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See a strategy using built in rsync below

- Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) was the leader then had some problems with 10.3 and 10.4 and SuperDuper took over as the favorite. CCC Ver 3 which came out in early 2008 has fixed the problems and some people prefer it again.
- CC3 includes an optimized version of rsync, an open source utility that provides fast incremental file transfer. - CCC does a block-level copy of your Mac's hard drive to another hard drive so every file is duplicated.
- SuperDuper! which also clones, but doesn't allow some of the file manipulation or scheduling available in CCC. You pay more for those features in SuperDuper!

Sep 2007: Most of the Mac360 staff follow the lead of the site's founder, Tera Patricks, and we use a combination of SuperDuper! for cloning, and Chronosync for rapid file synchronizations,

I had used .Mac's Backup, which was a disaster: the few times I needed to use my backups, they didn't work. And a Genius told me that was standard.

Apple Support Forum - SuperDuper! vs. Time Machine (TM) feb. 2008
- I always used Super Duper but since it has not been updated to Leopard I switched to Carbon Copy Cloner. I will probably never switch back as I have grown to like it.
- Time Machine allows me to jump back by the hour. CC3 does also.
- With TM file vault prevents updating on a file by file basis cause you have to backup the entire encrypted user folder.
- CCC allows you great precision in what you back up each time.
- CC3 provides the option to save deleted/replaced files on the backup drive in a specific folder. SD does not and will not. This feature can be very useful when an older version of a given file gets to replace a newer version, eg after a mistaken "save".

SuperDuper vs. Carbon Copy Cloner--which, and why? 2008 at forums.dealmac.com
About a year ago, I saw a site that had a "shootout" among CCC, SuperDuper, Apple's Disk Restore function, and at least 3 others. As far as I could tell, and I believe they made a statement to this effect, was that the testing was in no wsay, shape or form sponsored by or related to any of the apps tested or the sources.

I just tried but cannot find reference to that test.

The winner in that test was Super Duper. It did a more complete job than the others. Even Disk Restore did not beat out CCC.

That said, I use both CCC and the paid version of Super Duper.

All of the "contestants' had weaknesses, failing to copy some stuff that should have been copied. Super Duper did the most complete job/ had the greatest amount of critical items covered. What SD missed was relatively insignificant compared to the others. CCC would be and is my second choice, based on experiences as well as that test.
____________________________ For complex backup schemes (especially those involving network-backups), SD because I can easily modify its behaviors and script it and because I get prompt support from the developer and the SD forums. For quick clones and setting up newbies with scheduled backups, CCC because its interface is more conducive to each.

forums.macrumors.com/ 2010
I used to be a SuperDuper fan (still use it on one computer), but CCC has gotten very good lately.

CCC now does incremental backups with an easy-to-setup interface to let you select just what you want backed up. SuperDuper doesn't have this.

CCC also offers an option to NOT erase "existing data" when doing a clone or incremental backup. I don't see this in SuperDuper, either.
___________________________________ One of the most crucial differences is SuperDuper's excellent Sandbox feature. Read all about it on the SD website

SuperDuper! 2.5 [5] 10K downloads in 1.5 mos. {5}
SuperDuper is the most advanced, yet easy to use disk copying program available for OS X. It can, of course, make a straight copy, or "clone" -- useful when you want to move all your data from one machine to another, or do a simple backup. In moments, you can completely duplicate your boot drive to another drive, partition, or image file.

Partial Backup: SukperDuper Help
From Shirt Pocket Support
March, 2017

Hi, Don. We're generally designed to copy an entire volume and suggest people do, which is why this is a bit inconvenient, but it's possible. Here's what to do.

Follow the general instructions in the "Excluding files and folders from a backup" chapter in the User's Guide (Help > User's Guide). Except:

- Include "Exclude all files" rather than "Backup - all files" in the 2nd (Include) tab - In the 3rd tab, add the file(s)/folder(s) you want to copy, making sure the command in front is "copy". If what you're trying to copy is on a different volume, start at "Volumes", then the volume name, and keep going until you find what you're looking for.

All the rest of the steps are the same. Please make sure you understand that you're still copying a volume to another volume, and that if you use Erase, then copy or Smart Update, the resulting volume will *only* have the folders or files you've selected.

