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For many computer users, backing up your information should not be something to forget. It’s actually something many people are fairly lazy about or they just don’t think that they will lose their data. Thankfully, when Apple released Mac OS X Leopard, they included Time Machine, which backs up your files automatically. I stopped using Time Machine because it was taking up too much disk space on my external hard drive due to the way it was made to work. It backs up files that were changed, but it still for some odd reason, does not do it right. Carbon Copy Cloner, on the other hand, works like a charm. The first time you use it, it makes a complete copy/clone of your Macintosh HD. Then whenever your next backup is scheduled it backs up only files that have been modified. Carbon Copy Cloner also comes in handy when your Macintosh HD won’t boot up because it creates FireWire-bootable backups. I’m just going to share a few tips on using the application and why it’s a must for any user.

  1. First, download Carbon Copy Cloner.
  2. Once you open up Carbon Copy Cloner, select Macintosh HD under Source Disk.
  3. Connect your external hard drive (backup drive) and select it under Target Disk.
  4. Under the Cloning Options menu, choose “Incremental backup of selected items”.
  5. Check “Delete items that don’t exist on the source” if you want the same files on both disks at all times.
  6. Check “Archive modified and deleted items” if you want the same files on both disks, but want to archive deleted files.
  7. Click the “Save Task” button on the bottom to save these backup settings.
  8. Now, you just need to set a time to run the backup. I prefer to run mine on a daily basis. Save any changes you make when you’re done.
  9. If you are using a FireWire external hard-drive, hold down Option when you boot up your Mac and you will be able to run Mac OS X from the drive.
  10. If you plan on using this app, consider making a donation to Mike Bombich (for developing it as freeware).
  11. Just got to the Help menu in Carbon Copy Cloner and select “Donate to Bombich Software”.
  12. In the window that appears, choose a method of payment as well as how much you want to donate.
  13. Then click “I Paid” to remove the banner/ads from Carbon Copy Cloner (which would appear during backups otherwise).

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