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Backing up 2 MBP on one external drive.

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#1 tommymac


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Posted 25 January 2013 - 10:51 AM

I recently purchase a 2 TB Western Digital My Passport Studio for Mac to back up two MBP computers both running OS X 10.8.2. I believe it is possible to back up two MBP's to one external HD. I have been doing some research as to how to go about this but it seems the more I read themore confused I become. After the initial update the back ups will be done from time to time as deemed necessary but without any regularity. I would like to back up individual things as I deem needed, not so much the whole system unless there are operating system updates or application updates. I would like to place specific items on the external hard drive for safe keeping, iTunes library, pictures, documents etc.I came here to get recommendations as to how to proceed. The external harddrive would only be plugged in to the MBP's when back ups are needed. I was leaning toward using Carbon Copy Cloner until I learned that it would cost 40 bucks (per MBP?) and Ijust don't have the extra $80.00 right now. So I'm thinking just to use TimeMachine but here's the deal.
I have heard that Time Machine has issues should a system restore be needed. I have no idea how tobest go about this and am hoping someone here could help point out pro's and cons of different back up programs for my intended use. I know it is a lot to ask but I'm looking for a step by step guide to back up my computers.

Thanks in advance.


Edited by tommymac, 25 January 2013 - 10:53 AM.

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#2 smax013


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:22 AM

The obvious free option is Time Machine.  If you want to go this route, then you might want to look at this article: http://www.macworld.com/article/1131841/multiplebackup.html


Note that Time Machine will backup EVERYTHING unless you tell it to specifically exclude certain items.  You will want to consider one of the first two options in that article.


The next option is to "manually" do it.  This basically means you connect the drive and them manually copy over the items you want to backup just as you would otherwise copy/move files normally.  This option becomes very tedious if you have a large number of different items to backup.


So, then the third overall option is to use some sort third party backup software.  Carbon Copy Cloner is one example.  There are many others.  Which one you choose will depend on what you want to achieve (i.e. a clone, an incremental backup, or "syncing" particular files, etc), how much you want to pay, etc.


In my case, I use SuperDuper! (nominally a competitor to Carbon Copy Cloner) as my primary backup.  Then use Time Machine as a secondary backup.  And lastly I use a manual copy of some files as a backup "archive" (good example is my iTunes library...while the overall library might change, the specific individual media files generally will not).


FWIW, the SuperDuper license does allow you to use it on multiple Macs to my knowledge.  This appears to be the same for Carbon Copy Cloner (see the last item): http://help.bombich.com/kb/overview/carbon-copy-cloners-transition-to-a-commercial-product-frequently-asked-questions

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