New version of Carbon Copy Cloner fully Sierra compatible, backs up your Mac like it always has

Posted:
in Mac Software edited December 2016
The new version of long and storied app Carbon Copy Cloner adds full macOS Sierra support, plus implements features aimed to make using it easier and faster for everybody to use -- AppleInsider delves into the latest version.




It's the last thing you think of, but the first thing you regret when there's a problem: you need a backup. You have all this other work to do, and backups are tedious, but they're not just an option anymore -- you have to have a backup. What Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.12 aims to do is remove the tedium by making it easier to setup, and then easier still to just leave running while you forget all about it.

There are as many different ways to use Carbon Copy Cloner as there are to make backups of any kind. However, this is the best example of its use: making a complete, bootable, copy of your Mac's hard disk and copying it all to an external drive. Maybe that's a drive you have permanently connected or maybe it's one you plug in every other week.




Whichever it is, Carbon Copy Cloner can make sure that this other disk doesn't just have all of your data on it, the app can make sure that it boots. So, say your Mac's internal drive dies or your entire iMac gets stolen. Plug that external drive back in and you can start up a compatible Mac from that.

It would be as if nothing had changed. All your data would be there and all of your work could continue without interruption.




Carbon Copy Cloner does a lot more, though. It will copy your whole drive to a network-attached storage device, and it will copy just your Documents folder to Dropbox. If it involves copying, Carbon Copy Cloner can handle it.

Anything to do with hard disk drives is delicate, though, and while it has many new and improved features, there is one specific reason to update to Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.12. This version 4 vitally brings compatibility with macOS Sierra.

Older versions of the app will let you work on a disk with Sierra but only if you really must and if you really know what you're doing -- and if you accept the risk. Each time Apple makes changes to the underlying hard drive system, apps like this need to be updated and you need to get the new version.

If you already have a recent copy of Carbon Copy Cloner then this update is free. If you haven't got any copy of it at all, then macOS Sierra support is important but it's the new features that will make you want to buy it.




The most visible change is that Carbon Copy Cloner has been simplified. It's not simplified by a very great deal but it is definitely quicker to get you started on your first backups than previous versions.

Old hands already know how to get from point A to B. The changes make it a little more clear for new users.

Then there's a new feature called Task Chaining which is immensely powerful. It lets you run not just one backup but as many as you like, in a set sequence.

Say you use the grandfather/father/son approach to backups. You have a daily one, known as the son, then a separate weekly one stored somewhere else. Lastly, you have a monthly one that you physically connect a new drive in before taking it away again to store offsite.

Carbon Copy Cloner could already handle all of that. However, now you can chain them together so that one button sets the lot running - and makes them run again automatically in the future.

It's a fast, reliable and powerful backup tool which is simple at first. Then it does get more advanced, more complicated, but only as you find you need more or finer control. The under-the-hood complexity doesn't get in the way of the initial backups, or learning process at all.

You can't run your backups remotely via any iOS app service as you can with similar product ChronoSync. However, you can choose to have Carbon Copy Cloner email you when backups are finished or if there are any problems.

A full comparison between various backup options is an article for another day, however. Stay tuned.

Carbon Copy Cloner costs $39.99 and is available direct from the developer's website where there is also a 30-day free trial.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,113member
    I've been using this program for over ten years and I actually paid for it.  I back up before every MacOS update and test the booting from USB to verify I can restore from it.  I use it to upgrade HDDs to SSDs by mirroring the installation and then swapping drives.  

    I laugh every time a windows user loses data because of a glitch and ask, "why not just boot your backup and restore?"   They simply stare.  (Ok, I don't know very many savvy Windows users.)

    Give yourself this gift of backup prowess this year.  It's worth every penny.  
    antoniofonsecaEric_WVGGdarwiniandudetomkarlbigpics
  • Reply 2 of 41
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,792member
    Maybe I'm just cheap, but I don't think this program is worth $40. It used to be free and then all of a sudden its magically worth $40! I can basically use Time Machine to do the same thing for free. 
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 3 of 41
    neilmneilm Posts: 591member
    eriamjh said:
    Give yourself this gift of backup prowess this year.  It's worth every penny.  
    Yes, yes it is. I too paid for CCC back when it was "free" because it was worth it. CCC has always been the class of its field, and remains it.

    CCC handles our nightly server backups, plus it's my indispensable tool for duplicating drives, and in particular for installing the bootable Recovery partition on a new drive.

    macxpress said:
    Maybe I'm just cheap, but I don't think this program is worth $40. It used to be free and then all of a sudden its magically worth $40! I can basically use Time Machine to do the same thing for free. 

    Wrong.

    Time Machine, which I also use for my personal backup, is an excellent resource. But it's not a competitor for CCC. One obvious example: Time Machine can't create bootable backups.
    mobiusStrangeDaysmacseekerbigpics
  • Reply 4 of 41
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,792member
    neilm said:
    eriamjh said:
    Give yourself this gift of backup prowess this year.  It's worth every penny.  
    Yes, yes it is. I too paid for CCC back when it was "free" because it was worth it. CCC has always been the class of its field, and remains it.

