SuperDuper! Mac Backup

Even if your computer craps out, there’s no reason to lose your work. Rated five stars on VersionTracker,  SuperDuper! is the dead-simplest and most reliable backup program for Macintosh I know. With a click, it makes a fully bootable backup of your hard drive. If disaster strikes your data, or if someone steals your laptop, you can boot and restore from the cloned drive.

SuperDuper runs on Intel and Power PC Macs, and is compatible with Time Machine under Leopard. Download and use it forever for free, or buy for US $27.95 to unlock scheduling and Smart Update. (Smart Update copies only the data that has changed since your last backup, enabling you to backup your hard drive in minutes instead of hours. Which means you’ll actually get into the habit of running the backup program every day. Which means you’ll never lose your work. Best $27.95 you’ll ever spend.)

Update Jun 3, 2009

Ironically enough, this morning, a routine backup failed. SuperDuper immediately presented me with a simple “report the problem” form that included a log of everything that had happened on my system. I filled out the form and hit SEND. Within 30 minutes, I had an email from Shirt Pocket Support diagnosing the problem:

It looks like your destination volume failed during the backup. Here’s some stuff from your system log that shows the error in progress: [etc.]

There were also simple instructions on how to test (and possibly fix) my backup drive.

There was even a note about some scripting additions carried over via migration that were likely no longer working on my Intel Mac.

This is unbelievable service.

To anyone who thinks this is a paid ad, don’t be silly (or insulting). I really love this product and this company. You will, too.

[tags]superduper, backup, program, mac, macintosh, osx, os x, apple[/tags]

38 thoughts on “SuperDuper! Mac Backup

  1. I’ve been using SuperDuper! since Mac OS X Tiger and the smart update feature is really great. Backups are scheduled at night and I don’t have to worry about a thing.

  2. I only discovered SuperDuper! a few months ago, and it is fabulous — especially because I’m still running X.4, which does not include Time Machine.

  3. … or simply use Carbon Copy Cloner which has roughly the same feature set for free (or a suggested donation of $10) …

  4. In addition, support for SuperDuper can’t be beat. I’ve pinged Dave (the developer) several times and have received answers within the hour, if not sooner. I bought SD before learning about CCC, but I’d buy it again for its ease and accessible support. Great product.

    That said, I’ll be putting it to the money test shortly. My hard drive crashed this weekend. Here’s hoping that my backup is as good (and bootable) as everyone says. :-)

  5. @Rob,

    Hoping for the best with your backup. :)

    It’s a good idea to boot from your backup every once in awhile to make sure it is working correctly. If it isn’t, then do a full backup rather than the smart backup and things should work fine again.

    I’ve been a happy customer since I learned the hard way and lost about a thousand pictures in a hard drive failure a couple years ago. I still feel that pain when I look through my pictures and see the 2 month void…

  6. As a former user of Carbon Copy Cloner and Retrospect, all I can say is, try SuperDuper. It has richer features and is faster than Carbon Copy Cloner, and the ease of use of pudding.

  7. Also been using SuperDuper for years, less so now with TimeMachine, but it’s great for a second backup. Also handy for things like reinstalling Leopard on a MacBook Air from a USB key instead of over the air (to dup the DVD).

  8. I’ll add my $0.02 for how awesome SuperDuper is. We use it (most of us anyway) at our office and it has come as handy as TimeMachine more than once.

    We use SuperSuper to keep a daily snapshot of our drive(s) as bootable escape hatches. When your machine dies and clients are still banging on the door it is awesome.

    We use TimeMachine for those, “shit. I think I just deleted my working directory X.”

  9. SuperDuper! saved me just this weekend. Our server’s main drive died on Sat/Sun, but SD! scheduled backup on Friday made sure we still had everything. Change startup disk, order replacement drive, and off to the races.

  10. SuperDuper! is simply awesome. I’m backing up 70 GB of data in less than 7 minutes thanks to its Smart Update feature. Always all your data safe. Computer crashed? Hook up your cloned drive to another Mac and you can continue to work.

    I did this once with a dead MacBook Pro: I just hooked up the SuperDuper clone to my Mac Mini and booted it. I was just able to continue to work, instantly.

    Also, support is more than awesome. If you’ve had awesome support before, Dave redefines “awesome support”. As Rob Wilkerson indicated, he usually responds within the hour, or faster. Even when you’ve got problems not related to his software, which was in my case a bad external hard drive, he’s glad to help you out.
    He helped me so much and with so much pleasure, that I told him I wouldn’t mind paying per year instead of per major version. After all, I paid for the app almost more than 3 years ago. He wouldn’t have it.

    Another offer of mine:

    P.S.: Is there a “I want to buy Dave Nanian a beer!” donation fund? I’ve had my license for almost 3 years and got support at least 3 times. I’d like to support you better, because you make it possible for me to work without worrying about losing my work :)

    was countered by him as follows:

    No need, but if you’ll continue to encourage your Belgian compatriots to brew more fine Belgian Ales, I’ll keep drinking them! (In fact, I have quite a few Trappistes Rochefort 6, 8 and 10s stocked here!)

  11. If you have the disk space, SuperDuper! + Time Machine (on separate partitions or disks) is a great combination because SD gives you a bootable clone, and Time Machine lets you go back in time to cherry-pick an old version of your work when Something Bad happens (like you erased a file, accidentally saved over it, or some buggy software hosed the file). Both do one valuable thing the other doesn’t.

  12. I’ve been using Super Duper for about three years and I love it. When my HD dies, I can boot from the Super Duper backup and I am back to work in minutes. Time Machine can’t do that for you. Like Isaac Csandl said above, they are complimentary tools, not competitors.

