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There's a new version of a unique Mac backup system:
Deja Vu sounds good; I have to admit that I've turned my current focus for online backups to Backblaze, which claims to do a sort of instant backup that I assume is based on fsevent. It's doing the initial backup now as part of a 15-day trial. One very handy feature for those of us with desktop computers: it lets you specify the work directory. I have an SSD primary and spinny secondary drive, so that's very handy.

I am still using Arq for daily backups, Carbon Copy Cloner for monthly clones, and, um, that IMAP backup program mentioned earlier for the email servers.
 


My experience is that it is not until the computer starts making its "first" backup before it recognized that there is already an existing backup on the Time Capsule or other network location, and then it gives the option to inherit the old backup.
I let the backup proceed. The "preparing" stage took so long, I went to bed. When I checked, the backup had completed, and the "oldest backup" was what I expected, and no new sparsebundle was created. So, thanks for that. Whether there was a prompt to inherit the old backup, I have no idea.

However, is the backup ever slooooow, and there are lots of error messages in the High Sierra console. Again, google-fu tells me that Time Machine in High Sierra can be slow, especially from an APFS to HFS+ volume over WiFi. Definitely slower than my own MacBook Air, running El Capitan. I might just bite the bullet and start over with Time Machine.
 


A year ago Code42 announced that they are exiting the consumer backup market. CrashPlan for Home will stop working on October 23rd, 2018. Existing customers will be automatically migrated to CrashPlan for Small Business on October 1st. When your current CrashPlan for Home subscription expires, you can renew on the Small Business plan at a 75% discount for 1 year. CrashPlan also gives an option to migrate to Carbonite at a 50% discount.

There was much discussion in MacInTouch.

Since now we're reaching the first major decision point, it's time to reopen the discussion....

Personally I'm most interested in Arq, backing up to Wasabi. But recently I heard that Arq no longer uses fseventsd to detect file changes, and instead does a full system scan for each backup. The developer said that the full system scan is fast, but I've seen reports that it isn't. Does anyone have practical experience?

Also, in Michael Tsai's posting summary CrashPlan Discontinues Consumer Backups (which references the MacInTouch discussion!), Thomas Templemann (of Find Any File fame) mentions what appears to be another Arq-like backup program: Duplicacy, which I don't think we discussed before. (Thomas says that Duplicacy is now Acrosync, but Acrosync appears to be an Rsync client.)

One advantage to Duplicacy is that it (claims to) supports deduplication across machines. So if you have multiple computers with the same files, it only has to backup those files one time. CrashPlan for Home did not do this.

Has anyone tried Duplicacy? How does it compare to Arq?
 


Personally I'm most interested in Arq, backing up to Wasabi. But recently I heard that Arq no longer uses fseventsd to detect file changes, and instead does a full system scan for each backup. The developer said that the full system scan is fast, but I've seen reports that it isn't. Does anyone have practical experience?
I use Arq to backup to Backblaze B2. I just ran a backup on a 400GB+ dataset and it took two minutes to scan and upload around 30MB of data.

However Arq will periodically do some maintenance on the backup which can take many hours to run and often involves downloading a GB or two of data in the process. I don't find this a problem but it is only the sound of disk activity that alerts me to what it is doing. The activity is shown in the menu bar but it isn't very obvious and I believe that if the process is interrupted it has to start from the beginning again, but don't quote me on that.

Cost wise, Backblaze B2 is very good. My highest monthly bill was last month at $2.53.
 