    CCC handles our nightly server backups, plus it's my indispensable tool for duplicating drives, and in particular for installing the bootable Recovery partition on a new drive.

    macxpress said:
    Maybe I'm just cheap, but I don't think this program is worth $40. It used to be free and then all of a sudden its magically worth $40! I can basically use Time Machine to do the same thing for free. 

    Wrong.

    Time Machine, which I also use for my personal backup, is an excellent resource. But it's not a competitor for CCC. One obvious example: Time Machine can't create bootable backups.
    No but you can restore to a hard drive and boot from it. Its still not worth $40...
  • Reply 5 of 41
    It's "Carbon Copy Cloner" (with spaces). Not CarbonCopyCloner.
    bigpics
  • Reply 6 of 41
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,350administrator
    oneota said:
    It's "Carbon Copy Cloner" (with spaces). Not CarbonCopyCloner.
    Aha! Hasn't always been, and I reverted back to old habits. Thanks!
    bigpics
  • Reply 7 of 41
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,350administrator

    macxpress said:
    neilm said:
    eriamjh said:
    Give yourself this gift of backup prowess this year.  It's worth every penny.  
    Yes, yes it is. I too paid for CCC back when it was "free" because it was worth it. CCC has always been the class of its field, and remains it.

    CCC handles our nightly server backups, plus it's my indispensable tool for duplicating drives, and in particular for installing the bootable Recovery partition on a new drive.

    macxpress said:
    Maybe I'm just cheap, but I don't think this program is worth $40. It used to be free and then all of a sudden its magically worth $40! I can basically use Time Machine to do the same thing for free. 

    Wrong.

    Time Machine, which I also use for my personal backup, is an excellent resource. But it's not a competitor for CCC. One obvious example: Time Machine can't create bootable backups.
    No but you can restore to a hard drive and boot from it. Its still not worth $40...
    The first time you migrate to a new hard drive using CCC instead of Apple's tools, it pays for itself in time alone, with most migrations measured in minutes rather than hours. We feel that the tool is complimentary to Time Machine.
    bigpics
  • Reply 8 of 41
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,155member
    Quite simply the best Mac utility there is.  What's more Mike always gets a beta out to those of us running developer  beta versions of macOS in day or two and his support is phenomenal.  To those saying it isn't worth the price I say you haven't explored all it can do.
    edited December 2016 bigpics
  • Reply 9 of 41
    I concur with all the sentiments here CCC is well worth the money and I was one of those that paid for it when it was free to help the developer make a better product.  I have used it since it was first available and there is not a finer cloning back up app out there for OS X.   And it does a ton more than time machine.  Also in my experience it is a lot more reliable than time machine as well.  I agree with MacPro too that CCC is kept very up to date very quickly compared to other utilities in its class, with betas for new o s's within days of there release.
    edited December 2016 bigpics
  • Reply 10 of 41
    macxpress said:
    neilm said:
    eriamjh said:
    Give yourself this gift of backup prowess this year.  It's worth every penny.  
    Yes, yes it is. I too paid for CCC back when it was "free" because it was worth it. CCC has always been the class of its field, and remains it.

    CCC handles our nightly server backups, plus it's my indispensable tool for duplicating drives, and in particular for installing the bootable Recovery partition on a new drive.

    macxpress said:
    Maybe I'm just cheap, but I don't think this program is worth $40. It used to be free and then all of a sudden its magically worth $40! I can basically use Time Machine to do the same thing for free. 

    Wrong.

    Time Machine, which I also use for my personal backup, is an excellent resource. But it's not a competitor for CCC. One obvious example: Time Machine can't create bootable backups.
    No but you can restore to a hard drive and boot from it. Its still not worth $40...
    Why isn't it worth $40? the old price doesn't matter. why isn't the value received from the app today worth 40 bucks? 
  • Reply 11 of 41
    What's that saying about knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing? CCC has saved my bacon and my time countless times and I would not be without it!
  • Reply 12 of 41
    Sorry to be a pedant, but the headline likely contains a common English error that changes its meaning.

    "Carbon Copy Cloner... backs up your Mac like it always has"

    Well, that raises an issue...

    "like" = similar to

    So, how does the new version differ?!  :-)

    Most likely, the headline should have been:

    "Carbon Copy Cloner... backs up your Mac as it always has"


    Here's a more common example.  

    You:  "What flavor ice cream should we buy for her birthday party?!"

    Significant other:     "Well, she enjoys favors LIKE mint chocolate chip..."  (giving you carte blanche  to find flavors similar to it) vs.  

    Significant other:     "Well, she enjoys flavors SUCH AS mint chocolate chip" (specifying what she likes)

    ai46
  • Reply 13 of 41
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,792member
    macxpress said:
    neilm said:
    eriamjh said:
    Give yourself this gift of backup prowess this year.  It's worth every penny.  
    Yes, yes it is. I too paid for CCC back when it was "free" because it was worth it. CCC has always been the class of its field, and remains it.

