Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×
User Journal

Journal sillypixie's Journal: Mac geek stuff 12

Hope this isn't too stupid a question:

I've run an rsync backup of my Mac to an external drive, and now I'm trying to prove to myself that my backup is capable of being externally booted in the case of disaster.

I reboot holding down the option key, and I select my external drive as the boot drive -- then the machine comes up and looks identical, regardless of which drive I boot from.

How do I know that it worked? df shows that both disks are mounted, but I don't see my external drive mounted as root -- isn't that bad? /etc/fstab is empty. All the files in /var/log look similar no matter what boot disk is specified, I don't see any kind of error. I don't know how exactly the OS finds the bootable partition that I ran the "bless" command on -- and what happens if I put multiple backups on the drive and therefore there are multiple "CoreServices" directories blessed?

I'm vewy confused... I need to get my OSX book back from my dogwalker dammit...

If you happen to have been here done that and can point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it :)


This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mac geek stuff

Comments Filter:
  • I figured I didn't need to work that hard, so I bought SuperDuper. [] It's not very flexible, but it gets everything. (There was a comparison of Mac backup software about a year ago, and almost everything else missed at least one subtle aspect of the filesystem, such as ACLs.)
    • See you're smart. But I'm still in serious pain over how much I've spent -- plus I have to know how the voodoo works now. I can't just accept the apple it-just-works magic in this case, not when I know there is a UNIX process somewhere in the background. It's different enough to require my attention :)

      The rsync backup was painless too, I was quite impressed. No incrementals though. I suppose I could actually set up Amanda too, now that I think of it...

      Jeez I'm waxing nostalgic over system administratio
      • by Nevyn ( 5505 ) *

        There are a couple of ways to do incrementals with rsync, I just hacked a "cp -al" in after rsync finishes (rsync copies to temp. files and does a rename() ... so this works). I've also seen people use some scripts (rdiff-backup, I think) that stores deltas between the old and new, as rsync does the backup (although this means you need all previous versions to go back to a specific version). I've no idea about OS-X though :).

    • FYI. []
  • How about just disconnecting the internal drive to test it?
    • I'm not sure how to open up my lovely new MacBook to get to the disk :)

      Hm, I still have my old G4 powerbook - seems to me the disk is more accessible there -- perhaps I'll rsync that drive and then disconnect the internal drive. I'm giving that machine to my sister, and want to have it backed up anyways.

      Excellent... :)
      • I'm not sure how to open up my lovely new MacBook to get to the disk :)

        Take out the battery and on the long end of the internal space there should be a few screws. Undo them and take out the L bracket and then pull out the drive.

        Just about the easiest internal-drive-access in any notebook I've ever worked on. Definitely easiest access in any Apple notebook. rdDrive_DIY.pdf []
        • Rock n' Roll!!!!

          Wow, this is definitely a case where it pays to RTFM. Or at least it pays to know people who RTFM. Thanks for being my FM-buddy, Sam!

  • How did you set up the backup? I should really do this. Backing up to DVDs sux.
    • I started at this site: []

      The backup script works like a charm, as long as you have an HFS-formatted partition to push it to - and over USB 2.0 the speed was really good. The only thing that needed to be tweaked was the actual mount-point of the external volume in question (this gets changed in 2 places).

      It's just the booting-from-your-backup part where I became confused. all the partition information that I backed up would obviously relate to the internal disk, so

It is better to live rich than to die rich. -- Samuel Johnson