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Apple’s Backup App is Shit

This weekend while I was in North Carolina, my primary hard disk decided to corrupt itself. A minor inconvenience, I figured. After all, I'd been backing up with Apple's "Backup" application every night.

Note: small changes made (11:29am, Oct. 18) since John Gruber decided to link to me. I may as well clarify things…

Little did I know what a steaming pile of shit Backup turned out to be. The list of things Backup can not do is astounding, including:

  • Restoring a backup to a blank hard disk (you need to have the same username as before, with an OS installed).
  • Restore incremental backups in one fell swoop. No, now I have to go through and figure out what the differences are between the 170 GB full backup and the nineteen incremental backups that occurred after that.
  • Open the .sparseimage files and copy files back over. If you were using resource forks, why, it seems you're out of luck. Bye bye many of my fonts files.

In other words, there's really no way to actually use backups made with Backup in any way that makes sense. If I - a former Apple employee, Mac Genius (and trainer), etc. can't figure this out, I'm not sure how my mom will ever do.

I was backing up my entire hard drive. It crashed, so I erased it and figured I could just restore the drive. Not so - everything is put into a "Restored Files" folder, which naturally means I couldn't boot. PHP? MySQL? Any kernel extensions or things outside of ~/ were, at that point, bound to be lost as I am not about to go through every folder and copy things back over.

Instead, I decided to install the OS and copy my old home folder. That worked... somewhat. I had to use the first full backup, since it contained most of the files. Then, I copied the iTunes and iPhoto XML files from the most recent backup that had them. Then I opened each .sparseimage in chronological order to look for folders with changed documents in them. Then, one by one, I copied them back - photos in iPhoto, music I'd purchased, documents I'd worked on (created, edited, etc.). It was painstaking, and I ignored applications I'd updated or anything outside of my home folder.

Backup insanely copies modification dates of folders even if nothing inside of them actually changes. iPhoto folders apparently change every day, as do iTunes folders. The fastest way I found to determine whether anything was actually inside a massive hierarchy of folders was to get info (cmd-I) on the folder to see if it was "Zero K" (which would indicate that nothing but more folders were inside) or 24 MB (a few music files, perhaps, or pictures, or documents).

People in the comments have made remarks that I'm a dumbass myself. I've written about Backup's crappy capabilities before, and this recent crash just confirms it. I wasn't looking for it to make a bootable backup drive, but it should be able to restore things. I should not have to choose every backup in Backup and "restore" it, and I should never have to restore to a different location - though the option to do so should be preserved.

What did I expect I should be able to do?

  1. Erase corrupted hard disk
  2. Choose "Restore"
  3. Select the latest incremental backup
  4. Click action button and watch as entire HD is restored - permissions, resource forks, "bootability," from the first full backup through to the incremental backups.

How many of those things was I able to do? The first and the second. 😛

What a fucking joke. I don't swear often, but fuck you, Apple, for releasing something that purports to serve a purpose and then heaping the steaming pile of shit that is Backup. Suffice to say my data is not safe with you, and for that, you've lost a good portion of my respect.

The only saving grace is that I can at least mount the various .sparseimages and copy the files over. Still, 19 backups ranging in size from 1.8 to 3 GB will take plenty of time to go through, that's for damn sure. As I mention above, the .sparseimages don't actually contain resource forks - and now that I've finally finished copying the stuff worth copying, I've deleted them, so I can't look at where the resource forks have gone. All I know at this point is that icons are missing and that things like certain fonts no longer work. I mounted the full backup .sparseimage and drag-and-dropped them over to the previously corrupted disk (after erasing and installing an OS).

Update (10/30/06): Gruber and Zeldman, among others, have recently re-linked to this article. Please note that it's a year old and that, since using (or attempting to use) Backup as mentioned above, I've switched to psync (nightly) and CDs/DVDs (for spot backups) for all of my backup needs and I've done so without incident or complication. Backup has been improved (or at least new versions have been released) since I wrote this article, and Time Machine has been announced as well.

I continue to use Backup to back up my personal data and settings (Address Book, iCal, Keychain, Safari settings, and Stickies), though I've never had to restore any of this data. In fact, given iSync's automatic syncing capabilities and my nightly backup(s), I could probably stop backing up my "Personal Data & Settings" without losing anything.

