backup utilities

backup utilities

Post by Jack Fi » Fri, 02 Feb 1990 17:38:00



I would like a recommendation for a harddisk back-up utility for the mac.
I saw some stuff on Fastback out here awhile back.  Seemed like I remember
it being mostly negative.  Can anyone give the pros and cons?  What
do you use and like?

thanks

Jack

 
 
 

backup utilities

Post by Stew Rubenste » Fri, 02 Feb 1990 23:42:00



>I would like a recommendation for a harddisk back-up utility for the mac.
>I saw some stuff on Fastback out here awhile back.  Seemed like I remember
>it being mostly negative.  Can anyone give the pros and cons?  What
>do you use and like?

DiskFit.  I love it.  It lets you maintain an up-to-date full backup
in five minutes per day, by keeping track of which floppies have which
files and replacing those files which have changed since yesterday.
I can't recommend it highly enough.

If you have an AppleShare server on a medium to large network, get
Network DiskFit.  It lets you backup the server over the network,
maintaining the protection info, as well as a DiskFit license for
every Mac on your net.

Stew Rubenstein
Cambridge Scientific Computing, Inc.
UUCPnet:    seismo!harvard!rubenstein            CompuServe: 76525,421


 
 
 

backup utilities

Post by Ken Walli » Fri, 02 Feb 1990 20:31:00


>I would like a recommendation for a harddisk back-up utility for the mac.
>I saw some stuff on Fastback out here awhile back.  Seemed like I remember
>it being mostly negative.  Can anyone give the pros and cons?  What
>do you use and like?

----------

Since the last round of postings got rather religious, and strongly
favored DiskFit, I refrained from posting.  I currently use Fastback,
and am more or less pleased with it.  At work here, we also have a copy
of DiskFit, so I have used, and read the documentation on it too, and
I find it to be an inferior product.  I will try to give some of the
pro's and cons of each product here.  Note that I don't think Fastback
is the end all of backup programs either, but I have been using it for
a few months, and have stored and restored lots of things with no
mishap.  If the product is unstable, I certainly haven't run across any
problems (I'm running it on a MacII with a CDC WrenIII 160meg drive).
DiskFit also has proven itself reliable, and conviently does archive, and
incremental (well, not really, it just updates its archive) backups.
I find it's not usable for special (read partial) backups, or any partial
restorations.  Anyway, here's my list:

DiskFit Pros:
o Does resonably fast backups.
o Uses a minimum number of diskettes (it re-writes over the old files)
o Is set up to easily do day-to-day backups
o Stores it's backup files as "normal" mac files, and whenever possible
  the file is simply a duplicate of that on your harddisk (you can use
  the finder to copy them)
o You can automatically exclude applications, or documents from a backup
o You can automatically exclude folders (and all folders and files under
  the folder)

DiskFit Cons:
o It writes over your old files.  Note that this is a pro above, in that
  it uses a minimum number of diskettes, but I have worked on minicomputers
  for 10 years now, and any backup program that altered a previous backup
  set doesn't seem very trustworthy to me.  You really need to keep TWO
  incremental backups this way, and alternatly use them (the documentation
  recommends this).  Your hoping that if the program screws up and
  destroys a backupset this way, you'll find out about it before the
  next backup.
o You can't backup up a folder, or any other set of files individually.
  The only capability is to backup ONE FILE, or ALL APPLICATIONS, or
  ALL DATAFILES, or ALL FILES, or ALL FOLDERS not surrounded by '[]'s
  This means if I want to backup one folder, I have to surround all the
  other folders above and next to this one with brackets.  Pretty
  unfriendly to me.
o You can only restore an ENTIRE HARD DISK using diskfit.  If you want
  to just restore a file, or set of files, you gotta find them on your
  backup, copy them one by one to your hard disk (using the finder),
  and hope you can remember what folder they went in, since diskfit
  won't put them back for you.  Oh yeah, if the file was split up,
  the file could be on lots of non-consecutive volumes.  Real easy to
  find folks!
o You are frequently asked to put in a prior disk when doing a backup.
  Your disk insertions could look like this:  1-2-3-4-1-4-2-5-1-4-5-6 etc.
  This means your brain must be quite active, and you have to be able
  to get to all the previous disks quickly, if you want to complete your
  backup in less than an evening.  Note that on incrementals, you only
  have to insert the disks that have changed, but may have to insert a
  particular disk several times.
o Prompts you for EACH disk insertion, and requires a RESPONSE.  For a
  100 disk backup, that's over 100 button presses (see previous con).
o Doesn't tell you how many disks it needs until AFTER you start your
  backup (and even then, it's usually off by 1-3 disks).

