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Automating Disk Utility cloning
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Jan 17, 2009, 02:41 PM
 
Since the cloning done by Disk Utility has proven itself in my case, I'd like to use this for my backup needs.

Is it possible to automate it somehow? I will use two different external disks, but I'll always be cloning the same drive and using the same options.
     
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Jan 17, 2009, 03:09 PM
 
What is wrong with Time Machine?
     
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Jan 17, 2009, 03:39 PM
 
Dunno, but over the past couple of weeks, I've learned how to use Disk Utility, I know how long it takes, and I know that I can boot from a clone without problem. Maybe I should test Time Machine more, I just thought that the automation might be possible with Disk Utility.
     
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Jan 17, 2009, 03:47 PM
 
Disk Utility makes clones. That's one thing. Backup is another.

Time Machine does backups and the automation is already "built in". You don't need to learn how to use it. Just turn it on.
     
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Jan 17, 2009, 04:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Since the cloning done by Disk Utility has proven itself in my case, I'd like to use this for my backup needs.

Is it possible to automate it somehow? I will use two different external disks, but I'll always be cloning the same drive and using the same options.
I use Carbon Copy Cloner to do exactly that, works a treat for me.

One external HDD is exclusively CCC'd

On another I have partitioned it so 1/3 is CCC'd, other 2/3's direct copies of data.

I also use Time Machine & Disk Utility on other HDD's

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Jan 17, 2009, 04:49 PM
 
I've been using CCC for a couple of weeks now and had always found it fine, even booted successfuly a few times to verify the clone and to ensure that I knew what I was doing. However, today when trying to resolve my hard drive issues, I couldn't boot off of a clone. Instead of the Apple and the digital clock thingy coming up, I had a circle with a line through it (like the red part of a no smoking sign). I recloned using Disk Utility and booted from this clone with no issues.

I do use cloning as my backup regime. I clone to an external that I take and leave at work. I also have another external which I clone two every couple of days. I don't really need the functionality of Time Machine, I don't have several versions of the same file for example. Plus I'm pretty good at burning stuff to DVD.

So, after all that, is cloning using Disk Utility automatable?
     
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Jan 17, 2009, 04:55 PM
 
Yes, Disk Utility cloning is just a front end to asr. Look at the man page for asr to see how to script it.
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Jan 17, 2009, 05:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
I do use cloning as my backup regime. I clone to an external that I take and leave at work. I also have another external which I clone two every couple of days.
Why spend 30 minutes copying 300,000 files that are already backed up and haven't changed,
when you can simply copy the 3,000 files that *have* changed and be finished in 30 seconds?
Constant full cloning is not a sensible backup strategy.

Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
I don't really need the functionality of Time Machine, I don't have several versions of the same file for example.
Right. In fact no one "needs" that... until they do. One day you'll wish you could retrieve some item from
this morning or yesterday or 2 days ago (or etc.), but it won't be possible... because that backup you ran
at lunchtime erased the last (good/old) "version". That's how it works. Time Machine rocks my world.
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Jan 18, 2009, 04:44 AM
 
I have maybe not been clear with what I want to do. I am not trying to setup a schedule to clone at 3am for example. I just wanted to know if Disk Utility cloning could be automated so that I could just run a script without having to go through the interface. What I do not plan on doing, is setting up a cron job and having the cloning scheduled.

Originally Posted by Hal Itosis View Post
Why spend 30 minutes copying 300,000 files that are already backed up and haven't changed,
when you can simply copy the 3,000 files that *have* changed and be finished in 30 seconds?
Constant full cloning is not a sensible backup strategy.
Doesn't make a difference how long it takes - unless it goes over the 7/8 hours per night that I sleep.

ANY strategy depends on : features; schedule, budget. I have identified my needs, I know the time that it takes to perform the required tasks, and I don't want to fork out for any more hard drives. A cloning strategy using Disk Utility does what I want, in the time I want it done, at a price that I find acceptable.

