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dezinnia 09-17-2007 11:39 AM

Bootable vs file backups, VMware and partitions
New SuperDuper user here... just bought the product.

I have a new macbook pro, and I'm running VMware fusion to let me have a virtual machine with Windows XP... the MBP has a 160GB drive. 60GB has been dedicated to the XP virtual machine.

I have a LaCie 500GB FireWire drive for the backup.

1. I'm going to run superduper to give me a bootable catastrophe disk. (naturally)

2. I also want to be able to back up selected directories on both the Mac and Windows side...
- do I need separate external drives?
- or can I just partition the same LaCie? One partition for the catastrophe bootable disk, one for backing up mac files and one for backing up windows files?

I'd guess the LaCie MIGHT be able to handle a second partition for the Mac regular file backup... but the XP portion of the MBP would do better with its own external drive.

So, if it's safe to simply do a partition for the easy-to-access Mac files, how does one partition the disk? (I'll google it after submitting this, but if you have a "best solution" I'd love to hear it.)


dnanian 09-17-2007 11:51 AM

Since you're copying all the Mac files normally, why create the second partial backup?

(We don't copy Windows volumes, so I don't have anything to offer to you there...)

dezinnia 09-17-2007 02:40 PM

Thanks, Dave...

According to the user guide, it mentions that the bootable backup isn't the best place to recover regular files... like for a daily backup, or if I want to recover a file I accidentally deleted, or for archiving, or if a file gets corrupted, etc... I'd use the "Backup - User Files" selection for that.

I'll use a USB Drive for the windows side, but for the mac files, if a partition of the Lacie will be a good solution for User Files, I just need to know the best way to do that. If I need a third drive for that, well, then, so be it.



dnanian 09-17-2007 03:43 PM

Um, I don't think that's what I say in the User's Guide. What specifically are you referring to?

The bootable backup works just great for recovering regular files, you just wouldn't boot from it. The files are all still there...

dezinnia 09-17-2007 05:04 PM

yeah, you're right... I guess I was reading too much into it...

(Page 7 of the user guide...)

it says on the "Backup - All Files" that it's useful when many previous versions of a document aren't necessary...

and then on "Backup - User Files" that it's useful when storing copies of your personal data.

But if all the files are there on the full backup, and they're easily accessible, then you can consider this question answered!


dnanian 09-17-2007 07:10 PM

Great! Glad it's clearer now.

dezinnia 10-07-2007 02:30 AM

thought I'd resurrect this...

I've been doing stuff in garageband, and the files it generates are huge. A five-minute song with two tracks is about 200MB...

So, I know I've got plenty of space on the computer's hard drive, but I thought I'd like to archive the garageband files to the 500GB lacie I'm using for the SD smart backup. I don't want to keep them on my computer, but I'd like to keep them SOMEWHERE. (I can turn them into AAC files for use on iTunes if I want to listen to them.)

So, I think partitioning the external drive is the way to go... I figure I'll just split the external drive into two equal partitions...

Is there any problem or disadvantage in doing this? And just using OSX's disk utility to point to the external drive is the way to do it? Any guidance or tips?


dnanian 10-07-2007 10:14 AM

Partitioning (yes, with Disk Utility, using the proper partition scheme for your Mac -- see the "options" button in the partition tab) is a good way to go. Another: a separate drive!

Just make sure your partition is large enough to hold the drive you're backing up, eh?

dezinnia 10-07-2007 10:35 AM


Roger that on the alloted space!

500GB external drive/2 partitions = 250GB each (233GB actual). MBP is 160GB, so I should be fine.

There are a few schemes on that options tab, including GUID Partition Table (to create a drive to start up Intel-Based Macs) and one Apple Partition Map (for PowerPC based macs)...

Apple Partition Map seems to be the default, and in fact, when I choose "current scheme," Apple Partition Map is highlighted...

I'm guessing SD! doesn't do anything to the drive with respect to the scheme. It just creates a bootable drive, regardless of whether it's an Intel or PPC mac.

But if I partition it, I'd want to go with the GUID Partition Table, I'm assuming. Would this create problems for the existing backup? Or does the partitioning erase everything that's already there, anyway, and I'll start from scratch (rather than Smart) with the next backup?



dnanian 10-07-2007 10:49 AM

We don't touch the scheme -- we operate at a higher level, copying to the volume. If you've got an Intel Mac, use GUID unless you have good reason not to...

dezinnia 10-07-2007 01:15 PM

Gotcha. And then, the other question from my previous post (sorry for my ignorance!), will doing this partition delete the existing backup? (So I'm starting from scratch?)

dnanian 10-07-2007 01:33 PM

It erases everything on the drive.

dezinnia 10-07-2007 01:54 PM

Thank you! I think I'm finally up to speed!

dnanian 10-07-2007 05:21 PM

Glad to hear it!

earl 10-23-2007 09:07 AM


Originally Posted by dnanian (Post 14500)
We don't touch the scheme

I read this thread and got all information I needed, but I want to be really sure that I got it right...

have the following configuration:
external drive with 500GB

first partition 300GB NTFS -> encrypted partition with true crypt
second partition 200GB Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
cause of the ntfs partition I had to use "master boot record" as partition table.

What I need is a bootable backup. When I now use SuperDupe to do it, I won't lose my ntfs partition, is that correct, because SuperDupe will do nothing to any of the partition tables?

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