Fastback pros:
o Does resonably fast backups.
o Allows the selection of a full archive, changed files only, or a selection
  of any combination of files and folders (gives you a visual map of the
  file structure, and you pick everything, or pick the folders you want.
  Everthing under a folder is selected, but you can selectivly deselect
  portions thereof).
o File restores are just like backups.  You are given the structure of
  everthing on your backup disks (if there were incrementals, ALL versions
  of the file are there, so you can get an older one if you know the last
  one you backup up was corrupted), and you can pick and choose what to
  restore (or restore everything), and the files go back where they came
  from (folder structure is kept)
o Automatically formats every disk inserted, unless it's part of the current
  backup set.  (i.e. if you insert a disk written during this backup set
  it won't write on it.)
o Since disks are written sequentually, with no backtracking, you can
  safely insert disks ahead of time on a 2 drive system, and have no
  time wasted waiting for disk insertions.
o Has a "master catalog" with the entire backup structure, and can rebuild
  the catalog from the backup discs if the catalog gets wasted.
o Incremental backups are incremental.  Changed files go on new media (if
  the last disk of the last backup isn't full, it fills it, then you use
  "virgin" media).  This means you have all the versions of a file until
  you decide to make a new full archive.
o Correctly estimates the number of discs it's gonna need (and you can
  get that information BEFORE you start your backup).

Fastback cons:
o Can use up lots of disks, since it is incremental.
o Unchanging files (like applications) have to be selected manually,
  if you want to keep a special archive of them.
  Depending on your file structure, this can be real bitch.  I created
  an "application backup", and add new applications to it, as I install
  them.  Since you can backup only changed files, and selectivley delete
  a subset of those, my "regular" incremental backups all my changed
  data files.  This requires a bit of setup time before the backup,
  something diskfit eliminates. (You gotta pay for functionallity
  someplace :-).    
o Since you can't just do incrementals for ever, you eventually have
  to do a full archive again (and again...).  With diskfit, you never
  have to do another full archive (unless you want redundant archives,
  but even then only 2 or 3 full archives are necesssary, then NEVER
  AGAIN).
o Fastback puts its backups in non-standard format, so you cannot access
  the files on a backup set without fastback.  I invision this as a BIG
  problem if, for instance, you version of fastback blows up when you
  install a new system and finder.  You must then back off to
  a previous system release to access any of your backup files.

The reason I find fastback handy is:  1) I don't change lots of megabytes
of information every day, so I have rather small increments in floppy
buildup. 2) I usually want to restore a file, or set of files from a backup
which fastback excels at, and diskfit falls on its face over.  I often
wish to backup a set of application files (take for instance Video worksII),
and want to store the whole set of files, and be able to restore them where
they came from.  This is done easily, swiftly, and automatically with
fastback, and requires lots of setup and manual intervention with diskfit.

If your backup and restore requirements are different (you waste your
hard disc, and need to do archival restores weekly, for instance :-)
then diskfit may be for you.  No one has ever had a reliablilty problem
with it, and I in general like SuperMac's products.  Fastback on the
PC, however looks pretty dorky (what PC software doesn't :-), and if I
used that as a guide, probably wouldn't have tried it, but the Mac
version was obviously written with the mac in mind, and ain't as bad
as preported.  From the postings here, however I feel I am in the
minority (on the other hand, to date nearly 100 postings have been
aired this month on "processor wars".  This number of postings occur
every month when someone says "so, give me the REAL scoop on why your
processor is better than THEIR processor", so I guess you can question
the majority too [Note lots of :-) (-:'s intended.  I just hate to see
all this bandwidth EVERY MONTH to a subject best served in other news
groups...])

Note that this is from my personal experiance only, and that I have
no affilation with anyone of consequence.

--------------------
Ken Wallich                     *My views are mine, and mine alone*
Consultant                      "Slimey? Mud Hole? my HOME this is!"
DCI                             kwall...@hpsmtc1.HP.COM
@Hewlett Packard                ...hplabs!hpsmtc1!kwallich

"If we weren't all crazy, we'd all go INSANE"

 
 
 

backup utilities

Post by Scott R. Anders » Fri, 02 Feb 1990 22:51:00


This discussion seems to have a period of 1-2 months, which is good
for those of us who haven't bought one yet, and bad for those who
have :-).

