I always feel compelled to share about Carbon Copy Cloner as if I owe the world at large a public service announcement every time this software saves me from failed drives, incompatible updates or just plain old user error.
Short Version: Backup for Mac
1.Need a backup for Mac solution? I recommend buying an extra hard drive and Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) if you own a mac.
2. Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) provides a complete "bootable" backup solution for your hard drive.
3. Complete bootable backup means if you ever have any issues with your primary hard drive you can point to your bootable backup and be up and running within minutes instead of hours.
4. If you have no other backup strategy, I highly recommend CCC as your primary safeguard. However, this is a bare minimum strategy and such technologies such as Apple Time Machine and offsite backups in addition to CCC create a sufficiently robust backup and recovery solution.
My current Mac Pro is a mid-2010 with eight different hard drives in a rather odd (or maybe complex) configuration. This complexity, the sheer number of moving parts and now with the age of my computer I run into various types of problems. One problem familiar to most people is when an update to your laptop renders your computer useless or when your hard drive fails. With Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) you can schedule a periodic backup of your entire hard disk (HD) that creates a mirror image of your laptop that is also bootable. The bootable backup translates into you being up and running within seconds. By setting up a nightly process, you can almost eliminate any downtime or loss of data.
My personal setup may be a bit extreme, but setting up CCC could not be any easier. The user interface is very simple and user-friendly. To create a backup for mac simply select your source, your destination, and frequency. CCC offers all sorts of other options, but the basic functionality is very straightforward.
To date after a restore, I may have to provide a license key or on the infrequent occasion re-install an individual application.
Having a bootable backup is only one part of a robust backup and recovery strategy. However, scheduled bootable backups might be the best minimalist approach to minimize downtime and loss of data. For a more robust backup and recovery strategy, I recommend making sure you have system backs off-site and/or in the cloud too!
Check out the resource pages to learn more about other applications.