Backup software

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by JohnKendrick, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. JohnKendrick

    JohnKendrick Mu-43 Regular

    Several members of this forum mention they store their photos on an external hard disc and backup to a second or even a third.

    My question is, actually for anyone, what backup software do you use?

    I'm using a MacPro and use SuperDuper to back up my internal hard disc. However, it's generally best for backing up full disc to full disc, not folder to folder.

    So do you simply backup manually, dragging folders from one hard disc to another on some schedule? Or have you found a backup program that is good with folder to folder backups? Or do you have some other solution?

    Thanks in advance for any help,

    John Kendrick
  2. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Hi John

    I use SuperDuper too. Great application for a safe bootable backup.

    Here's what I do, in adition to to SuperDuper:
    1. I use Lightroom, and when I import I have selected the option to copy the images to another disk, which is an external drive. That way I have a nice clean copy of all imported images.
    2. When LR closes the library )basically the changes I have made to images) is saved to a folder on an external drive
    3. Once a week I copy my main LR photo folder (within which are all the folders I have created in LR) to another external drive.

    So in effect I have:
    1. A bootable backup of my system
    2. A copy of all imported images
    3. Three copies of my LR library (original, one as part of my bootable backup, one as a separate backup)
    4. Three copies of my edited photographs (original, bootable backup and secondary backup)

    If I did not use LR, I would use Chronosync to make an automatic backup of newly imprted images: you can set it up to watch a folder and backup as contents are changed.

    Hope this helps.
  3. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Real Name:
    I use CrashPlan to do incremental backups to offsite locations, but you can use it to backup to local disks too.

    I also use Chronosync to back up specific folders to external drives.

    I'm slowly phasing out my use of Retrospect.
  4. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    Doesn't Time Machine support backup to external drives? Seems like the most straightforward thing to try.
  5. JohnKendrick

    JohnKendrick Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks for the quick advice.

    I'll look at ChronoSync. I used it many iterations ago but haven't taken a look since I moved to SuperDuper to get the full recoverable system backup protection.

    In my case, I'm keeping the original photo collection in finder level folders on an external disc and backing it up to a second. Thus, backing up my internal hard disc won't amount to a backup of the photo files. I'm doing this because the photo files have simply grown too large for the internal.

    Thus, I'll be backing up from one external to another.

    As for the LR catalog, it's on the internal and is now being backed up to a partition on one of the external discs. And that partition is, of course, the SuperDuper bootable system level disc backup.

    Thanks again,

  6. JohnKendrick

    JohnKendrick Mu-43 Regular

    CrashPlan is a new one. I'll do a google search to see what turns up.

    Chronosync now looks like it might do the trick. I'll need to look at it again.

    As for Retrospect, I used it for many years but gave up on it sometime back. That happened so long ago, I can't even recall just why.

  7. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    Why not use Time Machine? It works for me and my Lacie drives, it is built into the OS and works seamlessly.
  8. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    It's another option for sure, and works very well for a core backup - it's especially easy to bring back individual files etc.

    I like to have a separate bootable backup (hence SuperDuper). I also like a separate backup which is just my photographs.
  9. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    My vote goes to chronosync. I used it when I was on a mac and it did folder level copying. I think I had to set up several different rules to run (I had stuff all over, was doing this for more than just photos).

    Why use this vs time machine? For me, I didn't need incremental backup recovery, so it'd be wasted space. On top of that, time machine wasn't around ;) I'm also not sure how time machine stores the files, but I wanted easy access to them from any system I had, cross platform.
  10. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I find restoring from backups is the most tedious part - luckily Time Machine makes it very easy. If you have a Mac, it's kind of a no-brainer: use Time Machine. :)

    It does incremental backups, if you're not sure about TM.
  11. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I would also recommend TM - but not as the only backup.

    Of course it all depends on how important your data is to you, but a couple of things to consider:
    1. TM is great as a daily (hourly in fact) backup. However, by it's nature it is tied to your Mac and subject to the same theft, fire, water, power surge etc
    2. Having a separate copy of your images (and maybe everything else too) on another drive means that you can keep that drive disconnected except when you are backing up, and of course you can keep it in a different location etc.

    Some people (especially photo and video pros) go further and have rotating backups, with the alternates kept at a safe location. paranoid? Maybe, but it's their livelihood.

    My daughter's hard drive failed at a critical juncture, while she was shooting on location. At home was her TM backup, so all but the latest data was safe. I took her SuperDuper clone to her and she booted from that and continued working while I went to Best Buy and bought a new drive.
  12. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I actually do not keep my TM backup drive connected to my Mac at all times. I only connect it when I want to back up.

    From what I've read, you can use multiple drives to backup with Time Machine. It's rather tedious as you have to manually "re-set" which drive to Time Machine, but there you go. :)

    There's definitely other options and styles (I've used SuperDuper as well - works great too), and if you're a photo professional or just paranoid then yes, additional backup methods are warranted - such as off-site backup locations.
  13. JohnKendrick

    JohnKendrick Mu-43 Regular

    I want to do a backup from one external hard disc to another and a folder to folder basis. It' s my impression that Time Machine wants to backup your internal hard disc, in toto, to an external source.

    I prefer SuperDuper since it's backup produces a bootable system disc and because it provides a one time view of your folder. Time Machine does incremental backups in which it keeps previous versions of your files.
  14. JohnKendrick

    JohnKendrick Mu-43 Regular

    It's my impression it won't work external disc to external disc and folder to folder. But perhaps I should reread the directions.
  15. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I use Time Machine to back up the whole hard drive and system to be able to restore in case of hard drive failure or system re-installation, or, as recently, when I got a new computer. I also back up all of my key data to an online backup site. Takes bloody forever to back up the whole 200+ gigabytes the first time (nearly a month in the background), but once its done, the daily incremental backups happen all in the background and don't take much time at all... So in case of total catastrophe, I'm covered there too.

  16. JohnKendrick

    JohnKendrick Mu-43 Regular

    i just set up Chronosync to do the trick. Should have thought of it from the outset. Turns out I had version 3 still on my computer. The upgrade to version 4 was free. And it's about as easy a program to set up as one could imagine. Basically, it's a program for synchronizing files/folders between two computers. Works perfectly for my need to backup folder to folder between two external hard discs.

    Since I've also started downloading hi rez music files, having just bought an Esoteric DAC, and since those files are quite large, I'm going to do the same for them.

    And just purchased a 2 terabyte Western Digital hard drive for $115 from MacConnection. Can't believe those prices.

    Good to go.

    I've been using LR since version 2. I'm going to be experimenting with Aperture for a week or so. If Aperture does something foul to my files/folders, this should save me.

    Now to worry about offsite backups.

  17. JohnKendrick

    JohnKendrick Mu-43 Regular

    Ray, what service do you use? Each time I've checked into online backup services, they look too expensive and/or too insecure.

  18. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Online is a nice way to go. Some people are iffy about the security, the company going out of business, cost etc. There are risks with everything, but if you have your own local backup, this seems a good way to go.
  19. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Just as an FYI to others reading this thread regarding Time Machine - it should be able to back up drives other than the boot drive. I have 2 hard drives in my MBP (albeit both "internal") and TM backs both of them up.

    The key however, is that TM can only back up drives formatted as HFS+. It will not back up FAT, FAT32, exFAT, etc formatted drives. It is definitely a purely Mac-only solution, end-to-end.
  20. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England