sgkrasts
Contributor
Contributor

Backup strategy using a combination of Time Machine and Crashplan... valid?

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I've read many of the discussions about backing up, but I'm still not clear on whether or not the strategy I've come up with will work. Hoping that the community will share their wisdom.

I only have a few files on my Virtual Machine that I really care about. They are: ~18GB of Outlook archive files and some Quicken files. I don't think I need to worry about doing a complete system restore. So, my thought is that I can use Crashplan (on my Virtual Machine/PC) to backup my select windows files to my Mac HD and then a) use Time Machine to back up the Mac HD (excluding the Virtual Machine) on my external drive at home and b) use CrashPlan (on my Mac) to backup the Mac HD an external drive at my friend's house.

Is this a reasonable and valid strategy?

Also, if it isn't obvious by the language I've used, I'm a novice user...

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

Time machine is never a good way to backup large files that change frequently because as I mentioned before it fills up your drive fast. If you're using your other backup utility to backup only select content within the vm and then put that onto your mac then using time machine for those files that should be fine. you'd just want to make sure that the VM is selected in the excluded section of the time machine system preferences. For a direct backup of the entire virtual machine I just copy and past the virtual machine folder onto an external drive but as you can imagine that's very time intensive. If you're interested in only backing up the files within the virtual machine then you're on the right track by choosing a third party utility which can keep select locations within your vm and an external hard drive in sync. You could also have that program sync the content to your shared folder and then if you so desire then have time machine back that up.

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

I've found that time machine is not the best way to backup a VM. How time machine works is that it detects changes in files and then backs up the changed files. Sounds good right? In this case each time you use your VM it's being listed as being changed. It then backups the VM, say hourly. It really does tend to fill up a hard drive quickly.

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davidb2
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

So, my thought is that I can use Crashplan (on my Virtual Machine/PC) to backup my select windows files to my Mac HD and then a) use Time Machine to back up the Mac HD (excluding the Virtual Machine) on my external drive at home and b) use CrashPlan (on my Mac) to backup the Mac HD an external drive at my friend's house.

I am not familiar with Crashplan (I use SuperDuper), so I can't say anything about it one way or the other, but as far as I know, there is no need to back up files on your VM to your Mac. Instead, create a shared folder for your Outlook and Quicken files, which will then automatically be on your Mac with no effort on your part.

As far as not worrying about a complete system restore, in my experience, it would be very good insurance to have at least one clone of your Mac, which means that you will also have a copy of your VM on it--no real "restoration" involved.

David

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sgkrasts
Contributor
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I don't think I am using time machine to back up my VM? My thought is that Crashplan is backs up my select VM files to my mac HD. Then time machine backs up the Mac HD. Maybe that is just delaying the problem one step though?

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sgkrasts
Contributor
Contributor

Thank you. Definitely for Quicken and possibly for Outlook, my VM has problems accessing the files through the shared folder. So I keep them on my c: drive to avoid lots of crashes.

With regard to having a clone, I probably should research that more. I don't know how to make one or exactly how I would use it to restore everything.

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

Time machine is never a good way to backup large files that change frequently because as I mentioned before it fills up your drive fast. If you're using your other backup utility to backup only select content within the vm and then put that onto your mac then using time machine for those files that should be fine. you'd just want to make sure that the VM is selected in the excluded section of the time machine system preferences. For a direct backup of the entire virtual machine I just copy and past the virtual machine folder onto an external drive but as you can imagine that's very time intensive. If you're interested in only backing up the files within the virtual machine then you're on the right track by choosing a third party utility which can keep select locations within your vm and an external hard drive in sync. You could also have that program sync the content to your shared folder and then if you so desire then have time machine back that up.

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davidb2
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thank you. Definitely for Quicken and possibly for Outlook, my VM has problems accessing the files through the shared folder. So I keep them on my c: drive to avoid lots of crashes.

With regard to having a clone, I probably should research that more. I don't know how to make one or exactly how I would use it to restore everything.

I don't use Outlook so I can't give you any advice there, but for Quicken, just put your backup files in a shared folder. Assuming you back up Quicken daily, your daily Mac backup will have your latest Quicken backup on it.

As for cloning, look at SuperDuper. Since the clone is an exact copy of your entire hard drive (including your VM), the only "restoring" necessary is to use Finder to copy an individual file or folder, or SuperDuper to clone the external, cloned backup drive, back to your internal drive. Or, if your internal drive has failed, you can boot from the external clone and run your computer from there.

David