Originally Posted by Hal Itosis View Post
Right. In fact no one "needs" that... until they do. One day you'll wish you could retrieve some item from
this morning or yesterday or 2 days ago (or etc.), but it won't be possible... because that backup you ran
at lunchtime erased the last (good/old) "version". That's how it works. Time Machine rocks my world.
Very happy for you. From reading the specs of Time Machine, it doesn't meet my needs : inability to clone, can you restore to a USB or FW attached disk - haven't found this, how do you deal with an internal hard drive failure? Cloning does this for me.
     
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Jan 18, 2009, 05:02 AM
 
What is wrong with Time Machine?
Constant full cloning is not a sensible backup strategy.
Who said it is? It's complementary since it's a solution to a different problem. A clone every once in a while that you then store in a remote location gives you far more security than just a TM backup sitting next to your Mac.

It's stupid to argue clone vs. TM. Ideally you use both for different purposes. TM is simple and automatic. It gives you versioning for free basically. Clones on the other hand give you flexibility, more options when your Mac appears to be broken, and it is ideal in an off-site backup strategy (I know people who clone their TM backups for off-site redundancy).

The OP seems well aware of the fact that he's losing versioning by choosing cloning over TM. Obviously he does not mind that and has decided what the best strategy is for him. So there's no reason to lecture him on his choice.

The proper answer to his question was already given by Art Vandelay above. The cloning DU does makes use of asr. You could think of writing a little shell script with the proper asr command so cloning becomes a matter of double-clicking that script instead of doing everything in the DU GUI by hand. Check 'man asr' for a quick reference of the syntax. I don't know it exactly by heart but it will look like something like

sudo asr restore --erase /Volumes/disk2
sudo asr restore --source /Volumes/disk1 --target /Volumes/disk2
( Last edited by Simon; Jan 18, 2009 at 05:15 AM. )
     
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Jan 18, 2009, 05:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
I've been using CCC for a couple of weeks now and had always found it fine, even booted successfuly a few times to verify the clone and to ensure that I knew what I was doing. However, today when trying to resolve my hard drive issues, I couldn't boot off of a clone. Instead of the Apple and the digital clock thingy coming up, I had a circle with a line through it (like the red part of a no smoking sign). I recloned using Disk Utility and booted from this clone with no issues.
Just another example why I always try to urge people to use Apple's Disk Utility or asr instead of the commercial SuperDuper or CCC. The latter have in the past repeatedly had issues and left people unknowingly with bad clones. When they then actually had to rely on the clone they noticed that it wouldn't boot, was not complete, etc. When it comes to something as serious as cloning, there's no reason to take unnecessary risks. Apple's Disk Utility and asr are rock solid, they're fast, they're free, and they're always available.
     
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Jan 18, 2009, 12:32 PM
 
This is even better...

sudo asr restore --source /Volumes/source  --target /Volumes/destination --erase
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Jan 18, 2009, 12:54 PM
 
>>> "Constant full cloning is not a sensible backup strategy."
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Who said it is?
Um... he did:
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
I do use cloning as my backup regime.


Originally Posted by Simon View Post
A clone every once in a while that you then store in a remote location gives you far more security than just a TM backup sitting next to your Mac.
Every "once in a while?" That's one thing. However...
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
I clone to an external that I take and leave at work. I also have another external which I clone two every couple of days.
A full clone every couple of days is more copying than necessary, on the one hand... and not copying often enough, on the other. If tragedy strikes on backup day, the current backup is a "couple of days" old... and won't contain items created yesterday (for example).



Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Just another example why I always try to urge people to use Apple's Disk Utility or asr instead of the commercial SuperDuper or CCC. The latter have in the past repeatedly had issues and left people unknowingly with bad clones. When they then actually had to rely on the clone they noticed that it wouldn't boot, was not complete, etc. When it comes to something as serious as cloning, there's no reason to take unnecessary risks. Apple's Disk Utility and asr are rock solid, they're fast, they're free, and they're always available.
As you learned in the other thread, CCC does use asr... so all that has to happen is for the *user* to choose the appropriate option to their particular situation at the time. Some folks keep other files on their (only) external disk, and don't want those archives ERASED... which is what an asr block copy will certainly do. Thus, what is "right" depends a lot on what circumstances are. Therefore, rcommending asr every time simply isn't appropriate... every time.

