
There is a very good reason for that: CCC makes a bootable clone, so you can be quickly back to work in case of a total HD failure. Time Machine makes regular backups, which lets you fix a lot of different problems (e.g. accidental deletion) without doing the big rigamarole of restoring from backups and with a much shorter downtime, no risk of reverting additional files, etc. Running both Time Machine and CCC/SuperDuper makes excellent sense - only running CCC or SuperDuper is dangerous, as it does not protect against the most common failures. Running only Time Machine is actually better as it does protect against all failures that CCC/SuperDuper does, but the restoration time is much longer.

But we talked about this already, didn't we?

Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
I do not use Time Machine, but as I mentioned, use Super Duper.

In any event, I believe I can answer all but one of your questions. So, here goes.

First, you should not be connected to the internet while running CCC.
I would love to hear a reason for this.

Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
Third, do not run anything else while CCC is doing the backup.
Well... Actually you can run most things safely, but there are things you shouldn't do, so OK, let's go with that as the simpler advice.

Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
Fourth, I do not use Time Machine, but if I did, I would stop it from running while CCC is executing.
I think it does that automatically - I know SuperDuper does.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Apr 27, 2014, 12:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
There is a very good reason for that: CCC makes a bootable clone, so you can be quickly back to work in case of a total HD failure. Time Machine makes regular backups, which lets you fix a lot of different problems (e.g. accidental deletion) without doing the big rigamarole of restoring from backups and with a much shorter downtime, no risk of reverting additional files, etc. Running both Time Machine and CCC/SuperDuper makes excellent sense - only running CCC or SuperDuper is dangerous, as it does not protect against the most common failures. Running only Time Machine is actually better as it does protect against all failures that CCC/SuperDuper does, but the restoration time is much longer.

But we talked about this already, didn't we?
Yes, we did. And, there was a difference in opinions.

Super Duper also makes a bootable backup. I feel very comfortable with just using Super Duper as part of my maintenance/backup strategy, as I perform maintenance on both of my machines very, very frequently. It is not a waste of time, nor a waste of money. Besides wanting to run "mean and clean", I strive to minimize any issues that can arise. And, by running TechTool Pro (and sometimes Disk Warrior) as part of my entire process, I truly believe I am accomplishing that. Thus, the Super Duper backup is as clean as possible. Even when I execute my entire maintenance/backup tasks, I find other things to do during the longer phases of that process.

Originally Posted by P View Post
I would love to hear a reason for this.
Originally Posted by P View Post
Well... Actually you can run most things safely, but there are things you shouldn't do, so OK, let's go with that as the simpler advice.
For both of these, it is the same: I see no reason for running anything else while Super Duper is baking up my system. Logically, one would want an exact duplicate of one's system when using CCC or Super Duper. I know I do!
     
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Apr 28, 2014, 06:47 AM
 
To get to the original questions, I would basically shut down everything running on the Mac before running any drive cloning app. One reason is that some applications like to write to disk now and then, which could either restart or at least delay the process.

I wouldn't delete any apps you use. I WOULD go through and find old logs and get rid of them, along with all that stuff you said to yourself "I'll delete that later, I'm too busy right now." Any applications you do not use, get rid of. In short, turn this into a good house cleaning project too. It will make you cloned disk smaller, and you won't waste time saving stuff you don't really want.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Apr 28, 2014, 09:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by akent35 View Post
Yes, we did. And, there was a difference in opinions.
A difference of opinion is one thing, but you're stating that you don't understand why the OP would do what is essentially the recommended best practice.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Apr 28, 2014, 10:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
A difference of opinion is one thing, but you're stating that you don't understand why the OP would do what is essentially the recommended best practice.
I answered all of the op's questions from an unbiased view point. In fact, I did not state anywhere that he should stop using Time Machine. Subsequent posts by me were in response to what you posted the first time.

And, best practice for me is what I stated. I know of quite a few folks who think that using just Super Duper or CCC is best practice. I of course take a number of extra steps in my best practice.
     
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Apr 28, 2014, 10:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
To get to the original questions, I would basically shut down everything running on the Mac before running any drive cloning app. One reason is that some applications like to write to disk now and then, which could either restart or at least delay the process.
Yes, that is what I said, and you stated it rather well.

Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I wouldn't delete any apps you use. I WOULD go through and find old logs and get rid of them, along with all that stuff you said to yourself "I'll delete that later, I'm too busy right now." Any applications you do not use, get rid of. In short, turn this into a good house cleaning project too. It will make you cloned disk smaller, and you won't waste time saving stuff you don't really want.
Again, good advice. Myself, I do such house cleaning almost every time I use either of my machines.
     
   
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