Backup/Disaster recover best methods

I use TimeMachine and I clone on a separate drive using SuperDuper.

But, what about disaster recovery? I don’t like putting all my folders inside Dropbox (although I do love Dropbox itself). Also, not sure how Scrivener handles Dropbox or SugarSync, both of which I have. It’d be nice if SugarSync worked for disaster recovery purposes, but I’ve had some problems with opening projects on my iMac that were created on my MacBook - even after shutting down Scrivener on the MacBook. Something about the binder.

What does everyone use/do for disaster recovery?

Thanks in advance.

Dropbox, but in my case less for storage in the cloud (although of course that’s what is generated), more for automatic transmission to a computer at another location that syncs every time it’s opened for other purposes. (Dropbox is where my zipped back-ups go, not my “live” projects - never had a problem opening them.) Like you I also use Time Machine and Super-Duper on external drives locally.

I have a Time Capsule (which has saved my life one more than one occasion!) which backs up my iMac, Macbook Pro, and my Wife’s Macbook.

The Time Capsule is then archived to a separate 2TD drive each week, which I keep at my parents house (a short walk away).

I also use Scriveners automatic backup on project save into dropbox, which syncs to all my machines, plus one at my mother-in-laws… :slight_smile:

if we’re just looking at Scrivener stuff to lose everything (keeping in mind the once a week time machine archive)

The Time Capsule would have to fail/be stolen/blow up/break
The Archived Backup Drive kept offsite would have to fail/be stolen/blow up/break
All my macs (Which keep a dropbox sync) would have to fail/be stolen/blow up/break
My mother-in-laws Mac Mini (which also keeps a drop box sync) would have to fail/be stolen/blow up/break/divorce

in the worse case i’d be left with the last scrivener automated backup of the project… somewhere…

backups take only a few minutes if done regularly, backups of a backup take more effort, but protect sometimes a lifetime of work, memories and save a lifetime of pain :wink:

I’ve worked in IT for many many many years and I’ve had many laptops stolen whilst at work… you don’t realise how much stuff is on them until you lose them…

Thanks guys. I’ve worked in IT in the past - 18 years worth, so yeah backups are important.

I already have TIme Machine running. I have a SuperDuper backup running. That’s a good backup strategy especially since the SuperDuper backups are to alternating drives, one of which I keep in a small (unfortunately portable) fireproof safe.

But, it’s not practical for disaster recovery or for sharing between the MacBook and the iMac.

Hence, cloud storage. Sure, I could use Mozy or CrashPlan, and that’d probably take care of all the disaster recovery issues for the entire machine. But, for faster retrieval from disaster, and for file sharing you guys use Dropbox with your Scrivener files and you don’t get errors opening them? (SugarSync gives me an error).

I really don’t like the idea of having to stuff my writing folder inside Dropbox - so anyway use Hazel or something to automate making copies or doing something else? I have a good method of organizing my files that I’d hate to lose just to keep random items inside Dropbox.

Since you’ve been in IT, why not just use AWS to create a dedicated cloud server and write some custom rsync to manage backup and sync?

I use a NAS at home and use a combination of local off site and remote storage for those really important things. If you know how the tech works you can almost always make something that will suite your needs easier than you can find a product that will do it the way you want it.

I’d recommend turning on automatic backups on exit for Scrivener, and make sure Sugarsync is keeping up with them. If you’re having trouble with keeping your ‘live’ projects on SS, more detail might help others trouble-shoot the issue – perhaps as it’s own support posting.

Edit: If there is a some Sugarsync incompatibility, then you can still keep your Scrivener backups on it if you make sure the automatic backups are zipped whey they are created.

Will do. SugarSync THINKS it’s backing up the projects, but I’m getting this, which I’ll put in a separate support thread as well:

Now, it could be as simple as ignoring that pop-up. Just not sure if it’s really safe to do. If it isn’t, then not only is the SugarSync solution not a proper method for off-site storage, it’s not the best choice for sharing between Macs (when I’m using the laptop instead of the iMac or vice versa).

Time Machine and Super Duper for on-site backups. Protect against hard disk failure and user stupidity.

CrashPlan for off-site backups. Protects against all forms of damage to the local infrastructure: fire, theft, earthquake, volcano (yes, we have them here!), whatever.

Dropbox for mobility. Not used as a backup solution, mostly because all the others existed already.

FWIW, this approach satisfies my husband. His job is site reliability engineering for a large internet company, so he’s a professional paranoid. And, to Jaysen’s point, he used custom rsync scripts for quite a while, but has now decided that commercial solutions are mature enough to trust.


I would agree with Mr Katherine. I generally point folks to the commercial products but folks seem to either be over thinking this or excessively paranoid. If either or both of those conditions exist then it is time to “roll your own” that way you know exactly what you are getting.