55 Responses to "Apple’s Backup App is Shit"

  1. HOW DARE YOU SHIZNET TO DER APPLE GOD!!!

    Dude, that really sucks. I wish you all the best in your attempts to fix Apple's mess. Sue.

    Kind regards,
    Timen Swijtink

  2. I'm not going to sue. Don't be silly. C'mon now 😛

    I just want to get any photos, iTunes files, etc. back. Then I'll probably figure out how to use psync again. I've been told it works again (now) in 10.4.x.

  3. I really like Deja Vu, which comes with Toast. I set up daily backups for my Projects, Documents, and Maildir directories to back it up to my Linux server every evening, and a weekly backup for my entire home directory. It works & it's almost unnoticeable.

  4. Adding to the problem is that an Apple-branded program hurts the market for actual-working Mac backup software.

  5. Sad and true Wolf.

    Sorry to hear about your woes Erik. I hope it doesn't take too long to reset everything.

  6. Was this Backup 3?

  7. yeah, Backup is truly awful. It hurts the Mac platform more than it helps it.

  8. SuperDuper is the thing you need. Bootable backups, easy to use, fast. Saved my ass many times.

  9. For my full drive backups, I use Retrospect. For everything else (Home directory, photos, purchased music) I use Backup 3

  10. do it by hand

    backup writes packages. open up the package in the Finder, navigate to the enclosed DMG file. open it up. all your files will be there.

    i don't mind relying on backup because i know i'll be able to get at my files by hand in event of an emergency. it'll be a time consuming hassle, but hey...

  11. and FWIW, you can indeed do a restore of incremental backups in one fell swoop using the app.

    and it doesn't matter what the user account name you're using as long as you restore to an alternate location and do a single migration back by hand.

    the problem is with your understanding of how to use the app, not the app itself. i'm perfectly willing to join you in blaming apple for lackluster documentation, but the app itself does many of things you complain it can't do.

  12. Backup won't even "restore" things as you'd expect when you finally figure out how to make it let you attempt to restore files - it copies things to a "Restored Files" folder.

    Select backup plan
    Click Restore button
    Select newest backup
    Select folder/file
    Click Restore selection
    Choose restore missing or replace all items
    Dismiss warning about running apps

    C'est ca! It couldn't be much simpler!

    All incremental backups in one full swoop, and not in a Restored Files folder... what did I do differently from you?

  13. You really should have read Backup's description a bit better. It's pretty clear what it does and does not do.

    Sounds like you want something more like drive-cloning.

  14. I wasn't using it for drive cloning. I would simply expect that Backup could restore files in one fell swoop to their original location, including the operating system if it was backed up.

    Backup's own documentation notes that restorations will fail if the short name (short username) changes - it has to be the same. This applies when restoring documents under ~/, of course.

    I don't want to "restore to a different location"? That's basically what I've got now - files and folders everywhere as I manual restore them to their proper locations. Selecting the most recent incremental backup only restores the files inside of that backup, not every change leading up to it. Since each incremental backup contains only recently changed files, files created in the interim won't be (and aren't) restored. I've verified this.

    I've since completed my manual repair (it only took 10 hours, and only took that little time because I gave up on finding anything outside of ~/ that needed copying back over), and I've installed psync once again. I'll use it to back up nightly.

  15. I wrote a backup utility in Perl; it requires xtar for use in Panther, and it uses Tiger's resource fork-friendly tar. It is meant to be used in a crontab, and generates incremental or full backup tarballs (user customizable). Let me know if you want it... you have my email address and AIM ID.

  16. I stopped using Backup (ver. 2) when I tested it by restoring my Applications folder. Well, since it managed to lose the resource forks all of my applications turned into folders. Whatta piece of junk.

    Now I use the free SilverBackup from Lacie. It is not a drive cloning utility, it is a normal backup program. If I was really paranoid I would use both SilverBackup AND a drive cloning utility... but I'm not.

  17. U silly thang... Backup isn't intended to make a mirror copy of your hard drive, because if that's what it did, you'd end up backing up whatever was messing up your system that would cause the system crash in the first place! What you're supposed to do is backup to somewhere that's not on your boot disk (of course), then when you have a failure, you wipe the boot disk, reinstall the system from the system install disks that came with your computer, then you can restore using Backup. Simple!