Personally I'm most interested in Arq, backing up to Wasabi. But recently I heard that Arq no longer uses fseventsd to detect file changes, and instead does a full system scan for each backup. The developer said that the full system scan is fast, but I've seen reports that it isn't. Does anyone have practical experience?
I switched to Arq/Backblaze B2 a couple of months ago and have found it to be acceptably fast. A typical backup report is:
Backup session for / started on September 1, 2018 at 6:00:15 AM PDT
Found completed backup record for /
Saved backup record for /
Scanned 1286.260 GB (1609504 files)
Uploaded 176.1 MB
Backup session for / ended on September 1, 2018 at 6:16:55 AM PDT
One problem that I have encountered, though, is that Arq will not run if the screen is locked. When I reported the issue to Arq support, I received the following reply:
"There seems to be a bug where macOS won't let any app do anything with the UI while the screen is locked, which makes Arq Agent get stuck. Nothing has changed in Arq in that regard, but macOS's behavior has changed in High Sierra, unfortunately. "
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
(Thomas says that Duplicacy is now Acrosync, but Acrosync appears to be an Rsync client.)
Duplicacy is a cross-platform backup app from Acrosync LLC, while Acrosync is an Rsync client.
I have been aware of an "Arq"-like backup app called "Duplicati" (<https://www.duplicati.com/>) for several years...
Duplicati is apparently an open-source backup project inspired by Duplicacy:
The Duplicati Team said:
Duplicati 2 User's Manual
Duplicati is a backup client that securely stores encrypted, incremental, compressed backups on local storage, cloud storage services and remote file servers. The Duplicati project was inspired by Duplicity and had similar functionality until 2008. In that year the storage model was redesigned completely and the program was rebuilt from scratch. This manual describes Duplicati 2, the version based on the new storage model.

Duplicati can be installed on a variety of operating systems. Most common platforms are Windows, Linux and OSX.
GitHub said:
Duplicati
Duplicati is a free, open source, backup client that securely stores encrypted, incremental, compressed backups on cloud storage services and remote file servers. It works with:

Amazon S3, OneDrive, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud Files, HubiC, Backblaze (B2), Amazon Cloud Drive (AmzCD), Swift / OpenStack, WebDAV, SSH (SFTP), FTP, and more!
 


Backblaze's backup software is very easy to use, if a bit counterintuitive to set up at first (assuming you want to change the default settings), and amazingly fast compared with CrashPlan (but what isn’t?). I am also running Arq (I know, naughty) going to Amazon Glacier "just in case." They both work well but I can't answer the fsevent question...

Backblaze's site is not always responsive when I want to restore.
 


Personally I'm most interested in Arq, backing up to Wasabi. But recently I heard that Arq no longer uses fseventsd to detect file changes, and instead does a full system scan for each backup. The developer said that the full system scan is fast, but I've seen reports that it isn't. Does anyone have practical experience?
I have a 27" 2017 iMac 3.4GHz Intel Core i5 with 8GB RAM. A recent Arq backup log (going to Backblaze B2) is:
Backup session for /Users/Larry started on September 10, 2018 at 9:00:10 AM PDT
Found completed backup record for /Users/Larry
Saved backup record for /Users/Larry
Scanned 1221.451 GB (500155 files)
Uploaded 13.3 MB
Backup session for /Users/Larry ended on September 10, 2018 at 9:03:33 AM PDT
Last night after I added some new data to the iMac:
Backup session for /Users/Larry started on September 9, 2018 at 11:00:13 PM PDT
Found completed backup record for /Users/Larry
Uploading files that were modified during this session.
Scanned 1221.550 GB (500175 files)
Uploaded 972.1 MB
Backup session for /Users/Larry ended on September 9, 2018 at 11:07:27 PM PDT
 


I have been a CrashPlan customer for 5+ years. When I got the notice last year I decided to give Backblaze a try. It really did not work for me, I keep most of my data on external drives on a server; Backblaze really wants to back everything up. I also tried a restore and that crashed and burned.

So I went with the extra year of CrashPlan for the discounted price. I have about 9 months to decide what to do next. So, right now while I still have CrashPlan backing up my 1TB of data, I have been trying out Cyberduck attached to Microsoft OneDrive. I have an Office 365 subscription and get 1 TB of storage per user. Cyberduck has been working out well, except it's a manual process.
 


