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mwheelerk

Carbon Copy Cloner vs Time Machine: best backup software for Mac

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On 1/15/2020 at 1:57 AM, kirkmc said:

I've discovered music files missing in my iTunes/Music library at times, so going back in Time Machine means that I can recover them.

 

Have you done a Spotlight search for the file when that happens?  I've never found a music file to disappear, but iTunes often claims a music file is missing when the file actually exists but iTunes somehow loses track of it.  

 

(I'm chagrined Apple doesn’t store a unique identifier tag in each music file to enable iTunes to always find it.)


Mac Mini (2012 i7) > HQPlayer or Audirvana > exaSound e32 > Parasound JC-1 > Thiel 3.7

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On 11/24/2019 at 7:58 AM, mwheelerk said:

I am having a bit of difficulty in understanding how to set it up so that two sources, my MacBook SSD and my Music Library SSD, can be backed up to the same destination at the same time.  With Time Machine this task was quite easy to include/exclude drives.

 

Time Machine's method of backing up multiple source volumes to a single destination volume is to create a sparse bundle disk image file on the destination for each source volume.  

 

Disk images are perfect for backing up non-bootable volumes such as your music library volume.  

 

For backing up a bootable volume, a disk image has the disadvantage of not being bootable itself, so if the source disk completely fails and you need to get the source computer running, you must restore the backup to another volume.  On the other hand, if you backup a bootable volume to the root level of a volume rather to a disk image, you can immediately boot the source computer from the backup without having to do a restore.

 

Therefore, my recommended solution for using Carbon Copy Cloner to backup one bootable volume and one volume of music files is to not partition the destination volume.  To backup the music volume, specify a sparse bundle disk image on the destination volume as the target.  (Let CCC create the disk image rather than creating it yourself.)  To backup the MacBook's startup volume, specify as the target the destination volume itself, not a disk image, and tick the checkbox to "Protect root-level items on the destination."

 

The advantage of this over kumakuma's advice to create two partitions on the backup volume is that you don’t have to guess how much space to allocate to each of the two backups.


Mac Mini (2012 i7) > HQPlayer or Audirvana > exaSound e32 > Parasound JC-1 > Thiel 3.7

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19 minutes ago, kirkmc said:

And regarding partitioning, with APFS (macOS Catalina or later) you no longer need to worry about specifying volume size.

 

Excellent point.  I forgot about that because I don’t have Catalina on any of my Macs.  However, APFS has some disadvantages for spinning disks rather than SSD's.

 

 

19 minutes ago, kirkmc said:

No, that's not correct. That's the case for multiple computers being backed up to a remote computer, not for volumes. I have three volumes on my iMac that are all backed up to one normal folder on an external drive. 

 

And I disagree with the recommendation to make a sparse image. Disk images can be corrupted, as you have probably seen over time with Time Machine. Better to copy the files to a normal volume. 

 

I'm not sure I understand the first paragraph.  If all you're saying is that you can backup a non-bootable volume to a folder on a backup volume rather than to a disk image, then I agree.  However, I disagree that an inherent flakiness of disk images is why Time Machine often gets corrupted.  The developer of Carbon Copy Cloner would not recommend disk images as targets if that were true.


Mac Mini (2012 i7) > HQPlayer or Audirvana > exaSound e32 > Parasound JC-1 > Thiel 3.7

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