ChronoSync 4.0 makes it easy to create a bootable backup and gives you some cool options, too.
What is a Bootable Backup?Under normal circumstances, it makes little sense to backup your entire boot drive. Outside of the Users folder there are System and Application files. Backing up these files would serve no purpose since, in most cases, you could not restore them, i.e. doing so requires knowledge and expertise of what files are important and what role they play in the operation of the system. However if you backup your entire hard drive with the correct settings, then you can restore files and even boot from this drive in the event your internal hard drive fails. This is called a bootable backup.
Here is what you need to do to create a bootable backup:
1. Choose a drive.Bootable backups work with USB, FireWire drives, and other internal drives.
2. Format the drive.It is ABSOLUTELY mandatory that you specify the correct partition map scheme when reformatting the drive. For Intel-based Macs, choose GUID Partition Table and for PPC-based Macs, choose Apple Partition Map. Here is an online tutorial to guide you.
Most drives you purchase are formatted for PCs so you need to reformat the drive for your Mac using Disk Utility. The format should be "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". Open "Disk Utility" and choose "Erase". It is a good idea to choose the format that matches the drive you are cloning (to double-check and find out the format, do a Get Info on your source drive). Next, click on the "Erase" button to reformat. As the name implies this will erase all your data on the drive, so make sure you remove any data you want to save.
3. Set up the ChronoSync document.Change the operation to "Bootable Left-to-right". Next, click on the "Choose" button to select the Mac's HD as the "left target" and do the same for the drive for the "right target". You can reverse the order if you like. Note that you cannot select a folder on the drives, you must select the entire drive. Save the Synchronizer document and always run your backups from the same Synchronizer document. That's it. All the necessary settings will automatically adjust.
4. Run the backup.Make sure there are no applications running and don't use your Mac while the backup is running. The initial backup is going to most likely take several hours, depending on the size of the drive, number of files, speed of hardware, etc., so run the backup when you don't need to use your Mac. Click on the "Synchronize" button when you are ready to run the backup.
5. Give it the boot.After the backup runs, test it out. Restart the Mac and hold down the Option key. When a list of drives appears, choose the new bootable. Your system may run slightly slower since it is not running directly off the internal drive. Check it out but don't actually run any applications. When finished switch back to the internal drive. You can also switch drives in System Preferences under "Startup Disk".
A Few Options:
Adjustments.You may want to adjust some settings in the "Options" panel. Just make sure you know what you are doing before you make a change. You can schedule the backup or run it manually. If you are tight on disk space you can adjust the "Archive" option settings.
Divide up your bootable backup.Running daily backups or multiple daily backups is essential but backing up System files on a daily basis is not practical. To get around this, create two Synchronizer documents: One that backs your System up and one that backs your Users up. First, "Exclude" the Users folder from your bootable backup Synchronizer document. Go to the "Analyze" panel, tunnel to the Users folder, select it and "Exclude" it. Next, create a second Synchronizer document that backs up your Users folder. All the settings are the same except the targets are the User folders, the "Operation" is "Backup Left-to-right", and "Connect to:" is "Local Volumes (Admin access)" for both targets. Run the bootable backup once a week and after software updates. Run the Users backup frequently.
Note: If you do this, wait until after you have performed your initial, full bootable synchronization so that all the user files are placed on the destination drive and you can test it out.
If you have a lot of space on your drive and want to use the drive for storing other data you have a couple of options:
Partition your drive.It is ABSOLUTELY mandatory that you specify the correct partition map scheme when reformatting the drive. For Intel-based Macs, choose GUID Partition Table and for PPC-based Macs, choose Apple Partition Map. Here is an online tutorial to guide you.
You can partition the drive using Disk Utility. When you partition a drive, it divides it up creating multiple drives out of one drive. Then you can select one of the partitions as the bootable and use the other partitions for other uses. Click on the Options button under Disk Utility under the Partition panel to select your Mac.
Add a folder.Instead of partitioning your Mac you can simply add a folder to the drive to store more files. Make sure you "Exclude" this folder from your bootable backup Synchronizer document or the next time the synchronization is run, ChronoSync will see the folder on the destination but not the source and it will think that it needs to get deleted.
That's it! The flexibility and ease of using ChronoSync has so many advantages. If you have any problems while using our products, contact us by using our support form. If you wish to share a tip with us, post it on our comment form. Happy Syncing!