Duplicati is apparently an open-source backup project inspired by Duplicacy:
While this project looked promising, I discovered one very significant gotcha when trying to run it. It requires Microsoft's Mono framework, which includes so much irrelevant code that it takes up 1.1 GB of disk space. No thanks. It amazes me that developers of an open source project like Duplicati would consider this kind of bloat to be acceptable.
 


I have been a happy CrashPlan for Home user for many years, so, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to accept the forced upgrade to the Business version. I have three Macs, each backing up to CrashPlan's cloud plus a local hard drive. Two of my machines converted fine (though upgrading my main machine required me to prune the size of the backup archive from 1.1TB to under 1TB before conversion, which was a drag).

However, the third machine remains stuck backing up to the local hard drive. (The backup to the cloud went speedily.) Code42 support said "your local backup has been impacted by a known issue. This issue presents with the symptoms you've described and is specific to the local drive being hung during synchronization."

They told me this ten days ago but have not yet offered any resolution for the problem.

I am not happy about this. Until the problem is resolved, I have no local backup for this machine.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
However, the third machine remains stuck backing up to the local hard drive. (The backup to the cloud went speedily.) Code42 support said "your local backup has been impacted by a known issue. This issue presents with the symptoms you've described and is specific to the local drive being hung during synchronization."
They told me this ten days ago but have not yet offered any resolution for the problem.
I am not happy about this. Until the problem is resolved, I have no local backup for this machine.
Is there some reason you're not using Carbon Copy Cloner to do this?
 


Is there some reason you're not using Carbon Copy Cloner to do this?
I guess I could use CCC as a temporary measure, but I like how CrashPlan maintains archives of everything according to an easily chosen, flexible scheme, something that seems less complicated than CCC's approach to archiving. Also, I have an existing CrashPlan archive for many years of this machine and would prefer to keep it. Finally, the other two local and three cloud backups are all working fine, so I'd rather get this current problem resolved than scrap the whole existing setup and years of archives.
 


I let the backup proceed. The "preparing" stage took so long, I went to bed. When I checked, the backup had completed, and the "oldest backup" was what I expected, and no new sparsebundle was created. So, thanks for that. Whether there was a prompt to inherit the old backup, I have no idea.
However, is the backup ever slooooow, and there are lots of error messages in the High Sierra console. Again, google-fu tells me that Time Machine in High Sierra can be slow, especially from an APFS to HFS+ volume over WiFi. Definitely slower than my own MacBook Air, running El Capitan. I might just bite the bullet and start over with Time Machine.
To follow up on this, my friend told me they were getting an OS alert that Time Machine had not run for something like 200 days. The previous backup, before the descent into the rabbit hole, was only about a week old, so this made no sense. Also, the sparsebundle had a recent modification date.

I once again went into the "select disk" menu in the Time Machine Preferences, selected the same disk it was using. This brought up a password dialog, but I guess (at least) the Keychain had the password, so all I had to do was hit return.

After a long "preparing backup" period, Time Machine started but did not ask about inheriting any previous backup. The amount of data to backup was not unreasonable for an incremental snapshot. The backup did seem slow, so I went to bed.

The next morning Time Machine was still showing about 400MB left and an estimated time of 14 minutes. It stayed that way for an hour (progress bar did not budge). Gave up and disconnected the MacBook Air from power (so the backup stopped).

At this point, I am raising the white flag. I am going to delete the old backup and just start over. Apple engineers are awesome at making dancing, talking fecal emojis, but they can't seem to make their own key support software "just work".
 


Happy to report that CrashPlan released a new version this week that (eventually) fixed the problem reported below. The fix did not initially install correctly, so a senior Code42 support manager spent 30 minutes remotely diagnosing the problem; a complete reinstall did the trick.

So I'm a happy camper with CrashPlan again.
I have been a happy CrashPlan for Home user for many years, so, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to accept the forced upgrade to the Business version. I have three Macs, each backing up to CrashPlan's cloud plus a local hard drive. Two of my machines converted fine (though upgrading my main machine required me to prune the size of the backup archive from 1.1TB to under 1TB before conversion, which was a drag).

