Backup Buddy FAQ

Q: Does Backup Buddy support network volumes (Time Capsule, shared volumes from other Macs, PC network shares, etc.)?

A: Backup Buddy can use as source and/or destination any volume that is mounted on the computer (i.e. any volume that’s visible in the Finder’s sidebar). The basic rule is, as long as the Finder can see it, Backup Buddy can use it.

 

Q: What happens if the source or the destination volume(s) are not mounted (i.e. not visible in the Finder)?

A: Backup Buddy will not be able to execute the backup until both the source and destination volumes are available.

 

Q: Can’t Backup Buddy automatically mount network volumes when needed?

A: Apple’s sandboxing rules do not allow this. You have to make sure your network volumes are mounted for backup Buddy to work.

 

Q: Can I use an external USB drive with Backup Buddy?

A: Yes, as long as it is formatted in Mac OS Extended format. If your drive is formatted as NTFS (Windows format) Backup Buddy can only use it as a destination if

  • (a) you have installed third-party software such as Tuxera NTFS which makes it writable on Mac OS X or
  • (b) it is mounted as a network share from a PC.

 

Q: What kind of disk formats does Backup Buddy support?

A: Backup Buddy fully supports Mac-formatted volumes (Mac OS Extended HFS+ format). It can also support Windows (NTFS) and UNIX volumes if they are mounted on the Finder through the network (SMB shares). However, for these volumes you can only choose Disk Image as the destination type. FAT32 volumes are not supported for storing backups, because FAT32 has several technical restrictions.

 

Q: Does Backup Buddy support cloud storage services such as DropBox?

A: Yes, as long as these services are visible as volumes or folders in the Finder. Note that depending on the service, only the Disk Image destination type might be usable.

 

Q: What happens when the destination is full?

A: When the backup volume is full, Backup Buddy will notify you. You then have the option of letting Backup Buddy decide automatically how many previous backups must be deleted to fit in the new backup, or doing it manually from the Finder.

 

Q: The disk image size is reported as X when I mount it, but I expected it to be much less!

A: Backup Buddy uses sparse disk images, which change size dynamically. This means that the size you see when you mount it is not ‘real’ space but virtual space.

  • If you have selected a disk image with unlimited size, the total volume size and free space reported for the image are not relevant.
  • If you’ve selected a disk image with a size limit, then the total size of the volume will more or less reflect the limit you selected.

In both cases, the real size of the disk image cannot be determined from there. You have to look at the disk image file, not the disk image volume, to see the ‘real’ size of the disk image.

 

Q: I get some “permissions” errors. Why?

A: Because of Apple’s sandboxing guidelines, neither Backup Buddy or any other backup application offered within the App Store after June 1st 2012 is allowed to access System folders (such as System, Library, Applications, etc.) if you try to add files that are considered out of bounds by Apple to Backup Buddy, you will get this error.

 

Q: Can I use Backup Buddy to backup my OS and apps?

A: Please note that because of Apple’s sandboxing guidelines, neither Backup Buddy or any other backup application offered within the App Store after June 1st 2012 can access the System and Applications folders. If you want to backup your System and Applications, you have to either use Time Machine, or another third-party backup application sold outside the App Store.

 

Q: What are Apple’s sandboxing guidelines?

A: Apple’s sandboxing policy is meant restrict the access an application has on the rest of the system, in order to protect your computer from malware. This is not a big issue with most apps, but backup apps by their very nature need to have access everywhere. Apple has not provided a solution as yet. Developers are left with two stark choices: either follow Apple’s guidelines, or sell their applications outside of the App Store. So if you want to backup your System and Applications, you have to either use Apple’s Time Machine, or another third-party backup application sold outside the App Store.

 

Q: What happens if my Mac is turned off or in sleep mode when the backup schedule is meant to execute?

A: The backup will not be executed until your computer (and Backup Buddy) are activated.

 

Q: When a schedule is missed (e.g. Mac turned off), will Backup Buddy run a backup the next time Ι start my mac or will it wait until the next backup schedule?

A: When it’s launched, Backup Buddy will execute the missed scheduled backup immediately.

 

Q: Can’t Backup Buddy launch itself when a schedule is due?

A: Apple’s sandboxing guidelines do not allow Apps to launch themselves without user intervention. There are some workarounds to this which are discussed in the user manual.

 

Q: In version 1.0 I can’t access the Preferences. The menu item is always grey.

A: Currently, Backup Buddy has no preferences. We left the menu item to accommodate future versions.

 

Q: How BackupBuddy performs in the BackupBouncer test?

A: Backup Buddy uses rsync, so it preserves all of the HFS+ metadata that rsync supports, apart from extended attributes, for OS X Lion and OS X Snow Leopard, and group ownership, just for OS X Snow Leopard. We had to remove these because of limitations in the versions of rsync on these operating systems.

 

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