Apple’s Backup 3.0 – Roadtest [Updated]

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I’ve been road-testing Apple’s new Backup since it’s release. Overall, I’ve been very impressed. I’m using it to backup daily to iDisk certain frequently-used files and also to my iPod.

The incremental backups means time spent backing up is minimal every day. And I haven’t experienced any of the Backup weirdness that plagued Backup 2.0- it was very unreliable and I almost never successfully completed a backup.

However, as easy as it is to backup- no backup software is worth its complied code if it doesn’t RESTORE reliably. Last night while playing around with the WordPress beta, my Safari preferences got nuked. (Yes, there appear to be some very nasty bugs for OS X users with the WordPress.com site).

This presented the perfect opportunity to test Backup’s restore function…

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Restoring my Safari preferences was a piece of cake: I had previously selected the "Personal Data & Settings" backup plan, so I opened that plan, selected restore, the date and source and then Safari settings.

The only criticism is that the entire backup had to be downloaded from my iDisk before the Safari settings could be restored- i.e. Backup didn’t selectively download those files. If the files are absolutely mission-critical, a short wait is a small price to pay for getting those files back.

The only other hole I had pointed out with Backup was the lack of a cloning option allowing bootable copies of your entire hard drive. I’ve come across a great program called SuperDuper! that appears to be even better than the venerable CarbonCopyCloner that CK swears by. It costs $20, but the combination of Backup and SuperDuper! is all the backup software you need to recover from a serious data loss situation.

And just because you aren’t backing up doesn’t mean a hard disk failure isn’t out to get you!


Update:

There are further QuickPicks for Backup 3.0 available here.

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