However, the third machine remains stuck backing up to the local hard drive. (The backup to the cloud went speedily.) Code42 support said "your local backup has been impacted by a known issue. This issue presents with the symptoms you've described and is specific to the local drive being hung during synchronization."

They told me this ten days ago but have not yet offered any resolution for the problem.

I am not happy about this. Until the problem is resolved, I have no local backup for this machine.
 


Two of my machines converted fine (though upgrading my main machine required me to prune the size of the backup archive from 1.1TB to under 1TB before conversion, which was a drag).
CrashPlan Home users take note: Code 42 just told me that the 1TB archive limit only applies to users who manually trigger a migration to the Small Business product.

If your CrashPlan for Home subscription expires after the October 23rd end-of-life date, then your subscription will automatically migrate on October 1st. "The 1TB limit does not apply to users who migrate automatically," sayeth Code 42, with that emphasis.

Maybe this means that migrations before the Oct. 1 date require Code 42 to copy all the data from the CrashPlan for Home data store to the Small Business databases. But on October 1st, they're just going to update all the remaining Home data in-place, to now be Small Business data.
 


I upgraded [CrashPlan] about 2 months ago. I had 1.2 TB of data, and it was quick and easy. Nothing to re-upload. So far, I been very happy with the new plan.
 


CrashPlan for Home did the auto-upgrade to CrashPlan for Small Business today.

The new app looks completely different, but as far as I can tell, it is functionally the same - aside from not supporting computer-to-computer backups, of course.

It still is a Java app. There are signs that the GUI is using the Electron framework, is that new?

The migration (if you can call it that; it is more like an in-place upgrade) did retain all of the same settings and backup sets that I had before. One difference, however, is where those settings are. You may search in vain for certain of the CrashPlan for Home settings, such as the file verification schedule and some of the more advanced backup set controls. The answer is that they're not in the client app anymore.

Remember, this is now CrashPlan for Small Business, which is a small-company version of the Enterprise product. The Enterprise product is designed so that an administrator can control what the clients do. The administrator can see all and control all in the cloud, and those settings are pushed down to the client devices. You are now that administrator. So when you are looking through the CrashPlan settings, be sure to visit the new cloud portal. From the CrashPlan app, go to Settings > General > Manage account on the web.
 


Code 42 is saying that its CrashPlan backup service will not back up files with personal data under macOS Mojave due to Apple's new privacy restrictions. According to Code 42, CrashPlan cannot back up some files from apps like Contacts, Photos, and Mail until you grant access full disk access to the Code42 app. They have provided instructions to do this by opening the Security and Privacy settings in Preferences, selecting "Full Disk Access", clicking the + icon in the right hand pane, and choosing Applications: CrashPlan. You then have to close Preferences and restart CrashPlan. Here is the link:
macOS Mojave not backing up files with personal data​
 


Code 42 is saying that its CrashPlan backup service will not back up files with personal data under macOS Mojave due to Apple's new privacy restrictions. According to Code 42, CrashPlan cannot back up some files from apps like Contacts, Photos, and Mail until you grant access full disk access to the Code42 app. They have provided instructions to do this by opening the Security and Privacy settings in Preferences, selecting "Full Disk Access", clicking the + icon in the right hand pane, and choosing Applications: CrashPlan. You then have to close Preferences and restart CrashPlan. Here is the link:
Got to do the same with Backblaze and Carbon Copy Cloner
 


According to Code 42, CrashPlan cannot back up some files from apps like Contacts, Photos, and Mail until you grant access full disk access to the Code42 app.
You have to do the same also for Mojave-compatible Retrospect versions 15.5 & 15.6. They have specific instructions of what to add to the Full Disk Access section of the Security & Privacy system preference panel.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
A MacInTouch reader forwarded this email he got about Prosoft Engineering eliminating their Data Backup app:
Prosoft Engineering said:
Dear Valued Customer,

This notice is to inform you that Prosoft engineering has discontinued Data Backup from further development. We have had many great years providing you with great software for your back up needs. That being said, there will be no further development of the software and no update/upgrade to macOS Mojave.