My recollection from the previous discussions, and the article in the
February MacWorld, is that if you prefer incremental backups, the
best program is probably HFS Backup (not to be confused with HD Backup).
Its main problem is that it can only backup to floppies (v. 2 -- is
there a new version in the works that would backup to tape?).  It's a
bit more flexible than FastBack, although slower, and it's a *lot* less
expensive.  On the other hand, if you don't mind overwriting a previous
backup, DiskFit is also supposed to be very good.

Now, my question is:  Does anyone know anything about the program called
MacUp which I saw advertised in the APDALog?  It's cheap ($40), and seems
to have most of the features that HFS Backup has, if not more.  It can
backup to tape, work over the network, and it has a time delay feature.
It's being distributed by A.P.P.L.E. Co-op.

*                                     Scott Robert Anderson
  *      **                           gatech!emoryu1!phssra

    * *      * *    * **
     *        *      *  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 
 
 

backup utilities

Post by Jerry Whitne » Fri, 02 Feb 1990 01:30:00


|
|Since the last round of postings got rather religious, and strongly
|favored DiskFit, I refrained from posting.  I currently use Fastback,
|and am more or less pleased with it.  At work here, we also have a copy
|of DiskFit, so I have used, and read the documentation on it too, and
|I find it to be an inferior product.  I will try to give some of the
|pro's and cons of each product here.

I have a couple of corrections to your pro's and con's.  These apply to
version 1.3 of the DataFrame version (1.4 of the release, I think).

|
|DiskFit Pros:
| ... [Delete for space]
|
|DiskFit Cons:
|o It writes over your old files.
    True.
|o You can't backup up a folder, or any other set of files individually.
    True, although I think they are changing this in the next version.
|o You can only restore an ENTIRE HARD DISK using diskfit.
   This is at the top of my list of things that I would like to see change
   in DiskFit too.
|o You are frequently asked to put in a prior disk when doing a backup.
   I've never had this happen to me.  It always asks for the disks in
   sequnce and never asked for the same one twice.  This includes both
   small and large (> 20 megabytes) backup.
|o Prompts you for EACH disk insertion, and requires a RESPONSE.  For a
|  100 disk backup, that's over 100 button presses (see previous con).
   It only requires a response the first time you add a disk to a set.  Once
   it gives the disk a title it knows about, DiskFit recognizes the disk
   as soon as you insert the disk.  It also autoformats disks that have
   not been previously formmated (if they have, DiskFit requires that
   you erase it by pressing a button).
|o Doesn't tell you how many disks it needs until AFTER you start your
|  backup (and even then, it's usually off by 1-3 disks).
   I've never seen it miss the count.  How large of a disk are you backing
   up (mine is a 40 mb DataFrame)?

One question for you about FastBack is how well does it handle losing
a backup disk.  I used to use HFS Backup (I think) until one of the backup
disks went bad and I found out my whole backup (some 20 odd disks at the time)
was useless.  Since FastBack uses its own format, I would be worried about
how it handled bad disks in the backup.  With DiskFit, if a disk goes bad,
you can hit the Missing button and it will request a new disk to replace
the bad one, and continue on as if nothing happened.

|Ken Wallich                    *My views are mine, and mine alone*

Jerry Whitnell                          Been through Hell?
Communication Solutions, Inc.           What did you bring back for me?
                                                - A. Brilliant

 
 
 

backup utilities

Post by Ken Walli » Sat, 03 Feb 1990 00:00:00


Quote:>|o You are frequently asked to put in a prior disk when doing a backup.
>  I've never had this happen to me.  It always asks for the disks in
>  sequnce and never asked for the same one twice.  This includes both
>   small and large (> 20 megabytes) backup.

Huumm, I was doing a 10MB backup (new smartset), and I had to insert the
first disc 3 times, and the 3rd disk twice, I'm using the same version
you are, there were lots of BIG (1 to 3 meg) files, pehaps that makes
a difference.

Quote:>|o Prompts you for EACH disk insertion, and requires a RESPONSE.  For a
>|  100 disk backup, that's over 100 button presses (see previous con).
>   It only requires a response the first time you add a disk to a set.  Once
>   it gives the disk a title it knows about, DiskFit recognizes the disk
>   as soon as you insert the disk.  It also autoformats disks that have
>   not been previously formmated (if they have, DiskFit requires that
>   you erase it by pressing a button).

