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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Reminder-Carrying Back-ups
Margaret Bowles, Photographer
Tampa | FL | | Posted: 1:10 PM on 10.12.11
->> I know there have been previous threads on this because I started one a couple of years ago when my computer hard drive crashed while on an assignment with a deadline. I asked on this board whether people carried a back-up computer with them. My MacBook Pro hard drive crashed yesterday and has to be replaced, so I want to remind everyone to be prepared for the worst at all times if you are on assignment. I shudder to think of the consequences had my Mac crashed during a Bucs game. Truthfully, I had gotten a bit complacent since my Mac was only two years old. I guess age has nothing to do with it. You always think-it won't happen to me; but it does.
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Dennis Wierzbicki, Photographer
Plainfield | IL | USA | Posted: 1:55 PM on 10.12.11
->> Good advice, Margaret. I have a bootable SD card I keep with me at all times which allows me to boot up my MacBook Pro via the built-in SD card slot if anything goes awry. MBP's have had this SD slot for a couple years, at least.

Now that you have me thinking...I wonder if it would be possible to load Photoshop and Photo Mechanic on the SD card and be able to at least edit and transmit? Would be a LOT easier and a LOT cheaper than having a back-up laptop.

I'll look into this.
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Dennis Wierzbicki, Photographer
Plainfield | IL | USA | Posted: 1:57 PM on 10.12.11
->> Here are some instructions on how to make a bootable SD card:

http://www.maclife.com/article/howtos/build_bootable_rescue_sd_card_your_ma...
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 2:37 PM on 10.12.11
->> Good call Dennis.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer, Photo Editor
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 2:50 PM on 10.12.11
->> You can also install a bootable copy of OSX on to a USB flashdrive.

http://macs.about.com/od/diyguidesprojects/ss/usbflash.htm
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Steven Bisig, Photographer
Seattle | WA | USA | Posted: 4:44 PM on 10.12.11
->> I have a small firewire drive loaded with the OS as well as LR, PS and PM. I haven't had to use it (knock on wood) but I did loan it to someone in the media room that had a HD crash.
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John Cheng, Photographer
New Milford | CT | USA | Posted: 9:39 PM on 10.12.11
->> I superduper my boot drive onto an external firewire drive and take it with me on assignments. If my drive fails I can always boot from the FW drive and business as usual. Of course this implies the FW drive is kept update to date.
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Dennis Wierzbicki, Photographer
Plainfield | IL | USA | Posted: 8:02 PM on 10.13.11
->> Anyone know how to install software like Photoshop on an external drive? Will it install normally if it recognizes the drive as being a bootable volume?
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Ben Mackey, Photographer
Columbia | MD | USA | Posted: 9:06 PM on 10.13.11
->> Dennis,

Love your idea about a bootable SD card. I imagine that most of us have a large enough SD or compact flash card lying around to create a backup. Just don't shoot using the backup card...

Regarding Photoshop, it is probably a better idea to backing up your existing drive instead of reinstalling Photoshop on an external drive. You don't have to save everything on the drive, just enough to make it bootable as well as the applications you need in a pinch like PS.

Using Carbon Copy on OSX, I've backed up entire drives, including Photo Mechanic and Lightroom (not a Photoshop guy) and when I boot from the new external copy, everything works as before, only a little slower due to the drive being external. Physically installing the backup/replacement internally fixes the speed issue.

I assume that SuperDuper will give similar results but I haven't used it.
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Dennis Wierzbicki, Photographer
Plainfield | IL | USA | Posted: 9:28 PM on 10.13.11
->> Ben, according to the link above, it'll work on an 8G card, but 16 or 32G is better. Yeah, I'm guessing many of us have one or two of these sitting around…I know I do.