Our focus has changed to build a new superior and improved Drive Genius software for the years to come. We hope you stick by our side until we are ready to release these new version of Drive Genius.

What does this mean for current users?
Data Backup will still run on supported versions of macOS. However, there will be limited support for the software if any issues arise.
We look forward to the years to come!

- Your friends at Prosoft
 


I went into Time Machine today for the first time in many months (years?) to restore a file from my desktop from a week ago. Time Machine opened up as normal, but I found that using the "timeline" feature on the right side of the window, clicking on any date going back at least a year did not select that date. The main Time Machine windows did not scroll.

Additionally, clicking the "Now/Older" buttons just to the right of the Time Machine windows scrolled the windows all the way back to last September.

There appears to be no way to select "yesterday" or a day last week or last month.

Can't say I've heard of this problem before. Any way to fix it and retain the backup information that goes back to Spring of 2017?

FWIW: I have three spinning disks used for Time Machine backups; one goes back to August of last year, the other two go back to Spring of 2017. One disk is local (installed inside the Mac) and two are on the local network.

Mac Pro 4,1 (firmware updated to 5,1), running Mojave 10.14.3.
 


I went into Time Machine today for the first time in many months (years?) to restore a file from my desktop from a week ago. Time Machine opened up as normal, but I found that using the "timeline" feature on the right side of the window, clicking on any date going back at least a year did not select that date. The main Time Machine windows did not scroll.
I'm in a similar position (Time Machine on a spinning disk in a Mac Pro 5,1 neé 4,1) and I have occasionally seen something like this over the years. So far it's always cleared up either spontaneously or following a reboot.

I'm sure you already know that you can retrieve a particular file from a known date using the Finder, albeit without the convenience of the Time Machine interface. Just traipse through the files in Backups.backupd in your Time Machine partition and copy what you want to your desktop.
 



"Something" happened to a Mac OS Server hard drive (files 'disappeared') and Disk Utility said it couldn't repair it so to copy the files to another drive. I did that using ChronoSync, which reported that a few files couldn't be copied, I guess due to some kind of corruption. I reformatted the hard drive and, using a backup, copied the files back. So far, so good, but those few corrupt files are missing from the restoration. There are older versions but...

So I need to update my backup strategy. How can I mitigate against file corruption? I'm already using ChronoSync and 'archiving' previous versions when a file is changed. But here it was the latest (or only) version of a file that became corrupt. If this was caused by a fault with the hard drive directory would having another backup help? Or a RAID (which I know is not a backup!).

I'm already using an off-site solution but willing to consider a commercial cloud if that would help me. But I'd prefer to keep our files on our premises.

I've given up using Time Machine, because it’s a big pain. But if anyone wants to advise otherwise, I'll listen.

In the past I've used DiskWarrior but never upgraded, as it seemed to fall behind the changes in Mac OS. What other utilities should I have to keep an eye on my hard drives?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
"Something" happened to a Mac OS Server hard drive (files 'disappeared')...
I think your first order of business is checking the hard drive that lost the files - e.g. with DriveDX, SMART Utility or the like.

I would suggest adding a Time Machine backup to a new drive. (I like to do Time Machine backups via "Back Up Now" from its menubar item whenever I've completed a chunk of work.)

If it’s important data, SoftRAID and RAID1 could make sense, if you don’t need FileVault encryption, but you need to be sure your hard drives are good. (SoftRAID can ‘certify’/test and monitor SMART data too.)
 


KJM

I found GoodSync listed at BackBlaze and wondered if anyone here has been using it for backup or synchronization?
I am using the free version to sync my most important data on two Macs via a Thunderbolt cable. GoodSync is fast and has a clear user interface that shows what it is doing:
1. Analyzing which data have been changed, and
2. Synchronizing.