As far as bootability and cloning, DU is prone to the same potential failures that CC is. I could probably dig up some examples at MacFixIt or macosxhints. There's all sorts of reasons why a clone might fail to be bootable. Neither SD nor CCC (nor DU) hold any "special" position in that regard. Any one of them could fail to work during any given trial... and probably hardware quirks and/or directory damage (and/or the com.user.pebkac.plist) have more to do with it than anything else.



Originally Posted by Simon View Post
It's stupid to argue clone vs. TM.
I wasn't arguing one versus the other. Each has a role to play.
However...
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Ideally you use both for different purposes.
...even the way this thread shakes down doesn't conform to what you just called "ideal".

Backup by full clone alone is wasteful. Apparently mattyb doesn't want to spend money on a backup utility (such as ChronoSync, Synk, Retrospect, SuperDuper, etc., etc., etc.,) or even engage Time Machine for free... as part of the "regime". Sorry, but i disagree with that philosophy. True, Art Vandalay's answer was proper... but the OP's question -- as presented -- needed further addressing, nonetheless.
( Last edited by Hal Itosis; Jan 18, 2009 at 03:53 PM. Reason: confirm -> conform)
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Jan 18, 2009, 01:51 PM
 
Hal made many good points about different backup strategies.

There is another reason to use backup tools that allow for *incremental* backup runs (i.e. copy only files modified or added since last backup) -- Retrospect, CCC, and SuperDuper all allow for variations on these incremental methods. That is, if one uses DIsk Utility to make a clone (or some other tool that isn't doing an incremental backup/clone), one must first erase the backup disk and then make the clone. The larger the source disk, the longer that clone will take to make, sometimes hours for many dozens of GB. During that time, if the source disk has an irreparable problem, one might be left with an unusable source disk AND an erased clone/backup disk ... i.e. with basically nothing.

This risk is easily avoided by using multiple external backup/clone drives and powering them down when not in use, and/or storing some backups in a different location. Hal had some other good suggestions. But in fact, many users, I believe, have just one external drive used for backups/clones, and while this can save you if the source disk fails DURING a backup when incremental backup/clone methods are used, if one uses Disk Utility and first erases the clone before making a new one, then for that period of time, one is exposed with no viable backup/clone.
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Jan 18, 2009, 02:41 PM
 
You can argue all day that SD and CCC could in theory and under the best circumstances be just as stable as DU/asr. Reality shows it's not so. For every problem reported with a DU clone I can find a dozen reports about CCC or SD. I can't count how many articles I've read about problems with SD and CCC clones. They're simply not worth it. Even less so when it comes to something as important as cloning. Why take any chances when there's a free and fast solution built right into the OS?
     
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Jan 18, 2009, 03:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Even less so when it comes to something as important as cloning.
Guess I'll take your word for its "importance."

I haven't cloned (more than once a year maybe?) since Panther, but -- for me -- CCC's record was always perfect... never a problem. Then again, folks post everywhere about how the Mac OS X 10.x.x Update ate their HD. If we were to go strictly by what people have "posted"... then EVERY SINGLE update to OSX ever released has "caused" problems... and therefore should be avoided. (Again, that's never been my experience... not even once).

I'm not so much trying to make arguments, but rather point out alternatives with advantages.
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Jan 18, 2009, 08:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
You can argue all day that SD and CCC could in theory and under the best circumstances be just as stable as DU/asr. Reality shows it's not so. For every problem reported with a DU clone I can find a dozen reports about CCC or SD. I can't count how many articles I've read about problems with SD and CCC clones. They're simply not worth it. Even less so when it comes to something as important as cloning. Why take any chances when there's a free and fast solution built right into the OS?
Of course we can argue all day about this ... that's what these forums are for!

