3 Replies Latest reply: Feb 13, 2009 9:18 AM by rrealrose
kdlon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hi Guys,

Having recently made the big step of purchasing a MacBook Pro I am all over the moon about it (really not sure why I hesitated for such along time). I don't want this to become a nightmare of losing some of my data etc. and wanna get a good and easy backup system. Had a look through the Apple Store for their backup system but not quite sure which one is the best one. Obviously the Time Capsule would be the preferred one but didn't want to spend that kind of money.

Can you suggest any other good and easy to use backup system? Thought about spending around £80.00.


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    The 'advantage' to the Time Capsule is that backups take place over Wi-Fi. Any external hard drive will work with Time Machine (the backup software that in included with Mac OS 10.5 Leopard). You'll just need to connect the drive to the MBP to back up. Get the largest HDD you can buy with your £80. I've had good luck with drives from LaCie. Your best bet is a drive with a FireWire 800 connection (many will have both FW and USB; FW is faster).
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (260,670 points)
    Basic Backup

    Get an external Firewire drive at least equal in size to the internal hard drive and make (and maintain) a bootable clone/backup. You can make a bootable clone using the Restore option of Disk Utility. You can also make and maintain clones with good backup software. My personal recommendations are (order is not significant):

    1. Retrospect Desktop (Commercial - not yet universal binary)
    2. Synchronize! Pro X (Commercial)
    3. Synk (Backup, Standard, or Pro)
    4. Deja Vu (Shareware)
    5. Carbon Copy Cloner (Donationware)
    6. SuperDuper! (Commercial)
    7. Intego Personal Backup (Commercial)
    8. Data Backup (Commercial)
    9. SilverKeeper 2.0 (Freeware)
    10. MimMac (Commercial)

    The following utilities can also be used for backup, but cannot create bootable clones:

    1. Backup (requires a .Mac account with Apple both to get the software and to use it.)
    2. Toast
    3. Impression
    4. arRSync

    Apple's Backup is a full backup tool capable of also backing up across multiple media such as CD/DVD. However, it cannot create bootable backups. It is primarily an "archiving" utility as are the other two.

    Impression and Toast are disk image based backups, only. Particularly useful if you need to backup to CD/DVD across multiple media.

    Visit The XLab FAQs and read the FAQ on backup and restore. Also read How to Back Up and Restore Your Files.

    Although you can buy a complete FireWire drive system, you can also put one together if you are so inclined. It's relatively easy and only requires a Phillips head screwdriver (typically.) You can purchase hard drives separately. This gives you an opportunity to shop for the best prices on a hard drive of your choice. Reliable brands include Seagate, Hitachi, Western Digital, Toshiba, and Fujitsu. You can find reviews and benchmarks on many drives at Storage Review.

    Enclosures for FireWire and USB are readily available. You can find only FireWire enclosures, only USB enclosures, and enclosures that feature multiple ports. I would stress getting enclosures that use the Oxford chipsets (911, 921, 922, for example.) You can find enclosures at places such as;

    Cool Drives
    Firewire Direct
    California Drives

    All you need do is remove a case cover, mount the hard drive in the enclosure and connect the cables, then re-attach the case cover. Usually the only tool required is a small or medium Phillips screwdriver.
  • rrealrose Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi - I happen to be wondering what backup software is the best for Leopard, when I found this posting.
    In principal a long list of possible backup software exists, however with internet postings back to 2006, a short list of effective software to completely restore data becomes apparent.
    Some reported problems may be caused by operator error or lack of good restore instructions, so reading any blog on this issue is tricky.
    For example: Retrospect has been around for years, but doubts are raised about the restore function: the complexity of understanding how to use their restoration feature correctly for a single user. Whereas if this is used every day for many machines then it may be a simple, focused process.
    *Suggest reading this more recent article:* http://db.tidbits.com/article/9639. The author explains the kitchen sink of mac software options available and issues with the extra mac data carried and whether or not your data will be backed-up and restored...effectively.
    Good luck!