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Big Sur - Bootable backups not fully supported by CCC


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I've always tended to have 2 backups of my Mac stuff. A Time Machine (TM) backup, and a bootable Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) backup. I'm considering updating to Big Sur, but notice that  Bootable backups are no longer recommended with Big Sur, and in particular with M1 Macs, and CCC 6 no longer makes bootable backups by default. This article from CCC gives more details.

https://bombich.com/kb/ccc6/cloning-macos-system-volumes-apple-software-restore

 

Although slightly more complex, I'm quite happy to recover a system (if needed) by installing a fresh copy of macOS from a bootable installer disk - created as per https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201372)  and then restore my data and settings (if also needed) from my TM backup, or a non-bootable CCC clone using the migration assistant

 

I'm a firm believer in having 2 backups so this leads me to a question - Which to use?

 

  • 1 x TM backup (on site) + 1 x TM backup (off-site)

or

  • 1 x TM backup (on site) + 1 x CCC (off-site)

 

I suppose I lean toward the second option. Two backups using differing technologies seems more fault tolerant? Also CCC backups are more accessible on other systems (Linux, Windows) than TM "bundles".

 

Mark

 

Edited by M.Chapman
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I'd opt for the second, having had an issue trying to restore from TM in the past. I'm a fan of CCC and maybe they'll find a fix for the boot issue in time. I believe they have in the past. 

 

 

Edited by Marianne
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I'd opt for the second, as you then have the combination of the two different backup solutions.

 

I use TM to back up my Mac, but when I got my current one I restored my TM backup from the last one and it completely failed to carry over any of the settings, which was not fun. Thankfully TM is a reliable way to back your files up and even if the restore process fails you can just copy the files across the discs manually, but as a migration solution TM didn't/doesn't fill me with confidence.

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36 minutes ago, Marianne said:

I'm a fan of CCC and maybe they'll find a fix for the boot issue in time. I believe they have in the past. 

Reading the article though it looks like that isn't the direction of travel. If the Mac OS system part is "sealed" and all the user's data and customisation settings are stored separately on a separate volume and there's an Apple trend towards non-removable storage, then an "all in one" bootable clone perhaps becomes less sensible?

 

Mark

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Cal said:

TM didn't/doesn't fill me with confidence.

I find TM very convenient, but share your concerns. When a TM backup goes wrong, it seems harder to recover anything useful. I've had TM corruption once (even though I use a direct ethernet connection not Wi-Fi) which seemed to make it completely unreadable. Luckily I didn't need the old files, so just started it afresh. But it was concerning. 

 

Mark

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24 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

Reading the article though it looks like that isn't the direction of travel. If the Mac OS system part is "sealed" and all the user's data and customisation settings are stored separately on a separate volume and there's an Apple trend towards non-removable storage, then an "all in one" bootable clone perhaps becomes less sensible?

 

Mark

 

I believe that if any of the new M1 based Mac's suffer from failed storage, you cannot boot from an external HD/SSD until the logic board is replaced.

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23 minutes ago, sb photos said:

 

I believe that if any of the new M1 based Mac's suffer from failed storage, you cannot boot from an external HD/SSD until the logic board is replaced.

Steve where did you get that info? It is strange as the only thing that can be replaced is the storage. 

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8 minutes ago, MDM said:

Steve where did you get that info? It is strange as the only thing that can be replaced is the storage. 

It says it in the article by Bombich

 

https://bombich.com/kb/ccc6/cloning-macos-system-volumes-apple-software-restore

"Apple Silicon Macs will not boot at all if the internal storage fails. An external bootable device will not serve as a rescue disk for that scenario"

 

Presumably they will boot from an external disk once the internal storage has been fixed?

 

Mark

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7 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

It says it in the article by Bombich

 

https://bombich.com/kb/ccc6/cloning-macos-system-volumes-apple-software-restore

"Apple Silicon Macs will not boot at all if the internal storage fails. An external bootable device will not serve as a rescue disk for that scenario"

 

Presumably they will boot from an external disk once the internal storage has been fixed?

 

Mark

Hopefully that is the case. If Steve is correct a disk failure would be disastrous and extremely expensive. 
 

I only back up my data. My system is minimal and I would prefer a clean install if I have serious problems-very rare. My data resides on external drives. 

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Just done a bit of reading and realise I was wrong about the storage being replaceable on M1 Macs. I was thinking about easily replaceable - it Is soldered to the logic board so apparently can be done but not by ordinary geeks it seems. However, this link describe how things may not be as bad as they seem.

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7 hours ago, MDM said:

Just done a bit of reading and realise I was wrong about the storage being replaceable on M1 Macs. I was thinking about easily replaceable - it Is soldered to the logic board so apparently can be done but not by ordinary geeks it seems. However, this link describe how things may not be as bad as they seem.

 

There has been a move since 2015 to integrate Apple computers storage into the logic board. First was the 2015 12" Retina MacBook, followed by the 2016 and 2017 models. I've seen a fair few of the 2015 models (now a vintage product) with failed storage. They can take an extended time to display the image of the usual flashing folder. Removable SSD's in the older MacBook Airs have also had issues, but now technology has moved on. Most MBP's since 2016 have integrated storage. Some 13" models had a new type of SSD though.  I can only recollect seeing 1 or 2 2016 13" models with failed integrated storage. Yes, they are still very reliable. Since the M1 Mac's have been released I have only seen 2 for repair, both logic board issues. That is good. Long ago I used to work in defence electronics, and even then electronics built to defence standards would fail, I used to repair failures when returned. 

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1 hour ago, sb photos said:

 

There has been a move since 2015 to integrate Apple computers storage into the logic board. First was the 2015 12" Retina MacBook, followed by the 2016 and 2017 models. I've seen a fair few of the 2015 models (now a vintage product) with failed storage. They can take an extended time to display the image of the usual flashing folder. Removable SSD's in the older MacBook Airs have also had issues, but now technology has moved on. Most MBP's since 2016 have integrated storage. Some 13" models had a new type of SSD though.  I can only recollect seeing 1 or 2 2016 13" models with failed integrated storage. Yes, they are still very reliable. Since the M1 Mac's have been released I have only seen 2 for repair, both logic board issues. That is good. Long ago I used to work in defence electronics, and even then electronics built to defence standards would fail, I used to repair failures when returned. 

 

Great info thanks Steve. I wonder if Apple will do the same for the professional silicon Macs when they arrive. 

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21 hours ago, MDM said:

Just done a bit of reading and realise I was wrong about the storage being replaceable on M1 Macs. I was thinking about easily replaceable - it Is soldered to the logic board so apparently can be done but not by ordinary geeks it seems. However, this link describe how things may not be as bad as they seem.

Thanks for the link - interesting reading.

 

Mark

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