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Here's the setup I'm setting up:

  • Mac HD (500GB SSD)
  • Media HD (2TB SSD)
  • Daily Backup HD (3TB HDD, partitioned into a 2TB Daily Backup Mac HD, a 500GB Daily Backup Media HD, and an irrelevant 500GB Spare HD)
  • Time Machine HD, (4TB, but this drive isn't relevant for my question).

Using SuperDuper, what's the proper way to back up two separate drives to partitions on a single external drive? Can I back up my Mac HD and my Media HD at the same time? It'll be running automatically in the middle of the night, so speed isn't a concern. I've been backing up one drive M/W/F and the other T/T/S, but I'd like to switch to backing both drives up daily. With SuperDuper, can I schedule both to run at the same time?

Also: Since my Mac and Media drives are SSD but my backup drive is a partitioned HDD, is there anything I should be careful of when I format the backup drive?

EDIT: I'm specifically asking about backing up multiple hard drives to separate partitions on a single drive. I already have an external 3TB drive partitioned for backups. If my Mac hard drive dies, I like having a bootable backup ready to go in an instant without needing to restore it first. If my Media drive dies, I like having a backup ready to go without needing to restore it first. I also have another external drive for Time Machine. I'm religious about backing everything up (safety first, as they say). I just want to make sure it's fine to back up two hard drives to two partitions on a single drive at the same time.

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Actually this is quite possible to store the backups, all different drives on one volume with little effort. The magic words here are "back up to a disk image."

When you select the destination in SuperDuper one of the options is Disk Image. Just give the disk image a name and point it at your backup drive and all files will go into the disk image, completely accessible and completely separate from everything else on that drive.

If you like you can also encrypt the disk image for added security but you would have to create an encrypted sparseimage DMG from within Disk Utility first. I think that would work, never tried it but it makes sense it would.

  • I already suggested that, in a now deleted comment, as his reply (also deleted) was he doesn't want to backup to a disk image, he wants to be able to boot the various backups from their partition. I should have asked him to add that info into the OP. – user3439894 Jun 7 at 0:26
  • "If you like you can also encrypt the disk image for added security" Thanks for mentioning that! It's not what I'm doing here (I'm doing cloned backups, including a bootable backup of my Mac's drive), but it's food for thought. – 2oh1 Jun 7 at 1:53
  • To boot a backup from it's partition you can backup your boot drive to that partition (as a whole bootable copy, SD does this) and your files to disk image files on that same volume. Otherwise you may need to make a partition for each backup. – Steve Chambers Jun 7 at 13:07
  • "Otherwise you may need to make a partition for each backup." That's precisely what I do. I make a partition for each backup. – 2oh1 Jun 7 at 16:46
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drive is a partitioned HDD, is there anything I should be careful of when I format the backup drive

I think it is best to schedule at different times.The night should be long enough 😇. With rotating media saving to a dmg file, the arm will be moving all over the platter either at write time or at read time or even both. If you are using separate partitions, the arm is sure to be bouncing between partitions at write time. Thus, stressing out the arm.

  • "If you are using separate partitions, the arm is sure to be bouncing between partitions at write time. Thus, stressing out the arm." That's a really good point. I was hoping to not have to schedule them at different times since there's no way to know how long a backup will take, but now that you mention it... I think you just changed my mind. (I'm not saving to a dmg file though. I'm doing clones, where the entire drive is cloned to a partition on another drive. That being said, your point is a really good one! I'm glad you mentioned it!) – 2oh1 Jun 7 at 1:22
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I found my answer:

If more than one backup is scheduled for the same time, SuperDuper will automatically start them one after another until all have completed.

I assume that means SuperDuper will automatically start the next backup when the one that's running is completed, which is exactly what I want.

EDIT: Yep, that's what it means, and it works perfectly.

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