499: Backups and Updates

Do you know the 3-2-1 rule?


I will after tomorrow. I’ve been waiting for this episode for a week. I’m in need of a new plan because my Crashplan option is going away in a month.


Yes, and now you’re making me hungry.


1 additional tip for the upgrade to Catalina:
download the Mojave installer and keep it somewhere safe.


Good episode. A couple of thoughts:

  1. I became obsessive about backups when I experienced the Zip disk click of death and lost a lot of important files.
  2. I have Omnifocus tasks that repeat every three years for all of my backup hard drives. That’s when I buy new ones and retire the old ones.
  3. Every external hard drive I own has two labels, one for what it is (e.g. iMac clone) and the date it went into service. When I retire the drive, I put a new label over the old date that gives the retirement date.
  4. I have a repeating OF task reminding me to attach the clone drive to my wife’s MacBook Air every few weeks. Carbon Copy Cloner takes care of the clone when it sees the attached drive.

I recommend Time Machine and Backblaze all the time for people who need/want a simple reliable backup system.

However, for those that need to backup external drives, network attached storage, etc. and keep everything, I recommend Arqbackup. If you choose, every version of every file remains in your backup forever. Even if that file is on a drive that hasn’t been attached to your Mac in years.


How do you guys deal with “retired” HDDs used on Time Machine Backups?

Is there a way to move the “archive” to the new drive or do you just start a new TM backup on the new disk?

Apple describes the procedure here:



My only complaint is that even when I have a TM backup, when it is time to use it the process never really goes smoothly.

David mentioned these 5TB Seagate drives a few times, but I didn’t see them in the show notes. I went to his Studio page and then followed the link to the current version of the drive that comes in a few colors:

Great episode!! I use iCloud and was thinking of going with a family plan for my wife and I, has anyone had issues with that? With the different accounts getting mixed up? Also does anyone back up there photos to a Seagate drive, just by doing it from the iPhone , not using a computer ?

Excellent episode. Time for me to stop relying on iCloud Drive for my “backup” (*cough*) and purchase Backblaze. Although, does anyone know of an alternative that does forever-lasting cloud backup? Backblaze only does 30 days - which is actually the same as Dropbox (which is why I ditched Backblaze - but iCloud Drive doesn’t keep file versions at all!)

I’ve had no issues. The way it works is that you share the ‘space allocation’ on iCloud—i.e. if you purchase 200GB, then all the files/photos/backups in your family get stored in that allotment. It doesn’t (currently) allow you to merge photo libraries or share iCloud folders.

I think it was mentioned that ARQ cloud and Backblaze both cost ~$6 per month, the limitation of ARQ being that it only allows 1TB, and BackBlaze gives unlimited space. However, I just looked on the ARQ website, and it says it allows ‘unlimited computers’ within that 1TB limit (each further TB costs another $5.99). So could it work out cheaper for some people with lower data requirements, or do you hit the 1TB cap pretty quickly?

I backup using Arq to B2 which is Backblaze but for business (I think that’s what it’s for). It allows more then 1TB to backup.

Interesting. I have two macs, and I could possibly even squeeze my moms in without her knowing it - she’s horrible about security, backups, password and all sorts of sane things humans should do.

Check out Arq Cloud Backup

I’ m not really feeling a burning desire to upgrade to Catalina. I’ll probably wait a couple of weeks, if not months (unless a Catalyst app that I absolutely need comes out).

iPadOS 13, on the other hand, is going to be a day 1 upgrade for me. It should solve a couple of real pain points for me and it’s taken all my willpower not to install the beta. No way I’m going to be able to hold out after the release. :wink:

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The Backblaze newsletter today had a link that talked about backups and the 3-2-1 rule.
Here is the link.

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