This means if I'm doing an new big archive I have to press a lot of
buttons.  This is precisely when I DON'T want to press a lot of buttons.
Oh yeah, another complaint, if you insert a 400K formatted disc, you'll
only get 400K on it, you can't reformat it to 800K in the middle of a
backup.  Having lots of discs lying around from my 128K mac days makes
this policy really irritating.  FastBack also autoformats, and if you
put in a 400K disc, and you are in 800K mode it reformats it (and the
same goes for 800K disks during a 400K backup).

Quote:>|o Doesn't tell you how many disks it needs until AFTER you start your
>|  backup (and even then, it's usually off by 1-3 disks).
>   I've never seen it miss the count.  How large of a disk are you backing
>   up (mine is a 40 mb DataFrame)?

Again, my test backups contained lots of LARGE files, again, mabey it
just isn't as elegant under those conditions.

Quote:>One question for you about FastBack is how well does it handle losing
>a backup disk.  I used to use HFS Backup (I think) until one of the backup
>disks went bad and I found out my whole backup (some 20 odd disks at the time)
>was useless.  Since FastBack uses its own format, I would be worried about
>how it handled bad disks in the backup.  With DiskFit, if a disk goes bad,
>you can hit the Missing button and it will request a new disk to replace
>the bad one, and continue on as if nothing happened.

That depends on what you mean by "goes bad".  If after a good backup, one
of your archive discs gets screwed up, you would be able to recover any
files that weren't on that disc.  If you also lost the catalog disc and
had to rebuild it, that could be a problem.  I have never had a bad disc
when it is initially doing an archive, but from what I hear, it starts from
the beginning again (the PC version asks for a new disc).  Since I don't
have first hand experiance, I am not sure.  If it does start over, that is
quite a CON, but I'm sure if it doesn't just ask for a new good disc, it
will soon, since they seem to know they should do it that way.  In summary,
if you had a disc go bad in the middle of an archive, AND your catalog
disc was also fried, you would be able to rebuild a section of the backup,
but would loose any files which resided partially or in whole on the bad
disc.

Ya know, come to think of it, if DiskFit would offer me three more features,
I would like it enough to use it:

1) Partial backups of any combination of files and folders
2) Partial restore of any combination of files or folders into the place
   in the file hierarchy they came from
3) Option to NOT DELETE the old files on my archive, and just have a REAL
   incremental backup.

Quote:>Jerry Whitnell                              Been through Hell?
>Communication Solutions, Inc.               What did you bring back for me?
>                                            - A. Brilliant

--------------------
Ken Wallich                     *My views are mine, and mine alone*
Consultant                      "Slimey? Mud Hole? my HOME this is!"

"If we weren't all crazy, we'd all go INSANE"

 
 
 

backup utilities

Post by Ken Walli » Fri, 02 Feb 1990 18:34:00


(I'm posting this for Josh Hodas - KW)

According to the docs sent with the fastback 1.02 upgrade I just recieved,
it now prompts for a new clean disk if it encounters an error while attempting
a write.

Also, Could you please post the following to the net for me, our system will
not send news.

- - - -

   I have been using fastback for the mac on my mac ii since its release.  (I
was a  long time user of the equivalent pc version).  At the time I bought it
I also bought diskfit 1.3 (? perhaps 1.4, whichever is current).  I used both
and have since filed away diskfit for two reasons.

        1)  The inability to selectively archive and restore makes it almost
            completely useless to me.  In particular, I generally do not want
            to back up all my stackware each increment, but since hypercard
            marks them as changed, diskfit insists that I do.  (the choice of
            excluding folders with []'s is no option since this would preclude
            backing up those stacks that had changed.

            This problem also effects those applications that modify their
            resource forks to store minor bits of state information.

            In general, Fastback's system for selecting files offers enormous
            flexibility, with very little investment of time.

        2)  (This is a point that I am really suprised no-one has mentioned)
            THough the reviews seem to indicate that they operate at roughly
            the same speed, this is only true if you are using pre-formatted
            disks.  If not, then diskfit must go through a full format cycle
            that nearly doubles the back-up time.  Fastback (like the pc ver-
            sion) formats on the fly, (ie each track is formatted as it is
            filled with data) and thus it operates at almost identical speed
            on formatted or unformatted disks.

            Also, though diskfit claims multi-finder compatibility, I found
            that if it brough up its prompt for the next disk while it was in
            the background, then diskfit and the system would compete for
            the right to format the disk, leading to a rather confusing seq-
            uence of dialog boxes.

All in all I am an extremely satisfied user of fastback.


