This may take a while

I was so impressed with the Iomega MiniMax 750GB drive that I decided that I might as well get another one for my backups. Mac OS X comes with the quite lovely Time Machine, which very nicely and automagically does backups to a suitable external hard drive. I started off by using the 250GB drive that I salvaged from November’s Great Unpleasantness, suitably encased and fitted with a Firewire interface. The only trouble with this is that 250GB isn’t really all that big if I want to have backups going back a while. Time Machine starts off with a full backup, then does hourly backups of changed files. The hourly backups are kept all day, then daily backups are kept for a month, and monthly backups are kept until you run out of disk space. So after a while, you start to fill your backup disk. Actually, there’s another potential trouble – the disk in question is over two years old, had moderately heavy use, and its twin died horribly. Not quite what I want to entrust my data to…

So, I’ve added another of the Iomega beasties, which is now sitting at the bottom of a little stack. First order of business is to get those Time Machine backups on to the new disk. While this can (I’m told) be done manually, subject to uttering the appropriate incantations[1], but a bit of reading suggested that I’d really be better off if I invested in a neat utility called SuperDuper!. Before Time Machine, this was (I’m told) the best way to back up a Mac, and now it’s been updated so that it will play nicely on the latest Mac OS X alongside Time Machine. What SuperDuper! can do that Time Machine can’t is produce a bootable backup of your system drive, which will sit happily on an external drive[3]. And it will keep that backup up to date automagically, if you so wish. Nice. It can also allow you to take a quick “safety copy” of your system before you install software that might cause problems. And much more, all for $27.95, which came out at £17.86 with the dreaded VAT. Not a bad price at all, really.

Aaaaand wait....

Aaaaand wait....

Anyway, moving over 200GB is going to take a while, but it’s not actually stopping me from doing anything else, so it’s not a problem. Once I’ve got Time Machine working on the new drive, and I’ve removed the old one, I’ll have a proper play with SuperDuper! I may or may not report how I get on with it…

[1] I’ve a long way to go before my Mac incantation ability approaches my Microsoft incantation[2] ability
[2] Otherwise known as hitting with a big stick :grin:
[3] A Mac can boot from any suitable drive if you perform the correct incantation while starting. This is great if your main boot drive goes, and is a major scoring point over Windows PCs, where much more effort is required…