I recommend it.
 


"Something" happened to a Mac OS Server hard drive (files 'disappeared') and Disk Utility said it couldn't repair it so to copy the files to another drive ... So I need to update my backup strategy. How can I mitigate against file corruption? ...
Well, OpenZFS on OSX is purpose-built for this exact scenario (mitigation against file corruption), but there is a bit of a learning curve. Also, to get full benefit from ZFS it helps to have your hardware set up with redundancy, so that if one drive starts to go south you still have data on the other drive(s). This is easily done with a classic Mac Pro and its four SATA drive bays, but you can also buy a multi-drive enclosure from a company like OWC.

I run my home directory on my Mac Pro as a ZFS dataset, and I send snapshots to an OWC Elite Pro Dual enclosure via eSATA. If you set up your source computers (the ones being backed up) with ZFS, as well, you can send automated snapshots to your server, and it will take a tiny amount of time, because ZFS sends only the differences between the source and destination across the network. I routinely backup my 2TB home partition to the enclosure (both ZFS), and it takes about two minutes at most.

So, about that learning curve: ZFS is command-line only (at least for macOS). The command line structure is well thought-out, with sensible syntax like "zfs create / zfs destroy / zfs send / zfs receive," etc). But with a little launchd magic, you just get it set up once, and then everything is automated after that.

Allan Jude and Michael W. Lucas have also authored a pair of books on ZFS that are very helpful. Or you could set up a FreeNAS box to act as your backup destination and utilize ZFS with a management GUI that way.
 


I'd try disabling throttling of low-priority i/o:
Code:
sudo sysctl debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled=0
This lasts until you reboot or reenable with =1.
I was thinking the same thing. For those who aren't familiar with this throttling trick, it's been around for a while in the context of Time Machine backups, where it sometimes can make a huge difference in backup speed.
 


This week I had the 'pleasure' of arranging the replacement of my wife's MacBook Air with a refurbished MacBook Air from the Canadian Apple Store (retina screen, fingerprint power button, large trackpad and rose gold anodising. Don't blame me; she's her own boss.)

After a day of transferring from a disk with a current Carbon Copy Cloner clone, and a few tweaks like cancelling Microsoft Office on one machine and activating on the other, activating all sorts of family-sharing purchases from the Apple Store and so on, I came to the real problem: blasted Time Machine.

I merrily clicked on the blue button to inherit the backups from the last MacBook Air (upon which I had first switched off Time Machine, and then changed its name in the System Preferences/Sharing pane), but the new MacBook Air could not manage to begin to do a Time Machine backup. The disk was unavailable. I could mount it in the Finder, and supplied the proper password, but no backup.

OK, seen this before - let's get rid of the existing backup file and start anew. My Time Capsule has a 3TB disk, and half of it was taken up with backups from her old MacBook Air, so they had to go. I used the previously successful Terminal commands to compact the backup, but it was 'temporarily unavailable', and the script to remove the bands in a Time Machine backup also would not work.

I waited for her new MacBook Air to finish slowly downloading the macOS 10.14.4 update and then restarted the Time Capsule, at which point the
Bash:
sudo hdutil compact sparsebundleaddress
command worked, but the script I use to delete the bands in it still would not. That script, by the way, looks like this:
Code:
for i in {0..1000000}; do rm -rv /Volumes/timecapsulediskname\ Time\ Capsule/computername.sparsebundle/bands/$(printf "%x" $i); done
Terminal just reported that no such file or directory existed for every hexadecimal band in the sparsebundle, even after running for a few hours.

So, eventually, I used Airport Utility to erase the disk and started anew for both her new machine and my old one. With a combination of ethernet to Thunderbolt and then Thunderbolt to USB-C dongles, her first backup took about sixteen hours, but since I don't have multiple dongles of the same type, my first backup had to take place over wi-fi and took 24 hours. This sucks, but happens a couple of times a year when the Time Machine backups get corrupted and we all have to start again anyway.

