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Author Topic: ChronoSync and Bare Metal Recovery  (Read 4727 times)
patrickcorrigan
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« on: July 01, 2010, 02:26:20 PM »

I know that ChronoSync can create a bootable image, but can this image be used for full bare metal recovery, in the manner of SuperDuper? If not, what would be required to perform a full system restore? Pardon my ignorance, but I'm not a Mac user and I'm looking at ChronoSync as a backup solution for someone else.

Thanks.
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Patrick
peterkrogh
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2010, 03:08:13 PM »

Patrick,
I'm not sure that Chronosync actually can do that. To create a bootable copy of a system drive, I use Carbon Copy Cloner.
And it's a little different on the Mac than it is on PC.
It's easy to simply make a full clone of the drive (even to a different size drive) and then tell the Mac which to boot from.
So instead of thinking Bare Metal Recovery, which implies some kind of extraction and installation process, a full clone is an alternate copy of the drive, which can be copied back to the source drive if some kind of restoration is needed.
Peter
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patrickcorrigan
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2010, 04:00:44 PM »

Thanks, that's what I thought.
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Patrick
BobSmith
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2010, 06:37:42 PM »

I've done good bootable copies with Chronosync.  I have SuperDuper and Carbon Copy Cloner but I now prefer Chronosync for this task.  I run Leopard Server on a G5.  On a second G5 I have a spare drive installed just for backing up the main server drive.  I use Chronosync at night when the server is least busy... to backup the running server.  The main drive on the server has two partitions.  One is the system.  One is a data drive containing about fifty hosted web sites.  Chronosync auto backs up both while the server is running.  Twice i've restored the server from this backup drive without the slightest glitch.  Just removed the backup hard drive from the second G5 and put it into the server.  Start up and everything is running perfectly again in seconds.

I did this once in order to quickly roll the server back to its state prior to a software update gone bad.  I did it once to correct a crashed drive on the server.  Both instances worked perfectly and were very quick fixes.

I have several very simple servers running on old Minis or G4 laptops.  A roof leak a few days ago filled one of the G4 laptops with water.  Not good.  I had been backing it up similar to the server described above onto a portable firewire drive.  I plugged that Firewire drive into an old G4 tower.  Booted from it and the server tasks that laptop had been running (DNS and a phone system) were back up promptly without a hitch.  Matter of fact it's still running on that same drive as I search for a slightly drier G4 laptop as a replacement.  I love using old laptops for these low stress servers as they consume tiny amounts of energy and have their own built in backup battery.

Bob Smith
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patrickcorrigan
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2010, 07:42:43 PM »

Are you saying you replaced the dead internal drive with the backup drive? Or did you do a complete restore to the internal drive, including OS, etc.? Or did you mean something else entirely? Sorry, but I'm unclear on the process you used.

Thanks.

Patrick
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Patrick
BobSmith
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2010, 12:14:00 AM »

Yes... I'm replacing a dead internal hard drive with the backup drive. 

You should be able to restore from the backup drive to the internal drive as well but I've not had a reason to work that way.  I usually backup to an appropriate type of drive that it could be simply installed into the computer as a replacement drive.  Even when you're talking about dismantling a Powerbook to do so it's usually a much faster process than waiting for a full verified restore from your backup drive to happen.

Bob Smith
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patrickcorrigan
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2010, 09:56:58 AM »

Yes... I'm replacing a dead internal hard drive with the backup drive. 

You should be able to restore from the backup drive to the internal drive as well but I've not had a reason to work that way.  I usually backup to an appropriate type of drive that it could be simply installed into the computer as a replacement drive.  Even when you're talking about dismantling a Powerbook to do so it's usually a much faster process than waiting for a full verified restore from your backup drive to happen.

Bob Smith

Interesting. That's a good approach if you are using the same types of drives. One question, and please pardon my ignorance since I don't have a Mac: I know ChronoSync allows you to maintain multiple file versions. Is this an issue when you swap the drives?

Thanks.
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Patrick
BobSmith
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2010, 10:35:08 AM »

Chronosync keeps versions in a separate directory tree under _Archive if you choose to use that feature.  Since they're in a completely separate directory they will generally be ignored by the system and programs unless you choose to move any of them back to their original location.  I tend to keep versions like this on my daily server backups.  That way if one particular file goes wonky or gets accidently deleted I can often find a previous version in the _Archive folder.  Depending on what you're backing up you can consume a lot of space with that archive folder but Chronosync allows you to set how many (if any) versions you want to keep and how long to keep them.  In most cases I use backup drives that are larger than the primary just for the purpose of making good use of the _Archive folder.  You can always go in and manually delete items in the _Archive folder that you know you don't need.  That won't mess up Chronosync.

Bob Smith
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patrickcorrigan
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2010, 09:35:41 AM »

Yes... I'm replacing a dead internal hard drive with the backup drive. 

You should be able to restore from the backup drive to the internal drive as well but I've not had a reason to work that way.  I usually backup to an appropriate type of drive that it could be simply installed into the computer as a replacement drive.  Even when you're talking about dismantling a Powerbook to do so it's usually a much faster process than waiting for a full verified restore from your backup drive to happen.

Bob Smith

Thanks for all your help. I'm posting this for people who may be using different types of external drives.

I finally got a reply from Econ Technologies about this. Their approach, which takes longer than yours, works if the drive technologies are not the same. I don't know why I didn't figure this out on my own, but you just sync from the external bootable drive to the new or reformatted internal drive.

Here are their instructions:

To restore the internal drive from the bootable backup do the following:

1.  Boot your mac from the bootable backup volume.
2.  Format/erase the internal/replaced startup volume.
3.  Launch CS and create a new bootable backup sync document, syncing from the
backup boot volume to the new internal/replaced startup volume.  Follow our tip at:
http://www.econtechnologies.com/pages/cs/chrono_tips14.html

This new sync document will restore the backup volume to the new internal startup volume.  When complete, change your startup disk to the internal volume and boot. All should be back to normal.
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2010, 12:00:47 PM »

Bob,
Is there any way to keep Chronosync from filling a drive with _Archive items? (IOW< I want it to delete items from the _Archive folder once it gets too big.) I had a friend ask me this recently, and I did not see a way to do this.
Peter
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BobSmith
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2010, 04:01:12 PM »

You can tell Chronosync to only keep a defined number of copies in the _Archive folder... and only keep them for a given number of days.  That can limit the archive growth quite a bit.  There's no way to limit it just based on data size.  You can also have Chronosync zip whatever goes into the archive.  I've never used that function but depending on what you're backing up it might be useful.  Those settings are in the "Archive Handling" section of the Options tab.  I tend to just watch the _Archive folder and manually delete items that I know are safe to delete.

I use Chronosync for routine backups of my working files drive that among other things contains my Lightroom catalog.  My main catalog is running about 1.5GB at the moment. Multiple versions of that (and backups of the saved backups...) starts chewing up space fairly quickly but its an easy task to just go in and delete the oldest copies routinely and free up a lot of space.

Bob Smith

 
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