  18. Since my resource forks were blown away by Backup, a lot of the iMovies I've kept on disk failed to work because all of the "Clip"s in the Media folder were wiped of their creator code and file type. If...

  19. I don't seem to be having have the problems you are having. I can restore from the latest incremental and have ALL of the restore from Full Backup to current intact, likewise the icons are still attached.

    Testing restores from nothing with the latest incremental is obvious when you are restoring something like Email. Full backup is Oct 2, second to last incremental is 17, and latest incremental is 24. If I am understanding correctly, by Erik's reasoning, if I restore incremental backup 24 onto a fresh installed laptop with no full restore conducted prior, I should ONLY see email dated between the 17th and 24th as those would resemble the "changed files". I find this to be entirely untrue. Restoring solely the 24th, gives me everything from the full backup and everything from EACH incremental including the latest. Was this is a fix in 3.0.1? No it worked in 3.0. So I am at a loss as to where some of these arguments are coming from. Please explain.

    The only problem I had with 3.0 was due to file permissions of / when it failed to write to an alternate location correctly. Instead of failing gracefully, it had to stick a few thousand cannot perform operation in my backup.log before poppin g up a dialog suggesting it is failing and to skip or bail out. When restoring root volume file folders (e.g. i keep reference materials in /Reference), Backup 3 wants to prepend the volume (if different from the volume you are restoring to) as a directory in /. Therefore my laptop that just went in for repair had an internal disk called "entropy". When restoring the backup to volume "core" on my other laptop, it attempted to create /entropy/Reference. Of course this was not happening with 755 root:wheel and admin user only in the admin group.

    Now that 3.0.1 fixes this so I can restore where I want to, I have no more issues with this app, and no profanity left to sling.

  20. Gee. That's funny. I have been relying on BackUp 3 for quite a while (yes, I beta tested the app) and it has saved my ass three times in three months.

    In all three cases, my filevaulted home account was horrendously corrupted because the underlying volume was horrendously corrupted. Mac OS X Bug? No, I was fucking with kernel drivers and got what I deserved (and expected).

    In all three cases, BackUp restored exactly what I needed exactly where I wanted. In 2 of the 3 cases, I needed to retrieve specific files -- preference files -- because that was the only area of my account that blew up. Worked perfectly.

  21. I had my hard drive go out, and backup worked like a charm. Then again, I know it's a consumer-level app and I didn't expect the world from it.

    Replace HD, reinstall OS X, Reinstall backup, insert latest backup disk, double-click the backup file. Backup opened, rebuilt it's catalog, I pressed a button and it restored everything I wanted it to restore back into my home folder. Then I just had to do one more restore from my iDisk for my more recently changed files.

    It certainly sounds like some things need to be improved, but for the average home user who just wants their pictures and music to be safe, I think that it's a workable solution.

  22. I accidentally deleted a file that I need last night. So I went back to backup to restore just that one file. Backup works fine untill it reaches 'copying files' at which point it seems to hang. I have left it to copy that one file for a good hour - how long can it take?

    Any ideas on how I can retrieve it from backup?

  23. Sent my problem off to Apple but don't have response yet, but here it is: I used backup 3 to store files while doing a full install of Tiger. I'm able to drag files back to folders(excel,Word,and Picture filesect)wtihout using the Restore feature but my iTunes backup, apparently a TRUE Backup 3 file is a different story.
    I get as far as the popup window for selection of the iTunes Folder but this Folder remains greyed out, in-accessible and dragging attempts won't work either. I know iTunes as a program is OK as I've downloaded to it from the
    music store as a test.

    Anybody got ideas??

  24. I had problems similar to those reported in the blog entry above when I was testing Backup. I wrote a little script using rsync to back up my documents onto my key drive, which I run each time I feel that I have made significant changes. Weekly I clone the whole drive using Superduper!, which I recommend highly. This makes a bootable copy of my hard disk. If the disk crashed, or if my machine were stolen or ruined, I could recreate it on another machine by booting from the drive, and copy over the recently changed files from the key drive.

    One respondent above suggests that restoring everything would be a bad idea because corrupt files would be restored. But wouldn't the back up have to be made before the files were corrupted, when the machine was still working?