  13. When my HD dies, I can boot from the Super Duper backup

    Haha, when your HD dies. Apparently you’ve grown to accept the fact that it will die. While regularly backing up your data is a fine idea, don’t you think it makes sense to look at the big picture and realize that you paid $2,000 for brittle, inferior hardware? Good thing there’s not an app to cure ignorance or Apple would go out of business!

  14. My Macbooks harddrive has failed twice!

    The first time it died completely (mechanical failure) and i swapped it out with a blazing fast 320GB one with 7200 RPM. This was a very nice upgrade, and greatly improved my saving times with files in the 50-200 mb range.

    The second time it didn’t completely die, but i needed to format it.

    Now here comes the significant part: Both times Time Machine saved me. I have absolutely no regrets using Time Machine, and getting my data from the backups has been extremely easy. Also, having 40 old backups is extremely confident when you suddenly realize that you deleted something 1 year ago that you are in desperate need of ;)

  15. I’m somewhat obsessive about backups, and I’ve been using SuperDuper! for years. I absolutely love it. In case of catastrophic drive failure I keep two bootable SuperDuper! backups on two separate external drives, and for lightweight file recovery I maintain a TimeMachine backup on a third drive.

  16. Haha, when your HD dies. Apparently you’ve grown to accept the fact that it will die. While regularly backing up your data is a fine idea, don’t you think it makes sense to look at the big picture and realize that you paid $2,000 for brittle, inferior hardware? Good thing there’s not an app to cure ignorance or Apple would go out of business!

    You realize that all computers use the same hard drives, and that all hard drives eventually will fail regardless of operating system, right? Of course you do.

  17. Have used SD for years. I had a Macbook whose hard drive failed 3 times (it is gone now)… but using SD I was up and running with yesterday’s data in about 2 hours. I have also used it on my home desktop to upgrade my hard drive to a roomier one, also 2 hours.

    Having lost *all* my data in the past, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

  18. @Josh Stodola

    Ha! All hard drives dies eventually. I haven’t paid $2,000 for a hard drive in well, ever. (Though I sure people have in the past.) Also, Apple doesn’t make hard drives.

    @Zeldman Update = awesome.

  19. I’ve been using SuperDuper for a while now. It’s seriously good software. When software is this easy you will backup. If you own a Mac you should own a copy of SuperDuper. It’s that good.

    I don’t own shares or have any other connection to Shirt Pocket. So I can rant with a clean conscience.

  20. I think SuperDuper customer support is the best I’ve encountered. I usually get an email answer within 30 minutes.

  21. @Peter Mahnke:

    You realize that all computers use the same hard drives, and that all hard drives eventually will fail regardless of operating system, right?

    All computers use the same hard drives? Wow. Incredible statement. And the operating system has nothing to do with the longevity of the hard drive? Yeah, I suppose the architecture of the file system that your OS uses has nothing to do with the efficiency of the drive. You, sir, are the iconic Mac user.


    Regardless of my position on Mac, it is apparent by the comments here that the SuperDuper! product has significant user-friendliness and the company that produces it clearly has prestine customer service (hence this post). I apologize for taking the commentary down the wrong path!

  22. I use Super Duper also. It is, as the product name implies, super. And as Jeff mentioned above, support is excellent.

  23. I stopped using Macs in the last days of OS 9 (Now I use Linux exclusively). Reading more and more of this kind of posts has made me think about going back to Mac OS. Oh well… that… and the Air.


  24. I am contemplating this software but I have questions first. I am a newbie OSX convert from PC. I am looking for a backup solution that will not ‘fill the entire hard drive up’ I am wondering if this software allows you to set, say 30 days of backups and then overwrites the first one. Thus I am assured that I have 30 days of backups. Will this software do this? I tried TM which does seem to fill your hard drive up. and I’ve tried CCC, which is dreadfully slow.
    I have a 1TB eternal drive 7200rpm USB that I want to backup my MPC. Thanks! Rick

  25. Can someone help with this:

    I partitioned my 1T external drive, allocating 200 GB for a bootable Super Duper backup. I was happily using the Backup All Files command with the Smart Update option for a several months to make ongoing bootable backups of my entire 17″ Macbook Pro (whose hard drive size is reported in System Profiler as 186.31 GB capacity with just 14.15 GB still available). The problem is that now when I run this same Super Duper backup I get a message that there is not enough room on the external drive partition.

    Why is this happening? I was under the impression that Smart Update does not save files I’ve changed or deleted on the computer, but just replicates what is currently on the computer.

    How big should the partition be if I start over with a new external drive?

    Do you know any way to re-partition the existing external drive to add some room for the backup without losing the data on the external drive?

    Anyone know how I can contact Dave Nanian?

  26. With no doubt in my mind, SuperDuper, is the finest, most efficient, and user friendly backup software I’ve ever used.

    To me, one of its outstanding features is the ability to boot from an external disk drive, if necessary.

    I strongly recommend it for Mac users.

    No, I don’t work for SuperDuper. I just like the application.

    Stan Kossen

  27. This is almost the exact same thing that happened to me when I began using SD for the first time, save for one minor difference: I hadn’t actually *paid* for SD yet, and all the same, I got an email back from Dave Nanian within hours of my error submission.
    I was a poor student at the time [and still am, mostly] but how can you not buy a licence after an experience like that?

    $35 CDN is nothing. A night at the bar with buddies, an evening with my partner.

    Worth at least 10 times that amount on the occasion that your drive finally fails.

  28. Sorry, but cloning != backup.

    It provides only minimal protection from user stupidity, unlike a real backup (e.g. Timemachine – yay!).

  29. I just discovered that Super Duper does not automatically save my address book! I have to manually save the ~/library/Application Support/Address Book folder. Discovered when Tiger erased all my addresses and phone numbers for reasons unknown. When I tried to recover just that folder – it was not in my backed up files.

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