SuperDuper Backups

SuperDuper Backups
SuperDuper Backups
SuperDuper is a highly acclaimed program that makes recovery painless, because it
makes creating a fully bootable backup painless. Its incredibly clear, friendly
interface is understandable, easy to use, and SuperDuper's built-in scheduler makes
it trivial to back up automatically. It's the perfect complement to Time Machine,
allowing you to store a bootable backup alongside your Time Machine volume—and it
runs beautifully on your Mac!
It can be downloaded from
Preparing SuperDuper for your first backup
Download and install SuperDuper in your Applications folder. You’ll need to register SuperDuper to
unlock all the features.
• Registering SuperDuper: When you have paid for SuperDuper you will have received an email from them, open it and prepare to copy and paste the Name & Serial Number into the
registration pane. You need to register it to unlock all the features. Open SuperDuper and in
the SuperDuper menu, go to Register and copy the Name and paste it into the Registration
name field, then copy and paste the Serial Number into the next field. Click OK, then OK
again. Although it’s not strictly necessary, it’s usually a good practice to quit all running
applications before performing a backup.
Creating a new job in SuperDuper is a fairly simple affair once you’ve got your head around the
backup types and settings. The drop-down menus control what drives are in play, and once the job
type (see below) is selected, clicking the Option button will show more … well … options:
SuperDuper backup options See 1 below:
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The During Copy drop-down controls the type of backup that should be completed.
The first option — Erase, then copy — will take the most time, as it will wipe the target drive and
copy every file and folder from the source.
The last two — Copy newer files and Copy different files — options work a little bit like Time
Machine, but only in an additive fashion. SuperDuper will add files to the backup disk, but never
remove them. This will eventually fill up the drive, and can make restoring data a little more difficult.
I recommend the Smart Update option because it’s the fastest and most efficient. Note, this will
delete files from the target disk if they’ve been deleted on the source disk since the last backup.
In practice, this means that your SuperDuper backup is an exact clone of your internal disk as it was
at the time of the backup operation. This isn’t a rolling backup with file history like Time Machine, so
it’s best to use this in tandem with Apple’s built-in backup system.
SuperDuper can execute any number of actions after a backup is complete, such as sleeping the
computer, ejecting the target drive, and more. We suggest taking a trip through Shirt Pocket’s
documentation on SuperDuper to learn more about the application’s advanced features.
For your first backup the default settings are all you need. You’ll need to choose the volume you
want to back up, and the place to store the backup.
• The ‘Copy’ will be from the internal drive on your iMac, MacBook, etc.
• The ‘to’ will be the external drive. You may want to name it something logical such as
Backup iMac, Backup MacBook.
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• As I said above, I recommend the Smart Update option because it’s the fastest and most
• At this point, you’ve selected what you want to back up, and where you want to back it up to.
The next step is to tell SuperDuper to perform the backup. It’s always a good idea to verify
the selections you’ve made, to ensure you haven’t accidentally chosen the wrong volume or
option. SuperDuper’s unique What’s going to happen? section allows you to quickly ensure
that you’re going to get what you asked for. Take a moment to review: it’ll save you time in
the end.
• Click “Copy Now” Simple enough: one click (and a final confirmation) and SuperDuper
handles the rest! When it finishes you have performed your first complete backup.
• Go to SuperDuper / Quit to finish.
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Using SuperDuper
While backing up, SuperDuper offers visual feedback as to what is going on:
1. Start
2. Progress Bar
3. Finished
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Schedule Copies
SuperDuper can back up to a connected disk on a calendar basis, or can automatically start when a
known volume is mounted.
The latter option is perfect for off-site backup drives. I keep a pair of hard drives at an offsite location
that contain copies of my home iMacs and MacBook Pro.
Generally, I update these drives every other weekend, but it’s not always that regular. Even when I’m
on the schedule, I may back up on Friday evening one weekend, but Sunday morning two weeks
later. SuperDuper doesn’t care, though. Once my backup drive is plugged into my Mac, SuperDuper
launches automatically and starts backing up after a short countdown period.
Recovering Data from a SuperDuper Backup
The data on the cloned backup is exactly the same as your Mac at the time you ran SuperDuper. So
if you have a corrupted or deleted file you should be able to copy it from the same location on your
backup drive.
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Booting up from your Backup
Once you have cloned your internal drive you can then startup from the backup drive should your
internal drive fail. Selecting your external hard drive at startup is as simple as holding down the
Option key on your keyboard at the very start of when you turn your Mac on or restart it.
You will be presented with a screen with a list of bootable drives. Click on the drive you want to
startup from then click on the right arrow and your Mac will complete its startup routine. This
method does not set the default startup drive like selecting the Startup Disk in System Preferences,
so on your next restart it will default back to the internal disk drive.
If you boot up from your backup drive then you can use Disk Utility to try and repair the normal Mac
hard drive, or as a last resort you can clone from the backup drive back to the normal Mac hard drive
- but all files will be as at the time you last backed up. Ok if it was a day ago but not a month ago. If
you had Time Machine running then you could be saved.
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