Please understand that there are difference between Time Machine and Carbon Copy Cloner.
CCC will give you a bootable HDD and have all your data backed up AS OF THE BACKUP DATE. Time Machine will not create a boot drive but will retain a history of prior activities. Ex: If you create a document and TM records it, and then you delete the document you can still retrieve it at a later date. CCC does not have that capability.
It has been my experience that CCC takes a much longer time to index and add updates compared to TM.
The best of all possible worlds is to have both. Redundancy of backups should not be viewed as excessive or frowned upon.
You can also clone using the Restore feature of Apple Disk Utility. "Restore" the disk you have to a blank disk.
But the advantage of Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper is that for subsequent backups they provide the option of only copying the changed files, saving a lot of time.
Also, there are many other backup utilities available for the Mac, because people have been backing up long before Time Machine existed.
To pick the right backup software, you need to say what kind of backup you want.
Bootable clone? Use Disk Utility, Carbon Copy Cloner, SuperDuper, etc.
Versioned but non-bootable backup? Use Time Machine, Retrospect, etc.
Internet cloud backup? Use Crashplan, Backblaze, etc.
and so on.
Like a lot of people, I use two types of backup, a combination of Time Machine and SuperDuper. Other people use a combination of onsite and offsite (cloud) backup. You should design a backup plan that fits your needs.
Well unfortunately I don't have a blank drive. What I do have is a partitioned external drive (both partitions are in use).
I have recently started using one exculsively for Time Machine backups (from Lion) and the other general storage.
I will soon be upgrading my hard drive and will running both Lion and Snow Leopard so I cannot guarantee that my Time Machine backups made in Lion will work in Snow Leopard so I need to an alternative backup.
I am looking to make single backups manually (with or without additional software).
CCC and SuperDuper can be downloaded. I keep one TM and one CCC, though my experience may be less than others and I may be viewed as a "novice intruder".
Pretty much *any* drive of sufficient size can be reformatted to GUID/HFS within minutes, so Walmart at 1 AM is a possible solution.
USB-powered drives are smaller and less expensive than self-powered, and will work in a pinch if your data is at grave risk of going away catastrophically within 24 hours.
Thanks that is very helpful
When I open up Finder I don't see Macintosh HD just Matt then All My Files, Applications and so on etc.
I forgot to mention about SuperDupa and similar programs...
- Will it/they overwrite current data on my external hdd?
- Would backups made in them be compatible from Lion to Snow Leopard or vice versa?
CCC and SuoerDuper make copies of your drive, they don't overwrite the internal unless you choose to (like when restoring a clone to an existing drive).
They are compatible with Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion.
CCC (currently) is preferable because it can clone the recovery partition and SD can't.