Now I had I thought to avoid the risk of losing all Time Machine backups for my MacBook Pro by exploiting the ability to use more than one Time Machine disk and set up a second Time Machine disk for it - one that is attached to a network server in the house. But it isn't large enough for worthwhile backups for both machines.

Out came an old OWC QX2 four-disk array, which was retired, as it cannot be set to work in JBOD mode. I set it to span across the four disks and connected it to the server and shared it with the option to act as a Time Machine disk. Easy to make it work for her new MacBook Air as the second Time Machine target.

Then I got curious, since it is large, and since the 'Add or delete a disk' option still shows in my System Preferences > Time Machine pane - so I tried adding it to my Mac as a third Time Machine target, and it worked!

My MacBook Air now has a series of three Time Machine backups assigned to it when I understood only two were allowed. I'm not unhappy, as having Time Machine backups accessible in the normal way allows them to be copied and deleted easily instead of using the wretched voodoo required by a disk in a Time Capsule.

Is there a limit to how many Time Machine disks may be specified?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
My MacBook Air now has a series of three Time Machine backups assigned to it when I understood only two were allowed. I'm not unhappy, as having Time Machine backups accessible in the normal way allows them to be copied and deleted easily instead of using the wretched voodoo required by a disk in a Time Capsule. Is there a limit to how many Time Machine disks may be specified?
I don't know of a limit, and it looks like I have more than a dozen Time Machine backup volumes listed in Time Machine Preferences. Mine are rotated with only one or two online at a time. Time Machine/Notifications complain sometimes about not having access to offline volumes, but I just dismiss those notifications and proceed about my business.

I avoid Time Capsules and just use compact, bus-powered 2.5" drives or small SSDs (e.g. Samsung T5 or SanDIsk Extreme Portable SSD), connected via USB 3.

These backup drives each have separate Time Machine and Carbon Copy Cloner volumes that are each the size of my primary drive (SSD), which I keep about 30-40% empty.

I enable the Time Machine menubar item and use that to keep track of backups and manually initiate one whenever I've done a chunk of work. I also do frequent Carbon Copy Cloner backups (with SafetyNet enabled).

This all has been working pretty well. In addition, I do periodic Carbon Copy Cloner backups with Advanced Options > Find and Replace Corrupted Files to check for backup system integrity, and I certify any new drive using SoftRAID > Certify prior to putting it into backup rotation. (I recently discovered that SoftRAID can actually certify multiple drives at the same time.)
 


Code42 just "resent" a notification (which was never previously sent) saying that, with no prior warning, sometime this month they changed CrashPlan from Unlimited backup to "we're only backing up limited documents", just like the other backup services:
Code42 said:
The CrashPlan for Small Business Code42 app is intended to back up your business files (pictures, music, documents, etc.), not your operating system or applications. For this reason, we have always recommended you not include applications or other large files in your selection as they may not backup or restore correctly. In the past, we have allowed these files to be backed up despite this recommendation, however, in May 2019 we made some changes to our file exclusions and are now disallowing the backup of application directories, VM image files, and some backup file types.

You will likely see your file selection and backup archive size go down and benefit from faster restores, syncs, and backups.
Specifically, they are now excluding:
  • all files in both /Applications and ~/Applications
  • any .tib files, which means that it can corrupt backups of applications (e.g. Microsoft Office apps) even if they're located somewhere else.
  • all files used in virtual machines -- not just the virtual disks, but also the control files that define how the virtual machine is configured
  • any disk image that is in the form of a sparse image.
Note that they are not doing any kind of price reduction.

The disk image restriction is especially an issue. Let's say you create an encrypted disk image to store critical user documents with extra security, and you use a sparse image format. That's no longer backed up.

I'm in the one year period where CrashPlan for Small Business is discounted, due to the end of CrashPlan for Home. This policy change makes it certain that I won't be continuing with CrashPlan after the discount ends.