For me, the built in Disk Utility clone/restore capability is nice and simple, but the deal breaker here for me, which is why I have used CCC and SuperDuper instead of Disk Utility, is the ability to do incremental backups (copy only changed items). Everyone has their own way of doing things. Mine is, run SuperDuper to update one of multiple clones daily, rotating through them so that I always have ~ 3 versions/clones of my system ranging in "age" from 24 to 72 hrs old. This backup/clone takes about 10 minutes each day. If I had to wait 1-2 hrs to backup/clone 50 GB every day, I'd probably clone a lot less (my wife and daughter would probably never let me backup their systems with that kind of down time). Also, the backups and clones work better when as few programs are running as possible, and shutting things off for 1-2 hrs isn't practical when I'm at work, where my laptop is my main computer, and is constantly being taken to different locations, while 8 min for an incremental update is no big deal.

I think the reason you don't hear about issues with clones from Disk Utility or ASR is that very few people use those tools to do backups. CCC and SuperDuper have many thousands of users. I've used both CCC and SuperDuper for years and consider them both pretty bullet proof (CCC might have a few more quirks in that respect).
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Jan 19, 2009, 06:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by Hal Itosis View Post
Some folks keep other files on their (only) external disk, and don't want those archives ERASED... which is what an asr block copy will certainly do.
Right. Which is why DU has a checkbox and asr has an --erase flag. If you want to preserve files you just make sure you chose the appropriate option and you'll be fine. If you don't need to preserve files, you check the option and enjoy the much faster block copy.

Ideally you would partition in such a way that files you want to to retain are kept on one partition while the cloning is done to another. That way you can always chose to erase the destination and enjoy the very fast block-copy w/o losing other files.
( Last edited by Simon; Jan 19, 2009 at 06:31 AM. )
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 06:12 AM
 
I think the reason you don't hear about issues with clones from Disk Utility or ASR is that very few people use those tools to do backups. CCC and SuperDuper have many thousands of users.
That was a joke, right?

asr/DU is included with every OS X installation. It's used by thousands of people every day on every type of Mac you can buy. It's backed by the biggest OS X software developer there is, Apple's software engineering. You can rest assured asr is used a lot more than SD and CCC together. The two are nice little GUI front-ends. Any serious admin will not have a reason to choose either one over more versatile CLI tools like asr or rsync.

When it comes to incrementals, that's simply not something asr does. That's what rsync is for. rsync again offers a whole lot more then these two GUI frontends ever talk about. And obviously rsync is included and totally free whereas CCC is "donationware" and SD is commercial and costs a whooping $28. Even if somebody would want rsync with a GUI there's rsyncX which is totally free, unlike SD. And requires no 'donation', unlike CCC.

And ever since the advent of TM, I'd argue incremental clones have lost a lot of their justification anyway. TM inclues automatic versioning and ease of use. That's more than any manual incremental cloning strategy will buy you. And it comes at a fraction of the effort.

I've used both CCC and SuperDuper for years and consider them both pretty bullet proof (CCC might have a few more quirks in that respect).
Well this very thread flies in the face of all that. CCC for no obvious reason botched the clone. DU/asr did fine of course. And if you go to MacFixIt or google for it, you can find hundreds of other cases just like this one. You and Hal and the developers of CCC and SD (in case that's not one or both of you) can go on all day about how in principle and under ideal circumstances their tools should work. Should work is not good enough when it comes to cloning. Instead, rely on something that really works. Especially when it's ubiquitous and free.

Bottom line is there is not one single right or wrong backup strategy. And different people have different needs. But when all is said and done, if you want nothing but a simple clone, there is simply no reason to use anything else than asr/DU. Experimenting around with stuff like CCC or SD essentially means taking an unnecessary risk. An going so far as paying for that extra risk is outright ludicrous.
( Last edited by Simon; Jan 19, 2009 at 06:19 AM. )
     
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Jan 19, 2009, 07:34 AM
 
Cloning is a lousy backup strategy. I've explained in this thread why, but some of the reasons are:
(i) You destroy a working backup in order to get a new one. If the cloning fails for some reason, you don't have a working backup.
(ii) You don't have incremental backups, i. e. you cannot restore the system to an arbitrary point in time.
(iii) It's not easier. Or faster.
(iv) You must not work off backups.

