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Chapter 6. Using Backup > Backup's Cans and Can'ts

6.3. Backup's Cans and Can'ts

Just when you thought you were getting somewhere, there are some things that you need to know about using Backup before you get too far:

  • Backup 2 (the non-beta form) runs only on Mac OS X Panther. If you are still running Jaguar, you can download an older version of Backup from your iDisk; just look in /Software/Apple Software/Backup for OS X 10.2 and grab the highest 1.2.x version.

  • If you just have a trial .Mac membership, you can only back up to your iDisk. As odd as it may seem, you won't be able to use Backup to back up your data to CDs, DVDs, or other types of external drives.

  • If you are backing up to an external drive (including USB or FireWire drives, an iPod, or a networked file share), these items must be connected to or mounted on your system. Otherwise the backup won't perform as planned.

  • If you are backing up to your iDisk, your Mac must be connected to the Internet, although your iDisk doesn't have to be mounted on your Mac.

  • If you connect to the Internet with a dial-up modem (i.e., not with DSL or a cable modem), your Mac must be dialed in to your ISP to back up to your iDisk. To ensure that your Mac will be connected or that you don't lose your connection to your ISP, you should:

    1. Launch System Preferences and click on the Network preference panel

    2. Select Internal Modem from the Show pop-up menu

    3. Click on the PPP pane

    4. Click on the PPP Options button

    5. Check the box next to "Connect automatically when needed". This will ensure that your Mac will connect to your ISP to perform scheduled backups to your iDisk.

    6. Check the box next to "Prompt every 30 minutes to maintain connection". You'll notice that you can alter the number of minutes in this line as well; change this from 30 to 10 minutes. This option sends a signal to your ISP's server to let them know that you're still there and are prepared to do something.

    7. Leave the "Disconnect if idle for 10 minutes" line checked, but change the idle time to something like 20 or 30 minutes. That way, if Backup completes and you're still connected to the Internet, the modem will disconnect after a short while.

  • Backup hasn't been localized to support languages other than English and Japanese. It is unclear whether future versions of Backup will support other languages. If you need another language, go to Backup → Provide Backup Feedback to send a message to Apple's developers with your language request. While it may not remedy your immediate situation, it lets Backup's development team know of your need.

  • If you prefer to back up your applications, you probably won't be able to fit all of the Applications folder's contents on your iDisk. Instead, you should back them up to CD, DVD, or to a connected drive that has enough space. Remember, when you back up your Applications folder, you're also going to back up everything in the Utilities folder as well because it is a subfolder within the Applications folder.

  • Backup only lets you schedule backups to your iDisk or to a connected drive, but not to CDs or DVDs. Part of the reason for this is that you (or someone else) would have to be sitting in front of your Mac to insert and remove discs as needed during the backup process.

  • You cannot add the hard drive or partition (named "Macintosh HD" by default) that contains Mac OS X's System folder to the list of Backup Items. If you do try to do this, Backup just emits an alert sound to let you know that the action you requested isn't possible. This is very much unlike what would happen with Backup 1.2.1, which would freeze if you tried to add your hard drive to a backup list. The result was that you would have to force quit Backup. Instead, you will need to select all of the folders at the root level of the drive. Another option is to create an alias of your hard drive and add that to your backup list.

  • If you're manually running a backup when a scheduled backup is set to run, the scheduled backup will fail to run as planned. The currently running backup continues without fail, and the scheduled backup will run the next time it is scheduled. For example, if you decide that you need to back something up to a Drive and the backup you've scheduled to run daily to your iDisk is triggered, the backup to your iDisk won't happen until the next day at the scheduled time. If you need to run the scheduled iDisk backup, you should manually run that as soon as the backup to the Drive completes.



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