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BACKUP  - Idiot's guide please

1289 Views 11 Replies Latest reply: Feb 9, 2009 12:07 PM by JLDEL RSS
franch Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 20, 2009 2:57 AM
With my PC I had automatic online backups scheduled with remote storage and was hoping to do the same via Apple Backup and iDisk but have struggled with this for ages without luck. The size of my Entourage database seems to be the problem.

What's the best way for me to backup my data? Preferably automatically. I worry about external drives as they wouldn't protect me in the event of fire/flood/theft etc. Please advise.
iMac, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (64,175 points)
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    Jan 20, 2009 3:16 AM (in response to franch)
    Please see this note as a starting point:

    http://homepage.mac.com/rfwilmut/notes/faq.html#IDiskbackup
    24 inch iMac (10.5.6), 14 inch iBook G4 (10.4.11), 20 inch G4 iMac (10.4.11), Asus 'eee' (Linux), G3 Beige desktop Mac (8.6)
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)
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    Jan 20, 2009 11:04 AM (in response to franch)
    Hi franch, and a warm welcome to the forums!

    Share/store/sync online with Dropbox...

    http://www.getdropbox.com/

    http://wiki.getdropbox.com

    Or if you have online ftp storage, Tri-Backup Pro can schedule anything...

    http://www.tri-edre.com/english/tribackup.html
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)
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    Jan 20, 2009 12:25 PM (in response to franch)
    Would dropbox work better than iDisk then BDAqua?


    I've never had/used iDisk, but I strongly suspect DropBox would be better.

    And - if I downloaded Dropbox, would I need to use tri-backup to schedule the backups? Would that work with Dropbox?


    No, they're separate, DropBox uses it's own SW.

    Or could I just use the Apple Backup software that I've already installed, to schedule backups to Dropbox??


    No idea, but I doubt they work together.

    Also...! Would I have to keep my Entourage database (and all my Word documents etc) in my Dropbox folder, rather than in their current locations?


    None of the 3 options will require moving anything.
  • Roger Wilmut1 Level 9 Level 9 (64,175 points)
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    Jan 20, 2009 3:05 PM (in response to franch)
    Dropbox syncs the server with a folder called 'Dropbox' on your Mac: you can have this folder placed anywhere you like but you must use Dropbox to create it. You could save your files directly to it, but I don't recommend this: as with any syncing system if it goes wrong you could lose files. You should therefore work in the usual way and save backups to the Dropbox folder, ideally using a backup program such as SuperDuper, so that only changed files will be saved. Apple Backup works in an odd way, saving an initial backup then adding any changed files on each backup, so the overall size gets larger and larger, and frankly I don't think it's the best way of doing this.

    Dropbox is very much faster at syncing than the iDisk, and works well on the whole, though I find that it crashes the Finder each time you start it (it doesn't seem to matter as the Finder reloads immediately, though any Finder copying taking place at the time would be terminated).

    One other thought: Dropbox is quite new, and a small firm; hopefully it will grow and survive, but already we've seen online services fold - Mediamax for one - taking the backups with them. This is probably unlikely, but with the iDisk Apple is certainly not going to go bust.
    24 inch iMac (10.5.6), 14 inch iBook G4 (10.4.11), 20 inch G4 iMac (10.4.11), Asus 'eee' (Linux), G3 Beige desktop Mac (8.6)
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)
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    Jan 21, 2009 1:25 PM (in response to franch)
    Sorry, one finger typist here... SW = Software!
  • JLDEL Calculating status...
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    Feb 9, 2009 12:07 PM (in response to franch)
    I am using dropbox with Entourage and it works like a charm.

    Mac #1
    (1) I copy my "Main Identity" folder to dropbox,
    (2) create an alias of it and put the alias into my Office 2008 Identities folder (in the Microsoft User Data folder).

    Mac #2
    (1) I delete contents of the Main Identity folder on my other Mac
    (2) Open my "Dropbox" folder on that Mac and make an alias the "Main Identity" folder
    (3) I put the "Main Identity" folder alias into my "Office 2008 Identities" folder (in the Microsoft User Data folder).
    (4) Open Entourage and voila... all is in sync.

    Entourage works just fine with Dropbox and it syncs nearly instantaneously. If your database is more than 2gb will need to get a paid drop box acct. which gives you 50gb... but a small database will work with their free acct (2 gb). Dropbox is a great service I have been using it for several months and had no problems whatsoever. A great piece of system software is a piece of software that works so seamlessly that you don't notice it. This is what Dropbox is! I'd recommend it greatly.
    iMac, macmini, Mac OS X (10.5.6)

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