    I agree that Backup 3 is severely flawed. A backup program should be totally unambiguous. Some peope have defended apple by saying that there is no design problem, but a problem of implementation. Those two are not the same, but from the user's perspective, they may as well be, and I think that it is a weak defense.

  25. that exact same thing happened to me. I backed up my home folder and ended up with a 2.5 GB file with a .IncrementalBackup extension. After I wiped my powerbook I tried to use the backup's "restore from backup" function which did squat. I thought I was screwed.

    Then I thought, Like NT backup, this file is probably an archive. Being apple, it's probably a GZ or TAR.GZ file. I changed the extension to TAR.GZ, then opened the folder, and inside, found a file with the extension .sparseImage (which is a DMG file) opened it, found my files and dragged out the ones I wanted.

    Bingo. The software still sucks though. I agree totally.

    Rob

  26. Here's an update (from me), for those who care.

    I stopped using Backup after I restored what data I could. I found out that psync again works in 10.4, so I reverted to my nightly psync backup. It's simple, it creates bootable drives, and it works quickly, silently, and without fail. Plus, the files are right there, out in the open, if I need them: /usr/local/bin/psync -d -q / /Volumes/Guildenstern

    I have not tried any later versions of Backup. Backup 3.0.1 or whatever may fix issues. It's tough to imagine software worse than Backup 3.0, so they only had one direction to head: towards "better."

    Given the number of years I've used psync and computers in general, I'm not even so sure that Backup wasn't responsible for the hard drive crash that prompted me to try to use it. I'm still using the same drive, as I have for years, and it's never given any indication that something is wrong with it. Only when I was using Backup for a short time did I experience a crash. I doubt that Backup caused my HD crash, but I'm no longer sure that it didn't.

  27. I've never had to do a massive restore from a backup archive, so I can't comment on most of the discussion above. However, I did find something interesting the other day related to backup (I presume). I was getting messages that my startup drive was almost full. I looked at all the folders and found no reason to believe that. I tried to clean it up, using Tiger cache cleaner, repaired permissions, deleted caches, tried other things using Mainmenu, and nothing helped. There were about 40gb being used for something that didn't show in the finder. Then I used Mainmenu to show invisible files, and lo and behold, there's a 40 gb file, with the same name as the backup file that's on my external drive, but it was much, much larger. Get info revealed it to be an incremental backup package.

    With some uncertainty about what to do, but no other apparent options, I deleted it.

    Backup just ran again, according to its weekly schedule, and I checked to see if that file was recreated, and it was. Only 148 mb this time, but if it grows every week, I can see how this will become a problem again.

    Has anyone else noticed this? Or know how to keep it from happening?

  28. I have to agree with Erik. I had to do a full restore from an incremental backup (that I made without the schedule manually the day before) and I can't get Backup to do squat. It fails the restore every time no matter what you try. I emailed .Mac support about the issue and the list of steps they gave me was exactly as I did it without their help. I emailed them again and now they want me to try it on a different user. HELLO! Apple I thought all the users and names had to be the same. AND THEY ARE! Why won't it restore.

    Backup 3 = Pile 'O S$#%

  29. I tried V3.1, had need ogf the back. 13+ G on a 30G h/d. It restored data at the rate of 6 bytes per seconf. whiped out all users. Make disk unuseable. I had to force new user through info provided on macfixit.

    I agree its a worthles pile of Apple-Dung!!!!

  30. okay, I used Backup 3.1 and I can't seem to restore my files. I kept using the same disc (CD-RW) to backup files and when I try to restore my files I get a message asking for another disc from another date, which there isn't one since I have only used one disc. I can see the files on the disc when Backup asks me to choose which files to restore, but I can't restore them.

    Does anyone know of any other way I can retrieve the files off the disc?

    Thanks.

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  33. you dare to speculate that time machine could actually be better than backup? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    well, maybe in a couple of years. but what i've seen so far, it's really quite unusable. for example, you can use it with _one_ external drive, but not with more. like, have one drive per calendar year, just in case you ever need to search through all the e-mails you ever received in your life, or something. yes, you could connect one huge RAID thingy that has the space for all the data that has ever been on your machine, but come on ... it would make much more sense to index all those CD-R and DVD-R spot backups that you made over the years. but spotlight doesn't do that, backup doesn't do that, and time machine doesn't do that.

    it really is a fucking joke. there are good backup solutions on the mac, but they don't come with the mac OS. superDuper FTW, indeed.

