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SuperDuper: The Basics


A program like SuperDuper is a rare find. It covers your backup needs with a simple interface. It’s got a fair price. And it’s meticulously documented. Next week we’ll look at some of the more advanced features – today we’ll hit the basics.

SuperDuperYour Mac doesn’t come with a backup program. You need to subscribe to Apple’s .Mac to access their backup tool. On the other hand, SuperDuper provides a free version that can create a full, bootable backup. After seeing how easy SuperDuper is to use you’ll want the full version which can update your backups in a fraction of the time.

Backup can be a complicated science. SuperDuper’s interface confirms your settings with clearly-worded summaries. The extensive documentation provides further guidance.

Depending on how you use your Mac you might want to maintain multiple backup versions. You could run a full backup once a week. You could run a changes-only backup every day that runs quickly and backs up the day’s work. SuperDuper can also create a mirror-type backup that deletes files in the backup that you’ve deleted on your working disk.

How you use your Mac drives your strategy. You have to ask yourself how far back you might need to go. Do you need to recover important files you’ve deleted? Or go back to a previous day’s version? Consider those kinds of questions as you develop your strategy. Disk space is less expensive all the time. A 500GB drive can hold multiple backup versions of your Macbook’s drive.

SuperDuper suggests using a dedicated disk to store your backup. But you can also store your backup in an image file that can be restored to a disk and booted from. If you plan on using an external disk consider Firewire for its flexibility and speed.

Your disk could fail any day. Murphy’s Macbook Pro died without warning. A few weeks later the G5 wouldn’t boot. If you haven’t been backing up you should at least download the free version of SuperDuper today and make yourself a full backup.

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3 comments to “SuperDuper: The Basics”

  1. I got SuperDuper a couple of months after getting my MacBook, and must say, it has been a fantastic experience. I could not believe something as complicated, boring and repetitive as backup, could be reduced to a simple interface, with clear instructions and a few buttons.

    With a few tweaks, I have been able to set up a backup system that works by plugging in the drive, and clicking a button, waiting a while, unplugging the drive and closing SD. That’s it. A breeze to do on a daily basis.

    It has not had to save my data yet, though I did use it to copy over my entire system when I got a new drive. As with backups, all worked fantastic.

    I’m interested to see what tips you have!

  2. SuperDuper is the only backup system I have ever used (in 15 years of computing) that I felt completely satisfied with.
    I have it set up to do an automatic backup on 2 internal drives to 2 external drives every night.
    It has saved my bacon several times when either a drive went bad or I inadvertently wiped out a file and had to go back to the backup.
    I’m sure I don’t use all the features available and I am looking forward to the next article.

  3. SuperDuper gets my vote! I’ve used it for about a year now and it’s so simple and reliable-it just works. I back up to my 300GB Maxtor external HDD about every week or so. Click and go. Now that’s my kind of backup application I need.
    Oh, and one more thing, Murphy – thanks for all the screencasts. I learn something new everyday. Look forward to more all the time. Easy, fun and straight forward.

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