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#17589 - 09/25/11 03:15 AM CCC or SuperDuper?
Pendragon Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Georgetown, Texas, USA
I see here 'bouts that many use CCC instead or SuperDuper.

Aside from the initial cost (which in my case is OBE), what are the advantages/features that resulted in your choosing CCC?

While I am completely satisfied with SD and think their customer service/tech support is without equal, if there are CCC benefits that I have overlooked, well, then I need to change (though at my age it hurts).


Edited by cyn (09/25/11 05:14 AM)
Edit Reason: Topic moved from the Lounge to the Mac OS X Applications forum.
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#17594 - 09/25/11 05:22 AM Re: CCC or SuperDuper? [Re: Pendragon]
joemikeb Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
My take on CCC vs. SD is more a matter of personal choice than anything else. CCC was the first clone utility and a lot of people started using it and continue to do so. Personally I have always preferred the SD user interface.

By-the-way several other multipurpose utilities such as TinkerTool System have added cloning capabilities to their repertoire and seen to work well but without all of the features of either CCC or SD.
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#17602 - 09/25/11 10:45 AM Re: CCC or SuperDuper? [Re: Pendragon]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
I'm a SD user and, like you and joemike, have always been satisfied. So far as another having advantages I was not aware of, I take the simple approach: If it isn't something I missed, as in "I wish this had ___", why change?

ryck


Edited by ryck (09/25/11 10:45 AM)
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#17603 - 09/25/11 01:08 PM Re: CCC or SuperDuper? [Re: Pendragon]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
I agree with joemikeb. Switching later to Mac OS X than he did, I purchased SD mostly because of the interface, but also because of a cloning approach which avoided certain issues. Shortly after these became apparent CCC incorporated remedial changes, and with various feature enhancements added since is now pretty much comparable with SD. Along the way I acquired a CCC license as well, but haven't used it yet: SD does its job well enough.

Both utilities can be used for free with the following exceptions: SuperDuper's scheduling, smart update, sandbox and scripting options require purchase/registration, while CCC is donationware. Either way, imo both utilities are worth their full fee, while allowing you to test drive them for free.

For more opinions and comparisons, check out SuperDuper vs Carbon Copy Cloner.
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#17610 - 09/25/11 09:34 PM Re: CCC or SuperDuper? [Re: alternaut]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Literally my case too. And thanks for the link!
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#17613 - 09/26/11 02:35 AM Re: CCC or SuperDuper? [Re: macnerd10]
Pendragon Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Georgetown, Texas, USA
Many thanks to all.

I had not wanted to bias my initial question, but for me, it was the UI and the scheduling features which turned the tide (originally I had been using CCC). But as I have no recent hands-on experience with CCC, I wondered if there were features I missed.

Now I know.
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#17618 - 09/26/11 11:51 AM Re: CCC or SuperDuper? [Re: Pendragon]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
When I had to choose between SD and CCC, Leopard had just come out and I had finally had my fill of Retrospect as a backup solution. Time Machine had passed all my initial tests with flying colors, but I wanted to have another backup solution that would make bootable clones. (I was also a little nervous about TM's predilection for backing up a running system. I don't trust digital backups of data that's being modified, and OS X is always modifying stuff in the background.)

At that time, CCC had been upgraded to work with Lion but SD's Leopard-compatible version was noticeably late out of the gate. Still, I went to both sites, read what they had to say, and checked all the reviews. Here's what I saw:

SD does a file-level backup. CCC will do either a sector-level backup or a file-level backup. In the many cases where I've ever had to actually use a backup to restore from, the problem was almost always in the disk catalog, not in the physical media. A sector-level backup will copy catalog corruption, often even before you realize it's corrupted. In my opinion, sector-level copies have no place in a robust backup solution. CCC provided a checkbox to force a sector-level copy, but no option to forbid one! One point for SD.

CCC was just a GUI front end to unix command-line tools that did the actual copying. I actually have experience writing backup software for mainframes, and I've learned the hard way that scripting low-level routines to do your work is deucedly difficult. It's easy to do if you're willing to assume that nothing will go wrong, but nearly impossible if you need to handle errors. The extra layer of indirection means you can't really put your finger on the error, and can't really recover. Sometimes, if you want the job done right, you have to do it yourself.

CCC in particular uses rsync to do its file-level copying. rsync is a nice tool, but it has one glaring deficiency: it does not handle errors gracefully. If it cannot copy a file, it quits. Right then and there. To recover, you would have to figure out which file failed to copy, and then submit an amended request to copy the rest. But an amended request cannot deal properly with hard-links: rsync will notice if two of the files it needs to copy are hard-linked, and will optionally hard-link them in the output, but only if they're both being copied by the same call to rsync. If one of the files was copied in the initial request, and the other only gets copied in the amended request, rsync won't detect the hard-link. Unless the amended copy-list includes all the files already copied, in which case rsync squanders a lot of time re-examining already-copied files. (Did I mention that trying to pass work on to lower-level utilities quickly gets very messy if you're trying to do it right?)

SD, on the other hand, does its own copying. My experience tells me that's the only reliable way to do it. Score another point for SD.