    CCC handles our nightly server backups, plus it's my indispensable tool for duplicating drives, and in particular for installing the bootable Recovery partition on a new drive.

    macxpress said:
    Maybe I'm just cheap, but I don't think this program is worth $40. It used to be free and then all of a sudden its magically worth $40! I can basically use Time Machine to do the same thing for free. 

    Wrong.

    Time Machine, which I also use for my personal backup, is an excellent resource. But it's not a competitor for CCC. One obvious example: Time Machine can't create bootable backups.
    No but you can restore to a hard drive and boot from it. Its still not worth $40...
    Why isn't it worth $40? the old price doesn't matter. why isn't the value received from the app today worth 40 bucks? 
    Of course the old price matters...how can something go from $0 to $40? It would be like Apple charging for macOS updates again....going from $0 to $40. People would be bitching up a storm and you know it! To me it still doesn't do anything that Time Machine can't, except boot from a backup which I don't care about. 
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 14 of 41
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,350administrator
    apple2c said:
    Sorry to be a pedant, but the headline likely contains a common English error that changes its meaning.

    "Carbon Copy Cloner... backs up your Mac like it always has"

    Well, that raises an issue...

    "like" = similar to
    The new version is faster than previous versions even in older OSes, and supports Sierra. The interface has changed somewhat, for the better.

    I'm aware of the difference, and I'm fine with the headline.
  • Reply 15 of 41
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,350administrator

    Of course the old price matters...how can something go from $0 to $40? It would be like Apple charging for macOS updates again....going from $0 to $40. People would be bitching up a storm and you know it! To me it still doesn't do anything that Time Machine can't, except boot from a backup which I don't care about. 
    The old price doesn't matter, as it changed about four years ago. Things are free, then not, then free again, then not in software all the time.

    The utility isn't for you, and that's fine. However, that doesn't make it worthless to everybody. 

    I don't use Autocad, therefore, I won't buy it as my simple drafting needs and diagramming is pretty much held down by the (free to start, paid later) Lucidchart service. However, that doesn't mean that I don't acknowledge that it has worth, and people can use it for things that I can't, or don't want to.

    Regarding what Time Machine can and can't do, and what Carbon Copy Cloner can and can't do (and a few other utilities), we'll discuss shortly.

    edited December 2016 urahara
  • Reply 16 of 41
    How does CCC compare to the cheaper SuperDuper? Does it work better/faster, do more, etc.?

    And does SuperDuper work with Sierra?
  • Reply 17 of 41
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,070member
    macxpress said:
    Maybe I'm just cheap, but I don't think this program is worth $40. It used to be free and then all of a sudden its magically worth $40! I can basically use Time Machine to do the same thing for free. 
    It was not free, it was donationware. People not getting this difference are the most likely cause of the new price :-) I would not like to live without it. I had several cases where our expensive Retrospect copies could not restore our project Mac servers, but CCC did it correctly and in a third of the time. If you run any productive Mac servers without CCC and Drive Genius in your toolbox, you are already on the Darwin-award list, IMHO. TM is great for restoring single lost or messed up files, for a full restore it is just too slow in a productive setting, even if it does work (which isn't always the case, I know several people who could not restore Fusion Drives using TM and effectively lost data).
    ai46StrangeDaysmrboba1
  • Reply 18 of 41
    I can't think of many Mac apps that I’m still using over ten years later. Workflows change, better tools come along, other stuff gets abandoned. Carbon Copy Cloner is constantly great and the developer deserves some sort of OS X Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Felix: to me SuperDuper feels sort of like a "CCC Lite". It does the job but lacks features and advanced logs. As something in the toolkit SD is fine, but for regular use and daily snapshot backups I think CCC is worth the premium.
    thinkman@chartermi.netbigpics
  • Reply 19 of 41
    A few years ago I bought CCC when they had a $10 discount special.  Still even at $40, I regard it as mind insurance as to keep one's sanity.  I used it to backup a failing hard drive that was repaired with Disk Warrior.  The clone and it's subsequent upgrades worked well.  The original hard drive eventually failed.

    I've been using it ever since.  Never had any problems with it.

    The question should be either spend $40 or losing ones data and applications.

    I've tried SuperDuper and found it's a bit slower than CCC and didn't work well for me.
  • Reply 20 of 41
    jlanddjlandd Posts: 873member
    felix01 said:
    How does CCC compare to the cheaper SuperDuper? Does it work better/faster, do more, etc.?

    And does SuperDuper work with Sierra?
    Not sure if this still holds but my experience with SD (a fine program except for this caveat) was that, left running overnight on a drive with a dodgy file or two, it ran through the entire long process and gave me an alert that there had been a problem with the task but gave no further info, which file was corrupt or anything, and had aborted at some point, so I had accomplished nothing.  I ran CCC on same and got a report on the files with problems and it either skipped them or copied them and noted their issue (can't remember) and completed the task.  This was several years ago but it was all I needed to know to go with CCC.
    thinkman@chartermi.net
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