My experience with OS 10.x is when the hard drive won't boot, often the contents of the hard drive are OK……except when the hard drive crashes, which is Margaret's problem. If this were the case, would the computer be able to operate entirely off the SD card? If yes, couldn't you install basic programs on the SD card and store your ingested and edited files on the card, to at least get you through the game you're covering?
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 9:31 PM on 10.13.11
->> Dennis-
You can do this. Just install to your SD card, then boot off of it. After booting, use Disk Utility to unmount your hard disk (just to make sure it doesn't find the other drive), then do your installs like normal.
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Dennis Wierzbicki, Photographer
Plainfield | IL | USA | Posted: 9:55 PM on 10.13.11
->> Israel, thanks. I'll give this a try. Great thread!
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TJ Root, Photographer, Student/Intern
Towson | MD | United States | Posted: 10:34 PM on 10.13.11
->> I have my MBP set up with two HD's (SSD in the boot slot and traditional where the CD drive was) and no disk drive, In addition to having the extra space from the second drive, I have a second bootable HD already in the machine (with all my programs as it was the primary drive for a short time). That said, I really like the idea of having a SD card boot
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 5:36 PM on 10.14.11
->> OK, so I love this and need to do this. One question...the newest MBP's do not ship with install disks. All the apps are native on the HD. Is there a link somewhere on how to set this up without an install disk?
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Ben Mackey, Photographer
Columbia | MD | USA | Posted: 6:30 PM on 10.14.11
->> Scott,

The bootable backups CCC and SD create don't reuqire install disks. They just work as bootable drives. Unfortunately, I don't have a new MBP (or MBA) I can try this on. The latest machine available to me is an MBP bought earlier this year before the latest versions came out.

That said, if someone is willing to loan me a new MBP for the weekend I'll happily conduct experiments with it and report my results back here ;-)
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Dennis Wierzbicki, Photographer
Plainfield | IL | USA | Posted: 6:37 PM on 10.14.11
->> Ben, my MBP is two years old, and it has the integral SD card slot.

I don't know how to do this without the install disks. I'm not familiar with SuperDuper or CarbonCopy.
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Ben Mackey, Photographer
Columbia | MD | USA | Posted: 9:26 PM on 10.14.11
->> Dennis,

Well, you can download each and try them out. A limited version of SuperDuper is free, the full version costs $27.95. CarbonCopyCloner is donation-ware.

http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html

www.bombich.com

From playing with CCC and a 1 GB CF card just now, here's a start at the steps needed to make this work.

0. Download whichever app you want to try.

1. Take the SD card you want to use as a backup and run Disk Utility on it to create a single Mac OS Extended Journaled (the default setting) partition. You have to do that because cards formatted in cameras aren't formatted in a way that they can be bootable drives. If you don't partition it, most of the folders you need to clone will be grayed out and unselectable in CCC.

BTW, formatting the card as Mac OS Extended is reversible, I was able to partition the drive so CCC could see it and then reformat it in camera and shoot with that card again.

2. Start up CCC, select your internal drive as the source (on the left) and the SD card as the destination (on the right). Then make sure the folders you need are checked in the source window.

According to the CCC support pages, you'll need the following folders on the SD card to have a bootable drive:

/Library
/System
/bin
/etc
/mach_kernel
/private
/sbin
/tmp
/usr
/var

You'll also want your Applications and Users folders, hopefully everything will fit. At the very least, you'd want your editing application of choice, whether that is PS, PM, LR, Aperture, or whatever.

3. After that, hit the clone button and after a while, you should have a bootable clone with the apps you need on it.

4. To test it, restart your machine while holding down the alt/option key. You'll eventually get two icons on the screen, one for your internal hard drive and one for the clone.

5. Click on the clone and wait for everything to start up. Then test out your apps to make sure everything they need was cloned to the backup SD card.

The 1 GB CF card in a FW reader I tested tonight was too small so I didn't past step 1. In the past, I've used CCC to create backup boot drives (i.e., an external drive with everything selected and everything cloned to the backup). Works great.

Once I find a large enough SD card, I'll see how well it all works using the internal slot in a mid-2009 13" MBP.
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Thread Title: Reminder-Carrying Back-ups
Thread Started By: Margaret Bowles
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