  34. My advice is not to trust Backup even with your iPhoto library and iTunes music. I did, and lost them. No error messages either on backup or on restore, but when I opened iPhoto on my new machine, all I had were the 320x240 thumbnails, no originals. My music was worse: all I had was the table of contents file, no MP3s.

  35. FYI - I recently purchased my first back-up HD and found a GREAT little 5 Star app called: SuperDuper!

    http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html

    It's the easiest and best $27 I ever spent! It provides a bootable clone and my nightly updates take only a few minutes.

  36. I wish I'd seen your article about Apple's Backup before I had my own experience with restore being impossible.

  37. I had the same experience. Backup.app would crash while trying to restore from my backup. In my case my backup was spread across 174 .backup files so opening them one by one would have been nearly impossible. I ended up writing a perl script to do the copying for me. The downside is that one winds up with all of the files that had been deleted as well but that is not nearly as big of a problem, at least for me. Another thing to be aware of is that files with resource forks may not come through correctly based on what I have read. Here is the perl script, no warranty expressed or implied.


    #!/usr/bin/perl

    $sourceDir = "/Volumes/backup2/Backups";
    $destDir = "/Volumes/backup/recovered";
    $backupName = "/Volumes/Migrated Drive Plan";

    # Iterate all of the backup files in the source directory

    opendir( DIR, $sourceDir ) or die "can't opendir $sourceDir: $!";
    while( defined( $file = readdir( DIR ) ) ) {

    next if $file =~ /^\..*/; # skip . and ..

    $diskImagePath = "$sourceDir/$file/Contents/Contents/Backup.sparseimage";
    print "$diskImagePath\n";

    # mount the disk image
    `hdiutil mount -readonly \"$diskImagePath\"`;

    # copy the files
    `ditto \"$backupName\" \"$destDir\"`;
    sleep( 3 );

    # unmount the disk
    `hdiutil eject \"$backupName\"`;

    }
    closedir( DIR );

    $sourceDir is the directory containing the .backup files.
    $destDir is where you want the recovered files to go to.
    $backupName is the path of the disk images after they are mounted.

  38. I agree, backup is lame. Backup lost the original backup file, but continued to create incremental backups for months. Backup won't function without the original data set.

    Why would it even continue with the incremental backups? - that's just bad programming.

    Why isn't there some mechanism to attempt to rebuild a catalog using the 75 incremental backup files? I now have to manually search for files burried in folders from each of these dmg files.

    Changing extension from .IncrementalBackup to .tar.gz is a great tip.

  39. I've been trying to get Backup 3, and then 3.1 working for months. I have never been able to create a successful backup of anything larger than my Music and Photos directories. Backing up my home directory will claim completion, then hang, then crash resulting in the erasure of the entire file (!).

    I managed to get it working on my wife's MacBook by first ensuring that her home directory was recursively chmoded and chowned for her username. That wasn't sufficient for my G5.

    Needless to say, I have not relied upon Backup 😕

    I have been using rsync with the various Mac options and plan to check out psync.

  40. We installed Version 7 a few weeks ago. Last night all of my music disappeared from ITunes. However, it is still visible on the Hard Drive as files saved in my ITunes folder. For some reason the software won't pull up the music. I do have everything backed up with an external Hard Drive. I just ran a restore which overwrote what I believe was still on my Hard Drive to the original locations. I then manually restored 1 song which worked into I-Tunes. However, there doesn't seem to be a global restore function. I have to physically pick a song and import it. Anyone have any suggestions? I just spent 2 months converting all my vinyl to I-Tunes and there were perhaps 20000 songs in my library. Thanks

  41. I've just bought my first Mac and have been considering getting .Mac membership although the only real reason is to get Backup 3 as I don't need the rest. I'll be looking at Super Duper and SilverKeeper now.

