Solved

What is the best way to backup a Powerbook G4 laptop?

Posted on 2004-04-28
12
1,778 Views
Last Modified: 2009-12-16
I am a member of a brand new church.  They do live productions/shows.  They use a Powerbook G4 laptop with the X OS to handle the multimedia aspects of the shows.  The G4 is just loaded with critical data and programs - if they lost them it would be a disaster.  I told the church that they need to backup this system "yesterday" and that I would look into the best way to do this for them.

I have never used a Mac but am a windows OS expert.  The G4 has a 60GB hard disk, but only 9GB are being used at the moment.  The G4 comes with a DVD drive that is also a burner - which I think is the best option for backup at this time (i.e. and not spending any more money).

Questions: If I use the DVD burner does the G4 come with any software that I can use to do the backup?  I don't think I would need more than one DVD disk for just the data.  If the Mac does NOT come with software to do this, what is the best/easiest software to get?  And finally, can I use DVD-R 4X 4.7GB disks for the burn (which I have a ton of right now).  A few details please.

Thanks In Advance!
0
Comment
Question by:mbeede
  • 6
  • 4
  • 2
12 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:mbeede
ID: 10942796
One more question: If I wanted to backup the ENTIRE system to DVD-R disks what would be the best option to do this as well?

Thanks Again!
0
 
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 10944787
Are you SURE it has a DVD burner? There were several options for drives in those machines. Combo Drive, or Super Drive. The combo drive was a CD-RW/DVD drive. The Super Drive was a CD-RW/DVD-RW. One writes DVDs, one doesnt.

You can use Apple's Backup application from www.apple.com to burn the backups, or you can use something like SuperDuper to make an EXACT clone of the entire drive, save it as a disk image, and store it on another computer. That's the method I use because I dont have to have anything special to get specific files off the image, im not worried about fitting it all onto one DVD or CD, and im not burning through media.
0
 

Author Comment

by:mbeede
ID: 10945587
weed - I will check the Mac on the DVD burner part (I was not aware that there were two different drives) and I will checkout the programs later on tonight if I still can.  Talk to you shortly.

Thanks!
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:huafi
ID: 10959416
You have several options as I see it:
1. Back up to DVDs (or CDs).
2. Back up to an external hard drive.
3. Back up to another computer or server over a network.
4. Back up to another Mac via Firewire.


Option 1: Back up to DVDs or CDs
Good for very, very occasional backups where you don't have much data to back up. However, the "Superdrive" DVD burners are quite slow in all but the very newest PowerBooks. To back up the entire system would take at least 2 blank DVD discs and several hours. I guarantee you that after a short while, the person(s) in charge of maintaining the backups will start slipping, and perhaps stop the backup routine altogether.

For burning DVD and CDs, you can just pop a blank disc into the burner, and OS X will guide you through the rest. However, the built-in solution is quite slow. For standalone burning products, try:
- Burnz (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/21585) - Shareware, simple, reliable
- Toast Titanium (http://www.roxio.com/en/products/toast/index.jhtml) - Commercial, very very full-featured


Option 2: Back up to external hard drive
Purchase an external Firewire hard drive or two. You can get 80GB 3.5" external Firewire hard drives starting at less than $200, or a pocket-sized 20GB 2.5" external FW hard drive for $150 or less. Such a solution would give you lots of speed and storage space to easily handle daily backups of your critical data and/or your entire system.

There's a lot of great backup software available for OS X. I've personally used and can recommend:

For regular incremental backups (only back up what's new/changed since last backup):
- FolderSynchronizer (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/1682) - full-featured, commercial
- SilverKeeper (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/14521) - simple, fast, free
- Synchronize! Pro (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/12917) - full-featured, commercial

For making a bootable clone of your system, you can't just do a straight copy or any backup utility not designed for creating bootable OS X backups. There are several that are, but the only one I've used (and love) is:
- Carbon Copy Cloner (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/13260)


Option 3: Back up over a network
If you have a fast network (at least Fast Ethernet) and another computer (Windows, Linux, or Mac) with a enough spare drive space, you can also try backing up over the network. You can either turn on personal file sharing on the PowerBook, mount the PowerBook from another computer, and pull files from the PowerBook to the other computer to make your backup; or turn on file sharing from the other computer, mount that computer on your PowerBook, and push files from the PowerBook to the other computer to make your backup. You can do this manually or by using one of the backup utilities listed above.


