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Last night I retired my last spinning metal’ backup drive and it was 2010 that I last wrote about my backup methods. Looking back at that time, the mixture of CrashPlan, Chronosync, MobileMe and bootable backups seems quite complex. The best bit about that earlier post was the three rules:

(I think these days I would say everything should be backed-up offsite)

The other aspect of my offsite backup that’s important to me now is that my data is not locked in a proprietary sevice.

So, in 2023 the backup strategy for my Mac is:

  1. My whole disk is backed-up every night to a bootable SSD drive using Carbon Copy Cloner. In the past I used SuperDuper! and the two are very similar. My backup drive is a SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD (I love these little drives!) velcro’d to the underside of the desk!

  2. I have a second Extreme Pro Portable SSD I use for occasional TimeMachine backups and this one stays in the my tech kit so usually travels with me.

  3. I use an application called Arc to backup my most important documents, photos and videos to my personal Amazon S3 drive.

  4. Once a year I export my email from FastMail to MailSteward. I trust FastMail far more than most services, so this is real belt and braces stuff!

The big change since 2010 is how much data is now locked into subscriptions such as Omnifocus, DayOne and even micro.blog. This does make moving to new devices and transferring data very simple.

But the real test of any backup strategy is whether it works…

When I recently moved over from my MacBook Pro to a new Mac Mini I didn’t wasn’t to copy everything (including all the cruft’) over to my new machine. The bootable backup was a useful source of documents, data and settings that I could use as a source for a controlled new build and be back up and running inside a few hours.

Posted on June 25, 2023   #software  

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