  42. Wow, I'm not alone. My recent experience with Apple and it's "Backup" has converted me ito a major Apple hater!

    Last week my iMac Core Duo hung up with the spinning beachball. I had just ran software update the night before. I performed a power button force restart which resulted in my screen booting up to display a grey folder with a flashing "?". I consulted the manual and tried all of the official trouble shooting tips to no avail. I tried booting from the the startup disks, disk utilities, connected to my mac book pro via firewire, etc. Nothing worked. At this time I noticed my hard drive making 3 distinct clicks every time I attempted a startup.

    Nothng was working and I was confident my HD was dead. I was pissed about the drive but at least I could take comfort in the fact that I had been using "Backup" to make regular backups to my external hard drive. I decided to purchase a new hard drive and Installed it immediately. I reinstalled OSX and the "Backup" program and cheerfully attempted to Restore my iPhoto, iTunes music and Documents using Backup.

    Nope!

    No restore for me. I tried every possible variation of trying to restore my files I could think of (individual files, other users, other computers, diff versions of Backup, etc...). Noting but an error right as the "Copying" process of Restore begins. The error reads:

    "An internal application error has occurred. The disk archive could not be attached."

    Ok now I'm panicking!.. So after hours of this retardedness and 2 nights of lost sleep I came across this thread. I tried the "TAR.GZ" trick on the Backup files and successfully gained access to all of my ".incrementalbackup" files. BUT, this trick did not work on my ".fullbackup" files. When I try to open the .dmg I get an error that says: "The disk image you are opening may be damaged and could damage your system". If I open it there are folders... but no files.

    So I'm at a loss. I can not get my fullbackups to work. I can not hack into them to access my files. I don't know what to do next. I'm trying that ddrescue program o the crashed HD.. but it cant make my crashed HD spin.

    Broken 1.5 y/old HD, Backup program that FUBARs your life. thanks Apple.

    I think I will just lay the hate on Apple for totally Fcuking us over. I have lost faith in the products and the brand.

    Hmmm.. might be worth the $50 to have an Apple tech sit on the phone and listen to me swear for 15 min.

  43. I had the issue of "An internal application error has occurred. The disk archive could not be created." when backing up to an external drive. I fixed the issue by booting off of the DiskWarrior 4 cd, running it on all my drives, then repairing permissions using DiskWarrior. Magically Backup could then create the archive, and the backup finished sucessfully. Hope this helps.

    B

  44. [...] worst part is that this all sounds vaguely familiar. Maybe these incidents are rare, and maybe it’s just because my daily reading skews so [...]

  45. Apple's backup program does not work at all.

    Okay, that's bad enough.

    What is jaw-dropping is that there are no instructions available -- anywhere -- on how to actually use the thing.

    Oh, here and there you can find assurances that it will work. And yes there is a video and some instructions for basic use, essentially restoring to the same computer that made the backup ('oops, I deleted a file!') But as for step by step when your computer is stolen or your entire disk is lost -- nothing. If you want to do anything specific -- how do I get my stickies back? Nothing. What do I do if my address book information doesn't appear? No recourse. How do I backup to a new disk on a new computer? How do incremental files work? What about my photos? Songs?

    Nothing.

    Amazing, there is no manual to this application available, anywhere.

    My experience: Hard drive on my MacBook Pro completely crashed.

    Go to my backup computer. I followed what directions existed using Backkup, and did not get my stickies, address book, or calender or safari preferences restored. I called Apple Care and talked to a tech and (I swear I'm not making this up) when I asked how to restore my address book to a new computer using Backup, he answered, "What's backup?"

    So I asked him to simply point to me where, on the Apple tech support site, I could get a step by step on how this was supposed to work. He could not do it. Amazingly, he could not find instructions ... he litereally advised me to go to the genius bar, or check out user groups.

    A crappy program is one thing. No instructions, unforgivable.

  46. Yep, it sux! Amazing ppl are still responding to an article that was written years ago, must've it a sore spot! Certainly did with me, so here goes my 2 cents!

    I had been backing up my Clientèle HD daily, in the event I should ever need to restore. Sure enough, the time came. My startup (primary) disk failed, so during the process of erasing/reinstalling, I decided to swap out and use my primary for my Clientèle; and a newer/larger HD for my startup and primary drive.

