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backuplist+

Considerations:

I will list backuplist+ issues on this page when they arise. If you have something to add, or need help, please email me.

 

08/10/2011 Notes:

Please upgrade to the beta version 8.0.4 of backuplist+ if you are running OS 10.6 or higher.

OSX LION and Mountain Lion

There are new features in OSX 10.7 Lion which my affect backups done with backupList

Recovery HD

This is a hidden partition which is installed on your chosen drive during the installation process of OSX Lion. It can used for startup if something goes wrong and you need to boot from another disk to repair or check your drive. Now that OS updates are no longer distributed on dvd, this acts as the emergency install disk. The Recovery HD is visible if you run the "diskutil list" command from terminal where you will see that it resides along side your install volume. BackupList+ should work as expected with regular backup operations of user files. If you want to make a clone of your Lion volume, the Recover HD partition will not be copied (since it is a separate volume in the higher up partition map) to the destination disk. I see this as no problem really since the purpose of the clone is to be able to restore your drive or personal files from it or use it when you update the OS and use migration assistant to retrieve your data from it. This should all work fine and is much more useful than the Recovery HD for those situations. If you do want Recovery HD on your clone volume then you can:

1. Do a fresh install of Lion on the empty clone disk first then clone your new lion drive to that.

Full Disk Encryption

Another new feature of OSX Lion which is the ability to encrypt your entire disk via the File Vault pane in Security System Preferences. This in no way related to then old File Vault of previous OS. It means that your whole system is encrypted silently in the background and unencrypted at run time when needed. Before enabling this feature you should understand the dangers and assets of this process - there are many good articles on google. The "Ars Technica lion review" has an excellent technical explanation of this.

The best way to enable Full Disk Encryption is to make a fresh install of Lion and proceed from there. It is important to note that Full Disk Encryption needs the Recovery HD already established ( from the lion install ) to change the disk over to Core Storage and encrypt the volume..

As far as backupList is concerned, there are again issues when making a clone of a disk with Full Disk Encryption enabled. The clone again will not be encrypted since the encryption method needs to create the "core storage" layer that resides above the individual partitions, which can not be copied along with the chosen volume.

However, You can make a fresh clean install of OSX Lion on your clone disk then clone your main Lion install onto that. Afterwards you can then enable encryption for that disk in the Security Preferences. Or create a fresh clean volume ( in Disk Utility) with encryption as the format choice and then proceed to clone Lion onto it.

News on Network backups

For those using afp, smb, or for nas type network storage devices, I have fixed a serious bug causing hidden files on a network server to replicate themselves. I have also changed some of rsync's options pertaining to copying metadata on HFS Systems since these networks do not have HFS type file systems. What this means is: you can copy most any personal files without losing anything critical but it is impossible to make a bootable clone on one of these systems. You can always have backupList+ make a sparse disk image on the network volume first and then the file metadata is preserved. Mike Bombich has some excellent information on this and all other aspects of cloning in OSX.

Previously backupList+ could work well under some situations with Network backups so hopefully the new changes will improve this outlook. It is difficult since network backups involve non - HFS+ file systems usually so the OSX metadata doesn't always correlate.

 

06/29/2010 HFS Compression issues: This has been fixed as of version 7.2.1 thanks to Mike Bombich ( of Carbon Copy Cloner fame ) who made the patch and then fixed the patch for rsync 3.0.7. Rsync 3.0.7 is humming along.

07/07/2010 The local Network problem: There seemed to be a very odd issue with copying to an OS 10.6.3 local volume. Hidden files such as the ubiquitous .DS_Store files were being replicated with appended names on the destination, often by the thousands! I just set up a local Network to test this again but can not replicate this behavior now and wonder if the release of OS 10.6.4 has fixed this issue. Anyone still having issues with the "dot" files?

01/04/2011 A similar bug in Time capsule has been found in the new release of TC. See Apples Support Discussion... Apparently you can use the rsync option "--inplace" which may work.
so check the box "Expert options" and paste this into the text field:

-aHAXNx --fileflags --force-change --protect-decmpfs --inplace --stats -

They also suggested mounting the time capsule via SMB instead of FTP?