(FWIW, I'm switching to Arq, storing in Wasabi, even though Wasabi is less than honest about their pricing.)
 


This latest policy aside - and I don't like anything about it - I have been getting increasingly disgruntled with CrashPlan. I had the original plan and had 9 terabytes of data backed up. It took many months - lots of uptime on my Mac Pro and lots of electricity - much more time, I discovered, than it would take Backblaze to upload all of my stuff.

Okay, fine. It was finally uploaded - despite all kinds of strange issues where my files would seemingly disappear, then reappear, having to reinstall their app, etc. Then, they changed their business model and I had to go to a new plan. But, since I had over 5 TB of data, I had to upload everything from scratch. There was no way around this, and you can be sure I ascertained that. I decided to go for it, possibly because I can be a masochist.

Recently, it started showing that I had all those terabytes almost backed up but listed it at "zero" files. After much back and forth, after initially getting my support request classified as "moderate" and after the support person seemingly unsure of what I was really talking about, he finally asked me to deauthorize my machine for the weekend to "let it do its housekeeping." This is the last time. If I have to deal with any more BS from them after Monday, I"m canceling for good.
 


Re Crashplan... I left their service long ago, when my subscription ran out, and went to Backblaze and Arq. Backblaze is pretty reasonable. However, I still get weekly CrashPlan alarmist emails, telling me there are problems with my backup... and I can't stop them, because you have to be a current customer to stop the emails. I haven't trusted them since they "went enterprise", which invariably means smaller-than-1,000-employees customers don't matter at all.
 


Arq can back up to pretty much any storage service. I personally use Wasabi. Arq is a one-time $50 cost, and Wasabi costs me $4/month for 1 TB of backup space and "$0.04 per GB for egress charges". So far, it's worked out to $4.25/month. It's not too complicated to set up but it will take a little fiddling to get right. (If I ever have a problem w/Wasabi I can switch to one of the other storage solutions Arq supports.)
 


I use Arq and Backblaze B2. It costs me about $10/month for 1.6 TB of backup space, enforced by Arq's "Budget" feature that limits the total size of backup data. Arq allows you to choose how often it enforces the budget and recommends every 30 days, which is what I do. What I've discovered is that when it enforces the budget, it reads through the whole backup determining what to delete. In my case, this takes over a day (as evidenced in the log file), and during that time it does not do any incremental backups. So there's a risk of having unbackedup data during this time period.

I also have a daily local backup, and for me this once-a-month situation is acceptable. However, users of Arq should be aware of this if they use the budget enforcement feature.
 


I updated my 2011 Mac Mini over the weekend with a new 1TB SSD. To my surprise, I got hit by Dropbox's new 3-device limit for basic accounts. Apparently, any changes to the drive, OS, or even their app will negate the previous device link.

I currently have 9 linked devices, 7 of which I'll have to delete before I can re-link this Mac. The only other option is to upgrade to their Plus account for $99/yr. (1TB). However I need this primarily for file syncing (not backups), so this price is prohibitive.

I've been a Dropbox user since their inception and have amassed the maximum free storage in return for helping them acquire new customers. So much for loyalty. I just created a Sync account. Buh-bye, Dropbox.
 


I updated my 2011 Mac Mini over the weekend with a new 1TB SSD. To my surprise, I got hit by Dropbox's new 3-device limit for basic accounts. Apparently, any changes to the drive, OS, or even their app will negate the previous device link. I currently have 9 linked devices, 7 of which I'll have to delete before I can re-link this Mac. The only other option is to upgrade to their Plus account for $99/yr. (1TB). However I need this primarily for file syncing (not backups), so this price is prohibitive.
I've been a Dropbox user since their inception and have amassed the maximum free storage in return for helping them acquire new customers. So much for loyalty. I just created a Sync account. Buh-bye, Dropbox.
I had a the same experience when I replaced my iMac last month. I had 9 devices with Dropbox. I moved over to Google Drive and have been happy so far.
 


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