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Why not Time Machine?

A couple of commenters asked why I use the ChronoSync + SuperDuper! combination instead of just Time Machine. The main reason? Time Machine uses too many resources. It’s also slow. For awhile I avoided it because I wasn’t sure how to make a bootable backup, but Mac OS X hints has instructions.

I don’t always have my external hard drives plugged in since I’m rocking a laptop and am pretty mobile. Time Machine complained every hour, on the hour, that it couldn’t find the drive it wanted for long enough to annoy me. Eventually it stops complaining about not being able to find the drive it wants.

Even if you leave the drive plugged in while working at your base location, for me it’s my home office, Time Machine sucks up resources to do those intermittent backups. Even when I’m working on my dissertation, my data is not so mission-critical that it needs to be backed up every hour. Mac OS X Hints has a solution for changing the backup interval too.

ChronoSync can do in 39 minutes what it takes Time Machine over an hour to do. SuperDuper! beats the initial setup by about 20 minutes. So, the ChronoSync + SuperDuper! setup saves me resources, time, and headache.

One more thing – I have an Airport Extreme router, and I hang a hard drive off it via USB also. That drive is open to anyone on our home network. Apple’s not kidding when they say Time Machine does not support network backups except to Time Capsule. When I tried using Time Machine to backup to that USB drive off the Airport Extreme, it would run my CPU up to about 80% and break many of my network connections. You may have better luck there. I didn’t troubleshoot or try to fix it; I just gave up.

I ordered a rocstor ROCRAID from mwave last week, and that should be here on Tuesday. I’ll try out RAID storage for my stuff and see how that goes. It has FireWire connections too, and I’m interested to see how much faster that can really be. I really don’t want to have to give my laptop to Apple for a week. They won’t let me keep the hard drive and send it in with a different one, and they won’t give me a loaner. So I paid $2500 to have a laptop 98% of the time. Would I get it 100% of the time if I’d spent $3000? Sorry for the minirant, but having to get my MacBook Pro’s fan fixed is what prompted this latest round of backup chatter.


So, what do you think ?

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