If you want to have real backups, you can either have that for free (Leopard's Time Machine, rdiff-backup (which is based on rsync), for example) or for very little (Synk, starting from $25).
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Jan 19, 2009 at 07:45 AM. )
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Jan 19, 2009, 01:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by steve626 View Post
I think the reason you don't hear about issues with clones from Disk Utility or ASR is that very few people use those tools to do backups. CCC and SuperDuper have many thousands of users. I've used both CCC and SuperDuper for years and consider them both pretty bullet proof (CCC might have a few more quirks in that respect).
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
That was a joke, right? asr/DU is included with every OS X installation. It's used by thousands of people every day on every type of Mac you can buy. It's backed by the biggest OS X software developer there is, Apple's software engineering. You can rest assured asr is used a lot more than SD and CCC together.
No... steve626 is right, and you Simon are so wrong it's not even funny. You yourself admitted (in the other thread) that Disk Utility arrived pretty late to the cloning scene. CCC was well established and used by both individuals and institutions (schools, universities) alike. When DU finally did add cloning, most people didn't even notice... and that 'Restore' lingo did nothing to increase user awareness of what it actually does. When CCC development stalled, SD hopped in to fill the void. It easily overshadowed DU in the cloning arena... and the metadata thread i showed you did much to increase that stature.



Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Experimenting around with stuff like CCC or SD essentially means taking an unnecessary risk.
Your constant demeaning of Mike Bombich's skills as a developer flies in the face that *Apple* hired him right around the time that Disk Utility added cloning. As i indicated before, that may have been coincidence... but it wouldn't surprise me if his work on Carbon Copy Cloner and NetRestore were the two key reasons Apple hired him in the first place. Thus, the development of Disk Utility's cloning feature was quite likely influenced greatly by his previous work... as well as his presence at Apple around that time.

Anyway, you're just flat out wrong about those cloning statistics. If one combines SD and CCC usage for cloning, and compares that to how often users use DU for that purpose... it's probably in the range of 20 to 1 (nowadays), to around 50 to 1 (during the Panther and Tiger periods). QUITE SIMPLY: most other folks don't associate DU with cloning the way you do. I don't have to google to know this... I've been in the MacFixIt trenches constantly since August 1999, and macosxhints since 2002... as well as here of course, under a different username before 2004.

Rarely is DU recommended (by posters in general), and rarely do posters mention DU when discussing a clone they produced. (Heck, folks even use AppleJack, Cocktail, OnyX and/or DiskWarrior to repair permissions these days... but for cloning?!?! DU is a distant third fiddle at best... your fanaticism notwithstanding). If it ever gets mentioned, it's usually when folks post to ask "how to use DU" to clone... because that 'Restore' terminology confused them.



Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Right. Which is why DU has a checkbox and asr has an --erase flag. If you want to preserve files you just make sure you chose the appropriate option and you'll be fine. If you don't need to preserve files, you check the option and enjoy the much faster block copy.
Yes i know that. The truth is: CCC and DU have many similarities in terms of cloning features. But you conveniently skip such facts while conducting this debate... instead simply claiming that DU is faster because of asr. And again you mention that DU is free. Well, if we're just talking about the occasional full clone, CCC is also free. So that info should be included when fairly characterizing the differences. [constant cloning is another matter.]



Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Well this very thread flies in the face of all that. CCC for no obvious reason botched the clone. DU/asr did fine of course.
Doesn't prove much. We don't know what went wrong. Had DU been used the *first* time, it may have been the one to fail at that particular instant. We simply don't know what happened exactly, and can't assume too much. BTW, it wasn't the entire clone that was botched... it simply wasn't bootable. Anyway, too little detail was provided... we don't know how CCC was configured precisely, or what messages it presented during the process.

Plus don't forget, CCC worked fine all the other times... and the whole reason for the other thread was (as its title plainly says): "Disk Utility - First Aid Failed". (granted it was a repair -not a clone- that failed... but still, your worship of Apple's perfection is a bit overdone. if such was the case, products like DiskWarrior, TechTool, DriveGenius, etc., etc., etc., simply would never have existed in the first place).