Again: I really strongly suggest that you back up all files. It makes it a LOT easier to restore should the time come where you have to, and disk space is *cheap* these days, which makes it more than practical. Of course, it's up to you...
Hope that helps!
-- Dave Nanian Shirt Pocket

See Shirt Pocket

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.0 [5,4] {4.5} 360K downloads 2 yrs.
Have you ever wanted a simple, complete, bootable backup of your hard drive? Have you ever wanted to upgrade to a larger hard drive with minimal hassle and without reinstalling your OS and all of your applications? Have you ever wanted to move your entire Mac OS X installation to a new computer? Then CCC is the tool for you! CCC makes these tasks simple by harnessing the Unix power built into Mac OS X. In addition to the features that CCC has provided in the past, version 2 offers synchronization of the source and target as well as scheduled backup tasks. Now you can setup a regular backup regimen that occurs in the background, even if you are not logged in! Version 2 also offers enhancements for lab administrators, including the option to run pre and post-flight shell scripts, the ability to modify the list of items to be removed at the end of a clone, and the ability to create a disk image on the fly. One of CCC 2's most exciting features is the ability to create a NetBoot image from a fully customized Mac OS X installation. Bombich.com
Synchronize! Pro [4] 4K downloads 2 mos
Synchronize! Pro X is specifically engineered for OS X, taking advantage of the modern properties of the new operating system, such as pre-emptive multitasking, and supporting the full capabilities of the file system, including 255-character Unicode file names and OS X file permissions. Files are copied at the maximum speed possible, using pre-emptive multitasking to full advantage. It makes bootable backups of OS X system disks, without logging in as 'root'. Old files can be archived rather than deleted. qdea
ChronoSync [4,5] {4} 2K donloads 2 months
ChronoSync easily synchronizes or backs-up files and folders in a variety of ways. Synchronize files between folders, hard drives, removable media, laptops, file servers, or any computer, not just a Macintosh. Econ Technologies
You Synchronize [3] {4.5} 2K downloads in 6 mos.
You Synchronize does more than simply compare documents to each other. It saves information about each file in each project, and then uses this information to determine whether both versions of a document have been modified and to verify that documents are free of errors after synchronization.
Deja Vu [4] 5K downloads in 4 mos.
BackTrack [5] 630 downloads 2 mos
BackTrack and the companion application "Configure BackTrack" work together to bring Mac users a new level of safety by logging all text that is typed for all applications. BackTrack silently logs to a daily log file everything you type in any application. The log file contains the application name, the window name, the date & time, and what you typed.
BackJack online backup service.
backup over the network to Offsite backup servers. backjack.com
Backup at pure-mac.com
Backup at matt.makalumedia.com
2004 MACWORLD article
MacFixIt 2006 summary
Program synch-
boot disk archive
Retrospect Y Y   Y
Time Machine   Y i   Y
SuperDuper! Y Y i Y
Carbon Copy Cloner Y Y Y
Synchronize! Pro Y Y Y
ChronoSync Y Y
You Synchronize 2W Y Y
Synchronize - Keep a duplicate directory on another drive synchronized with the original. Allows other drive to be mounted on another computer so you can keep working with running a restore program.
  2W - Two-way synchronization. If a file on the external drive is more current it will use it. Archive - Save old copies
True Backup programs, like Retrospect, usually store backed-up files in some sort of proprietary format in one large file or several large (CD-ROM size) files, so only the backup program can restore them. They usually provide an archive feature.

Carbon Copy Cloner 2.3 (Recommended MacWorld Feb 2008) May have to login as root. Does not work on 10.4.3 at least. According to their forum the problem is with Tiger only, previous versions are presumably fine. The current solution listed on their site is to run a special perl command each time a new backup task is generated. This is unacceptable. The software has a long standing bug that may result in your disk being backup-ed to itself instead to the specified external drive. This is again unacceptable. The copy is stored in invisible folder, which is a serious security problem that will be very hard to correct for the normal user. Bombich (maker of CCC) forum admin says this is not true. Most problems are from causes outside CCC.

arRsync - a graphical front-end for the rsync synchronisation utility. Recommended by AppleCare support

Mac OS X bootable backup drive with rsync Nicolas Gallagher

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last updated 18 Mar 2006