Backing Up With SuperDuper

Send to Kindle

Backing Up Your Mac: SuperDuper

I am terrible at backing up my Macs. When I had an iMac I would run some backup software about once a month, or after I downloaded photos from my camera to the computer. Since the demise of the iMac my work machine consist of a 13“ MacBook Pro for video recording and editing and a 13” MacBook Air for my daily work.

Although it is a form of heresy to say, I am generally unconcerned about backing up the 250GB solid state drive on the Air. Since I don’t keep any photos on the machine, the only things I would need to be concerned about if it crashed are my applications and my data. In the case of applications, nearly all my software is purchased online either from a company’s website or via Apple’s App Store. In the event of a crash I can easily re-download all my apps.

The same holds true of my personal data. Contacts, calendars, browser bookmarks, email, etc., are covered by iCloud. The remainder of my mission critical files are stored in DropBox.

The MacBook Pro is another story. While my applications and documents are safe, the same is not true of the photos and videos that are stored on the larger 500GB hard drive. With the MacBook Pro I generally try the follow Peter Krogh’s 3–2–1 backup strategy:

We recommend keeping 3 copies of any important file (a primary and two backups)
We recommend having the files on 2 different media types (such as hard drive and optical media), to protect against different types of hazards.
1 copy should be stored offsite (or at least offline).

In the past I used Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) to create a backup of my computer’s drive. Unlike Apple’s Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner allowed me to create a bootable backup. So, in the event that my hard drive crashed, I could hook up my computer (or another Mac) to the drive and continue working. Aside from being a good program, CCC had the advantage of being free to academics.

In recent years, whether out of choice or economic necessity, CCC is no longer a free program. It was then that I decided to take a serious look at the other paid alternative: SuperDuper.

While both SuperDuper and CCC are paid products, the former is actually better described as freeware with the option to upgrade. SuperDuper allows you to download and backup to your heart’s content, albeit without the advanced niceties $27.95 brings with it.

The free version of SuperDuper allows you to create a bootable backup of your machine. This basic version will create a backup to an external drive or it will create a disk image of you machine.

For most individuals this is all they really need. But, if you are anything like me when it comes to backing up, you may want to support the developers at Shirt Pocket. With the free version you have to remember to actually run the program. The difficulty with backing up is rarely the software or even the time (I like to backup just before bed when I am not using my machine). The biggest impediment is my own forgetfulness. By upgrading to the full version of the program you gain the ability to schedule your backups, along with some additional features:

  • Schedule automatic updates.
  • Tell SuperDuper to check and repair disk permissions before starting a backup.
  • Ability to tell SuperDuper to automatically quit/eject after completing a backup.

If you are like me and are bad about backing up your computer, SuperDuper is the application for you. With more and more of my personal and work life residing on my laptop, not having to remember at least 1 of the 3–2–1 rule gives me some peace of mind.

Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: