When data is stored on a computer, you think it is safe from all types of threats. However, you cannot even imagine how unsafe your data is, even if it is saved on a Mac computer – one of the most secure computers. In fact, you cannot be at ease about security of your data unless some security measures are implemented. How about taking backup of the data? Well, data backup is a great way to keep all data protected though; however, only if the backup technique you implemented is reliable. The simple and the so-called reliable way to back up all the crucial files is to copy them on an external drive in order to keep them safer. In case the original files are lost or a data disaster ruins them, you ultimately have the mac backup copies.
However, I do not think the aforementioned way to back up your crucial files is efficient. In fact, the process is pretty unsafe and time consuming. On the contrary, you should prefer using a backup tool so that you do not have to copy data manually on regular basis. Mac OS X also have inbuilt data backup mechanism, called ‘Time Machine’, which is based on incremental data backup approach. Once you configure Time Machine for backup, you are free to do your work without fussing over the backup issue.
Backup with Disk Utility
In case you do not prefer using Time Machine, I suggest creating an image of the volume containing all your crucial files. Imaging a volume or a drive is very easy with Disk Utility – the Mac inbuilt disk management tool. Follow the steps mentioned below to create Mac backup using Disk Utility:
- Launch Disk Utility (navigate to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility).
- Select the volume that you need to create image of, and then click the ‘New Image’ button on the Disk Utility toolbar.
- In the window that pops up:
- Specify a Name for the image
- Select a Location to save the image
(Important: Imaging an individual volume allows you save it on another volume having required free space. In contrast, imaging the entire hard drive requires another hard drive of larger or at least equal size.)
- Choose Image format
- Select Encryption algorithm
- In the ‘Save As’ field, specify a name for this image.
- In the ‘Where’ menu, select a location on your Mac drive to save this image.
- In the ‘Image Format’ menu, choose a format for this image.
If you choose Compressed in the ‘Image Format’ menu, the image it creates is compressed though; however, it takes a while to mount the image in the Finder because of data decompression before mounting. On the other hand, choosing ‘Read-only’ format for this image makes it read-only, which means you cannot add and delete data to/from it. However, choosing ‘Read/Write’ as the image format allows you add and delete data to/from it.
- In the ‘Encryption’ menu, choose encryption algorithm (i.e. 128-bit AES Encryption or 256-bit AES Encryption) for the image, which requires you setting a password for it.
- After providing the required information, click ‘Save’ button to save this image at the selected location on your Mac.
Once the disk imaging process is finished successfully, you can see an image file with .dmg extension at the chosen location. In order to access data stored on this image, mount it in the Finder. When the mounted image is no longer wanted, simply drag the mounted disk icon to the Trash. Or click the above pointing arrow next to mounted disk in the left pane of the Finder window.
Backup with Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery
In case you are not ready to follow the aforementioned procedure with Disk Utility, you can otherwise opt for a commercial disk-imaging tool. I suggest using Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery software that enables imaging a volume or the entire hard drive at once, which on the other hand requires another hard drive having required amount of free space available.
Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery is a commercial data recovery tool for Mac OS X, supporting a range of OS X versions. The software is pretty lightweight and supports Mavericks (10.9) – the latest version of Mac OS X. Mentioned below is the detailed description about how to copy Mac drive with Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery software:
Important: The process is recommended to image a particular volume having many bad sectors. The process involves replicating a volume by reading it sector by sector, and the same can be used to recover lost/deleted data.
- Launch Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery
- Click ‘Create Image’ option on the home screen
- Choose the volume that you want to create image of
- In Select Region area, move the slider to select the region of the volume to image
- Click ‘Continue’ and select a location on the Mac to save this image
Based on the options you choose and the volume region you select, the software proceeds to image the selected volume. You see the progress in the ‘Image Creation’ window. Based on the size of the volume (or selected region) and the amount of data it contains, it may take a while to end up imaging the volume successfully. Subsequently, you see a .dmg file at the destination volume or drive.
In order to access the data stored on the image, you need to mount it in the Finder. Later on, you can un-mount the image by dragging the mounted disk icon to the Trash or simply un-mount it in the Finder. In case you are going to save a volume image to a USB drive formatted as FAT/exFAT, make sure the size of the image is not exceeding 4 GB. The significance of imaging a volume is that you can restore the image on a volume to regain the volume in its previous state. Ultimately, it keeps your data safe as compared to copying each crucial file to an external drive manually.