4223 Pine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 222-7112 (Home)
(215) 898-9515 (School)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
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         and construction, logic and imagination -- this is the profound
         essence of live mathematics."

                        --Richard Courant

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

backup utilities

Post by Jerry Whitne » Fri, 02 Feb 1990 01:19:00


|>|o You are frequently asked to put in a prior disk when doing a backup.
|>  I've never had this happen to me.  It always asks for the disks in
|>  sequnce and never asked for the same one twice.  This includes both
|>   small and large (> 20 megabytes) backup.
|
|Huumm, I was doing a 10MB backup (new smartset), and I had to insert the
|first disc 3 times, and the 3rd disk twice, I'm using the same version
|you are, there were lots of BIG (1 to 3 meg) files, pehaps that makes
|a difference.

Perhaps it does, since I have only one file of > 1 meg with the rest <=
600K.  It may have something to do with marking the first disk containing
part of a large file with the rest of the disks that contain that file.

|
|>|o Prompts you for EACH disk insertion, and requires a RESPONSE.  For a
|>|  100 disk backup, that's over 100 button presses (see previous con).
|>   It only requires a response the first time you add a disk to a set.  Once
|>   it gives the disk a title it knows about, DiskFit recognizes the disk
|>   as soon as you insert the disk.  It also autoformats disks that have
|>   not been previously formmated (if they have, DiskFit requires that
|>   you erase it by pressing a button).
|
|This means if I'm doing an new big archive I have to press a lot of
|buttons.  This is precisely when I DON'T want to press a lot of buttons.
|Oh yeah, another complaint, if you insert a 400K formatted disc, you'll
|only get 400K on it, you can't reformat it to 800K in the middle of a
|backup.

If you put in a pre-formatted disk, you can make it an 800K by selecting
Erase, which will give you the standard format menu and let you select
single or double sided.  Otherwise it just uses the disk as is (renaming
it, of course).  Would be nice if you could tell it that you wanted to use
all double sided.

|... In summary,
|if you had a disc go bad in the middle of an archive, AND your catalog
|disc was also fried, you would be able to rebuild a section of the backup,
|but would loose any files which resided partially or in whole on the bad
|disc.

Sounds better then the last backup program, but I'm still rather paranoid
about backup programs that use their own format.  Too many bad things
can happen and Murphy never rests.

|
|Ya know, come to think of it, if DiskFit would offer me three more features,
|I would like it enough to use it:
|
|1) Partial backups of any combination of files and folders
|2) Partial restore of any combination of files or folders into the place
|   in the file hierarchy they came from
|3) Option to NOT DELETE the old files on my archive, and just have a REAL
|   incremental backup.

I would like to see these as well, but I find that DiskFit fits my needs
as it is.

|Ken Wallich                    *My views are mine, and mine alone*

Jerry Whitnell                          Been through Hell?
Communication Solutions, Inc.           What did you bring back for me?
                                                - A. Brilliant

 
 
 

1. Backup Utilities


{

{
{: >I have a rom1 IIgs with 4meg, 7 Mhz Zip, 100meg HD with Apple HS SCSI card,
{: >AE FDHD with Apple controller
{
{: >Archiver is refusing to restore my HD backup on high density floppy.
{: >When I try to restore the backup of a HFS partition, Archiver is saying there isn't
{: >enough memory to go on (even if I make a shift boot)
{
{:   Archiver bit me pretty hard. I think Apple should seriously consider
{: removing Archiver from the system software, it's got a _lot_ of bugs.
{
{: --
{:  Jawaid Bazyar              |   Like UNIX? Like your Apple IIGS? Then ask
{
{
{Yeah, I found out about Archiver last weekend, the not so hard way.
{I tried to do a volume restore, and the result was a corrupt volume.
{Luckily, I'd also done a file backup!  Anyhow, what GS programs are there
{that can do a volume backup to a file on an HFS volume like Archiver is
{suppose to be able to do?
{
{
{-Shawn
{    _______  __         _____ ________  __  _   __    __     ______

{  //____//   ||_      //===||_   ||_    ||<<    ||_   ||_  /=====/
{_//_        _||/__/ _//   _||/  _||/_  _|| \\_ _||/___||/ _____//

The Jan/Feb issue of iiAlive had an artical on GS backup utilities.
ProSel 16 seemed the most stable overall.  The artical was very indepth
and covered volume .vs. file backups.

************************************************************************
Deven Atkinson           (Technoid)

+++ SORRY!  My E-mail makes me send back your entire text!
************************************************************************

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