    During the process, I changed my username for my admin account on my startup disk. So, I'm ready to restore my Clientèle HD, and launch Backup... only to find there is NO RESTORE OPTION! Yellin' at Apple, not y'all. Why's it greyed out?? I don't get it?? And like Erik mentioned, I have 3 FULL backups on my idisk + 15 or more incremental backups! What a frickin' mess! The good thing is, I have everything backed up to Zip Disks, so I'm safe. However, I still have no good working Backup App. I like how Backup compresses the backed up files, but that's it. I need to have a "real" backup of my HD's so in the event I run into probs, I can pop it in and get right back to work.

    I guess I'll have to get 2 external drives and keep my HDs backed up daily. Anyone know of a good app out there today that can do this automatically (scheduled), and one that will find and replace only updated/changed files?

    Thanks!
    Tracy
    aka. MacMajor

  47. I hope this all will gone with TimeMachine - what do you think?

  48. Maybe you could help me with all the experience you've gained on Backup 😉

    I create an original "full" backup of my "Movies" folder using Backup and put it on DVD. It had about 4 movies.

    A month or so later, I wanted to free up space, don't really watch movies very much anyway, so created a new backup ( obviously incremental ) of the same folder using the same backup task. It put apparently about 15 movies I had downloaded, etc.

    Now I'd like to recover them, BUT have lost the original full backup! My bad, I know, but anyway, how do I get those movies that were added incrementally later. I can't get Backup to do anything. It just keeps asking for the original disk before it tries to get a movies I select that was backed up later!

    How can I open the backup image and extract the files by hand?

    Thanks in advance.

    jwooten@shoulderscorp.com

  49. Haha. I Googled myself and found this page. I'm the first commenter. See above.

    Sue? It was probably a joke. Haha. I know: bad humor. It makes 1 person laugh (... me).

  50. I usually find comments I've made when I google myself, so I be careful what I say! Someone I know might be reading this!

    Since my message above nine months ago (where did that nine months go?!), I have just got .Mac a few days ago and so far I have not been able to backup successfully to my iDisk even once, not even a small 23MB backup. I'll still use Backup, because the saved backup profiles feature is brilliant, but will have to save to a USB memory stick for essential regular backups and set Time Machine onto my USB drive for the less frequent full drive backup. I haven't tried Time Machine yet though, I might continue using the free iBackup which has backed up and restored reliably a few times.

  51. Word.

    I've just figured out that Backup left about 24GB of essentially invisible volumes on my hard drive that I guess were mirrors of backups I had instructed it to put on my iPod. I dunno if this is an idiosyncrasy of the iPod or of Backup, but I figure it's a Backup thing given how it's wired to cram up any destination disk. I feel like a total dumba** that it took me months to figure out that my diminishing hard drive space was due to Backup and not to me overloading it. Of course, I've already purged tons of music files -- thanks Apple!

    What helped me find and delete those old volumes was an application called Disk Inventory X that shows you a graphic representation of what's on your hard drive, plus it shows you a file tree that's ranked by size. This is how I finally figured it out, because the Volumes folder wasn't visible in the Finder window for the Hard Drive, yet by doing the math on the folders I could see, I knew there was something not right.

    Once in Disk Inventory X, I was able to click on the offending volumes, use the "Reveal in Finder" menu option, and get to the folders and delete them.

    So I get to hang back before splurging on an external drive... at which point I'll be using Carbon Copy or Super Duper.

  52. I have the same problem, trying to restore from backup 3. Have tried to restore to different location, do individual files etc. Nothing seems to work. Any recommendation ? Although I can see all the files I am looking for, restoring fails. Following message appaers.: 'An internal application error has occurred. The disk archive could not be attached.'

    Suggestions are HIGHLY appreciated !

    Marc

  53. Retrospect was mentioned by some of you. The latest version from EMC (bless their hearts) will not copy Time machine files for whatever reason (intentional). So because of this I must run separate back-ups of TM files. Thanks EMC!

  54. On it goes, this thread started in 2005 and Backup is still messing up.
    There is no documentation on the Apple site and I have just lost 10 years of pix.
    Ill never trust iPhoto again either..

  55. I wholeheartedly agree. Apple has yet to come out with a decent solution for backups in any way. Time machine is crap and has no customization or control. It's just "on" or "off." Which is utterly annoying.

    Sorry to hear about your picture loss. No hard copys?


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