Option 4: Back up via Firewire
A final option if you have another Mac handy is to connect the two computers directly to each other using Firewire Target Disk Mode. This feature lets you hook one Mac up to another as though it were just an external Firewire hard drive. To do this:
1. Shut down your PowerBook
2. Connect your PowerBook to another Mac using a Firewire cable
3. Turn on your PowerBook while holding down the "T" key. Once the screen displays the Firewire logo, you can let go of the "T" key.
4. The PowerBook's hard drive will appear on the desktop of the other Mac as though it were just another connected drive. Now you can copy over any files you need to back up, or use one of the backup utilities above, to back up your PowerBook.


Hope this helps --

Huafi
0
 

Author Comment

by:mbeede
ID: 10960543
weed/huafi - I am still trying to get in touch with the pastor of the church (it is his Powerbook) to find out what he wants to do.  I think I prefer the external hard drive since I can use either USB2 2.0 or (as mentioned above) Firewire.  It's also really easy to work with.

Thanks!
0
 

Author Comment

by:mbeede
ID: 10989074
Ok, sorry it took me so long to get back to this issue.  I found out over the weekend that the church also has a PC (Pentium 4) running Windows XP.  The hard disk on that PC is 80GB, with very little of it being used.  I would like to backup the Powerbook hard disk onto the PC hard disk (at least for now it's the best option).  What is the best way of going about this?

Possible options I see:
* Firewire from the Powerbook to the PC (w/firewire card)
* USB from the Powerbook to the PC (w/USB)

I am not sure if the Windows OS can read a Macintosh hard drive directly.  If it can't is there a software package or program available that I can use to facilitate doing this?   Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Again!
0
What Security Threats Are You Missing?

Enhance your security with threat intelligence from the web. Get trending threat insights on hackers, exploits, and suspicious IP addresses delivered to your inbox with our free Cyber Daily.

 
LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:weed
weed earned 250 total points
ID: 10989135
Nope, windows wont read Mac filesystems and you'd need to encapsulate your backup somehow otherwise the PC will strip out the resource forks. A disk image, ala SuperDuper is the best way to do that. The problem is that PCs dont support Firewire target disk mode either so you cant really hook the two together. USB isnt designed for that either. You could do it over the network but itll be dog slow.
0
 

Author Comment

by:mbeede
ID: 10990116
Ok, so based on all this information it looks like using the DVD-burner on the Powerbook is my best (lowest-cost) option.  Using the "Finder" to do the backup seems to be horribly slow (according to what I have read) so what about this "Burnz" product?  It looks great to me BUT will it handle multiple-volume copies?  I.e.  I will be backing up about 10GB, so will it prompt me to input another DVD disk when the first one is full, or do I have to handle this manually by selecting 1/2 the files, copying them to DVD, then selecting the other 1/2, and copying them to a 2nd DVD?

Thanks for all your help - I am about ready to close this issue out.

0
 
LVL 3

Accepted Solution

by:
huafi earned 250 total points
ID: 10990562
Again, backing up to DVD-R will take several hours per backup, so I'd consider carefully whether you think this will be a sustainable practice. I do DVD backups a few times a year to create archives which I store offsite, but it's a pretty tedious process. Just my personal experience.

Network backups won't be bad as long as the network is reasonably fast (e.g., Fast Ethernet a.k.a. 10/100 on a switched network) and the incremental backups are done pretty regularly. A simple network is trivially cheap to set up -- less than $50 for a decent 5-port switch and some cables. The first backup may take a while (perhaps 30-45 minutes for a 10GB backup), but subsequent incremental backups should go quickly. I used to back up my PowerBook to a Win2K server every day via Fast Ethernet, and incremental backups (typically 50-300MB of data) only took a few minutes a day.

