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  #1  
Old 04-24-2006, 09:47 AM
fred fred is offline
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Boot from sandbox or just use it as a backup.

I've printed out and read the whole 50 page manual and I'm a little confused about the sandbox feature.

At the moment because I didn't fully understand, I just made a full clone of my entire hd and I've been smart updating it.

The manual strongly suggests that this sandbox is used as a boot volume to leave the hd untouched. That's fine, but when I was reading about the cloning options I got confused about the bit where user installed applications are *shared*.

Say for example I decide to now use this new cloned hd as a sandbox and I boot from it.

If I now do a System update and it is fine it of course wouldn't have updated my hd, as that is the whole point. But once I've decided it's good, then I naturally want my hd to be updated too. This is where I'm confused. After it's been ok'd does that mean I sort of do a reverse smart update that makes my hd the same as the clone?

And is this the same for apps I've installed myself? I'm confused about the bit where user installed applications are shared, with an alias. Does that mean the app is on the hd and an alias is on the clone. If so does that mean that when I do a user installed software update it installs to the hd or the clone?
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Old 04-24-2006, 10:07 AM
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dnanian dnanian is offline
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You definitely don't want to use the Sandbox as a backup, Fred. It's a "system checkpoint" -- a safe place to "play".

So -- if you install a system update, and it's OK, you can follow the instructions to copy back with the reverse smart update as described. And this will also update any applications you've installed yourself on the Sandbox.

It's up to you where you'd like to install a manual application. If you drop it in Applications on the main drive, and you're sharing applications, the alias/symlink will point to the new version. If you replace the alias/symlink in Applications on the Sandbox, it'll be on the Sandbox only unless you copy back.

Make sense?
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Old 04-24-2006, 10:54 AM
fred fred is offline
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What bothered me about booting and using the sandbox as a boot drive is that the drive would be running all day maybe for at least 12 hours a day! Wouldn't that be bad for an external drive. I'm not sure what they are designed to withstand before they fail.

I gathered from reading the documentation that if the sandbox was just used to be a backup drive then it says in the documentation that it is takes longer to track down the problem and restore everything, whereas with the sandbox as the boot disk you can be back up in minutes by just going back to the hd.

So does that mean if there was an install that buggered the sandbox, one would finish working on the hd and then restore the sandbox via the hd at a more convenient time, to how it was before the bad update and wait for a new good update?

I wasn't clear about the reverse update but now I can see how it works. So the question for me is, is it worth running from my external hd all day long. I work from home which is why I have my computer running for so many hours a day. To answer this I need to know how difficult is it to fix everything if I use the sandbox purely as a back up. For example say the sandbox has been smart updated from my hd and is identical, then I download a piece of user installed softeware and it wreaks havok. Couldn't I then just use the sandbox backup to do a smart update to restore my hd? I don't understand yet what is wrong with this, apart from having to wait for the smart update to update, which wouldn't take more than a half an hour?

Am I missing something here, is it just a matter of being able to get back to work withing a couple of minutes against half an hour? or is there more to it. Because if it's only about a half an hours wait in the unlikely event of something bad happening then it doesn't seem worth it to run the external drive into the ground.

Last edited by fred; 04-24-2006 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:01 AM
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High quality external drives aren't any more susceptible to "usage problems" than internal drives, Fred.

If you end up installing an update that was incompatible with your system, you would indeed just boot back to the original drive. That'll effectively uninstall the update (because it was never installed on the original drive), so you can get right back to work... and know to avoid the update until whatever incompatibility was there had a workaround.

Again: a Sandbox is NOT a backup. Your user files are not present on it. They're on the original hard disk. You must have a real backup as well...
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:08 AM
fred fred is offline
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I think I'm using the wrong terminology here, sorry maybe I shouldn't have referred to it as a sandbox. What I've done so far is a full complete copy of my hd. All the userfiles and everything are on it. I've tested it by plugging it into another computer and it's a complete clone of my hd.

But from what I understand I am able to boot from it at anytime and turn it into a proper sandbox. Or have I just got this completely wrong? Do I need to re read the manual again more carefully.

Or is a sandbox only called that when it uses alias for userfiles.
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:53 AM
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Ah. That's definitely not a Sandbox. A Sandbox is created with the "Sandbox..." scripts. You can't turn it into a "proper" sandbox without using the Sandbox scripts.

If you boot from a backup, nothing is "shared", so, changes you make on the backup STAY on the backup, even changes to user files...
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