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Another method of quick and easy manual backup System
I like to make frequent backups of my most essential files and put them onto one single CD. Things like e-mail or work related incremental saves, etc. I do this in addition to very large backups which may go onto multiple CDs or DVDs. I have Apple's Backup software, and while I think it's a good idea on paper, in reality it's unbearably slow and lacks some convenience features. Also, it appears, that after you backup to disk with Apple's Backup you need to have the same software to restore ... not exactly convenient if your .Mac account has just expired.

I have a manual solution which, to me, beats Apple's Backup hands down: I created a normal folder and put aliases to my essential files in that folder. To back them up just drag the aliases onto a burnable disc. You don't even have to go and find the original files, the burnable disc will find it for you. Want to schedule the backup for every 10 days? Use iCal to remind yourself.

You still have to guess whether or not all of the files will fit onto the burnable disc, but overall the process of selecting or removing files is much quicker, much less annoying, and has most of the functionality found in Apple's Backup. Restoring is just a matter of knowing where your files belong. Not a problem for most folks. This is also great for squeezing more files onto one CD, since it would seem that Apple's Backup over-reports the size of the files being added to the burnable disc (or is it under-reporting the size of the burnable disc?). The only advantage I see with Apple's Backup is that you can seamlessly split a single file (videos) across multiple CDs or DVDs.

Be sure to review this hint if you try this. I had some unexpected things happen with aliases and copying. Nothing damaging, just unexpected.
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Another method of quick and easy manual backup
Authored by: szabesz on Jul 12, '06 07:52:47AM

I have created an encrypted DMG file that fits onto a normal DVD (4480k). I store my mails, account info, etc. (other important files) there. Backing up means burning a DVD disc with the DMG on it. And it is even password protected.



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Another method of quick and easy manual backup
Authored by: johnrchang on Jul 12, '06 10:55:12AM

Why don't you just use Burn Folders in the Finder, assuming you have Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger?

Also I recommend CD-RWs and DVD-RWs. I have a handful that I use for backup and I just cycle through them.



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Another method of quick and easy manual backup
Authored by: lokon1979 on Jul 13, '06 12:01:50AM

agree, burn folder will do just better

in addition after 10.4.7 update, finder will calculate required disk size, just open the burn folder or the disk, wait for some calculate time then it will appear at the bottom of the window



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Another method of quick and easy manual backup
Authored by: tyip on Jul 12, '06 01:09:03PM

I'll try this tonight. I cycle through a bunch of DVD-RWs but I find that they're so much slower than DVD-R.

Responding to the comment about using a .dmg file, that's a great idea to make sure the files fit on the disk, but doesn't that lengthen the backup time because you're backing up all 4.4 GB even though the .dmg is only partially filled?



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Another method of quick and easy manual backup
Authored by: gemsling on Jul 12, '06 07:45:18PM

Yes, a DVD-sized image will take up 4.4 GB even though the .dmg is only partially filled. However, in Disk Utility, you can create a "sparse disk image" which expands in size as files are added. The extension appears as .sparseimage rather than .dmg.



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Another method of quick and easy manual backup
Authored by: szabesz on Jul 13, '06 03:30:51AM

But can you limit the growth of a "sparse disk image"? As far as I know you cannot, it can grow until your HD is full. So a fixed size DMG ensures that you can instantly back up whenever you feel the need to...

Back up time is not big deal if you burn that DVD-R (or DVD-RW) disc while you are under the shower or during having your dinner :)



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Another method of quick and easy manual backup
Authored by: Tonex on Jul 13, '06 06:45:35AM

Yes, a sparse image will only grow to the maximum size you give it when you create it, it is not infinitely expandable.

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Remember - in a million years we'll all be dust, and none of this will matter...



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I wrote my own backup app in Applescript "Scotty"
Authored by: tice on Jul 13, '06 10:28:24PM
It is "open source", so if you want to have a look, just test it.

It is not very elegant written, but understands the different OS (from 10.1 - 10.4) and saves all files in folders like "->Library - Preferences".

It also has a log file, so you can see if the backup was successful.

You can choose which apps or files to backup, including:
Addressbook, Safari, Contextual menu items, Mail, iPhoto, iTunes, Screensavers, Quicktime Plugins, Services, PreferencePanes, Fonts, Dashboard, etc.

All "home-directory" stuff can be saved.

Just give it a try, and if you know Applescript you can modify it:
http://www.tice.de/m4e/a_software/scotty/index.html

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I also included a translated version
Authored by: tice on Jul 13, '06 10:45:38PM

english instead of german. You can easily change the words with Skripteditory search and replace ... : )



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Another method of quick and easy manual backup
Authored by: bugmenot on Mar 20, '07 08:23:34AM

rsync works



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