Bottom line: i have nothing (major) against Disk Utility as a cloning application, so i don't disagree with you on those terms. But, it contains no inherent technical *superiority* as constantly implied by your posts. The reason the number of complaints about it online are fewer is just as steve626 said: far, far fewer folks use it for cloning... compared to CCC and/or SD.
( Last edited by Hal Itosis; Jan 19, 2009 at 01:24 PM. Reason: fixed misquoted copy/paste error)
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Jan 19, 2009, 01:26 PM
 
Wow, so many excuses but I must hand it to you, grade A spin doctoring. Fact is CCC and SD have both caused so many issues it's not fun. Fact is this thread offers a typical example. Fact is OS X's built-in solution is rock stable, free, and ubiquitous.

If indeed a lot of people don't know about DU/asr that's even more reason for me to point it out every time the topic of cloning comes up. You can try to spin it however you like and you can continue to plug commercial apps as much as you want. But rest assured, I will always be around to remind people of the trouble CCC/SD have caused and how OS X has a built-in, rock stable, and free solution to their cloning needs. Eventually, CCC and SD will roll over and die.
     
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Jan 20, 2009, 01:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Cloning is a lousy backup strategy. I've explained in this thread why, but some of the reasons are:
(i) You destroy a working backup in order to get a new one. If the cloning fails for some reason, you don't have a working backup.
(ii) You don't have incremental backups, i. e. you cannot restore the system to an arbitrary point in time.
(iii) It's not easier. Or faster.
(iv) You must not work off backups.

If you want to have real backups, you can either have that for free (Leopard's Time Machine, rdiff-backup (which is based on rsync), for example) or for very little (Synk, starting from $25).
Well, I agree with you that cloning by itself is not a complete strategy. I use off-site backups at work provided by my employer. Cloning by itself is incomplete and as you point out, has other issues.
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Jan 20, 2009, 04:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Eventually, CCC and SD will roll over and die.
As has been explained (numerous times already), both CCC and SD offer backup features (such as incremental updating of only changed items) which DU doesn't even try to provide. Perhaps if you re-read both threads again, and follow some of the links provided... you will begin to understand the big picture. And -- like in so many other software relationships -- it's the very presence of programs like CCC and SD which serve to force Apple to improve DU. So be thankful DU even does cloning at all, and send those thanks to both Bombich and Lacey.
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Jan 20, 2009, 06:39 PM
 
Apple Software Restore (aka asr) was around long before OS X came out, or any of the cloning apps released on the platform. There's a copy on the OS 9 Software Restore disc that came with my Pismo PowerBook that has version 2.0.5, with a creation and modification date in 1999. I don't know when it was that version 1.0 came out, but given that it was already to 2.0.x by 1999, I'd guess it must have been sometime during the OS 8 era.

I doubt CCC influenced its development much, as at the time ASR was ported to OS X, CCC wasn't much more than an AppleScript wrapper around the ditto tool. In addition, it had some security issues that were caused by the fact that he had to send the admin password to sudo in plaintext in order to work around limitations of AppleScript, which I'm guessing is why he seems to have eventually rewritten it as a proper Cocoa app (Please note: while I much prefer asr for cloning a drive, I don't want to vilify Mike Bombich here - I used to work with him on BootCD a long time ago, and he's really a great guy. I'm just not a big fan of CCC is all).
( Last edited by CharlesS; Jan 20, 2009 at 06:59 PM. )

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Jan 21, 2009, 02:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Apple Software Restore (aka asr) was around long before OS X came out, or any of the cloning apps released on the platform. There's a copy on the OS 9 Software Restore disc that came with my Pismo PowerBook that has version 2.0.5, with a creation and modification date in 1999. I don't know when it was that version 1.0 came out, but given that it was already to 2.0.x by 1999, I'd guess it must have been sometime during the OS 8 era.

I doubt CCC influenced its development much, as at the time ASR was ported to OS X, CCC wasn't much more than an AppleScript wrapper around the ditto tool. In addition, it had some security issues that were caused by the fact that he had to send the admin password to sudo in plaintext in order to work around limitations of AppleScript, which I'm guessing is why he seems to have eventually rewritten it as a proper Cocoa app (Please note: while I much prefer asr for cloning a drive, I don't want to vilify Mike Bombich here - I used to work with him on BootCD a long time ago, and he's really a great guy. I'm just not a big fan of CCC is all).
I absolutely agree with everything said (and i did know a "GUI" ASR existed somewhere around System 8.x). Only...