If you've got the Windows machine networked already, just plug the PowerBook into an availble network hub or switch. If the Windows machine isn't on a network already, you can buy a switch and some cables at any computer retailer and hook up both computers to the switch -- or just connect the PC and PowerBook directly via an Ethernet cable (straight or cross-through; the PowerBook's Ethernet adapter auto-senses the cable type).

Once the computers are physically networked to each other, go to the Windows machine and create a new folder named something like "Mac Backup". Enable file sharing for that folder (right-click and select "Sharing" from the pop-up menu that appears, then toggle the "Share this Folder" option ON).

Back on the Mac, browse to the WinXP machine and connect to the shared folder. The folder should appear on your desktop with a greyish network-globe icon; it will act like a locally mounted drive (albeit slower, of course). Now you can back up any files from the Mac to the Windows machine as you see fit. How you browse to and mount the shared folder varies slightly between versions of OS X; use Mac Help to find the exact steps involved for your system.

Hope this helps --

Huafi
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:huafi
ID: 10990575
One other note -- if you do back up over the network, remember to close a potential security hole by turning file sharing OFF after you're done with each backup. Particularly on Windows PCs, you don't want to leave any network ports open when they're not in use.

Huafi
0
 

Author Comment

by:mbeede
ID: 10990830
Huafi - So just to make sure I am understanding you correctly: I CAN directly connect a cat-5 cable from the PC network card/port to the Powerbook ethernet port and copy
the files on the Mac hard drive to the PC hard drive via a shared folder without using a switch?  Is that correct?

Just so you know, there is no existing network and our pastor will NOT want a switch or other networking hardware at all in his office (there is WAY too much stuff in his office already).  The less stuff the better.

Please confirm, THANKS!
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:huafi
ID: 10991761
Yes, that's right -- you can use any Cat5 cable to connect the Ethernet port on the PowerBook to that on the Windows PC. If you have to buy a new Cat5 cable for this purpose, you may as well get a crossover cable; in the absence of a hub or switch, the crossover cable may prove useful for creating impromptu one-to-one networks with other computers. As far as I know, "Pro" Macs (Power Macs and PowerBooks from the past few years) all have Ethernet ports that auto-sense whether a normal or crossover Ethernet cable is being used, so either is fine for your immediate need -- but for most other computers, you need a crossover cable to network two computers without a switch or hub between them.

Once the physical connection is in place, you need to configure the logical networking, following the outline I gave above. Only then can you actually start copying and backing up. Look into the backup software I listed above; even the simplest of these (including the free SilverKeeper) will make backups much, much faster by only copying over new and changed files each time.

Best wishes --

Huafi
0

Featured Post

Do You Know the 4 Main Threat Actor Types?

Do you know the main threat actor types? Most attackers fall into one of four categories, each with their own favored tactics, techniques, and procedures.

Join & Write a Comment

Yesterday Apple introduced their revolutionary new iOS 5 operating system that claims to be the ultimate mobile technology interface. One of the biggest innovations of the new operating system is the introduction of the iCloud computing network. Thi…
A lot of new and distinct gadgets are making their appearance every other day. The latest gadget that has wooed the attention of all gadget lovers and non gadget lovers alike is the Smartwatch. This tiny gadget is capable of offering live access to …
Users will learn how resize a batch of photos from a single command in Photoshop via Photoshop's Image Processor. Open up an Image you'd like to resize in Adobe Photoshop: Adjust the image size according to your preferences. Image > Adjustments > …
Users will learn how to set proper sequence settings, scale images, paste attributes, add transitions, fades, and music. Open up Final Cut Pro 7 and Create a new Project: Set the Sequence Settings. a) Click File > Easy Setup > Format > Apple ProRe…

744 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

11 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now