 

In General:

Be sure that "Ignore Permissions" is left un-checked ( in the Get Info box) for any disk you are copying too. If this box is checked, there can be problems with file permissions and incremental backups will NOT work correctly.

Permission issues: backup list is a simple copy utility. On OSX (Unix), unless you are the "Administrator of your account, you will only have access to your personal Home folder. Items belonging to the system, and other users Home folders will be off limits. This means backuplist will not work and you will get an"Access" error if you try to copy files from those areas to your backup folder. If you are not the Administrator of your computer, you should then put files in the backup list that are only within your Home folder (this does include all the files on the desktop- but not those inside your The Macintosh HD icon (again, unless they are in your Home folder.) A bit confusing if you aren't use to the OSX Folder structure. You can, of course, change permissions for your system and other files by going to "System Preferences" and clicking on "Accounts". there you can change yourself to Account administrator, if no one else is already that. That is why I made the first backup location choice, "Home Folder." Other logical choices would be any mounted disc, external drive etc. which should usually allow you access.

All external discs must be in Mac OS extended format (not FAT etc) to work properly with file copying and this applescript application

 

Trouble Shooting

If the destination folder appears empty:

1. Be sure the destination drive has enough free space for the backup, otherwise the backup will possibly freeze midway. Many people have said their backup folder was empty because of this!

2. Be sure you have entered the correct destination paths in the destination text field and the "Backup to folder" text field in the settings panel.

3. If you are backing up to an external drive, check the hidden Volumes folder. This is a known problem when copying files to an external disk. Sometimes, if you pull the plug accidentally on a drive, or for no apparent reason, the Volumes folder will contain left over aliases of drives that are no longer present. This can result in data being copied into them instead of your desired disk, thus your hard drive mysteriously fills up with "hidden" backups! To check the folder go to the "GO" menu in the finder menu bar and select "Go to folder" and type "/Volumes" in the search filed. This will bring up the hidden folder. I have included a menu item called "Show Volumes folder" in the Window menu, or the Help menu if you are in Background mode.

When a backing up with rsync , the progress bar may seem to progress very fast at first and then slow down towards the end and the run. You can tell where the backup is by the names of the files being transfered. This is due to incremental recursion which scan files in batches rather than upfront, saving much memory and time! You can change this to get more accurate bar readings but it will be much slower. I made this the default for obvious reasons!

If backuplist+ freezes and you can't cancel it, force quit (command -option- esc) or restart computer. You will have to also force quit rsync and to do that you must open Activity Monitor (in the Utilities folder) and select rsync in the list "all processes" and click the Quit button at the top of the window. Due to limitations of applescript the cancel feature can get stuck sometimes though we have gone a long way to prevent this. If backuplist+ is in background-only mode, you must open activity monitor and quit rsync and backuplist+ from there, or restart.

If Backuplist+ crashes or you get error messages, you can usually fix the problem by trashing the .plist file. It is a good idea to make a backup of this file anyways, when you have your list and preferences set up, so you can restore your settings if there is a crash. The .plist file is in your Home Folder > Library > Preferences folder and is called "com.rdutoit.blist.plist". Just Quit Backuplist+ app, move this file to trash and restart Backuplist+ app. A new .plist file will be generated. You then need to set up your backup sets again.

If you are not the sole user of your Mac, or have not enabled permissions for Read/write of certain folders, you may not be able to back up or copy files in those locations. You can enter your password (OS10.4X and above) in the settings panel which will allow most files to be copied. See Mac help about enabling permissions. You should always, however, be able to access your Home Folder or any local disks you have mounted.

This application has been tested and should not cause any bad "side effects" other than not functioning properly due to unforeseen circumstances. Always be careful copying over important files!

 

Support

You can email me by selecting "email support" in the help menu. Don't hesitate to ask any questions or let me know how it is working, or not, for you.

Email me at rdutoit@comcast.net

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