...in OSX, asr was strictly a command line utility for a long time. It wasn't added to Disk Utility on day one. Wait a sec... I'm now recalling vaguely that Puma did have a 'Disk Copy' app... i had totally forgotten about that. Then later, that Disk Copy code got folded into Disk Utility. Okay, so there was an OSX GUI around asr... but i don't recall using the Disk Copy version. Whether or not it allowed us to "clone" to a disk that had pre-existing files (we wanted preserved), i don't recall either. That's a need many users had, as disks were smaller and more expensive then. Even today, sometimes we just don't want pre-existing files erased. [another plus for pre-partitioning a drive... but i better not get that topic going. ] Anyway, i wasn't suggesting that Mike influenced *asr* at all... just Disk Utility's cloning options. Okay, so perhaps not even that was the case then? (it was just a guess, not crucial to my basic points).

Thanks for filling in the blanks, and jarring my memory cells.
( Last edited by Hal Itosis; Jan 21, 2009 at 02:32 AM. )
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Jan 21, 2009, 03:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by Hal Itosis View Post
As has been explained (numerous times already), both CCC and SD offer backup features (such as incremental updating of only changed items) which DU doesn't even try to provide.
Right. In which case people can use either the included rsync (CLI) or rsyncX (GUI) instead of paying $28 for SD or taking the risk of screwing things up with CCC (for which this thread offers a typical example).

The bottom line is that there are free and stable tools that get installed every time somebody installs OS X. And then there are commercial tools that hinge on the same underpinnings, but then add a GUI and a few other gimmicks. Unfortunately these tools are not as stable as they ought to be (precisely because they try to be more than just a simple GUI wrapper for asr). They're not free either (a donation still means spending money).

It's also unfortunate they're so often recommended simply because many people don't know anything else. And that's why I will gladly point everybody looking for a cloning solution to the free, stable, and included programs. And eventually the unreliable $28 rip-off will die because once people know all their options, they will always recognize the advantages of using stable and free included tools.
     
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Jan 21, 2009, 03:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by Hal Itosis View Post
As has been explained (numerous times already), both CCC and SD offer backup features (such as incremental updating of only changed items) which DU doesn't even try to provide.
That's because CCC and SD pretend to be backup tools.
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Jan 21, 2009, 02:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
Right. In which case people can use either the included rsync (CLI) or rsyncX (GUI) instead of paying $28 for SD or taking the risk of screwing things up with CCC (for which this thread offers a typical example).
People like who? Your mom? Your daughter?
My other family members aren't CLI inclined.

[the RsyncX gui app hasn't been updated since 2004... and doesn't even list Tiger compatibility.]


Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
That's because CCC and SD pretend to be backup tools.
Are you pretending to say something? [like what?]
CCC has rsync version 3.x -- better than 2.6.9 built into Leopard.

--

I do agree that CCC is not what i would choose for complex backups... like when configuring lots of exclusions and other file-filtering doo-dads. I would choose ChronoSync or Synk (and apps of that ilk) for such tasks. Especially since they allow us to *preview* the files which will change. But for basic users who want simple, fast, full backups... CCC and SD fit the "bill" perfectly.
( Last edited by Hal Itosis; Jan 21, 2009 at 03:18 PM. )
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Jan 21, 2009, 03:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hal Itosis View Post
[the RsyncX gui app hasn't been updated since 2004... and doesn't even list Tiger compatibility.]
I can assure you it works just fine on several Leopard systems I have.
     
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Jan 21, 2009, 03:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
I can assure you it works just fine on several Leopard systems I have.
"It works" may not be descriptive enough. What ancient version of rsync does it use? What level of metadata and extended attributes does it preserve? Once again, the article i linked to (in the other thread) gave RSyncX version 2.1 a "Not recommended" score:

issues with some BSD flags,
issues when uappnd set on directory,
doesn’t preserve HFS+ extended attributes, ACLs [uses rsync_hfs]
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Jan 22, 2009, 02:22 AM
 
One thing that is handy about DU is that it's one of the utilities on the installation disk. This obviously doesn't help with automation, but it does allow you to clone a quiescent system disk to an external drive (that is, if you boot to the dvd, the system drive isn't active). It always seems a little icky to me to clone from an actively changing drive. The cloning process probably runs faster too, since asr can drop into block mode.

