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Backing Up - Second Computer or External HD

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
With a laptop, I want to be prepared if I lose all of my data. (it dies or it's stolen)

In the interest of backing up all of my data, I see two options; an External HD or a Second Computer.
What makes the most sense?

I think most people back everything up with an External HD. This make sense to me for backing up files only. What about Software and Personal-Settings?

If I picked up a Mac Mini, I could use "Migrate Assistant" to mirror my MacBook Pro. I could keep the Mac Mini in sync using "MySync" software.

This seems like a better way to go because if the laptop dies or is stolen:
1. I will still have a working computer until I get a new laptop.
2. When I get a new laptop, I can then use "Migration Assistant" again so that the second laptop should be exactly the same as the one that died/stolen.

Using "Migration Assistant" also seems like the only way to easily copy my software to the second laptop.
(Aperture for instance, is single user license. If my laptop dies/stolen, I'm guessing I would have to call up Apple and tell them the situation so that I would be allowed to reinstall it on the second laptop. And I'm guessing, I would likewise have to call up each of the other software makers that I have software from. Adobe, and so on.)

Does anyone know if an External HD's can do the some thing as Migration Assistant. That is, is it possible using an External HD, to make a replacement laptop look exactly like one that just died/stolen?

Thoughts anyone?
post #2 of 4
I backup three Macs to an external FireWire/USB 2.0 drive. I've created three partitions on the drive (one for each Mac) and use the excellent SuperDuper! to make a bootable clone of each Mac's drive. The clone is *identical* to the target drive: every setting, preference, etc. is copied. After the first clone is created, future clones only copy files that have changed since the last backup, which generally takes only a few minutes.

If the hard drive on your laptop dies, you should still be able to boot from the external drive and be running on a drive whose contents are identical to the drive on your laptop. It is also handy to have a clone in case a software update goes awry: you can immediately "roll-back" your computer to its previous state.
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank Voxapps. That helped. That's a great suggestion.

I have a related question involving External HD:
(Forgive me, this might be better suited as a separate forum, although, I thought you might have a good answer outright.)


On my laptop: I want to have all of my music as MP3 or AAC

On the external HD:
- Using SuperDuck, I could have a clone of all of the music in that format.
- I would also like to have a second copy of all of my music as AIFF or Apple Losses. I would want this format of the music on the external HD only.

Is it possible, in addition to doing the bootable clone, to have a separate copy of iTunes to manage uncompressed versions of my music.

If so how would I do this? Is it easy?
post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally posted by danceclimber
Is it possible, in addition to doing the bootable clone, to have a separate copy of iTunes to manage uncompressed versions of my music.

If so how would I do this? Is it easy?

Not too easily. Itunes would use one set of preferences no matter where you run it. You could however make a new user and itunes would make new preferences for it.

I think itunes could use a multiple libraries option.

I use an external HD with a bootable clone via superduper too btw. I think it's a great backup solution. Since you have a Macbook, you can probably boot off usb HDs too. PPC is limited to firewire.
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