I read the blog on the Shirt Pocket site, where the programmer was documenting why SD was so slow to be updated for Leopard, and liked what I saw. He was concerned with getting all the edge cases exactly right. It was clear that he was holding back the release until it correctly handled even obscure cases that CCC was simply sweeping under the rug. One of those edge cases was correctly cloning a TM backup, something that CCC still won't do correctly. At the time, CCC wasn't even correctly copying xattrs. SD wanted to handle xattrs, ACLs, hard links (even to directories), TM backups (which rely heavily on all of those), and do all that while still recovering from errors. Score another point for SD.

So, I waited patiently for the Leopard-compatible release of SD, and immediately bought it to replace Retrospect. I've been very happy with it.

I've been told that CCC now handles ACLs and xattrs correctly, and reputedly handles hard-links too (but I suspect that's only if nothing goes wrong, for reasons given before). CCC still does not correctly copy TM backups.

Snow Leopard introduced extensive file compression techniques. SD had to come out with a patch to keep the files compressed in the backup. Decompression is done at a very low level in the HFS+ filesystem, and is normally completely transparent to "ordinary" tools like rsync, which see only the decompressed data. Since rsync does not support preserving compression, CCC will still de-compress compressed files during a file-level copy. (A sector-level copy will preserve compression, but I don't trust sector-level copies.)

On Snow Leopard and later, Finder can be used to clone TM backups, but it's still useful to have that feature in SD. (Case in point: I wanted to clone my TM backup for a talk I was doing on TM. I used Finder to clone it, but foolishly forgot to disable Spotlight on the destination, and they started fighting over control of the disk heads. I didn't notice until the drive overheated about 2/3 the way through the copy. I let the drive cool down, and then let SD finish the job.)

I also use SD to clone my install discs onto my offsite TM backups, making them "bootable", after a fashion: they boot into the OS X installer, which can restore from the TM backup on the same volume. Only SD will clone onto a volume that contains a TM backup without disturbing that backup. Another point in SD's favor.

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#17631 - 09/26/11 02:27 PM Re: CCC or SuperDuper? [Re: ganbustein]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Seems all you omitted was a link to download "SD". wink

EDIT: odd, http://www.shirt-pocket.com/ seems to be offline at the moment. crazy


EDIT #2: As further fuel for the debate, i do recall that SuperDuper has received worthy praise in the past...
[you'll even notice that CCC's webpage specfically mentions "Backup Bouncer" nowadays, as an indication of how much it has improved (vis-à-vis those two articles above).]


Edited by Hal Itosis (09/26/11 02:39 PM)

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#17634 - 09/26/11 03:57 PM Re: CCC or SuperDuper? [Re: Hal Itosis]
MicroMatTech3 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Thanks to Yojimbo, I can find the URL for ShirtPocket's discussion of what happens when Super Duper! enconters an error:

Shirt Pocket Watch: I/O Error Recovery.
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#17680 - 09/29/11 01:45 PM Re: CCC or SuperDuper? [Re: MicroMatTech3]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
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#17685 - 09/29/11 06:14 PM Re: CCC or SuperDuper? [Re: jchuzi]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Cha-cha-cha-changes: Release History

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#17689 - 09/29/11 10:49 PM Re: CCC or SuperDuper? [Re: ganbustein]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Thanks for a great CCC/SD comparison.

> "Snow Leopard introduced extensive file compression techniques. SD had to come out with a patch to keep the files compressed in the backup. Decompression is done at a very low level in the HFS+ filesystem, and is normally completely transparent to "ordinary" tools like rsync, which see only the decompressed data. Since rsync does not support preserving compression, CCC will still de-compress compressed files during a file-level copy. (A sector-level copy will preserve compression, but I don't trust sector-level copies.)"

Hmmm... That is apparently contradicted by what I reported here.

Unfortunately, I can't confirm that that behavior still holds true, because my compressed files have become decompressed somewhere between then and now. (I'll do a clean SL install and test again, but don't hold your breath.)
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#17695 - 09/30/11 03:51 AM Re: CCC or SuperDuper? [Re: artie505]
dkmarsh Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

It looks as if CCC uses a version of rsync which has been patched to support the HFS+ file compression introduced in Snow Leopard. See CCC's Release History (scroll down to v. 3.3 (27), September 21, 2009).

A tad more information can be gleaned from Mac OS X and HFS+ enhancements for rsync 3.
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#17710 - 09/30/11 01:05 PM Re: CCC or SuperDuper? [Re: dkmarsh]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
I download and compile rsync 3.0.7 here
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#17719 - 09/30/11 04:04 PM Re: CCC or SuperDuper? [Re: dkmarsh]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

It looks as if CCC uses a version of rsync which has been patched to support the HFS+ file compression introduced in Snow Leopard. See CCC's Release History (scroll down to v. 3.3 (27), September 21, 2009).

A tad more information can be gleaned from Mac OS X and HFS+ enhancements for rsync 3.

Thanks for ferreting that out.

And I just figured out that my hfs+ compression is intact...that I had run the wrong Terminal command when I originally reported that it had gone south.
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Moderator:  alternaut, dianne, dkmarsh