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Jan 22, 2009, 08:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Hal Itosis View Post
Are you pretending to say something? [like what?]
CCC has rsync version 3.x -- better than 2.6.9 built into Leopard.
rsync by itself isn't a backup tool either. (On FreeBSD, I used to use rdiff-backup which is based on rsync; you can install it on OS X via MacPorts or (presumably) fink.*

* The reason I bought Sync during the Tiger days was because rsync wasn't working properly on OS X. Otherwise I probably would have used rdiff-backup + Do Something When to emulate what was to be Time Machine.
Originally Posted by Hal Itosis View Post
I do agree that CCC is not what i would choose for complex backups... like when configuring lots of exclusions and other file-filtering doo-dads. I would choose ChronoSync or Synk (and apps of that ilk) for such tasks. Especially since they allow us to *preview* the files which will change. But for basic users who want simple, fast, full backups... CCC and SD fit the "bill" perfectly.
If the guys behind CCC or SD were smart, he would have added a GUI wrapper for rdiff-backup or something like that (or made something akin to rdiff-backup himself). But by itself, it's not even a tool for simple backups, because most people will stop there. Clones are not backup. Fortunately, there is Time Machine now.

I don't mean this vigorous opposition personally, I just think SD and CCC are relics of the past -- especially considering that the creators could have updated them to be real backup applications.
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Feb 7, 2009, 04:21 PM
 
This discussion is interesting. I found it while searching to see if someone had already answered the question of whether SD! could be used to clone to a USB thumbdrive so I could go to another Intel Mac and start working. I don’t know if there is a thread for that but this one is where I’m at. Would it be appropriate to ask here?

Could DU do the job? Would I have a bootable fully functioning Leopard?
     
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Feb 7, 2009, 05:23 PM
 
Of course DU can do that. Clone a working Leopard installation with DU onto the USB stick. Make sure to select erase destination.
     
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Feb 10, 2009, 05:02 PM
 
IIUC, if you want to boot from your USB drive, you have to select the drive under Startup Disk in System Prefs. Obviously if your hard drive is fooked, then you won't be able to do this, hence my use of an external Firewire hard drive to clone to, and then boot from if necessary.
     
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Feb 11, 2009, 02:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
IIUC, if you want to boot from your USB drive, you have to select the drive under Startup Disk in System Prefs. Obviously if your hard drive is fooked, then you won't be able to do this, hence my use of an external Firewire hard drive to clone to, and then boot from if necessary.
No special need for the sys pref. Even if your internal drive is totally hosed you can still hold opt/alt on boot to get to the boot loader. Select the system on your USB or FW drive and you're all set.
     
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Feb 13, 2009, 12:08 AM
 
Here's my 2 cents worth:

It is not a choice between doing Disk Utility clones and using Time Machine: use both. Use Disk Utility to make a monthly backup or an offsite backup. The Disk Utility clone can be read by earlier versions of OS X, so if your 10.5 computer fails you can read the data with 10.4 or vice versa. If your 10.5 computer fails and you have only a 10.4 computer and you backed up the 10.5 with Time Machine, it is a pain to recover your files. For daily and weekly backups, it makes a lot more sense to use Time Machine than Disk Utility unless you made major changes to the disk that you want to save in an offsite clone.

Food for thought: explore ZFS which allows for multiple snapshots of your data and archives at the cluster level.
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Feb 13, 2009, 08:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
No special need for the sys pref. Even if your internal drive is totally hosed you can still hold opt/alt on boot to get to the boot loader. Select the system on your USB or FW drive and you're all set.
Cheers for clearing this up for me Simon.
     
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Feb 13, 2009, 09:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
Cheers for clearing this up for me Simon.
Sure.

It's a good trick to know if you somehow end up with a really hosed installation.
     
   
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