Chronosync replacement (potentially) needed

I’ve had issues with my M1 mini for the last 18 months, with frequent crashes that left it unusable until I ran fsck in disk util in recovery mode.
I finally narrowed it down to one particular Chronosync backup task, which backed up my 170GB Pictures folder to my server under the house. Every time it ran, it crashed the Mac. Throwing away that task and rebuilding it from scratch did not improve the situation. I’ve been in contact with Chronosync support for about a week, but no progress on them reproducing the issue.

Any thoughts on what a good replacement should be? I don’t need a full system backup via Carbon Copy Cloner; I need to sync a number of folders either (twice) daily or when an external drive mounts. I know about rsync and rsyncUI, so that may be an option. Any other suggestions?

My best advice is look no further, as “rsync” is probably what you want to use.

Edit: as suggested by @JohnAtl below, the issue might be a combination of macOS, hardware, and the network file sharing protocol, independent of the sync software. I’ll be interested to hear how this shakes out for you.

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Although not top billing, Carbon Copy Cloner can do local folder to folder on a target system/disk backups.

Since I’m already doing some typical backups with CCC, it was easy to create some additional tasks to only backup specific folders from one system to a remote folder/drive.

I like it because it works well across a network and if you pause it, or otherwise interrupt the copy, it will resume where it left off unlike a finder or commandline copy task.

rsync and other traditional tools are certainly an option, but I tend to prefer GUI tools to keep the cognitive load of learning more commandline syntax to a minimum.

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I also use Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC), but the op @veit didn’t want that. I use Chronosync, CCC, and rsync. Yes, too many, but that’s evolution for you. :wink:

Is the destination an SMB share?
It seems the SMB kernel extension has caused kernel panics in the past.

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I’ve always used rsync and Chronosync interchangeably and never had a problem with either. I suspect the problem might be something other than CS. If so you might have the same problem with another program.

I’d probably run a test copy using rsync before purchasing anything else.

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I’m also curious if this is a Photos folder, or a folder of photos. And whether this is the Mac AppStore version of Chronosync, or the website version.

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To follow up on @WayneG 's comment, do you have a spare drive available to test with? If so I suggest trying the Chronosync job with that drive. Success or failure of such a test would indicate the path for further trouble shooting.

I have Chronosync running on my Mac Studio, syncing two drives of photographs to two backup drives every morning. And have not experienced any issues. This implies, but does not prove, the issue is with your configuration (as you’ve no doubt already surmised).

My configuration is one of local drives attached to the Studio, of image files stored in folders (I’m not using the Photos app), the non-app store version of Chronosync, on macOS 12.6.1.

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Thanks to everybody that replied.
Chronosync sent me a beta version with an update this morning and that fixed the issue. No more crashes as of right now when backing up the Pictures folder.
Assuming this fix works, I will stay with Chronosync. It’s the first software I bought when I switched to the Mac 15 years ago, so I certainly have a soft spot for them in my heart.

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So glad to hear that you had a good result and that their support was helpful!

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Update on the root cause - from Chronosync’s support email:

Looks like mounting my server drives using AFP rather than SMB should take care of this issue until Chronosync issues a new release.
I really appreciate their support on getting this resolved!

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Am I the only that finds it funny that Chronosync is linking to CCC for known issues

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I chuckled, too :smirk:

I have much respect for that gesture by Chronosync People.

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Turns out that your assessment was correct. It is related to the SMB kernel extension panic bug. Chronosync is getting a workaround ready.

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SMB on Apple products is a dumpster fire.

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